Hike to the Fifth Falls of the Gooseberry River
Minnesota › Fifth Falls Trailhead
Added by Allison Herreid
Fifth Falls is the gateway to other North Shore State Parks and is typically less crowded than the main falls in Gooseberry Falls State Park.
Gooseberry Falls State Park is the first State Park you hit traveling up the North Shore after leaving Duluth. Located 13 miles north of Two Harbors on Highway 61, Gooseberry Falls State Park a quick turn off of the highway which is very well marked with signs. Follow signs for Falls parking.
Begin your hike from the Visitor Center and follow signs for the Upper Falls. The trail starts out paved and goes underneath Hwy 61 as you reach the Upper Falls. This is a fun place to photograph and explore on your way to or from Fifth Falls. Continue on following the trail as it parallels the river. It is about 2.0 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 100 ft. The trail is relatively flat for the majority of the time.
I would recommend this hike to anyone visiting Gooseberry Falls as the Fifth Falls will be much less crowded than the popular Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls and it is still breathtaking. This area is also fun to explore and photograph. You will know you reached fifth falls when the trail comes to a bridge crossing the river. Here it meets up with the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) and you have the option of following the SHT back to the Upper Falls on the opposite side of the river or following the same route back.
- Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
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Looking down the river (as in towards Lake Superior) from the head of the falls, notice the large outcrop of rock? This flat outcrop is a great base to initiate a cannonball from. Did it with some friends when we camped at Gooseberry. In general this is a nice place to swim, but each year the current is VERY different so make sure you test it out before making the leap, and be weary of undercurrents near the waterfall. SAFETY FIRST!
Not our favorite hike ever, but it did get us away from the crowds. We hiked the Superior Hiking Trail on the way up, and the snowshoe (?) trail on the way day. Their maps are not the greatest!! The falls were beautiful and my kids had fun playing in the foam generated by the water rushing over the rocks.
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