Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

When last you saw us, Russ and I were thwarted in our attempts to bike along the North Shore of Lake Superior by cold weather and lack of appropriate clothing on my part. As an alternative, we decided to hike somewhere we had never been before. This turned out to be along the Temperance River.

The trailhead is extremely easy to reach – it’s right along Highway 61, with parking on both sides of the road. (The trailhead is on the side opposite Lake Superior.) Russ and I had driven past the park roughly a bazillion times but were always going somewhere else. We were so glad we stopped this time!

The first part of the trail takes you to a plunge pool, which is at the base of a waterfall hidden back in the rocky clefts. At the end of the Ice Age, the waterfall wasn’t so hidden. Torrents of melting glacier ice cascaded over the rock ledges, creating a waterfall that was 300 feet wide, or so said the interpretive sign along the trail.

We hiked along the river gorge on the Superior Hiking Trail about eight-tenths of a mile to the upper falls and then backtracked to return to our car. With lots of rocky ledges to clamber and scenic river vistas around every turn, this trail would be a perfect way to get sullen teenagers excited about nature. Although there are some stairs to climb, most of the trail is relatively easy if you are able-bodied.

The river gorge is super gorgeous. I kept wondering why I’d never heard my friends who know the North Shore rave about it, because it certainly is rave-worthy. My photos only capture a minor part of the beauty.

If you do go to the Temperance River, please remember to practice social distancing and carry out your trash. The park looked clean when we were there, but I know that some parts of the shore are being over-loved and over-travelled lately.

The hidden falls.

3 thoughts on “Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

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