Year it became a State Park: 1937
Section of Minnesota: North Shore
Nearby Town: Two Harbors
The Negatives: This (for good reason) is the second most popular Minnesota state park. At times, it can be a bit crowded.
General Comments: This is the first State Park that you come to traveling up Highway 61 from Duluth. It’s a five minute walk from the parking lot to getting up close and personal with the waterfall.
Something Everyone Wants To See: The falls, of course.
But you should also check out: The ”Picnic Flow” rock beach at the end of the road into the park. Also, try walking up the path to the left from the information center and see what it’s like under the massive bridge. And then (especially if it’s crowded and you want to get away from them) hike around on the inland side of the highway.
Nearby attraction to visit: There is a very nice bike path (part of the Gitchi Gami trail) from this state park to Split Rock State Park. It is a great experience, but I warn you: There are hills.
Interesting Trivia: You can see remaining elements of what was constructed by the CCC in the 1930s. This includes picnic shelter down by the lake and an old outhouse on the upper trail to the north of the river.
Personal Stories: I recall walking around the park in the days before the new information center was built (in 1996) and the primary parking was just off the highway. This was just a little dangerous.
I have sometimes stated that you’re not really on the North Shore until you get north of Gooseberry. My wife scoffs at this idea.
Jamsco Ranking: Among The Best In the State
Final Word: How can anyone with any spare time drive up Highway 61 and not stop at this park?