Cascade River State Park
Cascade River State Park is named after the series of waterfalls the Cascade River takes on its way into Lake Superior and it’s a favorite with hikers and cross country skiers. It’s located nine miles southwest of Grand Marais on the North Shore Scenic Byway in Minnesota’s Cook County. Read more …
Hiking along the 18-mile hiking trail system, you’ll pass through upland forests of spruce, fir and maples. You can get a bird’s-eye view of the myriad shades of green that sweep over the surrounding land from the overlooks. The busiest park trails straddle the Cascade River canyon, leading up to the many waterfalls that tumble toward Lake Superior.
The paths are the handiwork of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of the 1930s. Some park trails climb into the Sawtooth Mountains, entering the Superior National Forest. By arrangement with the U.S. Forest Service, these trails lead to the top of Lookout Mountain, Moose Mountain and another bluff-top overlook. Along some of the trails, you’ll be treated to broad vistas of Lake Superior. Other paths afford views of the inland bluffs.
Read about running Cascade River’s trails: A Runner’s Guide to Minnesota’s North Shore.
Plants and Wildlife
It’s easy to keep warm during the winter around Cascade River State Park. The park’s 17 miles of cross-country ski trails are designed for all abilities and link with others in the area. Snowshoeing and hiking are the best ways to see the wintry lower Cascade River gorge. The gorge’s beauty is particularly striking when the tenacious ice stills the falls in a severe winter.
More about skiing in the Tofte/Lutsen area