Upper Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota

Gooseberry Falls State Park is one of the more popular state parks along the North Shore of Minnesota, and you’ll definitely want to stop and take the hike to see the falls. There are 4 great falls in the park, all very photogenic and three that are easy to visit. Only Fifth Falls requires a longer hike to view. I first visited Lower and Middle Falls and then started on the loop trail that led me to Fifth Falls. I was on the north side of the river, and did not see Upper Falls on the hike to Fifth Falls. Hiking along back on the south side of the river afforded a really great view of the falls.

You actually have to be pretty careful when viewing Upper Gooseberry Falls, as I don’t remember there being any guard rails anywhere near the falls.  In one way, that can be nice, as it doesn’t prohibit your view, and yet you still do have to be aware that there is a significant drop to the river below.

Directions:

  1. From MN-61, turn into the entrance for Gooseberry Falls State Park.
  2. Head to the parking area for the visitor’s center, where you will be able to easily access the falls. There does not appear to be a fee to enter this park.
  3. Head west on the south side of the river, pass under the bridge, and you’ll shortly arrive at Upper Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Upper Falls in Gooseberry Falls State Park in May 2010

Where in the World is Upper Gooseberry Falls?

Fifth Falls, Minnesota

There are numerous waterfalls on the Gooseberry River in Gooseberry Falls State Park. There are four in the entrance to the park that don’t require much work to visit and view. The fifth fall, aptly named Fifth Falls, takes more effort, though the hike is very enjoyable. I’m not sure that I would ever hike it again, though, as the first four falls are just more interesting.

When you get to Fifth Falls, there are multiple drops that can’t be viewed simultaneously, though they are close to each other.  As with some of the falls in the park, you can get pretty close to the falls, so the view is great. Neither drop is particularly tall, though.

Directions:

  1. From MN-61, turn into the entrance for Gooseberry Falls State Park.
  2. Head to the parking area for the visitor’s center, where you will be able to easily access the falls. There does not appear to be a fee to enter this park.
  3. Follow the trail down to the first group of falls. To get to Fifth Falls, it can be helpful to get a map of the park. You will head west along a trail that goes along the Gooseberry River on both sides of the river. I took the north trail on the way there and then the south trail to complete the view full circle. The better views are obtained from the north trail.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 35′
Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip

The upper drop of Fifth Falls (May 2010)

The lower drop of Fifth Falls

Where in the World is Fifth Falls?