mm 80.4 Temperance River State Park

The 5,000+ acre state park is an all-in-one slice of the North Shore, featuring Lake Superior cobblestone shoreline, a river cutting through billion year old rock with several waterfalls, an an upland forest of birch, pine and cedar forests.

Said to be the only river along the North Shore without a sand “bar” at its mouth; hence the name. However, it is hardly a moderate river. A few hundred feet upstream, a thunderous water force continues to carve out a deeper path in the amazing gorge. Waterfalls run all year at Temperance River State Park, but are at their peak in the spring and after rain accumulations. An easy access view to one falls is just below the highway and includes picture perfect settings from a foot bridge. Another footbridge is a little more than half-mile up the river and includes gorge and waterfalls views and a trail that traverse the old waterfall bed. Hike the popular riverside trails by parking along Highway 61 and following trail signs. Note – this trail has high drop-offs, rushing rivers, and at times slippery pathways. It may not be suitable for children or pets.

Access Lake Superior at the public beach and picnic grounds. Camping takes place in two campgrounds, the lower offering primitive sites, some with lake views. The upper campground has electricity, shower houses and flush toilets. To access Carlton Peak, popular with rock climbers, hikers and snowshoers, follow trails from the river mouth or drive 2 miles up the Sawbill Trail to Superior Hiking Trail Parking and head west. This is especially nice in the spring and autumn when the foliage doesn’t hinder the wide open views.

***Please note – there have been 8 deaths in the Temperance River in the past 20 years. The Temperance has an amazing current, especially after it rains. This is also true for the river mouth. Use caution and do not swim if you are unsure of conditions.

  • Visitor Center

    Open seasonally
    218-663-7476, winter call 218-353-8800

    Nature Store, firewood and ice

  • Camping

    Open late spring to Lat October; an upper and lower campground with wooded sites; some in the lower campground have great Lake Superior views.

    • 52 drive-in sites [60′ RV length limit]
    • 18 electric sites [all in the upper campground]
    • 2 pull-though sites
    • 6 cart-in sites; carts provided & bear-proof storagelockers available
    • Firewood and ice are sold at the park
    • Accessible toilets and showers in upper campground, vault toilets
    • All campsites at this park are reservable. Same-day reservations are now available.
      • If you need help making a reservation, call 866-857-2757.

    DNR Campground MapReservations

  • Maps
  • Waterfalls

    waterfalls temperance river HIdden Falls and Upper Falls cut gorges north of the highway while another waterfalls tumbles below the highway

    more Waterfalls here

  • Picnic Areas

    Tables and fire rings near Lake Superior’s shore.

  • Hiking

    hiking temperance river mn 22 miles; riverside trails briefly lead to Lake Superior then head north, connecting to extensive inland trails

    • connects to Superior Hiking Trail, which passes through park, including a trail to Carlton peak
    • .5-mile self-guided trail
  • Rock Climbing

    Carlton Peak offers over two dozen climbs in the 60-foot to 80-foot range; required free climbing permits available at visitor center; lovely views from the 900-foot summit.

  • Snowmobiling

    7 groomed miles connect with the State Trail

  • Snowshoeing

    Anywhere in the park except on groomed trails

sparkling wintry lake superior and ice sheets stacked on north shore

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