North Shore waterfalls are raging with spring melt right now...it's a great time to head to Gooseberry Falls for a hike!
One of the very best waterfall hikes in my new book Hiking the North Shore is the Five Falls Loop at Gooseberry. It's a 3.0 mile hike that I rate as moderately difficult. The loop takes you from the park visitor center up the west side of the river and down the east side. You get a great look at four falls: 1) Lower Falls, 2) Middle Falls (the most popular tourist destination), 3) Upper Falls (pictured above), and 4) Fifth Falls.
Where's Fourth Falls? Hidden somewhere below Fifth Falls.
Go for a hike!
Gooseberry Falls State Park is 13 miles northeast of Two Harbors on Minnesota Highway 61. For this hike, park at the free main visitor center and wayside rest parking lot. Stop at the park office for a map and directions.
The hike starts at the park office and heads up under the Highway 61 bridge. Along the west side of the river, you'll be hiking on a fairly rough trail that cuts close to the river bank. There's a nice log-sided trail shelter along the way. You'll follow a tremendous bridge across the gorge of the Gooseberry River just upstream from Fifth Falls, then you'll be on the Superior Hiking Trail back down to Highway 61.
Once you cross back under the highway bridge, you'll follow the park's Falls View Trail in a grand circle of the three main falls, with sweeping views from above and below.
A lovely hike on a lovely trail, especially when the spring run-off is raging!