Split Rock Lighthouse is also a park where there are several nice hiking trails. We wanted to get to the photos of the "Top 5 Places to Photograph the Lighthouse" so we took the 0.3 mile trail from the parking lot to the lake. Because it's a state park, you have to pay to walk these trails, even if you don't even tour the lighthouse.
There are 171 stairs down to the lake. At the top of the stairs are the ruins of the tramway building. In 1916 a tramway replaced the hoist and derrick. This inclined rail system ran uphill from the boathouse to the tram house. A 5 horsepower gas engine pulled a small cart up the tracks by cable. The tramway was taken out of service in 1934 when keepers were able to truck supplies from Duluth.
FYI, most of the information in this post I quoted from the Split Rock Lighthouse Visitor Guide. Oh, and I forgot to mention they have a great Visitor's Center at the Split Rock Lighthouse where you can watch a movie and see lots of displays telling you everything you need to know about the lighthouse and the surrounding area.