Gooseberry Falls is one of the most popular stops along Minnesota’s North Shore. In addition to a short trail to view the 3 main falls there is also a longer trail to Fifth Falls, bicycle trails, a campground and a lakeside picnic area.
Rating and length – easy – many short hikes and longer ones if you want
Accessibility – The well built trails are easily accessed from Hwy 61.
How to get there – Gooseberry State Park is 13 miles east of Two Harbors on Hwy 61. Turn south off of Hwy 61 at mile marker 39 and follow the signs to the falls parking area. You do not need a state park permit for the falls parking area but you will need a permit to go to the campground or to the lakeside picnic area.
The hike – The best option for an easy hike is a counter clockwise loop starting at the middle falls. Follow the stairs down to the west half of the lower falls and just further downstream you can cross the stream and continue up on the other side of the creek. Along this stretch is the best view (pictured below) of the lower and middle falls before the trail goes up to the walking bridge under Hwy 61. From the walking bridge you can see the upper falls before going back to the visitor center and parking lot. There are a lot of additional hiking trails at Gooseberry Falls State Park for those wanting a full day of hiking.
Seasonality – likely year round
Cost – a state park permit ($5/day or $25/year) is not needed to access the falls area but it is needed for other areas at the state park
GPS – N47.142748 W91.467917
Date visited – 6/29/2016
Other nearby waterfalls – Beaver River Falls – Split Rock River Falls – Baptism River Falls (Tettegouche) – Manitou River Falls
Gooseberry Falls is detailed further in both of the excellent guidebooks below
The lower and middle falls with Hwy 61 in the background.