When you visit Jay Cooke State Park, it’s likely that you’ll end up visiting Swinging Bridge Falls, which is an interesting waterfall viewed from what else but a swinging bridge. And yet there’s another waterfall in the park that you may not know to look for: Oldenburg Point Cascades.
I have to admit, though, that this might be a waterfall for only those really excited to see named waterfalls. It’s partly because it’s not particularly easy to see these Cascades. I would almost even describe them as rapids, except that some of these drops on the St. Louis River are more than just rapids. The picture I’ve shown here is a zoomed-in view of one of the set of cascades, which continue along the river for a few hundred feet. Not exactly rapids, but in some ways the repeating nature of the drops reminds me of rapids. If it were one drop, it wouldn’t be extremely interesting, but there do seem to be a number of subsequent drops, if my memory serves me.
- I think we took exit 242 from I-35 and headed south along MN-1 into the town of Thomson.
- From there, take a left turn onto MN-210 and head toward Jay Cooke State Park.
- Drive along MN-210 to the Visitor’s Center. If you stop here, you will find Swinging Bridge Falls. Continue on a short distance to another parking area for Oldenburg Point. (You can go much further because the road is closed due to storm damage.)
- From here, you may decide to walk the Ogantz Trail, or just explore the area around Oldenburg Point, likely seeing the cascades off along the river. (I wasn’t sure if there was a way to get down to the river to get a closer look…)
Distance of Hike: 0.2 miles? (to see them from a viewpoint)
Height: ~5′ per drop (unsure of total drop)
Where in the World is Oldenburg Point Cascades?: map