The second stop touring my home state was Jay Crooke State Park. This park is near Duluth Minnesota and about a 2-hour drive from the Twin Cities. The cost to enter the park is USD 7 and you can pay online or pay at a dropbox. Once COVID restrictions are lowered you will payable to pay by card at the park, currently, there is no one working the permit office.
Day 1 – Day Hike Summer Trail 07.15.2020
When looking up waterfalls in Minnesota I came across Jay Cooke State Park. There wasn’t much data or even names for the waterfalls, all I could find is that the Saint Louis River Cascades over rocks creating waterfalls. The pictures online looked amazing and with the weather going to be perfect I decided to make the 2-hour drive.
The first stop is the swinging bridge with overlooks a few falls. After crossing the bridge I headed to the right and climbed up some rocks to see some smaller waterfalls.
I then took the West Ridge Trail 1.6 km (1 mi) to its endpoint and instead of following the river (Carlton Trail) I made my way to the Summer Trail 5 km (3.2 mi). This was a mistake, the summer trail is not scenic at all and at some points, the grass was very tall. If you continue down the West Ridge Trail or Carlton Trail there is a good place to walk out to the river and there is a good spot to swim.
The summer trail then merges back in the Silver Creek Trail 1.7 km (1.1 mi), which is the trail I should have taken. Walking up the Silver Creek trail there are a few places that if you’re brave enough you can walk down and climb on some rocks and then you have a good overlook of the rapids of the Saint Louis River. This was a bit dangerous and probably should be avoided. However, it did provide some great photos.
Three waterfalls down, a lot more to go! Minnesota Waterfall Counter:
- Wolf Creek Falls – Banning State Park
- Big Spring Falls – Banning State Park
- Swinging Bride Falls – Jay Cooke State Park
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