High Falls on the Baptism River is the highest waterfall that is solely in Minnesota since the High Falls on the Pigeon River is on the border. This distinction is a little silly in my opinion but it is a great falls that is a few miles off of Hwy 61 and requires a 1 mile (each way) hike to reach. Because of those two factors it isn’t nearly as busy as the more popular roadside falls. In addition to the High Falls (and Two Step Falls) there are 3 other waterfalls in Tettegouche State Park. Directions are available in either the Waterfalls of Minnesota (Crayford) or the Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore (Wallinga).
Rating and length – moderately easy – 2 miles (only High Falls) or 3 miles (also Two Step Falls).
Accessibility – paved road to a parking lot and a nice dirt trail (can get muddy)
How to get there – Turn north off of Hwy 61 between mile marker 85 and 86. The turn is on the west side of the Baptism River and leads toward the campground. Follow this road past the campground and the parking area is at the end of the road.
The hike – The hike starts from the north end of the parking following an old rocky road. It won’t take long to reach the Superior Hiking Trail. Turn right on the Superior Hiking Trail (also signed for High Falls). In a little less than a mile the trail becomes an elevated wooden trail with a junction. Turn left to go to High Falls and the right branch goes to Two Step Falls. The first view of the falls almost directly on top of the falls looking down the Baptism River. It is an easy hike across an upstream bridge to reach the bottom of the falls. You can return to the trail junction and hike to Two Step Falls going right next to the a few campsites in the campground.
One alternate hike is to leave from the visitor center and hike the east side of the river to High Falls with a stop at Two Step Falls. There don’t appear to be any bridges in between the visitor center and High Falls but you can cross the river above High Falls. The park map doesn’t show a trail that goes along the entire west side of the river so you would have return the same way you came or arrange a car to pick you up.
Cost – a state park permit ($5/day or $25/year) is required for this parking area
GPS – Parking N47.344959 W91.214392 – waterfall N47.350859 W91.209207
Date visited – 6/29/2016
Other nearby waterfalls – Beaver River Falls – Split Rock River Falls – Gooseberry Falls – Manitou River Falls
Other blogs – North Shore There and Back blog
Guidebooks – Both guidebooks below include directions to the High Falls of the Baptism River and the other waterfalls at Tettegouche State Park.