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Cascade River State Park, Lutsen

#71 of 85 in Nature in Minnesota
Water Body Nature / Park
Cascade River State Park is a state park near the northeastern tip of Minnesota, USA, on the north shore of Lake Superior. The park is in a rocky and rugged location, and has many different types of wildlife.Cascade River State Park is also connected to the Superior Hiking Trail.The site was originally named Cascade River State Wayside. It was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps starting around July 1934. One of the projects was a huge overlook wall, built from locally-quarried gabbro. The roadside development plans were drawn by Arthur R. Nichols and Harold E. Olson. The project was considered a model for roadside development within the state, and possibly even outside the state. The development work was supervised and inspected not just by National Park Service employees, but also by members of the Minnesota Highway Department, staff of the Minneapolis Park Board, Civilian Conservation Corps individuals, members of the Minnesota Legislature, and even some Canadian officials. The wayside was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 4, 2003.
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  • This is the first time I have made it to the North Shore in the spring. We always stop by Cascade River, and this time it was spectacular. The water was raging, and the outflow was at least 200 yards ...  more »
  • I had a quick visit to the North Shore for my birthday and stopped at some of my favorite spots. The Cascade River is always a joy to visit. It changes with the seasons and this was no exception!  more »
  • be ready for lots of steps- but don't let that stop you it is really beautiful. Easy to get to and easy parking  more »
  • Our North Shore favorite. My artist husband and I love the views of the river in this narrow, vertical gorge. Get into the woods and see falls minutes after you leave your car. Charming, surprising angles of the curvy, root-beer colored, foamy falls water and evergreen & birch forest. I expect gnomes and wee folk at every turn. One needs to have good balance & footwear for the trail and the ability to climb and descend the stairs. Be careful when there's ice, but photo ops abound any time. No amenities -- not "touristy."
  • This is a must see of the area. It is only a short walk to get to the falls but there are also stunning hikes and views that are more challenging. We'll certainly be back.
  • Among my favorite parks in the state. A MUST see if you're doing a tour of the North Shore. The geology and waterfalls are simply 1st rate! There's always something to do no matter what time of year it is! In summer, tour the falls (especially if you're short on time!). Otherwise, bring your hiking boots and go a few miles up either side of the river! In the winter, it is the best spot for cross country skiing I know of and the snowshoeing on the frozen river (January-March) is simply the best.
  • Gorgeous. I visited the first week of October and the trees were just about to peak. We did the river loop hike and it rivaled hikes I've done in Colorado. You feel like you're in another world. The rooted pine forest was my favorite despite my love for moss and Fern forests, which there is also a lot of. I cant comment on the camping facilities, but everyone we talked to raved about them (minus the showers being closed that year)
  • I go to lots of parks and trails as a runner, skier, biker and more. I was incredibly impressed with Cascade park!! The park staff, campground host and grounds were outstanding. The trails were some of the most scenic, yet most challenging I've been to also! The only thing that was in need of improvement were to have more signs on the's easy to get lost! If you want to go to a top notch park and have a good experience to here!