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Minnesota Travel: Hiking & Waterfalls - Lake Superior Circle Tour

cascades of the Cascades River Minnesota
Cascades on the Cascade River, Minnesota North Shore

Cascade River to Canadian Border
Northeast of Temperance River State Park, you will enter the Arrowhead Region whose unofficial capital is Grand Marais, Minnesota . . . one of our favorite towns along Lake Superior.

But before you get there, make time for some of the hiking. Seven miles down the road is Forest Rd 336. Go 2 miles inland to the SHT parking lot for Oberg Mountain. The hiking trail is about 2.25 miles and includes several overlooks of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and a number of other high peaks along the North Shore. Here's a SHTA map that includes Oberg Mtn trail, an article in Gorp on a fall Oberg hike, and an article on our own Fall Color hike to Oberg Mountain.

A little further down the road towards Grand Marais is a second worthwhile hiking opportunity among the numerous trails in the Cascade River Sate Park. If you don't have a day sticker for the park, there is a small no-fee parking area along highway 61 by the river.

Another worthwhile stop is about 5 miles before Grand Marais: the Cut Face Creek Wayside Park. While the bathrooms are eco-toilets, they are new and clean. The picnic area overlooking the lake should win landscape awards . . plus there's a great rock picking beach here.

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park's campground is more removed from the highway than the Temperance River State Park camping area and will be more "buggy" and "dusty" during certain times of the year. The primary attractions of the Cascade River State Park are numerous hiking trails: some run along the lake, others to Lookout Mountain and Moose Mountain, and hiking the trails on both sides of the river with its scenic waterfalls and cascades.

Cascades of the Cascade River

Here's a shot of the "Cascades" of the Cascade River taken from a hiking bridge that crosses the river. Parking is available off Highway 61 next to the river. The round trip hike to the Cascades is less than an hour's trek.Cascade Falls



On the way to the Cascades, you pass Cascade Falls.

See more pictures of Cascade River and Lookout Mountain here.

    Cascade River State Park Campground, Hiking Trail Map & Facility Info

Grand Marais MN

Grand Marais, Minnesota
Grand Marais harbor. Artists Point left center, main harbor center to extreme right.

Hiking Trails near Grand Marais.
About 2 miles (north on Hwy 12) up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais, there is a trailhead parking area for the Superior Hiking Trail. A nice overlook of Grand Marais. (pictured above). If you are in the mood for a day hike, following the SHT east leads to Pincushion Mountain (pictures here) and the Devil Track River Gorge.

pincushion mountain
Here's Jo and Hans at the top of Pincushion Mountain. As guests of the the Wedgewood Motel (2 miles NE of Grand Marais), we shaved about an hour off the travel time to the top by using the spur trail that originates from behind the motel.

There's another hiking trail a few miles further up the Gunflint Trail from the Pincushion Mountain trailhead where the road runs past Northern Light Lake. Look for the sign indictating a half-mile hiking trail to a peak with an overlook of the lake.

  See our pages on interesting things to see and do in Grand Marais Visiting Grand Marais, Minnesota

Grand Marais to the Canadian Border

Kadunce River Bridge

< < < A nice day hike northeast of Grand Marais is from the Kadunce River Wayside along Highway 61. You travel adjacent to the Kadunce River gorge to the intersection with the Superior Hiking Trail bridge.

kadance river gorge

Devils Kettle on the Brule River

Judge CR Magney State Park & Devil's Kettle
(click on pictures for a larger view)

Judge Magney is 14 miles north of Grand Marais on Highway 17. Here a portion of the Superior Hiking Trail runs away from Lake Superior along the Brule River. The scenic attraction on this hike is the The Devils Kettle waterfalls. At the bottom of the falls is a sink hole where part of the river disappears to parts unknown!

Lower Falls, Devils Kettle

You'll get plenty of exercise on the hike as there is a significant elevation change on the way to the falls and kettle, including several sets of stairs (over 500 steps in all).

On the Devils Kettle Hiking Trail

To hike the trail, you'll need a day pass to park in the Judge Magney State Park parking lot.

    Judge Magney State Park Campground, Hiking Trail Map & Facility Info

Grand Portage State Park & High Falls

high falls grand portage park

Grand Portage has no camping facilities but has a visitor center and a short handicap accesible walking trail to one of the most impressive waterfalls around Lake Superior - The High Falls of the Pigeon River. You'll also need a Minnesota day park pass (although if you got one the same day at Judge Magney then it will also be good here.

photo by Paul Linde
High Falls Pigeon River

The Pigeon River forms the Minnesota-Ontario border at this point and is a historic voyageur canoe route. At 130 feet, High Falls is the second highest falls around Lake Superior - exceeded only by Kakebeka Falls . . . which would be your next "waterfall stop" as you travel into Canada to continue your Lake Superior tour.

    Grand Portage State Park Hiking Trails & Facility Info

   Grand Portage National Monument

Before you cross the border, well worth a visit is the historical reconstruction of the old Grand Portage Trading Post, complete with re-enactors of the period. The Grand Portage Heritage Center has a museum, interactive exhibits, and a theater providing interesting insight into the voyageur era. Also see the beginning of the historical Grand Portage Voyageur Trail and get a little exercise with a hike to the top of Rose Mountain with a view of the Grand Portage bay.

The annual re-enactment of the Grand Portage Rendezvous is the second weekend in August.

red triangleCrossing into Ontario Canada and Kakebeka Falls - Canadian Lake Superior Circle Route - Reinhold Development - 2023 Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

bentleyville tour of lights
Duluth's amazing Bentleyville Duluth Christmas Lights Village.

santa visit
Duluth Holiday Events and Fun.

gooseberry falls park
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - Wisconsin Winter - Minnesota
Winter - Sault Ste Marie.

Duluth Enger Park Tower
Duluth's Enger Park and Enger Park Tower.

tall ships

Tall Ships Festival

John Mirth of Platteville, Wisconsin
Grandma's Marathon
Minnesota North Shore

kakabeka Falls
See our article on North Shore Waterfalls & Dining at Naniboujou Lodge.

duluth harbor and lift bridgeThings to Do and See in Duluth, Minnesota

Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden Enjoying lake breezes and views at the Canal Park Brewery Beer Garden - Canal Park.

gooseberry falls
Gooseberry Falls
State Park

porcupine mountains hiking trails
Hiking and Camping Guides & Books

Fall color photos from Enger Park Tower
Skyline Drive offers best views of Fall Color in Duluth

About the Superior Hiking Trail

lake superior road map of the circle tour
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

John Beargrease Race
John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon
Duluth to Grand Portage
Minnesota North Shore

Best Minnesota
North Shore
Agate Beaches.

burlington bay beach

Lake Superior Agate?
Identifying Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.


Superior National Golf Course, Lutsen, MN
Exceptional golfing at Superior National Golf Course

1958 Chevie Impala
Grand Marais Classic Car Show

Understanding and Finding Agates
Our Reviews of the best guides to Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.

red bar

hotel planner
Hotel, Motel Lodging
Duluth, Mn, Two Harbors, Grand Marais, Minnesota
North Shore

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Reviews Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews & Ratings of Best Minnesota North Shore golf courses.

Canoe Trails:
Wabakimi Canoe Trips
Canoe Trip Stories