Who isn’t amazed by water crashing from heights into a pretty pool below? Waterfalls are something that we all love to see. Whether the spectacular beauty of a huge turbulent flow or just a pretty trickle over rocks, waterfalls are always wonderful.
Luckily there are plenty of waterfalls along Minnesota’s North Shore. From big to small they have it all!
Here is a guide to 10 waterfalls you should be sure to see when visiting the area. And you can use our handy Google map showing the locations of all the Minnesota waterfalls mentioned!
10 Waterfalls on Minnesota’s North Shore
Tischer Creek Falls
Start (or finish) your waterfall tour in Duluth! Tischer Creek Falls are located in Congdon Park. Follow the trail up the creek through the gorge or along the rim to see the series of waterfalls as the water tumbles over volcanic rock. The best place to access the trail is at Superior Ave and 32nd Ave East in Duluth.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
The Gooseberry River travels three miles through the park, and gives us five waterfalls in Gooseberry Falls State Park! Hike the short Falls Loop Trail near the visitor center to see the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. The parking lot doubles as a highway wayside so you can see these pretty falls for free! Stop by early in the morning to have the falls all to yourself.
Beaver River Falls
As you drive through Beaver Bay heading south you can see Beaver River Falls from Highway 61. Pull over to the parking area on the southwest side of the bridge and walk on the pedestrian pathway to get a look at these falls.
Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche has four waterfalls along the Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park. Explore them all by hiking around the park. Take the Cascades Trail or High Falls Trail to see some of them on short hikes (but there are quite a few stairs to get down to the river and back up again). These are some of the more spectacular waterfalls in the area, be sure to check out Illgen Falls and High Falls, but you can also check out the smaller Two Step Falls.
The trail to this waterfall begins at the Caribou Falls State Wayside, a roadside rest area between Little Marais and Taconite Harbor. Take the less than one mile trail along the Caribou River that leads to the base of the falls and also offers views of Lake Superior.
Cross River Falls
Visible from the highway, Cross River Falls are easy to reach. Especially powerful after a heavy rain, these falls rush over rocks toward Lake Superior. Park in the lots on either side of the bridge and walk across it to see the falls.
Temperance River State Park
Take a short hike in Temperance River State Park to see the amazing falls disappear into the deep gorge here. You will hike over an old waterfall lava bed to get there! Park on the side of the highway and walk to Hidden Falls, where the water rushes into a series of potholes. Interpretive signs give information about the geology of the area. When you get to the bridge which is the Superior Hiking Trail, you can continue hiking upstream on either side of the river to more waterfalls, rapids and drops.
Cascade River Falls
The Cascade River makes quite a few drops in a beautiful gorge on its last quarter mile to Lake Superior. Hike upstream at Cascade River State Park to get a glimpse of these sets of waterfalls from the wooden bridge over the river or from the Cascades Overlook. The park is about 10 miles south of Grand Marais.
Devil’s Kettle Falls
Judge C.R. Magney State Park is located 14 miles northeast of Grand Marais on Highway 61. It is home to a mysterious set of waterfalls known as Devil’s Kettle. The Brule River splits in two as it goes over the falls. One section continues downstream, while the other part vanishes into a pothole and no one knows where it goes! Above Devil’s Kettle you can also check out the Upper Falls.
Pigeon Falls is on the USA/Canada border, right off of Highway 61. You probably know that the US and Canada are separated by another famous waterfall at Niagra Falls. Pigeon Falls can be reached with a short stroll from Grand Portage State Park or Pigeon River Provincial Park.
Here is a handy Google map showing the locations of all the Minnesota waterfalls mentioned above!
Visiting the North Shore? Here is our guide to autumn leaf peeping in the area, complete with cool places to stay, great coffee and craft beer tips!
If you love waterfalls we suggest a trip to the area around Starved Rock State Park in nearby Illinois. The region is filled with graceful small falls and beautiful sandstone formations!