Hike to Big and Little Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park

Wisconsin Big Manitou Falls Trailhead

Added by Joe Whitson

  • Discover three waterfalls including the 165 ft. Big Manitou Falls
  • Hike through red pine and cedar forest
  • Paddle the lakes and explore the many islands and inlets

Pattison State Park is a Northwoods paradise. Home to Big and Little Manitou Falls, water is a main attraction here. Big Manitou Falls is across the highway from the main park (accessible by a tunnel) and is the fourth tallest waterfall east of the rocky mountains. This is a great place to start your day - a quick walk and big return on your investment. The 165 ft drop flows into a foggy canyon, making it difficult to capture the entire falls in a single photograph. Cross back to the main part of the park and hike up the river a mile or so to Little Manitou falls. While only a trifling 31 ft drop, the smaller falls is the more impressive. The river, swollen with snowmelt, is worth spending some time exploring as well and an easy trail loops around the park, crossing the river near the falls. Head back to Interfalls Lake for some paddling or swimming.

Skip Superior, WI on your way back and head into Duluth, MN for dinner, a beer, and some music at Fitger's Brewhouse.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Water
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Canoe or Kayak (for Paddlers)
  • Rain Jacket
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Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snowshoeing, Stand Up Paddle, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



2 Miles



Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago


The waterfall is the tallest in Wisconsin. The state park is beautiful with a little beach on the lake. You can take a little walking tunnel to get to the waterfall from here. There are many places to view it along the Big Manitou Trail (.05 miles). I recommend walking across the foot bridge to the south side and taking the trail all the way down to the stream! Would definitely go again.

about 2 months ago

Added by Joe Whitson

Minnesota Native. Check me out on Instagram: @joewhitson and feel free to shoot me an email if you want to talk more about things to do in Minnesota: joekentwhitson@gmail.com

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