Minnesota is home to many natural treasures, but at the top of that list is Lake Superior and the amazing state parks found along it’s shores! Each filled with lush forests, roaring rivers, wildlife, and some of our state’s most impressive waterfalls. Join us on our next overnight adventure as we head north and explore nine of the biggest and best waterfalls along the North Shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Marais (and beyond!). From exploring the diverse waterfalls and the parks they reside in to taking in the views of picturesque Lake Superior, enjoying some delicious meals and drinks to relaxing in your lakeside hotel room…this nature-lovers weekend getaway has something for everyone. Not only will you find fun and adventure, but GetKnit will plan all the details of your weekend “up north” so you can truly relax and enjoy this one-of-a-kind overnight experience.
Our weekend will begin bright and early on Saturday morning as we gather at St. Paul’s Union Depot where your local GetKnit Gurus will anxiously await your arrival with a delicious pastry and coffee breakfast. We’ll be able to store your luggage safely below and then board our luxury coach bus that will whisk us away for our journey north to explore the waterfalls along the North Shore!
At each stop we will have time to explore the parks we’re visiting and hike to the waterfall at each location – either as a group or at your leisure. Organized hikes will be optional, as to best meet the goals of each guest. Your onsite Gurus will inform you of the length and level of intensity of each hike. Nothing will be too challenging or extreme so as to accommodate a wide range of strength levels.
Our first stop and state park of the day will be Gooseberry Falls State Park. Home to a three level waterfall that passes through a rocky gorge and is know as the “crown jewel of the north shore”. Here you’ll be able to explore the Gooseberry River as it plummets through the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls as the river makes its way to Lake Superior. After our time here, we will continue our way north to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park for a lakeside lunch catered in by local favorite, Vanilla Bean Restaurant. After lunch we’ll have free time to explore the rocky shoreline and take in views of the historic lighthouse atop the sheer cliffs of this beautiful park.
After we’ve recharged with lunch, we will continue north to Tettegouche State Park. Before we arrive, we will make a quick pitstop at Beaver River Falls in Beaver Bay, MN. After we snap some pictures of this beautiful and accessible waterfall we will complete our trip to Tettegouche. Here we’ll have the opportunity to take a moderate 1.5 mile hike (roundtrip) to the cascading 60 ft. High Falls of the Baptism River. These falls tops the charts as one of the tallest falls in our great state and the hike offers great views at both the crest and the base.
Our journey continues to Temperance River State Park. Once we arrive at Temperance, we’ll be able to traverse the trail that winds along the edge of the Temperance River gorge and enjoy the rushing waterfalls surrounded by pine, spruce, cedar and birch forests. The rapidly flowing river has cut deep potholes in and along the riverbed that you’ll be able to seek out along your adventures.
We will complete the days adventures before relaxing lakeside in Grand Marais at Cascade River State Park. Here we’ll explore the rushing river and grand waterfalls that lay within a gorge, lush with moss and ferns that grow on black volcanic rocks. The hike along the gorge gives great vantage of both the falls and Lake Superior in the nearby distance.
After we finish our days explorations, we will end up in downtown Grand Marais, MN at Best Western Plus Superior Inn, our home away from home for the night. Here we will get checked into our newly renovated lakeside room and kick-up our feet and relax. After some free time we’ll regroup and walk to nearby Voyageur Brewing Company. Here we’ll be treated to a private set-up in the brewhouse itself for a scrumptious and hearty dinner of pork sliders, chicken tacos, reuben egg rolls, caesar salad, and brussel sprouts. With dinner you’ll be able to order up a delicious craft beer from Voyageurs wide selection or a non-alcoholic beverage, if you’d prefer. After dinner, the rest of the night is yours to do with what you will! Explore some other local hangouts and watering holes, enjoy local music at nearby Gun Flint Tavern and Brewery, take a moonlight walk along the lakefront, or just head back to the hotel for a well-deserved early night in. Your GetKnit Gurus are happy to make suggestions and join in your evening excursions!
After a good night’s rest, a scrumptious continental breakfast will be waiting in the hotel lobby upon waking. Once you fill up your belly and take in the sunrise over the big lake, we’ll re-group for our second day of “waterfall hunting” where we’ve saved the best three for last! Should you decide you’d prefer a quiet morning in-town, you’re more than welcome to stay back at the hotel and meander through town at your leisure, as we’ll be returning to Grand Marais before heading back to the Cities.
A short 30 minute drive further north will bring us to Judge C.R. Magney State Park, which is home to the infamous Devils Kettle. The 1.8 mile (roundtrip) moderate hike leads from the trailhead upstream along the Brule River to the falls, where the river splits around a mass of volcanic rock. Half of the river plunges 50 feet into a pool, while the rest pours into a huge abyss. Following our time here, we’ll continue our journey along the ridged and beautiful coastline to our most northern spot just shy of Canada, Grand Portage State Park. Here we will walk through the lush forest, up river to enjoy several dramatic views of Pigeon Falls, Minnesota’s tallest waterfall coming in at 120 feet.
After our adventures north we will head back to Grand Marais to pick up some delicious boxed lunches featuring an array of handmade wraps. You’ll be able to choose from a chicken caesar, BLT, BBQ pulled pork, or Veggie – all served with kettle chips, pickle, apple and cookie. Your Gurus will get those for you and serve them to you on the bus as we start our travels south towards home. After a quick 35 minute drive, we will make another quick pitstop at Cross River Falls for some photos of this unique fall as it makes its way to Lake Superior. Just down the road from Cross River Falls we will make our final waterfall stop of the day, for a visit to local favorite Caribou Falls which is located off the Superior Hiking Trail. Here we’ll enjoy an epic 1 mile hike (roundtrip) that takes you atop the river gorge of the Caribou River that leads to the breathtaking views of both the falls and great vantages of Lake Superior. A perfect waterfall to end our epic adventure.
We will then board our comfortable bus for the last time and finish our journey home to the Twin Cities. We’ll be home in time for dinner at approx. 6:15 PM, but the memories of all of the grandeur and beauty will live on in our memories and photos — leaving us with the satisfaction that we fully embraced all our great state has to offer in this weekend getaway to northern Minnesota!