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Cascade River State Park Camping

Enjoy camping at Cascade River State Park on the North Shore of Minnesota. This beautiful recreation area sits along Lake Superior north of Duluth.

Cascading Waterfall on the Cascade River in Minnesota

Another stop on our big summer Lake Superior Camping Trip to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota was Cascade River State Park, just south of Grand Marais.

This small state park includes:

  • a wayside stop
  • picnicking
  • waterfalls
  • hiking
  • camping
  • winter activities

Please note: A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required to enter the park. You can pay a daily fee at the park office or kiosk, but an annual pass is best.

Cascade River State Park Review

Cascade River is a 118-acre park along Highway 61 in Cook County. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed the park as a wayside stop in 1934.

The CCC built a large overlook wall with locally-sourced rock. The overlook is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cascade River State Wayside is a great stop spot for beautiful Lake Superior views. Short paths from each side of the wall lead to the water’s edge and provide a carry-in access site for canoes and kayaks. We sat there and enjoyed watching the water hit the shore.

Rocky Lake Superior North Shoreline in Minnesota

Picnic areas are located just to the north of the wayside. They are a great place in this beautiful park to stop and enjoy scenic lake views or access a hiking trail.

Cascade River Waterfalls

The big draw of this state park is the waterfalls. There are numerous cascading falls along the river, but the largest, Cascade Falls and The Cascades are within a 1/4 mile of the lake.

Someone can easily access these large waterfalls from the parking area near the campground. It is a short hike with some stairs but nothing too strenuous. The rocky ground is uneven, so mind your step.

Cascade River State Park Waterfalls

A wooden bridge spanning the river gives the best views of The Cascades. Paths on each side of the gorge (the north side is more manageable) provide views of Cascade Falls.

The falls are fantastic to see after it rains.

Cascade Hiking Trails

Eighteen miles of trails are available in the park, including part of the Superior Hiking Trail. The SHT goes along both sides of the river, giving a view to cascades further upstream.

We took the 3½ mile Lookout Mountain Loop, part of the Hiking Club Trail, to the top. This moderate hike is steep at the end, but the panoramic view of the Superior National Forest and the North Shore of Lake Superior is worth it.

woman on a rock precipice at Lookout Mountain Overlook in Minnesota

Sightings of different types of wildlife are possible while hiking, including birds, wolves, moose, or bears. We did not see any big animals on our trip, not even in the Boundary Waters.

Many of the park trails become cross-country ski trails in the winter. The Trail Center, near the parking lot, is used to warm skiers in the winter. This building has a beautiful wood interior. It is a place to escape the rain, do a puzzle, or play a game in the summer.

Cascade River State Park Campground

Camping at Cascade includes a modern campground with 41 drive-in sites, two group sites, and five backpack sites.

Each developed site has a picnic table and a fire ring. A limited number of sites have 30 or 50-amp electrical hookups. Pull-through sites are available for some larger rigs.

Pack leveling blocks because the forested ground is uneven. We stayed on site 37e, which was a great campsite.

Motorhome on Site 37e at Cascade River State Park Campground

The entire campground is open in season, typically from May through October. Six campsites are plowed for winter camping but have no electricity.

Several Minnesota State Parks we planned to stay in have limited electrical sites, so I booked right as the reservation window opened. I got a spot with electricity at each possible campground.


Five vault toilets are available throughout the campground. The north end of the campground has a new modern restroom with showers and flush toilets. It has bathrooms for men and women, an accessible bathroom, and individual shower stalls. The showers are hot with good pressure.

This newer building also has a dishwashing sink on the north side. On a chilly evening, exhaust blows out of the bathroom vent above the sink to warm you as you wash dishes.

Bath and Shower House at Cascade River Campground

A dump station is available for use by registered campers.

We enjoyed our stay at Cascade River State Park and would love to return.

Cascade River State Park Address: 3481 West Highway 61 Lutsen, MN 55612

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