Things to do on Lake Superior

The State Parks of Northern Minnesota: Gooseberry Falls

  • The State Parks of Northern Minnesota: Gooseberry Falls

    Spring is here, bringing with it the gorgeous weather on Lake Superior that we’ve all come to know and love. Here at Cove Point, when the weather gets this good, we’ve gotten accustomed to having every room full, but a completely empty parking lot. Those that stay with us love to take in the scenery from their rooms or cottages, but also love to get out and trek around in good ol mother nature. Cove Point is the perfect lodging destination for any nature enthusiast as we are situated near three of Minnesota’s greatest state parks: Tettegouche, Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks.

    With so much to do, and so many differences between the three parks, we thought we’d make a series of posts taking time to talk about each park individually as well as a final post that looks at them as a whole in regards to the unbeatable experience of staying at Cove Point Lodge. To keep this as unbiased as possible, we’re going to work our way through the parks in alphabetical order, starting with:

    Gooseberry Falls State Park

    Location
    Gooseberry is located 12 minutes south of Cove Point Lodge, nestled comfortably right on the shore of Lake Superior. It’s easily accessed right off highway 61, with plenty of signs to let you know you’re almost there. As if it needed any signs! Gooseberry is Minnesota’s 2nd most visited State Park (it helps that it’s also a rest area), there is always a good crowd coming in and out of the park entrance, making it easy to spot while on the road.

    Gooseberry State Falls on Lake Superior

    Things to do
    Gooseberry Falls, as you might have guessed, has some fantastic waterfalls that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Feel free to take a trek through the river, or spend some time playing under one of the falls. You’d be amazed at just how relaxing it can be.

    Gooseberry also has multi-use trails for hiking & biking during the warm season, and snowshoeing & cross country skiing during the colder months. You can also find several log homes and historic structures in the park, with informational plaques shedding some light on their pasts.

    Let’s not forget the shore of Lake Superior! At Gooseberry you can follow the streams and river right down into Lake Superior. Walk along the shoreline, bird watch for one of the over 255 bird species seen at the park,, or just dip your feet in the cool ( or cold ) waters.

    For you biking fans, there is a 2.5 mile segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail that runs through Gooseberry. This trail is paved and makes for excellent riding conditions. You can leave right from the top of Cove Point Lodge’s driveway and bike the 12 miles one day. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it! Feel free to ride to the park, or use their parking lot for easy access to the trail.

    Gooseberry State Falls Bridge

    Before you go
    Gooseberry’s state website has some great information on the tours, guides, and other activities that you might want to look over before you head there. Get informed and see what all you can do.

    Gooseberry Falls State Park has a large parking lot but even more travellers, so parking is restricted to 2 hour maximums. This allows park visitors to come and go, and find parking (fairly) easily. So plan ahead and if you’re planning to be there all day, you might want to make sure you have some arrangements made.

    If you’re really itching to see what awaits you, check out their great selection of virtual tours(link below). While these fantastic resources give you a good idea of what’s in store, they just cannot compete with witnessing the park first hand.

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/virtual_tours.html

    A great place to visit

    While this was on the cliff on the waterfall, there is a whole plunge pool of things to do at Gooseberry, and as anyone that has ever been will tell you, it is a must stop on any trip to the North Shore.

    Next time we will be taking a similar look at another one of Minnesota’s best State Parks: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.