Minnesota Waterfalls
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Discover 25+ Scenic Minnesota Waterfalls in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Minnesota may be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but it’s also home to dozens of picturesque waterfalls that only enhance the state’s natural beauty. From cascading waters in the heart of major cities to roadside falls to off-the-beaten-path hidden gems, Minnesota’s waterfalls are wonders of nature that appeal to travelers of all ages.

Minnehaha Falls-Minnesota
Minnehaha Falls | photo via glitteringkaleidoscope

Minnehaha Falls | Minneapolis

Minneapolis isn’t just the biggest city in Minnesota, it’s also home to one of the state’s most popular waterfalls. Celebrated in the famed poem “The Song of Hiawatha,” the falls tumble 53 feet and draw sizeable daily crowds of onlookers.

Gooseberry Falls | Two Harbors

Situated right on Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls is arguably one of the most iconic symbols of Minnesota. Visitors can watch the falls pass over four drops (including the 30-foot middle falls) on the way to Lake Superior and explore the Gooseberry River, which includes river islands, bridges, and lava flows.

High Falls | Grand Portage

The state’s highest waterfall (hence the name) can be found on a gentle one-mile paved walk. The falls tumble 120 feet into a rocky gorge and visitors can often see a rainbow arching over the Pigeon River. The Main Deck at the falls is wheelchair accessible and visitors can enjoy several other decks for majestic views of the falls.

Ramsey Falls | Redwood Falls

Amid the plains of Southwestern Minnesota, Ramsey Falls in the town of Redwood Falls is an unexpected surprise. Visitors can watch as Ramsey Creek winds its way through a slender gorge to create a 30-foot plunge. Those who want a closer look may feel daring enough to wade into the creek below (caution is advised).

Devil’s Kettle Falls | Grand Marais

One of Minnesota’s most fascinating waterfalls cascades 50 feet in Magney State Park and is one of two halves of the Brule River that once was thought to disappear behind volcanic rock. It’s recently been found to reappear downstream, but have your camera ready no matter where you’re viewing from.

Temperance River Falls-Minnesota
Temperance River Falls | photo via michellev485

Temperance River Falls | Tofte

In less than two miles, waterfall enthusiasts can see three sets of waterfalls within Temperance River State Park.

  • The Upper Falls cascade through a narrow gorge, creating dramatic scenery with steep, rocky cliffs on either side.
  • The Hidden Falls are further upstream and getting there requires a more adventurous hike. It’s worth it for views of a scenic waterfall surrounded by lush forest.
  • The Lower Falls are closer to the Upper Falls and are characterized by smaller cascades and rapids where water tumbles over volcanic rock toward Lake Superior.

Wolf Creek Falls | Banning State Park

One of Minnesota’s most secluded waterfalls is worth the trek. The falls fall just 12 feet into a deep lagoon surrounded by cliffs, which trickles into the Kettle River. Visitors can reach the falls by following a creek for about a mile and enjoy the scenic views.

Cascade Falls | Lutsen

Located in the heart of Cascade River State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior, visitors are treated to the sight of a spectacular series of cascades along the river — which make for an especially pretty sight in the fall. Visitors can follow the Cascade River Lower Loop Trail, a moderate loop that follows the river and past the main falls.

Niagara Cave Waterfall | Harmony

Nestled along the Minnesota-Iowa border, Niagara Cave Waterfall is deep below the landscape, creating an atmosphere that seems straight out of “The Goonies.” Visitors can take guided tours to the falls, which plunge 60 feet and are illuminated. The tour also includes fossils, different rock formations, and a “wedding chapel.”

Falls on the Pigeon River | Grand Portage State Park

Minnesota’s tallest waterfall cascades 120 feet and at 3,200 gallons per second in a picturesque torrent that borders Canada. Visitors can feel spray from the falls before they reach scenic overlooks. Getting there is easy on a one-mile roundtrip hike — that includes a boardwalk — to the falls.

Illgen Falls-Minnesota
Illgen Falls | Finland | photo via delipshnit

Illgen Falls | Finland

One of the most adventurous waterfalls in Minnesota is the perfect spot for a cooling swim next to a 40-foot cascade. Visitors can see the falls from afar or climb further down and jump right into its punchbowl. Hiking closer to the falls and swimming in the punchbowl are recommended only for visitors with at least intermediate skills.

Hidden Falls | St. Paul

In the heart of the Twin Cities, Hidden Falls (not actually that hidden) offers one of Minnesota’s most interactive waterfall experiences. The falls cascade just 10 feet, but visitors can spend time picnicking or exploring more of Hidden Falls Regional Park.

Beaver River Falls | Beaver Bay

Waterfall enthusiasts driving on Highway 61 can see these falls from the road and will definitely want to pull over. Located just upstream from the bridge that goes over the Beaver River, visitors can follow a pedestrian walkway down to the falls as the river flows toward Lake Superior.

Caribou Falls | Schroeder

Situated near Tofte, Caribou Falls is accessible and family-friendly. It’s less than two miles to get to the falls and back and visitors can enjoy the sight of a 40-foot waterfall that’s often less visited than other falls in the area. Further along the Superior Hiking Trail, visitors can get away from the crowds to see scenic smaller cascades.

High Falls on the Baptism River | Tettegouche State Park

Cascading a towering 60 feet, High Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls that falls entirely within Minnesota’s borders. Visitors can enjoy views of the mountain falls, where mineral water descends in several chutes and onto the Baptism River. Visitors can get there via a 1.5-mile hike from the park’s main entrance.

Vermillion Falls-Minnesota
Vermillion Falls | photo via tessaelizabethgabriellasmith

Bridal Veil Falls | Mankato

The most remote of the waterfalls on Minnesota’s North Shore is perfect for a day of adventure. Travelers can take an 8-mile round-trip hike to the falls or get a little more adventurous and boat or canoe to the falls from Gunflint Lake. Visitors will feel a light mist hanging in the air as they watch cascading water fall over rock walls.

Vermillion Falls | Hastings

One of Minnesota’s most historic waterfalls crashes down 35 feet and once powered a local gristmill. Visitors can see remnants of the nearby Ramsey Mill, which burned in the late 1800s. With many trails, overlooks, and picnic spots within Vermillion Falls Park, it’s a popular spot to visit just south of Minneapolis.

Minnemishinona Falls | Mankato

This beautiful, under-the-radar waterfall is just a stone’s throw from Judson Bottom Road and drops over 40 feet into a gorge. It’s a little taller than Minneopa Falls and can be seen from a bridge that crosses the gorge. While the water level varies depending on the season, it’s an easy-to-reach spot that’s scenic all year round.

Big Falls | Big Falls

The falls here are more akin to rapids than waterfalls, but it’s still a scenic spot on the Big Fork River, which drops 40 feet over a quarter of a mile in Big Falls and cascades over a series of four falls. None of the falls is particularly big, but they’re user-friendly, and rocks jutting from the river make for creative viewing platforms.

Rose Falls | Roseau

Travelers who love hikes can follow the Caribou Rock Trail to Rose Falls — a crown jewel of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The journey is about 8.4 miles round trip and the reward is sweeping vistas, views of tranquil lakes, and ultimately, Rose Falls, which cascades beautifully over jagged rock.

Two Step Falls-Minnesota
Two Step Falls | photo via mnfarmgirl73

Cross River Falls | Schroeder

Nestled on the North Shore, the falls flow under the Highway 61 bridge that crosses the Cross River. Visitors can see the falls from the bridge or follow a staircase on the south side of the road to a view area that’s about halfway down the falls.

Two Step Falls | Tettegouche State Park

Named for its two distinct cascades that create a unique waterfall experience, Two Step Falls is a must-see spot. The falls drop about 60 feet in two separate steps and several viewing platforms near the falls are perfect for photography and scenic views. More adventurous types can wade in the river below the falls, but caution is advised due to the swift currents and slippery rocks.

Lester River Falls | Duluth

Located in Duluth’s Lester Park, the 20-foot high falls are a short hike from the park’s east-side parking area. Visitors can linger on the Superior Street Bridge on the Lester River to see the falls or follow a creek-side trail to see a series of small falls, which are best viewed after spring runoff.

Split Rock River Falls | Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Nestled along a section of the Superior Hiking Trail, Split Rock Falls features a scenic 20-foot drop and other, small drops as the Split River flows into Lake Superior. Surrounded by scenic forests, the falls tumble over rocky ledges, creating a can’t-miss view.

Minneopa Falls | Minneopa State Park

Visitors can enjoy the site of 10-foot upper falls and 39-foot lower falls, which carve out a bowl amongst the park’s sandstone to create one of the most pleasing views of any of the state’s falls. Visitors can view the falls from above or take a staircase for a closer look.

Minneopa Falls-Minnesota
Minneopa Falls | photo via jdbabbitt27

Swinging Bridge Falls/St. Louis River Falls | Jay Cooke State Park

Located on the St. Louis River, these falls can be seen from the Swinging Bridge at different points. The bridge is one of the park’s most historic landmarks and offers an excellent spot to see the raging waters below.

Kadunce River Falls | Grand Marais

True adventurers can follow the path of the Kadunce River for some of the state’s best spots for canyoneering — which involves navigating rocky terrain, wading through water, and climbing directly up small waterfalls. The river’s narrow gorge creates a stunning setting and visitors can make their way up several small waterfalls on a one-of-a-kind Minnesota adventure.

Explore the Wonders of Minnesota’s Waterfalls

Whether you enjoy leisurely walks to scenic overlooks or more adventurous treks for up-close experiences, Minnesota’s waterfalls are beautiful, scenic, and perfect for day trips in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. So grab your best hiking boots, your camera, and your sense of wonder as you plan an adventure to see the beautiful cascading waters of Minnesota.