West Split Rock River Falls, Minnesota

West Split Rock River Falls in May 2010

In searching for waterfalls to visit during my trip along the North Shore of Minnesota, I found the waterfalls on the Split Rock River. They sounded very interesting and all. I found the parking area for the trail that leads to the falls, which is not as apparent as it should be.

I started hiking along, and after about 0.5 miles, West Split Rock River is the first waterfall you stumble upon. I have a hunch that it is not on the same river as the others, considering that the volume going over the falls is considerably different than that on the Split Rock River. I was pleasantly surprised to find this fall, and you can get very close to it.

Oddly enough, this is probably the only waterfall I would ever consider visiting again along the trail that leads to the other falls. After this trail, I felt like I was walking along forever and not really getting great views of any of the waterfalls. There may be a few waterfalls that could be impressive if there weren’t trees blocking them while simultaneously being 100+ feet above them. They just weren’t that impressive, while this little gem stood out.

An Update from August 2015:  Well, it ends up that this is a seasonal waterfall. While many of the waterfalls in Minnesota are still flowing fairly well in August, West Split Rock River Falls is reduced to barely a trickle.

Directions:

  1. Heading north on MN-61 along the Lake Superior shoreline, you’ll enter Split Rock State Park. The Split Rock River is very close to the southern boundary, and so you’ll see the parking area.
  2. A sign indicating the Split Rock River is your best bet at identifying the parking lot for the falls. It is a smaller parking lot used frequently by fisherman. At the start of the trail head, you’ll see a sign indicating the trail.
  3. After about 0.5 miles, you’ll come to a fork in the trail. Head along the right fork, where you’ll soon come to West Split Rock River Falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate, a little steep at the beginning, but still doable)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

DSC_0102

The falls reduced to barely a trickle in August 2015

Where in the World is West Split Rock River Falls?

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