Hike Lookout Mountain Trail in Cascade River State Park

Hike Lookout Mountain Trail in Cascade River State Park

Rate this Adventure Superior Hiking Trail East Cascade River Spur

Distance

3.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

529 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Joe Whitson

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Discover amazing views of Superior National Forest and Lake Superior and see the deep trenches and many waterfalls of the Cascade River.

Halfway between Schroeder and Grand Marais, Cascade is usually little more than a pit stop on a longer trip. Since the main cascades are just a quarter mile from the highway, there is usually little incentive to further explore the 5300 acre park. However, those who take the time to wander around are rewarded by one of the most beautiful parks on the North Shore, if not the entire state.

The park encompasses two rivers, a large stretch of the Superior Hiking Trail, Lookout Mountain, and access to trails the penetrate deeper into the Sawtooth range. Cascade River and Cascade Creek are aptly named since both streams are made up of a series of falls descending nearly a thousand feet on their path to Lake Superior. The trails follow the rivers and meander around Lookout Mountains giving picturesque views of the water and surrounding forests. Like many parks in Minnesota, Cascade doesn't have some grand attraction, but provides a quiet beauty that takes time to appreciate. Take the time, it's worth it.

The hike to Lookout Mountain starts at the main trailhead on Hwy 61 (there is a parking lot) and begins by heading to the main cascades. This is as far as the majority of people go. You, however, are going to snap a few pictures of the falls and continue on up the trail. You'll follow the river for another half mile or so before breaking off the main trail and heading up to the mountain. I was here in the autumn and the mixture of green cedars and yellow aspen and ferns made the entire hike feel a little like an REI advertisement, but the hike would be great all summer long, though probably a little dangerous in the winter. The first half of this trail is well marked and leads you up to the peak (there is some backpacking campsites near the peak if you're interested), but the second half is less well marked and we ended up coming out at Cascade Lodge, a resort and restaurant, instead of back in the park. If this happens, don't worry. Just go get a drink at the restaurant and walk the quarter mile down the road back to your parking spot. If you do manage to follow the trial back, pat yourself on the back and head back up to Cascade Lodge anyways.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Gorgeous hike in the fall with a supremely rewarding view from the top!

One of my favorite trails in Northern Minnesota, Cascade is a beautiful trail with lots to look at. A fairly easy, family friendly trail, good for picnics or fast hikes.

Distance

3.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

529 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Joe Whitson

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to White Sky Rock

Adventure

Explore Artists' Point, MN

Adventure

Hike Eagle Mountain

Adventure

Hike Oberg Mountain

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

how-to

Experience Van Life Without Cashing In Your 401k!

Hit the road and sleep in comfort on your next adventure without breaking the bank!

travel

10 Reasons Why Guides Make Adventures Better

Let the experts lead the way.

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

More Stories