mm 39.5 Gooseberry Falls State Park

In the summer, Gooseberry Falls State Park is a veritable hub of video camera wielding vacationers. For many this is the first stop along the way. A must-see look over the bridge rewards sightseers with waterfalls on both sides. A short walk either up or down the river showcases the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls while a nice hike takes you on a loop that includes the Fifth Falls. Inside the beautiful visitors center are naturalist programs, interactive exhibits, restrooms, and a gift shop. The visitors center is the main trailhead in the park.

But Gooseberry Falls is hardly a one-season stop. Spring runoff and fall colors are grand, but the true splendor of the park comes through along the wintery cross-country ski trails. Trust me on this one.

COVID-19 Update

Park is open daily  8am – 10pm; buy a vehicle permit online, record your confirmation number and place it on your car’s dashboard.

Be prepared. Bring your own water, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, towels and toilet paper.

Main campground open with some sites closed, group camps closed through at least July 1; firewood is available; no ice will be sold in 2020.

Parks are getting extremely busy every day and it may not be possible to practice good social distancing. Be extra careful in parking areas, around signs and toilets, and on narrow trails, fishing piers and bridges where people tend to cluster. If you see a lot of cars in the parking lot or at the trailhead, turn around and find someplace else for outdoor recreation.

Modern restrooms at Visitor Center are open as are vault toilets in Lady Slipper & Lakeview Lodge parking lots. [note – these 2 buildings are closed].

  • Visitor Center

    Open year round; offers naturalist and interpretive programs, exhibits, restrooms and a gift shop

  • Warming House

    The park offers a fireplace and a place to change into your ski equipment in the visitor center

  • Camping

    Open late spring to late-October

    • no electric sites
    • 2 handicapped accessible sites
    • 69 drive-in sites (40′ RV length limit)
    • 3 pull-through sites
    • 3 tent-only group sites, each up to 50 people
    • 1 kayak site on the Lake Superior Water Trail
    • A seasonal dumping station
    • Firewood and ice are sold at the park
    • Accessible toilets and showers, vault toilets

    DNR Campground Map | Reservations

  • Maps
  • Waterfalls

    Five waterfalls tumble down the river from north of Highway 61 down to Lake Superior

  • Historical Sites

    Several buildings & the original bridge are part of the Civilian Conservation Corp and are on the National Register of Historic Places; self-guided Historic CCC Tour map

  • Weddings and Special Events

    The park has two shelters available for rent – call to make reservations

    The Lakeview Shelter has picnic tables and restroom facilities and is suitable for picnics / receptions.

    The Lady Slipper Lodge has benches and is suitable for programs or ceremonies.

  • Picnic Areas
    • 3 picnic areas, 1 along the river, 2 on Lake Superior shoreline
    • 2 reservable enclosed shelters, fee charged
  • Hiking

    20 miles; several trails to waterfalls, overlooks, up the river and down to Lake Superior

    • Superior Hiking Trail passes through park
    • 1-mile handicapped accessible trail to main falls
    • snowshoeing trails
  • Biking
  • Fishing

    In the river and on Lake Superior; a trout stamp is required along with a MN fishing license.

  • Cross-country Skiing

    20K; all groomed for classic (diagonal) stride; mostly moderate trails with some easy and a short difficult trail

  • Snowmobiling

    2 miles which connects to the North Shore State Trail

  • Snowshoeing

    Anywhere in the park except on the xc-ski trails, the Gitchi Gummi is a designated intermediate trail and the Fifth Falls is a designated advanced trail

  • Electric Car Charging

    Near the pedestrian entrance to the visitor center on back side of lot. Free charging.

    2 EV Plug (J1772)s