State Park Information
Gooseberry Falls State Park
  3.5 Stars (15 Ratings)
  3206 Highway 61 East
      Two Harbors, Minnesota 55616
  United States
  (218) 834-3855
  Unknown
Description

Gooseberry Falls is the gateway to the North Shore. It is known for its spectacular waterfalls, river gorge, Lake Superior shoreline, Civilian Conservation Corps log and stone structures, and north woods wildlife. Listen to the thunderous roar of the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls of the Gooseberry River as it plummets through a rocky gorge. Watch for waves, ships, or the moon rise on Lake Superior from an ancient lava flow known as the Picnic Flow.
Hike or ski to see the Fifth Falls through a forest of evergreens, aspen, and birch, and enjoy camping in modern campsites, picnicking, and relaxing along the Lake Superior shoreline or the Gooseberry River.

To get the most out of your visit, stop by the Joseph N. Alexander Visitor Center where you can find park information, interpretive displays, a park video, Nature Store, and more. Don't miss the Gateway Plaza for outdoor interpretive signs on area resources and history.

Wildlife
The park has recorded over 225 species of birds that nest or visit the park, 46 species of mammals, and ten species of reptiles and amphibians. Of special interest to visitors are white-tailed deer, black bears, gray wolves, pine martens, migratory Lake Superior salmon and trout, a variety of conifer-dependent birds, ravens, and the herring gulls that establish nesting colonies along the lakeshore. During fall and spring, many migratory birds can be seen because the park is along the North Shore flyway.

History
The park is named after the magnificent set of falls along the Gooseberry River. A French map from 1670 names the river Riviere des Groseilliers after Medard Chouart sieur des Groseilliers who visited the area a decade earlier. The name Groseilliers translates to Gooseberries in English. With the rise of North Shore tourism in the 1920s, there was a concern that the highly scenic North Shore would be accessible only to the rich. As a result the Legislature authorized preservation of the area around Gooseberry Falls in 1933, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began to develop the park the following year. CCC crews built the park's stone and log buildings and the 300-foot long 'Castle in the Park' stone retaining wall. They also laid out the original campground, picnic grounds and trails. The area officially became Gooseberry Falls State Park in 1937. The CCC camps closed in 1941, but the park's CCC legacy lives on in the form of the CCC-style visitor center/wayside rest and the Highway 61 bridge that opened in 1996.

Geology
Geologists have determined that about 1.1 billion years ago, the Earth's crust began to split apart along a great rift zone now covered by Lake Superior. Huge volumes of lava flowed out onto the surface and cooled to form volcanic bedrock, mainly the dark type known as basalt. Several lava flows can be seen at the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls and south of the Gooseberry River along the Lake Superior shore. The rifting also caused the flows to tilt gently toward the lake. These basalt lava flows, all along the North Shore, are also the birthplaces of Lake Superior agates.

About two million years ago, the Great Ice Age began as periodic glaciers (up to a mile thick) advanced into the region from the north. As they ground across the area, they changed the landscape dramatically, especially by excavating the whole basin now occupied by Lake Superior. About 10,000 years ago the last glacier melted back, allowing the basin to fill with water and starting the erosional process that creates the river gorges and waterfalls. Today, water, wind, and weather continue to shape the North Shore.

Landscape
Rocky Lake Superior shoreline, five waterfalls, Gooseberry River and gorge, Agate Beach and the Picnic Flow highlight the park. Trails lead through a fairly diverse vegetative cover of mixed evergreen, aspen and birch forests that provide habitat for a variety of birds, plants and other animals. Because the local climate is moderated by Lake Superior, some disjunct populations of arctic-alpine plants can be found in the park.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 2 Campsites: 73
Photos: 39 Reviews: 15
Views: 122 Likes: 0
   

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   Gooseberry Falls State Park Reviews


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Smith S.
1 Star Rating1.0 out of 5 stars
  3
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
3
Smith S.
1 Star Rating1.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Smith S.
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
  3
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
3
Smith S.
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
  3
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
3
Smith S.
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Smith S.
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
S M.
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
  Lots to do!
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Gooseberry is our favorite State Park in Minnesota and we've been going here for years. The campgrounds are the best I've seen with great facilities! There's a lot to see in the area too, which makes it extra fun. Great hiking trails and scenery. Note that it is BUSY during the Summer weekends in the main areas (like the falls themselves).
Jeff P.
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Gooseberry Falls has a pretty good campground. Moderate tree coverage and privacy throughout. However, the true gem of this park is the falls. You can walk down to the falls and the rocks around it. There are some good trails and definitely some great photo opportunities. You could spend a good part of the day just being by the falls.
Unknown
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Unknown
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Very popular park. Stayed in the group camp. Pebble Creek is the best site. The real highlight of this park is hiking down along the river. Stunning.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
6/4/11 very nice campsite and park. Although somewhat busy during the day, if you hike up the river along the trails you quickly lose the tourists and can enjoy getting some sun on any number of rocks along the river. The walk to the lake is also very short and picturesque. We'll definitely come back next year or stop by at least for a view while on our way to other campsites.
Unknown
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
This is a wonderful park to visit. So much to see.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Some of the campsites are close together, but if you can grab a nice private one, you've got it made - lots to do here with the falls and Lake Superior - it doesn't get much better!
Unknown
2 Star Rating2.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Beautiful park, horrible campground. It seems to attract folks who want to pitch multiple tents and park multiple cars... plus the sites are on top of each other. I love this park but you couldn't pay me to camp there.
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Camped 6 yrs in a row and will be going for our 7th. Campground is close to the lake and agate beach, busy family park, due to terrain campsites can be close together, love the falls and park buildings. Very difficult to get a site last minute. Plan ahead!
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Birch Ridge 
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Non-Electric Campsite
Nestor Grade
Non-Electric Campsite
Pebble Creek
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