Category Archives: Minnesota State Parks

Gooseberry Falls (71 State Parks)

Gooseberry Falls is an iconic Minnesota state park. The main waterfall is underneath Highway 61 and people have been stopping there for decades as they continue farther up the north shore. I can remember my family coming here when I was a kid, and now I am bringing my own family here.

The park provides a magnificent view of the Upper and Lower Falls without the need to hike a dirt trail. We hiked Gitchi Gummi (meaning big water) trail loop which affords its participants a view of Agate Beach and the outlet of Gooseberry River into Lake Superior. The park is chock full of displays which tell of the history of this park and the work that the Civilian Conservation Corps did.

The upper falls, which you can reach within 5 minutes of parking your car.

View from the Gitchi Gummi Trail looking at Agate Beach.

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71 State Parks

Minnesota has 71 state parks, of which we have visited about 8. During our current trip on the north shore I discovered that the Department of Natural Resources has a passport club program which helps one keep track of visits to each of these parks. July 17, 2011 my family began their goal of visiting all 71 of these parks. My aim here is to:

  1. Have a greater awe of my God who is an awesomely creative architect of this earth.
  2. Enjoy achieving a goal as a family.
  3. Explore the expanses of the great state of Minnesota.
  4. Challenge and expand my photography skills.

Our first stop was Tetteghouche State Park. Located on Highway 61, north of Two Harbors, this state park has the largest waterfall in Minnesota. The 1.5 mile hike to the High Waterfall was  pleasant and the weather could not have been more perfect. The buds on the trees and plants were just starting to burst. Shovel Point has a beautiful cove and beach. Just south of the park entrance is Palisade Head, which overlooks Lake Superior and the shoreline is the most breathtaking I have ever seen.

One down, 70 to go.

The High Falls, 60 foot waterfall, tallest in Minnesota.

What is left of the Tettegouche Arch. The arch collapsed a few years ago.