17 Best Waterfalls in Minnesota You Have to See

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Are you looking for the best waterfalls in Minnesota to explore?

Minnesota is well-known for having plenty of lakes and rivers to explore and have fun on. But along the way, there are tons of waterfalls that also deserve their own attention.

Many of the falls on this list are located on the North Shore, while others are found right in the middle of the Twin Cities. You can even combine some together and see multiple in one day.

I live in Minnesota and waterfalls are my favorite thing to hike to. I always make time to stop and see another waterfall!

Use this list to plan the perfect day trip or weekend adventure exploring some of the best in the state!

Minnesota Waterfalls Map

Below is a map of the best Minnesota waterfalls, so you can use it to plan out where you want to visit in our beautiful state!

The Best Waterfalls in Minnesota

Myself and my dog posing my High Falls after going for a hike.

1. High Falls of the Baptism River

Location: Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay
Fee: $7/day

As the tallest falls in the state, dropping an impressive 70 -feet into the Baptism River, High Falls will never leave you feeling disappointed.

The waterfall is located in Tettegouche State Park, not too far out of Silver Bay. Parking is found right at the visitor center.

The hike to High Falls is just under 3 miles roundtrip. There isn’t much elevation gain, but the trail does have some rocky terrain.

You can view the falls from the base and the top. I usually prefer views from the base, but High Falls is gorgeous from the top too!

I’ve visited here many times and have even brought my dog. She loved getting to splash around at the base of the falls.

As a bonus, check out Two-Steps Falls on the way to High Falls. My legs were burning by the end of the 200 steps, but it’s worth it.

Lodging Nearby: With Lake Superior views and only 10 minutes from Tettegouche, Cove Point Lodge is the best around.

Gooseberry Falls dropping over a rock wall that sits underneath a bridge.

2. Gooseberry Falls

Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors
Fee: $7/day

Gooseberry Falls are some of the most impressive and beautiful in the state and are located only a short 45-minute drive from Duluth.

I think that they’re so popular because it’s a waterfall close to Duluth, and you can actually hear them from the parking lot. So the walk to see them is really short.

Plus, the walk to the Upper Gooseberry Falls is paved, so it’s accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

There are actually three named falls that you will see- Upper, Middle, and Lower Gooseberry Falls dropping a total of 90 feet together!

The base of the falls does get pretty busy, so I typically like to take the short hike up to the upper viewpoint. You can then see the falls from above.

These Minnesota falls are even open in the winter, so you can come and see the powerful falls frozen over.

Lodging Nearby: Right near Two Harbors is Superior Shores Resort, which allows guests to enjoy the lake and outdoors, right at their hotel.

Caribou Falls dropping down over a large rock wall while Tyler crawls up the walls at one of the best waterfalls in Minnesota.

3. Caribou Falls

Location: Caribou Falls State Wayside, Silver Bay
Fee: None

Just a few miles past George Crosby Manitou State Park, you’ll find Caribou Falls State Wayside, home to Caribou Falls.

This easy, 1.2-mile hike will lead you to a platform overlooking a beautiful waterfall that flows down a wall of rocks.

When I recently visited, I saw a few families visiting with kids. It’s such a short and easy trail, so it’s great for little ones!

Caribou Falls drops into a small pool, and you can sometimes see people swimming in it. Just use caution if you decide to.

Although Caribou Falls is smaller, I loved it because it wasn’t busy. Many of the others get really busy, but I only saw probably 10 groups of people on this trail.

Lodging Nearby: This private log home has a beautiful fireplace and outdoor firepit, and is just 25 minutes from Caribou Falls.

4. Kawishiwi Falls

Location: Ely
Fee: None

Kawishiwi Falls is located in Ely, Minnesota, which is such a great place for hiking and outdoor lovers.

This is a popular 1-mile hike that leads to the waterfall. The trail is easy and doable for people of many skill levels, and the boardwalk makes it even easier.

There are beautiful views along the entire trail, so you don’t have to wait until you actually reach the falls to take in the views. I recommend visiting in fall, because the leaves are beautiful!

I would also recommend visiting early in the morning because this area is becoming more popular. It’s not as busy as the North Shore, but during peak season, it can get busy.

Kawishiwi Falls is also located not too far from the remote Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It’s the perfect stop before you start your canoe journey.

Lodging Nearby: Perfect for adventuring and epic views, the Grand Ely Lodge is the perfect place to stay in Ely.

High Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Minnesota, of the Pigeon River drops in three places over a rock wall

5. High Falls of the Pigeon River

Location: Grand Portage State Park, Grand Portage
Fee: $7/day

Although I said above that High Falls of the Baptism River is technically the tallest in the state, High Falls of the Pigeon River is just a bit taller.

Located in Grand Portage State Park, High Falls is a bit further away from every other one on this list, but it’s highly worth the visit.

The problem? It’s shared by both Minnesota and Ontario, Canada! So we can’t technically count it as Minnesota’s tallest since it’s not entirely in the state.

Either way, it’s such a beautiful MN water fall and drops 120 feet into the Pigeon River.

I love it because the hike is really easy, being just over a mile and having almost no elevation gain. Plus, most of it is paved with a boardwalk for viewing.

Lodging Nearby: The Tamarack House has amazing Lake Superior views and features an entire private home in the trees.

6. Devil’s Kettle

Location: Judge C. R. Magney State Park, Grand Marais
Fee: $7/day

These waterfalls in MN are a bit of a mystery. One side of it flows into the Brule River, while the other side flows into a deep hole, that seems to disappear.

They’re recently figured out where the water goes, but I think that it’s still fun to marvel at it and try to find out if you can see the disappearing water.

Devil’s Kettle is found in Judge C. R. Magney State Park, just north of Grand Marais, and right off Highway 61.

It’s a moderately challenging North Shore hike at just about 2 miles long with quite a few stairs. So be sure to pack sturdy hiking shoes!

It is a pretty busy trail since it’s one of the most popular. But if you visit during off season or early in the morning, you can usually avoid a few crowds.

But, it’s one of the most mesmerizing and interesting places in Minnesota and one of the best MN waterfalls on the North Shore, so it’s worth the stop.

Lodging Nearby: Found in downtown Grand Marais, East Bay Suites and has adorable rooms with a sandy beach to relax on.

A smaller waterfall in Minnesota dropping over a rock wall in Duluth.

7. Tischer Creek Falls

Location: Congdon Park, Duluth
Fee: None

If you want to see a waterfall near Duluth without having to drive all the way to the North Shore, check out Tischer Creek Falls.

This small waterfall is found right in Congdon Park, which is close to Glensheen Mansion.

There are a few different falls along the creek. A trail follows the water, making it easy to hop on and see them all.

The trail starts near Superior Street and follows Tischer Creek for about 0.5 miles before making your turn around.

Although these falls are more so just flowing water dropping over a ledge, it’s still a nice place to stop at and escape the busyness of Duluth.

Lodging Nearby: Right in Canal Park, Pier B Resort has an outdoor hot tub and views of Duluth’s Lift Bridge.

My dog, Bella, resting on a rock cliff with Wolf Creek Falls in the distance.

8. Wolf Creek Falls

Location: Banning State Park, Sandstone
Fee: $7/day

Found in Banning State Park in central Minnesota, just over an hour north of Minneapolis, is Wolf Creek Falls.

This waterfall is close to the Twin Cities and makes for the perfect day trip.

It’s a really easy 1.5-mile trail to reach the falls, and my favorite part is that every time I’ve visited, I’ve been the only one on the trail!

If you’re up for some extra hiking, hit up the Quarry Loop trail, which connects to the Wolf Creek Falls trail.

You’ll snake along the Kettle River and have gorgeous views of the rocks and cliffs along the water’s edge.

My dog, Bella, and I added this onto our trip and it was so worth it! There are even some quarries and old historic buildings to see.

Lodging Nearby: This beautiful A-Frame Cabin is just 30 minutes from Banning State Park and has gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows.

Tyler and I posing near a fence with Minnehaha Falls behind us.

9. Minnehaha Falls

Location: Minnehaha Falls Regional Park, Minneapolis
Fee: None

This list of waterfalls in Minnesota wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.

It’s always hard to believe that this incredible 53-foot waterfall is right in the middle of the Twin Cities.

But because of this, it’s really easy to access. You only have to walk a short distance from the parking lot to see the waterfall.

Minnehaha Falls is beautiful during all seasons. In the summer, you’ll see the roaring water, and in the winter, the frozen caverns. Many people enjoy snowshoeing here in the winter.

This waterfall may be the busiest on the list, so definitely expect company during your visit. But I still love it, and think that it’s worthwhile.

Lodging Nearby: The Graduate Minneapolis is a boutique hotel with unique decor, just minutes from Dinkytown.

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    10. Ramsey Falls

    Location: Ramsey Park, Redwood Falls
    Fee: None

    Ramsey Falls is a lesser-known MN waterfall, located in Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.

    This park covers 256 acres of land with plenty of hiking trails close to Minneapolis, and opportunities for visitors to get out and explore.

    There are several viewpoints of Ramsey Falls. You can explore 4 miles of trails that offer views from a bridge and an overlook.

    Lodging Nearby: At the Vintage Inn, stay in a private home with your family and be within walking distance of Ramsey Falls.

    Minneopa Falls drops over a cliff into a pool, hiding behind a rock wall.

    11. Minneopa Falls

    Location: Minneopa State Park, Mankato
    Fee: $7/day

    Near Mankato, you’ll find Minneopa State Park, home to the amazing Minneopa Falls.

    This 39-foot waterfall is gorgeous in all seasons, but it’s especially popular during the summer and fall months.

    It’s a unique waterfall, as it stretches fairly wide across a rock slab before falling back into Minneopa Creek.

    The hike is pretty easy, being only about 1/2 mile roundtrip, but there are about 70 stairs that you’ll need to climb down and back up to see the falls.

    It can be slippery, so be careful while you’re on the trail, and visit during the morning to avoid some of the crowds.

    Lodging Nearby: Experience what feels like a castle at the beautiful Moulin Rouge House Bed and Breakfast in Mankato.

    12. Hidden Falls

    Location: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Nerstrand
    Fee: $7/day

    Way down in southern Minnesota, almost right on the Iowa border, is Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, home of one of the state’s Hidden Falls.

    The falls are found in the middle of the woods, which are surrounded by prairie. It’s really a beautiful place and feels just like Minnesota.

    The hike is a loop and is about 2 miles roundtrip, on an easy, fairly flat path.

    This waterfall is shorter and has less flowing water than others, but it’s definitely still worth the visit if you’re in the area.

    Plus, the park has several more miles of hiking trails for you to enjoy.

    Lodging Nearby: In Fairbault, 15 minutes away, is The Inn at Shattuck- St. Mary’s which has a beautiful property and a unique building.

    Willow Falls cascading over the rocks and down the river in Wisconsin.

    13. Willow Falls

    Location: Willow Falls State Park, Hudson, Wisconsin
    Fee: $13/day or WI state park pass

    This impressive waterfall is right across the Wisconsin border and is popular for people looking for waterfalls in Minnesota.

    It’s one of the most impressive waterfalls and competes for a top spot among the best hiking near Minneapolis.

    It flows in three tiers down the Willow River and makes for a popular place for swimming in the summer months.

    Especially on hot summer days, you might find 100 people here enjoying the cool water, since it’s such a close drive from the Twin Cities.

    There are multiple trails that you can take to actually reach these falls, and you can also make the hike longer after the waterfall if you want.

    Note: Willow River State Park is located in Hudson, Wisconsin, but I wanted to include it on this list because it’s very close to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

    Lodging Nearby: This adorable, private home was featured in a Christmas film and is just minutes from Downtown Hudson.

    14. Winnewissa Falls

    Location: Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone
    Fee: None

    This Minnesota waterfall isn’t necessarily “hidden,” but for how beautiful it is, it isn’t nearly as well known as it should be!

    Winnewissa Falls is found near Pipestone National Monument in very southern Minnesota, not far from either the Iowa or South Dakota borders.

    The falls are found about 0.25 miles from the parking lot, making them very easy to access.

    I love Winnewissa Falls because it’s almost like it’s found in a desert. This part of Minnesota is so unique with the quartzite cliffs.

    You might even see small cactuses growing here around these Minnesota falls, which was such a shock to me the first time that I visited.

    Fifth Falls dropping over the rock wall into the river.

    15. Fifth Falls

    Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors
    Fee: $7/day or state park pass

    Fifth Falls is surprisingly found within Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors, Minnesota, but is much less visited than the main falls.

    Most visitors to the state park stop at Upper, Middle, and Lower Gooseberry Falls, but don’t get any further than that.

    When I visit this MN state park with waterfalls, I always go on a bit further and plan to see Fifth Falls, since it’s so much more secluded than the main falls!

    You’ll be missing out on such a great hidden gem on the North Shore if you don’t go, and it’s only about a mile further.

    The trail is about 3 miles roundtrip and will loop you around the Gooseberry River. You’ll have views of all three of these waterfalls in MN, as well as Fifth Falls.

    Lodging Nearby: The Larsmont Cottages are a peaceful place to book a stay near Two Harbors, featuring beautiful cabins and epic views.

    16. Barrier Falls

    Location: Devil Track Lake, Grand Marais
    Fee: None

    Barrier Falls, also sometimes called Devil Track Falls, is a hidden and minimally visited waterfall along Minnesota’s North Shore.

    In the summer, this waterfall is hard to reach. The river is typically high and you’ll have a hard time getting there without walking through the river.

    But in the winter, when the Devil Track River is frozen over, you will have an easier time getting to it, via snowshoes or cross-country skis.

    If you’re able to make the trek, this North Shore waterfall is so stunning. But you’ll need to pay close attention since you’ll be walking on a frozen river. Always use extreme caution!

    Lodging Nearby: This unique and historic home is built out of an old fisherman’s home from 1900 on the shores of Lake Superior.

    Myself standing on a rock ledge near a Minnesota waterfall, surrounded by trees.

    17. Illgen Falls

    Location: Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay
    Fee: $7/day or state park pass

    If you’re visiting High Falls of the Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park, then you should also definitely add Illgen Falls to your list.

    This lesser-known waterfall is a bit harder to find and you’ll need to start at a new trailhead.

    But it’s really short, being under 1-mile roundtrip to see these Minnesota falls. And because most people visit other parts of the park, it tends to have fewer visitors.

    I really love Illgen Falls because of how quiet it is, but it still provides that same beauty that you’ll find at other North Shore waterfalls.

    Lodging Nearby: Sit on the couch at this gorgeous townhome and look out at waves crashing onto the shore and enjoy the outdoors.

    FAQ: Minnesota Waterfalls

    What is the Biggest Waterfall in Minnesota?

    Technically, the tallest in Minnesota is High Falls of the Baptism River, found in Tettegouche State Park. However, way up by Canada, you’ll find the High Falls of the Pigeon River. This 120-foot waterfall sits partially in Minnesota, while the other half is in Ontario, Canada. If this High Falls was entirely in the state, it would take the cake.

    Where Are There Waterfalls in Minnesota?

    Waterfalls are spread out all over the state of Minnesota, but the highest concentration of them is on the North Shore. There are even some found in the Twin Cities!

    How Many Waterfalls Are in Minnesota?

    We all know Minnesota as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but there are also thousands of rivers with flowing waterfalls around the state. There is no absolute number on how many waterfalls there are, but we do know that there are over 100 awesome falls to explore around the state.

    What is the Name of Minnesota’s Famous Waterfall?

    A few of Minnesota”s falls that are well-known include Devil’s Kettle, Minnehaha Falls, and High Falls. Two of these are found on the North Shore, and Minnehaha Falls is found right in Minneapolis.

    What is the Minnesota Waterfalls that Disappears?

    The waterfall in Minnesota that “disappears” is called Devil’s Kettle, and is popular because it seems to disappear into a rock.

    Which MN State Parks Have Waterfalls?

    Many state parks around Minnesota have waterfalls, including Gooseberry Falls, Tettegouche, Grand Portage, Banning, Nerstrand Big Woods, and Temperance River.

    Is There a Niagra Falls in Minnesota?

    No, there is no Niagra Falls in Minnesota. Although High Falls of the Pigeon River in Grand Portage looks similar. And there is a Niagra Cave in southern Minnesota near Harmony.

    How to Find Minnehaha Falls?

    Minnehaha Falls is found right in Minneapolis. If you use Google Maps, just type in ‘Minnehaha Falls’ and it will bring you right there.

    Conclusion: The Best Waterfalls in Minnesota

    One of my favorite ways to adventure around Minnesota is to go hiking and chasing waterfalls, and there are so many to see!

    From ones that you can swim in, others that you can see year-round, and some that are just steps from the parking lot, these waterfalls in Minnesota are must-sees.

    My favorites include Fifth Falls, High Falls of the Baptism River, and Caribou Falls, because they’re so beautiful!

    Now that you’ve got all of your waterfalls covered, be sure to get out and start exploring all that Minnesota has to offer.

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