Spring - that time of year when the Northland starts to thaw, the air gets a little warmer, the sun shines for longer, and taking in a deep breath of fresh air doesn't hurt your lungs like it does in the middle of winter. It's the time of year when the outdoors is begging you to get outside. And what better way to get outside after being cooped up all winter than by taking a trip up the North Shore of Lake Superior?
The North Shore has so much to offer during springtime - probably the best, are its waterfalls. Spring is the prime time to head up the shore to visit the falls because everything is melting, which makes for vigorously fast crashing waters.
Starting at the SW Tip...
Jay Cooke State Park
Carlton, MN (20.8 mi)
A short ride from Duluth, Jay Cooke State Park offers a couple of beautiful waterfalls to see. Walk a short hike from the Visitors Center to view a waterfall at Swinging Bridge Falls or park a little further up the road at Oldenburg Point to see a set of cascades. Experience one or both for an enjoyable day in the park!
Duluth, MN (1.9 mi)
Another beautiful place to explore in Duluth is Chester Park. Located right off of Skyline Drive, families and friends alike can walk the 2.5 mile hiking trail loop to experience the rushing waterfall that flows down towards Lake Superior.
If you want to see some waterfalls this spring but don't have the time to head far up the shore, Duluth is your destination. Within city limits there are many impressive (and sometimes hidden) falls. Stay at Beacon Pointe Resort for convenient access to all of Duluth's waterfalls and an epic Lake Superior view. This resort gives you the privacy to relax while taking in the views of the lake. But not only that, it gives you the convenience of being close to shops, restaurants and, of course, waterfalls. These are a few that visitors should search for when visiting Duluth and nearby (distances are measured from Beacon Pointe):
Duluth, MN (2.1 mi)
Tischer Creek offers visitors the opportunity to experience its waterfalls either alongside the creek or up above on one of the bridges. After entering the park, you may feel like you are in a completely remote place even though you are in a neighborhood within the city. This spot allows you to step into nature without having to go too far.
Duluth, MN (4.7 mi)
Lester Park River is the perfect place to spend an afternoon walking the trails, having a picnic, and taking in nature's beauty without having to drive up the North Shore.
Two Harbors, MN (1.9 mi)
A crowd pleaser of the North Shore, Gooseberry Falls is an easy hike that takes you on a loop around the upper, middle, and lower falls. Visitors can view the river and the way it flows into Lake Superior from numerous spots along the winding trails. If you are going to stop anywhere, Gooseberry Falls is a place you don't want to miss.
Two Harbors, MN (9.3 mi)
While visiting Split Rock Lighthouse, hike the 5-mile loop to experience unforgettable views of the river's cascades.
Beaver River Falls
MN (15.7 mi)
Beaver River is known for its series of cascades and falls that drop 300 feet and flow into the Sedate Bay. Take Highway 61 as it takes you around the bay to the East Beaver Bay to experience the river from a different perspective!
One of the most convenient locations that travelers can stay while chasing waterfalls is Grand Superior Lodge. Located right on the shores of Lake Superior, guests get the priceless views of the lake while also having the advantage of being near some of the major falls on the North Shore. Who wouldn't want to enjoy some s'mores right on the lake after an enjoyable day visiting waterfalls? Doesn't get much better than that! These are some of the waterfalls that you don't want to miss out on while staying at Grand Superior Lodge (distances are measured from the lodge):
Tettegouche State Park
Silver Bay, MN (21.1 mi)
Tettegouche State Park is the place to go for overlooks that feature incredible views of Lake Superior. It also offers superb birdwatching, challenging rock climbing, and finally, breathtaking waterfalls. The park has two popular waterfalls called the High Falls and the Illgen Falls. Both within a short hiking distance of one another, Illgen Falls is a 40 foot cascade which flows to High Falls 70 foot waterfall. Check them both off your list while visiting the park for an unforgettable day!
Manitou State Park
Finland, MN (35.9 mi)
Visit Manitou State Park to encounter waterfalls within the first mile of hiking. The George H. Crosby Manitou State Park is a little more inland than most of the parks along the North Shore, but is one that is a definite must-see.
Beaver Bay, MN (33.2 mi )
While hiking the scenic Superior Hiking Trail on Minnesota's North Shore, don't miss out on viewing the beautiful 35 foot waterfall on the Caribou River. The hike will allow you to get the perfect view of the Caribou River gorge before declining to the falls.