Tettegouche State Park: A Complete Guide to the Best Recreation and Amenities of Minnesota Park

Oct 18, 2020 03:00 PM

Photo by TAC.Photography from Flickr
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Tripboba.com - Set on the north shore of Lake Superior 58 miles (93 km) northeast of Duluth in Lake County, Tettegouche State Park is a Minnesota state park featuring six inland lakes, four waterfalls, and a beach on Lake Superior.

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The 70-foot-tall (21 m) waterfall High Falls located on the Baptism River is the highest waterfall located entirely within Minnesota. Meanwhile, four of the lakes support northern pike and one supports walleye fishing.

Aside from its waterfalls and lakes, this 9,346-acre park contains 22 miles (35 km) of hiking trails, 12 miles (19 km) of ski trails, and access to the Superior Hiking Trail.

To the north, the park is bordered by the Finland State Forest, sharing the Red Dot motorized trail with it. The trail is for use by all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles and is the only ATV trail in a state park.

If you love rock climbing, then you’ve come to the right place. Tettegouche State Park is one of only four state parks in Minnesota offering rock climbing with Shovel Point and Palisade Head cliffs as its popular spots offering climbing directly over Lake Superior.

So, find more about the park with our guide and plan your days ahead.

Tettegouche State Park Hiking

Photo by j-rye from Flickr

While the park highlights include waterfalls, wildlife/peregrine falcons, camping, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing, you definitely should never skip hiking.

Enjoy 23 miles of trail within the park which offers a variety of hiking experiences from high cliffs along the Lake Superior shoreline to hikes along the Baptism River to 3 scenic Tettegouche State Park waterfalls plus loops that wind around interior lakes. 

All are moderate to difficult trails you can choose from. About 12 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail cross through the park. The Superior Hiking Trail is a moderate to difficult trail. These trails will treat you to many spectacular views of Lake Superior, inland lakes, and northern hardwood forests with remnant red and white pine.

If you’ve got only some hours to spend at the park, hiking could be a great option for you to fully enjoy the breathtaking landscape offered by the park. From the visitor center, hike along the lakeside cliffs to the end of Shovel Point for soaring views over Lake Superior and rock climbers in action.

You can also walk just a few city blocks from the visitor center to a gravel beach where the Baptism River meets Lake Superior and enjoy quiet reflection or a lively rock-skipping contest. Or, follow the Cascade Trail along the Baptism River to the Cascades Waterfall and experience views of rushing waters and stately, giant pines.

Tettegouche State Park Camping

Photo by North Country National Scenic from Flickr

Visitors love camping at Tettegouche State Park campground. Tettegouche State Park has camping facilities available year-round. Here are some available campsites you can choose from:

  • Drive-in sites (28 sites). Located on the Baptism River, the campground is about 1 1/2 miles from Lake Superior. These are secluded, well-screened sites and are available year-round.
  • Electric Sites (22 sites)
  • RV Length Limit (60 feet). Length is measured from front of the tow vehicle to rear of the vehicle being towed.
  • Backpack Sites (5 sites). These sites are located along the Superior Hiking Trail within the park. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis only and are limited to a one-night stay.
  • Walk-in Sites (6 sites). These are located in the Baptism River campground. Bear-proof storage lockers are available.
  • Cart-in Sites (13 sites). These sites are located near the shoreline of Lake Superior. The farthest site is 6/10 of a mile from the parking area. Bear-proof storage lockers are available.
  • Group Camp (2 sites; accommodates up to 35 people). Sites are located in a large open area within a birch woods. Primitive sites with vault toilets. Water is available at the park office, located 1.5 miles from sites. Picnic tables, bear-proof food lockers, and a large fire ring with multiple cooking grills are available. Sites are cart-in, located about 100 yards from the parking lot. Cart is provided if needed.

Tettegouche State Park Cabins

Photo by Kurt16 from Flickr

If you prefer to stay at the cabins, the park offers 2 options for you: the Tettegouche Camp and Illgen Falls Cabin. Tettegouche Camp is located in the interior of the park, accessible only by foot, mountain bike, cross-country skis, or snowshoes. There is a shower building, a lodge, and four year-round rentable cabins: Cabin A, Cabin B, Cabin C, and Cabin D.

The four cabins in Tettegouche Camp provide excellent opportunities for fishing, canoeing, or just relaxing. Each cabin also includes the use of one canoe, canoe paddles, and life vests (canoes available through park office). Each cabin has its own picnic table, fire ring with grill, and firewood.

There are no bathrooms in these cabins; a shower building and toilet facilities are a short walk away. Cabins do not have running water. Jugs are provided and guests may use the shower building or the hand pump to collect water.

A nearby one-room lodge is available to cabin guests, as well as all park users. The lodge has several benches and tables inside and picnic tables outside, with two fireplaces to take the chill off during cooler weather. The large screened-in porch faces Mic Mac Lake.

On the other hand, Illgen Falls Cabin overlooks Illgen Falls on the eastern edge of the park. The drive-to cabin offers a private setting with park trails only three miles away. It sleeps six and is available year-round.

There are two bedrooms with two queen beds and a queen sleeper sofa, a gas fireplace, and a full kitchen including a coffeemaker, toaster, stove/oven, microwave, refrigerator, cookware, and utensils. The cabin has a large deck complete with patio furniture and a gas grill. Please bring bedding and linens.

Here’s the Tettegouche State Park map for a closer look at the site:

Photo by files.dnr.state.mn.us

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