Tettegouche State Park ~ Silver Bay, Minnesota

After visiting Split Rock State Park, we decided to stop into Tettegouche State Park on our way back to our lodge. We knew there were several waterfalls in the park and were hoping to see a view that day.

Tettegouche State Park has one main visitor center that has a gift shop, rest rooms, and even a small cafe. To just hike a small loop around the visitor center, you can park for free in the lot, but if you want to go further into the park via the road, you will need to pay for a park permit.

We spoke to one of the rangers on duty in the visitor center who laid out the main trails to Cascade Falls, Two Step Falls, and High Falls. As it was nearing dinner time, we opted to hike out to Cascade Falls that day, and return to hike to High Falls the next day. To access the trail to Cascade Falls, we decided to hike down to the bridge and take the trail underneath.

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From the top of the bridge you have a nice view from the lake, you can take another trail down to the lake, but we saved that for the next day.

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The trail to Cascade Falls is not well traveled and quite narrow, making it a more strenuous hike than one would think. Eventually we reached a point where the trail seemed to end, and while beautiful, I have to admit I was a bit depressed that this was all we would be met with at the end of the hike.

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Andrew was feeling adventurous and scrambled over some rocks to discover that the trail actually continued on, and in just a few more minutes we reached some more spectacular falls.

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This was much more like what we were expecting at the end of the hike!

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As I mentioned, we returned to Tettegouche the next morning and drove further in to park near the trail head for High Falls. High Falls can also be accessed via the first parking lot in by the bridge, but the hike is much longer. It was a much warmer day than we had had the rest of the week, so I’m gad we opted for the shorter hike.

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The trail to High Falls was initially very wide and lined with gravel, but then turns off to a more dirt path, followed by some steps as you get closer to High Falls. I had been excited to see High Falls since it’s the highest waterfall entirely inside Minnesota. (High Falls at Grand Portage State Park is taller but shares a border with Canada.) However, despite the cool swinging bridge that goes over the river just upstream from the falls, you can’t really get a good view of High Falls itself.

Following our hike to High Falls, we drove back to the parking lot located by the bridge to hike down on the lake trail.

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This area was actually our favorite from the park. This is where the Baptism River meets Lake Superior.

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We greatly enjoyed testing our bodies against the current of the river as it meets the lake.

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While the waterfalls within Tettegouche were not nearly as impressive as some others along the North Shore, we still had some great hikes. We also really enjoyed our time down by the lake.

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