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Minnesota Travel: Hiking & Waterfalls - Lake Superior Circle Tour

temperance river minnesota north shore
Fishing at the mouth of the Temperance River

This page covers the north shore circle tour route on Scenic Highway 61 from Silver Bay to Temperance River State Park. There are several nice water falls along this route and numerous day hiking opportunities.

On the previous page, we covered the route from Split Rock State Park through Beaver Bay to Silver Bay.

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~~~"Click" on smaller images for a larger picture~~~

Tettegouche State Park & Baptism River Waterfalls

high falls of the baptism river

The 60 foot "High Falls" of the Baptism River is about a mile and half hike from the rest stop parking lot of Tettegouche State Park. If you purchase a park admission sticker, it is a much shorter hike from the park's campground. two step falls

Two-Step Falls is downstream from High Falls.

The trail from the wayside also goes past the Cascades,
but if you take the trail from the campground, as we did,
you miss this particular attraction.

There's also a nice lakeshore hiking trail system at Tettegouche and a public (no fee) wayside parking lot for day visitors. Restrooms and park information are available at the newly remodeled and expanded visitor center. See our article and photos on hiking to Shovel Point and the Palisades Head scenic overlook.

There is also an extensive backcountry hiking trail system at Tettegouche including rustic cabins on an inland lake.

Waterfalls Along Scenic Highway 61

Manitou Falls

Manitou Falls of the Manitou River is not easily accessible. It required some bushwhacking and precarious hiking of an abandoned trail along the edge of a deep river gorge.

< < < This picture is at the top of the water falls, before it plunges more than 60 feet. Bad knees and a nervous wife kept me from getting a good shot of the main part of the falls. What I could see (and hear) of the falls was impressive. One would have to hike upstream from the Lake in the river basin or perhaps find a trail on the east side of the river to get a good view of the falls itself. Several miles upstream are the Manitou Cascades, reachable from the Crosby-Manitou State Park trail head parking lot (2.25 miles rd trip).

caribou falls

Caribou Falls can be reached via a leg of the Superior Hiking Trail leading from the trail head parking lot at the Caribou State Wayside along Minnesota Highway 61.

When water levels in the Caribou River are adequate it is well worth the hike. Otherwise, it is a nice opportunity to stretch your legs. The wayside is somewhat hidden so if you are intending to stop here, watch your map and odometer (near mile marker 70).

Cross River Falls

A much more convenient wayside stop is the Cross River Wayside near Schroeder, Minnesota. There's paved parking lot, an accessible bathroom, and a coffee shop nearby.

< < < Cross River Falls (shown left) can be seen from the highway. Another falls on the river can be seen by hiking 2.4 miles upstream from the SHT parking lot on Skou Rd., a short distance N of Highway 61. There are 4 SHT backpacking campsites along this route as well.

Father Baraga's Cross

Take a short walk down to the lake to see Father Baraga's Cross (pictured below) at the mouth of the Cross River. > > >

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls. From the Temperance River State Park roadside parking lots along Highway 61, you can hike a loop north - less than a mile round trip - to cross the Temperance River, view the Hidden Falls and the river gorge, and then return to the parking lot. temperance river gorge

Or you can hike south and see the river emptying into Lake Superior. > > >



Temperance River State Park

More Hiking suggestions. A more enthusiastic day hike would be to the top of Carlton Peak (see pictures). From the park parking lot the trip is 6.2 miles round trip.

Shorter route is available from the Britton Peak SHT Trail parking lot off Cty Rd. 2. Round trip hike is about 4 miles.

Camping at Temperance River. Temperance River State Park offers two camp grounds, one at a lower elevation closer to the Lake Superior and the other on a high bluff with great Superior views and a nice breeze. Warning, there's a downside to the campground's easy access to the highway. On one trip in early June we had our cooler stolen during the night while we slept only a few feet away.

    Temperance State Park Campground & Hiking Trail Map & Facility Info

Moose Mountain - Lutsen, MN

Lutsen - Moose Mountain
. Lutsen is best known for its winter-time activities at Lutsen Ski Area. But we found it is also popular in the fall for its gondola rides up to the top of Moose Mountain where you'll get some spectacular fall color vistas from the top and along the hiking trail down the mountain.

>>> Next Stop on Lake Superior Travel Tour: Cascade River State Park, Grand Marais and beyond 

>>> North Shore Waterfalls Directory - Reinhold Development - 2023 Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

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