Grand Portage State Park

18 Best Waterfalls in Minnesota

Minnesota, famously known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is home to some of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the country.

With its rugged wilderness and dramatic landscapes, Minnesota is the prefect place for waterfalls.

Let’s explore the Great Minnesota Waterfall Showdown, where we’ll discover the most majestic cascades in the North Star State. 

From the iconic attractions to hidden gems, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and join us as we explore the unparalleled beauty of Minnesota’s waterfalls.

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The Best Minnesota Waterfalls in MN

Minnesota is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country.

Some of the most magnificent waterfalls in Minnesota are along Minnesota’s North Shore. But there are plenty of others around the state too.

The Most Iconic Waterfalls in MN

These are the waterfalls you’ll find most people talking about. They are a must see do to the sheer volume and beauty.

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry Falls is a stunning three-tiered waterfall located on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

The falls are one of the most visited in the state.

The unique feature of Gooseberry Falls is that it is actually a series of waterfalls, with the main falls dropping 30 feet and the upper falls dropping an additional 20 feet. 

To get there, take Highway 61 northeast from Duluth and follow the signs to Gooseberry Falls State Park. Park at the main visitors entrance. There is no fee because it’s considered a roadside stop. Then take the short paved trail to the waterfall, just past the main building.

The falls are wheelchair accessible. You’ll be able to see it from the top of the falls.

There is no cost to see the falls as Gooseberry Falls State Park is considered a welcome center.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is a stunning waterfall located in Minneapolis in the Twin Cities that draws visitors from all over the region. 

This 53-foot waterfall falls over a limestone cliff.

The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and there a couple trails that lead to different viewing points.

One unique feature of Minnehaha Falls is the limestone caves that have formed behind the waterfall. To get there, visitors can park at the nearby lot or take the light rail and follow the signs to the falls. Parking cost a couple dollars at the pay station.

The falls are wheelchair accessible.

Minnehaha Falls Frozen

High Falls of the Pigeon River

Located on the Canadian border in Grand Portage State Park, High Falls of the Pigeon River is a stunning 120-foot waterfall that is a must-see.  It is the tallest in Minnesota.

The falls are known for their impressive height and powerful roar. Visitors can feel the mist on their face as they stand on the viewing platform. 

One unique feature of High Falls is that it’s actually two waterfalls side by side, which creates a dramatic and picturesque scene. 

To get there, take Highway 61 as far north as you can go, without crossing the border. There is a short hike to the viewing platform, but the breathtaking view is well worth the effort.

The falls are accessible to those in wheelchairs. 

There is no cost to see the falls as Grand Portage State Park is considered a welcome center.

Grand Portgage High Falls

Tettegouche Falls

Tettegouche Falls has a series of stunning waterfalls in Tettegouche State Park. The Baptism River drops multiple times, at High Falls, Two Step Falls and Illgen Falls.

The trail to the falls is a moderate hike through the hardwood forest. Along the way, you’ll pass through dense forests and over rocky terrain. Eventually arriving at a viewing platform that provides a stunning vantage point of the falls. 

Tettegouche Falls is a must-visit. The entire park has so many great trails to explore you wont be disappointed.

If you want to park close to the falls, you’ll need a MN State Park Pass to visit, which cost $7 a day.

As an alternative, you can park at the Parks visitors entrance. Because it’s a state highway rest stop, you can park up front for free. It’s about 1 mile hike to the first fall, and another mile to the next. The real killer in the trek is actually the stairs. 

Two Step Falls at Tettegouche State Park

Devil’s Kettle Falls

Devil’s Kettle Falls, located in Judge C.R. Magney State Park in northern Minnesota, is a mysterious and unique waterfall. 

What makes it so intriguing is the fact that half of the Brule River disappears into a giant pothole known as Devil’s Kettle, and no one knows where it goes. 

The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and rocky terrain, making it a popular spot for hiking and exploring. 

Visitors can take a short walk from the parking lot to the overlook to view the falls and Devil’s Kettle, or for the more adventurous, there is a challenging 1.5-mile trail that leads to the bottom of the falls.

I did this trial on a hot humid day, all the while carrying a dog on my back and it was killer. But totally worth it as one of the best Waterfalls in MN. 

You’ll need a MN State Parks pass to see this one. A permit is $7 a day.

The Devils Kettle Judge C.R. Magney State Park

Minneopa Falls

This stunning waterfall cascades over a limestone cliff, dropping 39 feet into a tranquil pool below. What makes Minneopa Falls unique is the scenic bridge that spans the top of the waterfall. It creates a picturesque scene that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale.

To get to Minneopa Falls, can park in the picnic lot, across the highway from the Bison and Campground. There is a short paved trail to the waterfall. 

If you’d like to see the falls from below, that the stone steps down, over Minneopa Creek, and follow the trail back to the falls. it’s a short walk.

There are also picnic areas, campsites, and other recreational activities available at Minneopa State Park.

The falls are accessible from above by wheelchair. 

You’ll need a MN State Parks pass to visit this park

Minneopa Falls

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls is located in Cascade Falls State Park. This stunning waterfall is unique because it actually consists of multiple separate cascades. 

The upper cascade drops about 15 feet into a small pool, while the lower cascade drops about 25 feet into a larger pool. 

To get to Cascade Falls, you’ll need to hike a short but steep trail through the forest. The trail is well-maintained but can be slippery in wet conditions, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear. 

The hike to the falls are accessible from both inside the state park or outside. The park requires a parking pass. 

If you want to avoid the cost, there is parking outside the park along Highway 62. 

The Cascades

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls is a small but beautiful waterfall located in the heart of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. The falls cascade down a rock face into a clear pool below, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees.

One unique feature of this waterfall is that it’s hidden away in a narrow gorge, making it feel like a secret oasis in the woods.

To get to the falls, visitors can take a short 1 mile hike through the park’s trails.

Hidden Falls is a hidden gem in southern Minnesota that’s definitely worth a visit!

You’ll need a MN State Parks pass to visit this park

Refreshing waterfall at Big Woods State Park. Long exposure shot.

Vermilion Falls

Vermilion Falls in Hastings, MN is a beautiful series of cascading waterfalls flowing over rocks and boulders. 

The falls are located in Vermillion Falls Park, which can be reached by taking a short walk to on the paved trail to the pavilion overlooking the falls. 

You can also get to the base of the falls, by walking the trial along the stone wall. You’ll find a narrow trail down to the base of the hall.

Though the falls are not particularly tall, their sheer volume and mesmerizing twisting and turning create a breathtaking display. 

The park is open year-round, with no admission fee, making it a popular spot for hiking, picnicking. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out Vermilion Falls and all it has to offer!

Vermillion Falls Frozen in Hastings MN

Temperance River State Park

Temperance River Gorge Falls is a stunning set of waterfalls located in Temperance River State Park in Minnesota. These falls are nothing but spectacular to describe.

What makes Temperance River Gorge Falls unique is the way that the water cascades over a series of jagged rocks.. Each waterfall in the series has its own distinct character before it flows into Lkae Superior.

To get to Temperance River Gorge Falls, head to Temperance River State Park, which is located on MN-61, approximately 10 miles north of Tofte.

From the parking area, you’ll need to hike down a trail to reach the falls. The trail can be a bit steep in places, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take your time.

You’ll need a MN State Parks pass to visit this park.

Temperance River

Hidden Gems Waterfalls in MN

Everyone knows about the waterfalls above, regardless if you’ve visited them all yet. But there are some lesser-known waterfalls that don’t get the fanfare they deserve.

Hoo Doo Falls 

This small waterfall is located near Grand Marais on the North Shore and can be reached by hiking a short trail.

What makes Hoo Doo Falls unique is the way that the water cascades over a series of rocks, creating a stunning display of cascading waterfalls. 

To get to Hoo Doo Falls, head to the end of the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minnesota. From there, you’ll need to hike a short distance on a well-marked trail to reach the falls. The trail can be a bit steep in places, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take your time.

Once you reach the falls, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of the water rushing over the rocks. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery, and you may even spot some wildlife, such as birds or squirrels, while you’re there.

Waterfalls Near Minneapolis

Looking for some waterfalls closer to the Twin Cities? We have tons a great Waterfalls close by. Check them all out: 12 Stunning Waterfalls Near Minneapolis

Kawishiwi Falls 

Kawishiwi Falls is a stunning waterfall located in Ely, Minnesota, and is a must-visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

What makes Kawishiwi Falls unique is the sheer size and mesmerizing display. 

Head to the Kawishiwi Falls Trailhead located on the Fernberg Road, just outside of Ely, Minnesota. The trailhead is well-marked, and the 1.5 mile trail to the falls is an easy hike, making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

To get there, head to the Kawishiwi Falls Trailhead on the Fernberg Road just outside of Ely and take an easy hike to the falls. It’s a beautiful spot that’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!

The trail is only a mile loop and it’s free to access.

Kawishiwi Falls in Ely

Minnemishinona Falls 

Theres a waterfall hardly anyone knows about. Minnemishinona Falls is a hidden gem located in North Mankato, in the Minnestoa River Valley.

What makes Minnemishinona Falls unique it’s hidden nature.

County Highway 41, also called Judson Bottom Road. The falls cascade 42 feet down the rockface. The falls are viewable from bridge and by hiking. 

To get the falls, take Rockford Road south from Hwy 14. You’ll see the sign for Nicollet County Parks.

The best time to visit is in the Spring and the waterfall dries up later in the season.

The waterfall is free to get to.

Big Manitou Falls in Jay Cooke Falls

Big Manitou Falls in Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota, is a magnificent waterfall that’s not to be missed.

What makes Big Manitou Falls unique is the sheer volume of water that drops over its rocky cliffs, creating a thunderous roar and misty spray. The falls drop over 50 feet. 

To get to Big Manitou Falls, head to Jay Cooke State Park and take the twinging bridge over the water. Turn right after the bridge and climb over the rocks. You’ll get an above view of waterfalls and rapids.

It’s super easy to do. 

This is an easy hike to get to. If you don’t to climb the rocks, you can see the waterfall from the bridge too!

Jay Cooke State Park in Winter

Vermillion Falls

Vermilion Falls in Orr, Minnesota, is a breathtaking waterfall that’s hidden away.

What makes Vermilion Falls unique is the way that the water drops in a series of tiers. You can see the waterfall from the top and bottom of the falls. 

To get to Vermilion Falls, head to the Vermilion Gorge Scenic Overlook and take the trail that leads to the falls. The hike is a bit challenging but well worth it for the stunning views that await you at the end.

Vermilion Falls

Winnewissa Falls 

Winnewissa Falls is a 20-foot waterfall located in Pipestone National Monument

What makes it unique is that it is one of the few waterfalls in Minnesota that is made up of pink quartzite. The waterfall is on the furthest point on the 1 mile loop in the park.

To get to the falls, visitors can follow a short trail from the visitor center or take the longer Circle Trail loop which offers views of multiple landmarks in the park.

Since the park has a limited number of tree cover, standing in front of the falls is like having your own air-conditioned.

This is one of only a few National Monuments that allows dogs on the trial. The park is free to access.

Pipestone Waterfall

Wolf Creek Falls

Wolf Creek Falls in Banning State Park is one of the magnificent waterfalls in Minnesota. Half the fun is getting there. It’s near Sandstone MN.

The parks trail also are on the site of an old sandstone quarry. You can see the remains of the quarry on the hike. 

To get to the falls, visitors can take the Wolf Creek Falls trail which is a 1.5-mile round trip hike from the Campground. There is also a visitor parking lot a little further away, making it a 5 mile hike. 

Along the way you’ll get great views of the falls and the Kettle River.

Don’t miss this beautiful destination on your next visit to Banning State Park!

Wolf Creek Falls

Ramsey Falls

Ramsey Falls in Ramsey Park is one of the best waterfalls in southwestern Minnesota. 

What makes it unique is that it’s located in the middle of the city of Redwood Falls, making it easily accessible for visitors.

To get to the falls, visitors can take a short hike on the paved trail that leads to a wooden viewing platform. The falls drop 40 feet into a narrow gorge, providing a breathtaking view.

Don’t miss this hidden gem on your next trip to southern Minnesota!

Falls at Alexander Ramsey Park

FAQ: Minnesota Waterfalls

How many waterfalls are in Minnesota?

Minnesota might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of waterfalls, but the state actually boasts quite a few. In fact, there are over 10,000 named lakes and more than 135 waterfalls.

The majority of these waterfalls are located in the northeastern region of the state, particularly around the North Shore of Lake Superior. 

Waterfalls You Can Swim in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to some breathtaking waterfalls where you can take a dip in the refreshing water.

One such waterfall is the Gooseberry Falls, which is a beautiful set of cascades and pools that make for a great swimming experience. Located in the Gooseberry Falls State Park, this waterfall offers a beautiful hiking trail, picnic areas, and scenic views.

The Minnehaha Falls is another waterfall where you can swim. The 53-foot waterfall is located in the Twin Cities

With its serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Minnesota’s waterfall swimming spots are a must-visit for anyone looking to cool off and enjoy the beauty of nature. 

Please use caution whenever swimming in a waterfalls. They are powerful and it’s easy to slip away.

What is the Largest Waterfall in Minnesota

Among them is the largest waterfall in Minnesota, the High Falls on the Pigeon River. Located on the northeastern edge of the state, the waterfall drops over 120 feet and is shared with neighboring Canada. 

The best views of the impressive falls can be found in Grand Portage State Park, where visitors can take a short hike to an overlook platform or venture down to the base of the falls via a steep trail. 

What is the Highest Waterfall on the North Shore?

The Highest Waterfall on the North Shore is also the highest waterfall in MN and the largest in the state. It is High Falls in Grand Portage State Park.  It is one of the most scenic waterfalls around.

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