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Waterfall at Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park is a beautiful park with a rushing river running throughout its entirety. Large waterfalls that lay within a volcanic rock gorge, lined with moss and ferns, are one of this park’s magnificent features. Located in between Lutsen and Grand Marais with easy access parking right along Highway 61, a trip to explore all this park has to offer is easy and would leave you with no regrets. 

Cascade River State Park also features an easy hike to a beautiful waterfall. Just park in the Highway 61 parking lot and take the quick hike to the waterfall, then finish the looped hike by exploring the river’s edge. Here are some other things you can do during your visit to the park:

Go Fishing:

The Cascade River is known as a great fishing spot surrounded by beautiful scenery. If no luck is found in the river, Lake Superior is only a short distance away. Steelhead, brook trout and salmon are some of the common fish that could be reeled in at this park.

Take a Hike:

With 18 miles of trails that run along both sides of the river, you are bound to find a hike that meets your needs, whether it be a long, challenging hike you seek, or a short, easy hike.

View the Cascades: 

The large waterfall by the highway isn’t all there is to see as far as falling water goes. Enchanting stair-step waterfalls cascade down the river leading to a final drop. There is also another larger waterfall about two miles back from the highway.

Grab Your Skis and Hit the Trails: 

Coming in the winter months? Cascade River State Park offers over 16 miles of ski trails you can enjoy, from an easy loop for beginners to more challenging routes for experienced skiers. There are plenty of moderate trails to choose from, as well.

Go Bird Watching:

Grab those binoculars and keep your ears alert for the sounds of the Blue Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-Throated Green Warbler, and maybe even the mating pair of American Bald Eagles that nest nearby. Be sure to download the Cascade River State Park Bird Checklist for a full list of birds you may get the chance to spot.

Getting There:

Cascade River State Park is located in between the town’s of Lutsen and Grand Marais on Highway 61. There is parking for the waterfall loop hike right along Highway 61 near Cascade Lodge & Restaurant. The official park entrance is located at 3481 West Highway 61, Lutsen, MN 55612 on the non-lakeside of Highway 61.


Parking is free alongside Highway 61 which gives you access to the hiking trails.  Normal camping rates apply for those staying in the campground.

Hours and Seasonality:

The Visitor’s Center, which offers camping basics like firewood and ice, is open year-round 9 am to 3 pm with extended hours in the summer. 


Some of the drive-in sites at the park’s campground may be accessible.  The shower and flush toilet facilities are accessible but only open in the peak season (May-October, weather permitting). The trails around the river are not paved and require climbing stairs in many areas.

Camping and Lodging:

Cascade River State Park has a campground located inland from Lake Superior. The campground features 40 drive-in sites, 4 pull-through sites, 5 backpack sites, and 2 group campsites that can each accommodate up to 20 people.

Wheelchair-accessible showers and flush toilets are available seasonally, usually May-October, weather permitting. Vault toilets are available around the park, some open year-round.  There is also a seasonally open dump station.

Mobile Usage:

Cell service is spotty in this area, even for providers that typically have good coverage on the North Shore. You should not plan to use your phone as your only source of communication while visiting the park.

Electric Vehicles:

There are no charging stations here. The nearest charging station is located at Clearview General Store in Lutsen, which has a Greenlots charger available for a small fee.  Also available nearby are the Clipper Creek charging stations at Bluefin Grille and CoHo Cafe in Tofte (free for guests of the resort and restaurants).  A Tesla charging station is located at Lutsen Resort in Lutsen for their guests and patrons at the restaurant or a $5/day charge for non-guests.

More Info:

Information on this page is subject to change. For current information, including contact information, current hours of operation,  and camping information please visit the official Cascade River State Park DNR website.

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