A Visit to the North Shore-Gooseberry Falls State Park

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On our last day of our visit we took a day trip south to Two Harbors to Gooseberry Falls.  I have been here a few times but it was the first time we have taken the girls.  One of my first memories of Gooseberry Falls was when we stopped on our way to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center for a week-long 6th Grade field trip.  Oh I wish there was a way to add photos in from then!  Now over 20 years later we enjoyed the visit with the girls.

Like the other hikes on our trip, we planned to do the Hiking Club trail.  On the trail map, it is also labeled the Gitchi-Gummi Trail.  It sets off from the visitor center, which was hopping even by 10:00 AM the parking area was just about full.

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This hike goes up and travels along the Gooseberry River through the woods.  Despite the falls area being packed with people, this trail was pretty quiet. I shared on social media that when we finished with this hike, the girls had hiked over 10 miles in 48 hours. I was so proud of them and it was all with minimal complaining.

We eventually found the password and made it to the overlook.  From the overlook you could see Lake Superior and where the Gooseberry River flows into it.  There is a sandy beach area where there were quite a few people enjoying the water.

We looped back around and then spent some time exploring the falls area. Elsie was all about climbing on rocks and Evie loved splashing in the water.  The rocks were slippery and poor Evie’s legs were so bruised up by the time we were done. But she didn’t care-she was loving every minute of it!

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The park ended up being packed while we we were there! When we left cars were park all along the park road leading to the parking lot all the way from Highway 61. This state park is one of the most popular parks in the Minnesota State Park system.  On the website, there is an advisory and suggestions on how to avoid crowds.

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Two popular trails travel through the park-the Superior Hiking Trail and the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, which is popular with bikers in this area.  There are also 69 non-electric sites in the park-some which have views of Lake Superior from what I could recall.

Not far from the park is the ever popular Betty’s Pies.  Featured in Roadfood, we had to stop and enjoy some delicious pie.  There were so many options to choose from that we ordered two slices there and took a whole pie to go!

The cream pies were for sure our favorite and we ordered a Great Lakes pie to go-which was also delicious topped with ice cream. If you are passing through, it is a must stop.  There was a wait to get a table but many people order their pie to go and enjoy it at a picnic area.  I asked how many pies they make on a holiday weekend and was told 300 pies a day over Memorial Day weekend!!! That is a lot of pies!

Gooseberry Falls was a great ending to our Memorial Day weekend travels.  The north shore landscape offered so much variety and there seemed to be something new around every turn.  We can’t wait to go back and explore more of the area!

DATE OF TRAVEL:  May 27th, 2018

 

 

3 thoughts on “A Visit to the North Shore-Gooseberry Falls State Park

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  1. Gooseberry Falls is a place we have made many family memories over the years. It was the first park I showed my Dutch step kids and it is always a favorite when they have returned to Minnesota. Betty’s Pies is a must see!! It almost was gone about a year ago when it sold and the new owners thought about changing it into something else. There was such a huge uproar from loyal customers they continued the tradition (thanks to those of us who after a long hike like a good piece of pie to replace the calories we have burned). Wonderful piece and great information as always! Funny, as I am sitting here in the Netherlands I am wearing my Minnesota State Parks T-shirt as I was reading this I thought “now that is karma in this crazy world, thank goodness for people like her who write about our beautiful part of the world.” Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I didn’t even know Betty’s Pies changed ownership! I can’t imagine it being something else! Thanks for the kind words :). Minnesota is a beautiful part of the world for sure! And now that I live out of state, I am drawn back to it to show my children my home state and the beauty of it all!

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