The state parks of the North Shore also offer access to the Lake Superior Shore. With a walk along the rocky shore, you’ll discover where the rivers flow into the lake (often with powerful force), cliffs plunging into the lake, ledge rock gently stepping into the water, agates, driftwood, and the feeling of being at the foot of an inland ocean.
There are dozens of short hikes and longer day hikes available, and you can usually count on seeing birds and wildlife along the rivers and trails, making hiking the state parks an exciting adventure for the whole family!
Park Descriptions starting from the North:
Grand Portage State Park
Experience the majesty and scenic wonder of Minnesota's highest waterfall! Three viewing decks at High Falls provide park guests with various views for photography or quiet contemplation. The Pigeon River is also the US/Canadian border – just about an hour from Eagle Ridge Resort. Find out how the ancient falls helped name Grand Portage during the heyday of the Voyageurs and fur trading during the 18th Century.
JudgeC.R. Magney State Park
Come for the quiet, the solitude, and the famous Devil's Kettle waterfall – about 35 minutes from Eagle Ridge. The most popular hike leads from the trailhead upstream along the Brule River to Devil's Kettle, where the river splits around a mass of volcanic rock. Half of the river plunges 50 feet into a pool, while the rest pours into a huge pothole. Anglers can catch brook and rainbow trout in the Brule River or its tributary, Gauthier Creek.
Cascade River State Park
Widely known for its cross-country ski trail system and scenic pull-off between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Cascade River State Park is just about 10 miles from Eagle Ridge Resort. Hike a short distance to grand waterfalls that lay within a gorge, lush with moss and ferns that grow on black volcanic rocks. Hike the trail through birch, spruce, and white cedar, and make your way to the mouth of the river the empties into Lake Superior. Trails connect with the Superior Hiking Trail and the North Shore State Trail and offer great recreational opportunities to hikers and cross-country skiers.
Temperance River State Park
About 12 miles from Eagle Ridge - take the trail that winds along the edge of the Temperance River gorge and enjoy the rushing waterfalls surrounded by pine, spruce, cedar and birch forests. The rapidly flowing river has cut deep potholes in and along the riverbed. Hike the trail to Hidden Falls or connect up with trails into the Superior National Forest and the Cross River Wayside. Visitors come to camp and picnic along the shore of Lake Superior. Winter brings cross-country skiers and snowmobilers to tackle the hilly terrain. Carlton Peak, a recent addition to the park, is popular with rock climbers and offers even more recreational opportunities.
Tettegouche State Park
About 30 miles from Eagle Ridge Resort – head to Tettegouche for a great sense of the North Shore: the spectacular overlooks at Shovel Point; rocky, steep cliffs and inland bluffs; the cascading 60 ft. High Falls of the Baptism River; and the historic Tettegouche Camp where visitors can stay the night. This is a hiker's paradise with miles of trails that overlook the Sawtooth Mountains and wind down to inland lakes accessible only by foot. The Palisade Valley Unit features broad scenic vistas coupled with an expanse of multi-use, four-season trails. Two more trout lakes complement the fishing opportunities within the rest of the park. The park is also known for rock climbing opportunities and quality bird watching in the spring, summer, and especially the fall.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Three really cool things converge at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park – One of Minnesota’s oldest and most recognized landmarks, a scenic state park boasting the Split Rock River and Lake Superior shoreline, and the Gitchi Gami bike trail. Easily spend an entire day at the Minnesota Historical Society’s interpretive lighthouse tour and gift shop, the Park’s hiking trails and picnic areas, and biking along the paved Gitchi Gami bike trail between Split Rock and Gooseberry Falls State Parks.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls is the gateway to the North Shore and arguably one of the most popular waterfalls to visit. It is known for its spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, Lake Superior shoreline, Civilian Conservation Corps log and stone structures, and north woods wildlife. Listen to the thunderous roar of the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls of the Gooseberry River as it plummets through a rocky gorge. Watch for waves, ships, or the moonrise on Lake Superior from an ancient lava flow known as the Picnic Flow. Hike or ski to see the Fifth Falls through a forest of evergreens, aspen, and birch, and enjoy camping in modern campsites, picnicking, and relaxing along the Lake Superior shoreline or the Gooseberry River.
To get the most out of your visit, stop by the Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center where you can find park information, interpretive displays, a park video, Nature Store, and more. Don't miss the Gateway Plaza for outdoor interpretive signs on area resources and history.