Skip to main content

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Minnesota 61 along the North Shore of Lake Superior is an amazing drive.  From Duluth to Grand Portage, the North Shore Scenic Drive offers spectacular views and countless recreational activities.  One of the most popular spots along Minnesota 61 is Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Upper Falls - Gooseberry State Park

The centerpiece of Gooseberry Falls State Park are the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls.  All three falls are rather close together and very accessible from the Gateway Plaza Visitors Center.  The Upper Falls sit north of the MN 61 bridge over the Gooseberry River.  Both Middle and Lower Falls sit below the bridge.  There are many vantage points for each of the falls and they make for impressive viewing.


Geologists date the falls to two events.  The basalt rock found at the falls were a result of a long inactive rift zone from 1.1 billion years ago.  Further, the retreat of glaciers from the Great Ice Age over 10,000 years ago carved out the rocky gorge the Gooseberry River and falls traverse.

Further upstream from the Upper Falls is the Fifth Falls.  It is about a two mile round trip hike from the Visitor Center.

Besides the falls, there are over 20 miles of hiking trails and numerous campsites open in the summer.  The Gitchi-Gami State Trail runs through the park which is a paved bike/recreational trail.  During Winter months, snowshoeing, snowmobiles, cross-country skiing, and ice climbing are extremely popular within park grounds.

Middle Falls

The park dates to the early 1930s and its development was assisted greatly by the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC).  The Corps laid out many of the trails, the original campgrounds, and picnic areas.  One of the retaining walls built by the CCC is known as "The Castle in the Park". Today, the Gateway Plaza Visitor Center honors the members of the CCC that developed the park.

All photos taken by post author - August 2006.

Further Reading:

How To Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

The decade of the 1930s brought unprecedented growth and development to Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure as the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge cemented their place as leading urban centers on the Gulf Coast. In the immediate aftermath of the success garnered by the construction of the massive bridge on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1935, planning and construction commenced on the state’s second bridge over the great river. This new bridge, located on the north side of Baton Rouge, was to be similar in design and form to its downriver predecessor. Completed in 1940 as the second bridge across the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the first to be built in the Baton Rouge area, this bridge is one of two bridges on the Mississippi named for Huey P. Long, a Louisiana politician who served as the 40th Governor of the State from 1928 to 1932, then as U.S. Senator from 1932 until his death by assassination at the state capitol in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935