State Park Information
Jay Cooke State Park
  4 Stars (5 Ratings)
  780 Highway 210
      Carlton, Minnesota 55718
  United States
  (218) 384-4610
  Unknown
Description

Park trails connect to the Willard Munger State Trail on the north side of the park. Check out the wildflowers in the spring, and the vivid colors in the fall. Walk on the swinging suspension bridge high above the Saint Louis River. Visit the historic cemetery and the gorge at Thomson Dam.

Wildlife
The promise of food and protection make Jay Cooke State Park an important wintering area for white-tailed deer. Black bear, timber wolf, and coyote are among the largest of 46 animal species in the park. The pileated woodpecker, marsh hawk and the great blue heron are just a few of 173 species of birds that nest and feed in the park. Sixteen species of reptiles and amphibians are found in the park - none of them venomous.

History
Jay Cooke State Park was established in 1915 when the St. Louis River Power Company donated 2,350 acres of land. In 1945, the state purchased additional land. Other sections have been added over the years, giving Jay Cooke State Park its present size of 8,125 acres.

Geology
The geological makeup of Jay Cooke State Park is one of slate, greywacke and red clay. The St. Louis River, Lake Superior's largest U. S. tributary, has exposed the bedrock in many places. Slate beds were formed from original layers of mud and sand, which were deposited in a sea that occupied this area 1.9 billion years ago. These thick deposits compacted into shale (from mud) and greywacke (from sand).

Heat, pressure, and earth movements converted the deeply buried shale into slate. Underground pressure from the south caused the slate and greywacke beds to fold and fracture, giving the tilted character of these rocks seen all along the river bed upstream from Oldenburg Point. Later, about 1.1 billion years ago, molten rock was forced into fractures in the beds and when they cooled, these intrusions formed dikes which can be seen along the river bed today.

The red clay and silt that overlies the bedrock was deposited at the end of the Ice age (about 10,000 years ago) in a great, ice-dammed lake (Glacial Lake Duluth), the 'ancestor' of modern Lake Superior.

Landscape
The rugged land formations of Jay Cooke State Park enhance the beauty of the hardwood forests. The water-eroded gorge, steep valleys, and massive rock formations are seen throughout the park. In some seasons, the water of the St. Louis River thunders over slabs of ancient, exposed rock. At other times, it slows to a gentle trickle. Visitors enjoy the scenic splendor of Jay Cooke State Park during all seasons.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 3 Campsites: 90
Photos: 10 Reviews: 5
Views: 1,813 Likes: 0
   

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   Jay Cooke State Park Photos
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   Jay Cooke State Park Reviews


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Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
The main attraction to this park is the St. Louis River and it's unique shale rock formations. There is a neat hanging bridge over the river behind the visitor center. It's fun to go climbing on the rocks and has some beautiful scenery. The park has 50 miles of hiking trails and some incredible scenic overlook areas which provide a view of the valley and the river down below. This park is in the pinelands area and has a wonderful pine smell all throughout the park. The campground was adequate but I wouldn't say it was overly impressive. The showers and main bathroom building are pretty old and has seen better days. The loops could have been marked better and were a little confusing at first. Sites 1, 2, 3, 39, and 41 are right on the main road and are literally 3 feet from the traffic. I wouldn't want one of those sites if you have kids. This park does not have a playground.
Unknown
5 Star Rating5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
This park has great hiking trails and much to see. The last time I camped here we were visited by a deer and a porcupine!
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Tons of trees and great walking/hiking trails. Beautiful scenery, especially as the leaves change color in the fall.
Unknown
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Unknown
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Great park have visited it for years. Wonderful views by the river. Super paved biking trail that goes right thru the park. The bathroom/Showers have seen better days and are in dire need of updating. Great programs on the weekends.
   Group Campground
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   Jay Cooke State Park Campground
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   Jay Cooke State Park Campground - Cabin Loop
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