Tettegouche State Park is just about an hour up highway 61 northeast of Duluth. Located on the north shore of Lake Superior, directly south of Finland State Forest, the park is one of Minnesota’s most magnificent outdoor areas. In addition to a handful of inland lakes and rivers, it is home to several sets of falls, including the highest waterfall in the state. Tettegouche camp is also on the national register of historic places, with four cabins you can hike to, as well as a picnic area.
At nearly 10,000 acres, this Silver Bay park is bursting at the seams with amazing hiking, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. Many of the park’s scenic byways offer fun approaches to exploring the Sawtooth Mountains, making this rugged region easy to access in little time.
The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and the visitor center offers educational materials for any curious vacationer.
Tettegouche State Park: Waterfalls And More
As mentioned above, Tettegouche is home to the High Falls of the Baptism River, the tallest waterfall in the state. The High Falls can be reached via the park’s system of hiking trails, some of which connect to the Superior Hiking Trail and the North Shore State Trail that stretches between Duluth and Grand Marais. Some trails even allow ATV use.
Alongside High Falls, visitors can look forward to seeing other breathtaking drops along the Baptism River, including Illgen Falls, Two Step Falls, and Cascade Falls.
Not to be outdone by its rivers and waterfalls are the park’s larger bodies of water like Mic Mac Lake. Grab a kayak and hit the water! Each one is open to fishing, boating, and more, though the park does warn swimmers to use extreme caution due to unpredictable waters.
Rock Climbing on the North Shore
Tettegouche offers eight official climbing spots over Lake Superior. Five are located along the majestic Palisade Head area, while the other three are spread out across the rock face of Shovel Point. Each climbing area is only a short walk from conveniently placed parking lots and trailheads.
Please note that you need a permit to climb in this Minnesota State Park. Fortunately for us, these permits are free and last a year.
The park has over 15 miles of moderate and difficult ski trails to cruise along. Beyond cross-country skiing, Tettegouche is a popular destination for other winter activities like snowshoeing, sledding, and ice-skating. Of course, if snowshoes and other low-tech pastimes are a little too slow for your taste, you’ll be pleased to hear that snowmobiles are also welcome in the park.
Be sure to check with the Minnesota DNR website regarding rules and regulations before you head out.
Camping? You Betcha!
Campers will be pleased to know the Tettegouche has great sites for drive-in, cart-in, and walk-in visitors. Many of these are located in campgrounds like the Baptism River campground that feature the modern facilities you’d expect like RV hookups and wheelchair accessible bathrooms with showers and flush toilets. If you’re looking for something a little more warm and cozy, the park offers some cabin rentals as well, including the luxurious Illgen Falls cabin which can accommodate 6 people.
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