Copper Falls State Park offers a strikingly scenic trail system along with full camping amenities. The loop that offers views of Copper Falls, Brownstone Falls, and cascades has three bridges (two in the winter), multiple viewing decks, and is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Coming into the park on Hwy 169, you will turn west/northwest into the park entrance. After passing the Ranger's Station you will follow the road (passing camp areas and showers along the way) all the way to the main parking lot near a concessions building. *The handicap parking lot is a little further past the main parking lot.

The trailhead starts at a bridge just past the concessions building and has a small map. You can choose to cross the bridge or stay right. If you start by crossing the bridge, the shortest route to see both waterfalls and the cascades is to stay right at every intersection (left is you start by going straight at the trailhead). You do not need to take the shorter route, but it is recommended that you take a good look at the map or bring your own/buy one at the Ranger Station before proceeding as phone service is sketchy at best.

Copper Falls is the first waterfall you will see. After the falls, the river flows through a deeply carved gorge which is visible from the observation deck above the second falls - Brownstone Falls. At the bottom of Brownstone Falls, the Bad River and the Tyler Fork of the Bad River combine into a wider, calmer river which is crossed by bridge. The cascades are viewed from the observation deck near the top of Brownstone Falls.

If you have time after visiting the park and want to be able to explore a waterfall with more freedom, drive 10 minutes north on hwy 169 to Lower Potato Falls!

The falls are supposed to be viewed from the observation decks/trails and not through the old viewing areas that have been marked off.

A handicap parking lot is close to a viewing point for both falls.

Day-use fee is $10 unless you have a state park sticker on your car.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Drinking Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking stick
  • Camera
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 85 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great falls!

Nice hike, some wildlife and few people. Trails are slightly muddy and snowy.

Awesome Hike And Great Falls!

The trail loop is absolutely stunning. Awesome spots throughout the hike. There's a little backpacker campsite back in the northern end as well, hopefully will be staying there the next time I'm there!

Perfect Family Hike

Educational, scenic family hike. There plaques were really well done. The whole thing had a nice, nostalgic WPA feel to it.


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Nearby Adventures

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Explore Upper Potato Falls

You will turn off of Hwy 169 onto a gravel road, follow the road all the way to the end for the trail head. Please drive respectfully as people live on this road.

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Hike to Lower Potato Falls

Coming into the park off Hwy 169 in Gurney, WI, you will turn West onto Falls Rd.

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Hike to Morgan Falls

It's a easy hike to the waterfall being only 1.2 mile round trip, but traveling to the waterfall might take time as it's fairly remote. There is a $5 daily park fee.

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