Upper Falls, Minnesota

Some waterfall names are just not that creative. Upper Falls is one such example, and the name really hides that fact that it’s a really cool waterfall. To add to the naming issues, the waterfall upstream is known as the Devil’s Kettle, and that just has to be one of the best waterfall names.

Both waterfalls are found on the Brule River in Judge C.R. Magney State Park. It’s a really beautiful, enjoyable hike to the falls. (I have to admit there were very few Minnesota North Shore waterfalls I didn’t enjoy.) The Devil’s Kettle gets more attention because the water disappears into a hole, and nobody seems to be able to figure out where it ends up. I personally think, though, that Upper Falls was more interesting. There were numerous trees blocking the view at the Devil’s Kettle, whereas it was a much more open view at Upper Falls. I visited in early May, and the falls were really flowing very well due to the recent snow melt. It was a spectacular time to visit the parks, as they weren’t at their busiest. In the future, I would like to visit the North Shore again in the fall when the trees are changing colors.

Directions:

  1. From MN-61 along the North Shore, you’ll be looking for Judge C.R. Magney State Park.
  2. Once you find the state park, you’ll turn left (if you’re heading north) into an entrance that winds a short ways to a parking area for the falls.
  3. From there, there’s about a 1 mile hike one-way to the two falls.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderately steep in a few sections and a lot of stairs near the end)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

Upper Falls in May 2010

Where in the World is Upper Falls?

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Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota

The Devil’s Kettle in May 2010

The Devil’s Kettle is probably one of the most widely known waterfalls in Minnesota. It gets much of its popularity due to a piece of the waterfall plunging into the unknown. There is a hole in the rock where the water goes, and I guess nobody seems to be able to figure out where the water ends up.

I have to admit that while the concept is cool, the actual execution isn’t nearly as exciting. When you visit the falls, you can’t really tell that the water is disappearing anywhere. It’s just not that apparent. To me, it would almost be cooler if the water reappeared somewhere, anywhere. The waterfall is still enjoyable, I can’t deny that, but you can’t really get that close to get a better view of the Devil’s Kettle. I found the waterfall downstream, Upper Falls, to be much more intimate.

Directions:

  1. From MN-61 along the North Shore, you’ll be looking for Judge C.R. Magney State Park.
  2. Once you find the state park, you’ll turn left (if you’re heading north) into an entrance that winds a short ways to a parking area for the falls.
  3. From there, there’s about a mile hike one-way to the two falls.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderately steep in a few sections and a lot of stairs near the end)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Devil’s Kettle?