Minnesota may not be known for its towering waterfalls like those found in other parts of the country, but it still has some impressive cascades that are well worth visiting.
From the rugged north woods to the rolling prairies in the south, here are some of the most stunning waterfalls in Minnesota.
1. Minnehaha Falls
In the very heart of Minneapolis, Minnehaha Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the state. The 53-foot-tall waterfall is surrounded by lush parkland and is easily accessible via walking trails and bike paths. In the winter, the falls freeze over, creating a magical icy wonderland.
2. Gooseberry Falls
Located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls is one of Minnesota’s most famous waterfalls. The falls are actually a series of cascades and drop that stretch over a mile, with the largest drop measuring 30 feet. The surrounding park offers miles of hiking trails and stunning views of Lake Superior.
3. High Falls of the Pigeon River
Situated on the Minnesota-Ontario border, the High Falls of the Pigeon River is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state, with a drop of 120 feet. The falls are located in Grand Portage State Park and can be accessed via a short hike through the forest. The park also offers camping, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities.
4. Vermilion Falls
In the heart of the Iron Range, Vermilion Falls is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors. The falls are located in a small park in the town of Tower and can be accessed via a short walk through the woods. The 35-foot-tall waterfall is surrounded by towering pines and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
5. Minneopa Falls
In Minneopa State Park near Mankato, Minneopa Falls is a picturesque waterfall that flows over a series of limestone cliffs. The falls can be viewed from a boardwalk that takes visitors through a scenic valley and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The park also features a bison herd that can be seen grazing in the nearby fields.
6. Hidden Falls
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Hidden Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is well worth the hike to reach it. The falls cascade over a series of rocky ledges and can be viewed from a wooden boardwalk that winds through the woods. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and wild turkeys.
7. Kakabeka Falls
Just across the border in Ontario, Canada, Kakabeka Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the region, with a drop of 131 feet. The falls are situated in a picturesque gorge and can be viewed from a number of lookout points. The surrounding park offers camping, hiking, and fishing opportunities, as well as a visitor center with exhibits on the history of the area.
8. Caron Falls
Available in the remote wilderness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), Caron Falls is a breathtaking waterfall. You can only get to it by hiking or canoeing, both of which are adventurous well worth your time.
The falls cascade over a series of rocky ledges and flow into a crystal-clear pool below. The area is popular with backpackers and canoe enthusiasts who are looking to escape civilization and immerse themselves in nature.
9. Devil’s Kettle Falls
In Judge C.R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Devil’s Kettle Falls is a unique and mysterious waterfall. It has long puzzled visitors and scientists alike.
The falls split in two at a certain point, with one half flowing into a pool below and the other half disappearing into a seemingly bottomless hole.
Despite numerous attempts to determine where the water goes, the mystery of Devil’s Kettle Falls remains unsolved. The surrounding park offers hiking trails and campsites for those looking to explore this natural wonder.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes Is Also Rich in Waterfalls
Minnesota may not have the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, but it certainly has some beautiful ones worth exploring. Whether you are looking for a peaceful escape in the woods or an adventurous hike along Lake Superior, these stunning waterfalls are sure to impress. Plenty of lakes AND waterfalls? Is there anything Minnesota does not offer?!