Illgen Falls is the upstream relative of High Falls on the Baptism River. While it is not as interesting as High Falls, it is much easier to visit, and that’s a good reason to stop and visit the falls.
High Falls requires a hike that is of moderately easy difficulty. It’s not really long, but it still does take some time to get to the falls. When you are there, though, you can get an absolutely great view from the base of the falls. Illgen Falls, on the other hand, requires very little hiking. It’s about 0.1 miles from the road right down a trail. When you get there, though, you will be at the crest of the falls, not the base. This viewpoint of the falls isn’t the greatest, and in pictures, it leads to the perception that the falls aren’t really that large…when in fact Illgen Falls is taller than it appears. There might be a way to get down the base, but I really didn’t care enough to hunt that option down. Sometimes you just have to enjoy what’s in front of you!
1) From MN-61 heading north or south, you will turn onto MN-1. If you’re heading north, it will be a left turn.
2) Head 1.6 miles on MN-1 to the gravel pulloff that will be on your left. I wasn’t sure if I was at the pulloff, so I ended up passing it, and then turning around. There is a sign indicating Illgen Falls, but I’m not sure that it’s very obvious at first. I think it was rather small.
3) From the parking area, head down toward the river. You’ll be able to tell which direction it is because you can definitely hear it!
4) Along the way, you will pass a house, but stay on the designated trail to the base of the falls.
Where in the World is Illgen Falls?: map