Minnesota Waterfalls


Two waterfalls in Minnesota: Pigeon River Falls and Baptism River Falls... have an interesting story.....


While visiting the high, beautiful waterfall on the Pigeon River recently, the locals told us that the name of this waterfall is “High Falls” and it is the “highest waterfall in Minnesota” ...more than one hundred feet high.  The signs read: High Falls - 130’ high.  WOW.....! ! !  -but it sure doesn’t look that high.


While visiting the high, beautiful waterfall on the Baptism River later that same day, the locals told us that the name of this waterfall is “High Falls” and it is the “highest waterfall in Minnesota” ...one hundred feet high.  WOW.....! ! !  -but it sure doesn’t look that high.


So… Ah…. Erlemme see here... Both waterfalls have the same name: “High Falls” (NOT a very original name, huh...???) AND... they are not very far away from each other along “The North Shore” of Lake Superior... AND... They are BOTH the “highest waterfall in Minnesota” ... AND... They are both 100 feet high or... more...  ...WHAT...! ! !


Research has revealed that extreme kayakers (who carry rescue ropes with them) have measured these waterfalls with more accuracy than most anyone else. They have measured Pigeon River Falls to be 85’ high” ...and Baptism River Falls to be about 63’ high


Hey... call these waterfalls by any name you wish & make any claim you can imagine for their height, but I call them by the name of the river that they are on while appreciating some measure of honesty concerning their height.

Pigeon River Falls

The Pigeon River here at this spectacular waterfall, is the boundary between Canada and the USA.       Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- Pigeon River Falls

height- 85’

GPS coordinates- ±48°00.290’N 89°35.880’W

access- is via a well-marked trail from Grand Portage State Park in Minnesota near the Canada border

nearest town- Grand Portage is about 10 miles southwest of here

fun fact- The truth does not diminish the beauty of this splendid waterfall





Baptism River Falls

I have been told that a few of those insane, extreme kayakers have successfully paddled over this 63’ high beautiful waterfall.....! ! !     Lowell Hill Photo

Please do NOT try this at home... or away from home either...


beta facts:

name- Baptism Falls

height- 63 feet

GPS coordinates- ±47°21.080’N 91°12.610’W

access- is via a trail from George H Crosby State Park

nearest town- Illgen City is about 3 miles southeast of here

fun fact- The truth does not diminish the beauty of this splendid waterfall



...a mile or so downstream, also connected by that same trail, is another named waterfall:

Two Step Falls... The upper and lower tiers are about 10’ high each.  This photo is only showing the upper tier.  The lower tier is just downstream from what this photo shows...  Lowell Hill Photo





­­­­Loft Falls

Loft Falls is a tiered waterfall.  All 4 tiers of Loft Falls are shown in this photo.  The total height of all 4 tiers combined is about 50’       Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- Loft Falls

height- + 50’ (the sum height of all 4 tiers)

GPS coordinates- ±48°01.023’N 90°03.858’W

access- is a half mile bushwhack downstream from Loft Lake - on Shoe Lake Rd.  East of Road 16 which runs north of Hovland.

nearest town- Hovland is about 18 miles south of here

fun fact- Loft Falls is very beautiful, secluded -and a “bushwhack” to visit


We have found this area to harbor several more waterfalls.  Loft Mtn, Loft Lake and Loft Falls all appear on the left-hand side of our map below.  Feel free to right-click-save-as on our map, to save it to your desktop and print a hard copy for your hike.  This image is public domain.   


Loft Mountain Topo Map

this map is the only known map to show Loft Falls and Slot Canyon




Slot Canyon falls

This slot canyon appears in the upper left corner of the map above

The first falls is 20’ high and actually drops into the slot canyon at it’s start.  It is seen in the photo below as well.

...and looking downstream from here, as seen the next photos, the slot canyon is quite narrow – waist deep wading becomes mandatory


A 40 foot long rope, used as a hand-line, is quite helpful on this smooth, wet, slippery bedrock


The second waterfall, also about 20’ high, is at about midway

This is a very fine slot canyon

The third falls is a 40’ high cataract near the end of the slot canyon



beta facts:

name- Slot Canyon Falls

height- up to 40’ high

GPS coordinates- ±48°01.415’N 90°04.600’W

access- is north on County Road #16 – Arrowhead Trail.  Then turn east on Shoe Lake Road for 2 & a half miles… a short half mile past Loft Lake

nearest town-Hovland is about 19 miles south of here

fun fact- Minnesota has a wonderful non-technical slot canyon here...! ! ! 


This is a very fine slot canyon that Minnesota can be proud of.  It can be traversed with only a 40’ long rope hand-line.  It starts within a couple hundred feet from the forest road.  It is about a quarter mile long (or less).  It looses approximately 250’ of elevation.





Portage Falls

Yours truly, here at 20’ high Portage Falls... The 20’ waterfall seems small, because I am too close to the camera.  Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- Portage Falls

height- 20

GPS coordinates- ±47°59.983’N 90°02.159’W

access- is a 100-yard-long unmarked trail from the intersection of Road 16 and Road 313 in Grand Portage State Forest **

nearest town- Hovland is about 17 miles south of here – the North Shore of Lake Superior

fun fact- This is sweet country 


Portage Falls is near the bottom of the map above


**Land ownership in this area is checkerboard between Superior National Forest, Grand Portage State Forest and small parcels of private land




The Devils Kettle

The Devils Kettle is a mysterious 35 foot high waterfall on Minnesota’s Brule River up along Lake Superiors North Shore   Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- The Devils Kettle

height- 35’

GPS coordinates- ±47°49.758’N 90°02.970’W

access- is by trail from Judge C R Magney State Park

nearest town- Hovland is about 4 miles east of here

fun fact- As you can see in the photo above... half of this waterfall’s water disappears down into a sink-hole in the bedrock... which causes some people to believe that it mysteriously vanishes forever... however... the river’s volume of flow is the same above and below the falls ...therefore nothing vanishes anywhere.


The Devils Kettle is not the only waterfall along the Brule River.  There are several other waterfalls on this river.  The waterfall in the photo below is a quarter-mile downstream from The Devils Kettle.  The trail in to visit The Devils Kettle stops by this waterfall on its way.

40’ high Upper Falls of the Brule River...not very steep but extremely violent...!!!  -on a lightly rainy day...    Lowell Hill Photo




Cascade falls

Cascade River has many waterfalls, but this 30 footer is one of the better...    Lowell Hill Photo

and...this same waterfall appears on the cover of “Northwoods Whitewater” by Jim Rada.  See him in his kayak, cresting the brink of the falls...! ! !  He’s braver than I am.

The kayakers call this waterfall: “Lover’s Leap”

BTW this book is an interesting read...! ! !



beta facts:

name- Cascade Falls


GPS coordinates- ±47°42.595’N 90°31.448’W

access- is via a marked trail from Cascade River State Park

nearest town- Grand Marais is about 9 miles east of here

fun fact- lots of beautiful waterfalls here 


more beautiful waterfalls along Cascade River, some near 20’ high – I’d like to watch those extreme kayakers paddle thru here hey…! ! ! -and they really do this.


Lowell Hill Photos




Temperance falls

The Temperance River flows thru an AMAZING Gorge & has many waterfalls.  Hidden Falls (shown above) is the highest at about 30’   Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- Hidden Falls

height- 30’

GPS coordinates- ±47°33.372’N 90°52.428’W

access- is by trail from Temperance River State Park

nearest town- Taconite Harbor is about 3 miles southwest of here

fun fact- VERY AMAZING PLACE…!!! 


Lowell Hill Photo





Manitou falls

...isn’t this waterfall a beauty...! ! !

The Manitou River drops about 30 to 40 feet - out of its own narrow gorge... landing in the waters of Lake Superior...! ! !

Manitou Falls is “MY” most beautiful waterfall in Minnesota - GPS coordinates- ±47.4429390°N, -91.064466°W

 ...and just west of this wonderful waterfall is an amazing “Sea Arch” in Minnesota’s ocean- Lake Superior...! ! !


Manitou Natural Arch appears in the photo below - GPS cords: 47.4427857°N, -91.063502°W

Manitou Falls can be seen thru Manitou Natural Arch... I wanna paddle thru this arch, in my canoe...! ! !


30 to 40 foot high- Middle Manitou Falls is maybe a quarter-mile upstream from Manitou Falls.

*note- the small natural arch below this falls.


Dave posed for me at the “First Falls” – way upstream on the Manitou River – this is an AWESOME hike BTW...


This photo below shows the top of First Falls and the calm beautiful Manitou River above...


7’ high- “Surprise Falls” (shown below) is a short distance downstream from the Superior Trail Footbridge.


20’ high Benson Creek Falls... This Manitou River area host some of the finest hiking in all of Minnesota...! ! !



beta facts:

name- Manitou Falls

and others: …Middle Manitou Falls, First Falls, Surprise Falls, Upper Manitou Falls, Slot Canyon Falls AKA “Rain Falling UP Falls”

height- up to 40 feet high

GPS coordinates- ±47.4429390°N, -91.064466°W

access- is from Hwy 61 on the North Shore of Lake Superior

nearest town- Little Marais is about 4 miles southwest of here

fun fact- The Manitou River – George Crosby – Manitou State Park, has the most scenic hiking in all of Minnesota 



Right-click-save-as on our map to save the file to your desktop... and print your own hard copy to take with...


Minnesota State Park Map


Another Minnesota State Park map


One more map here: Superior National Forest


This last map- Superior National Forest – shows that the George H Crosby Manitou State Park boarders a mile or more of Hwy 61, on both sides.  No Trespassing signs display the opposite on location.


I cannot help but wonder why every map I find shows the southeast-end boundary line of George H Crosby Manitou State Park - differently.  Are those two most beautiful Manitou Waterfalls on public land or private…?  If indeed the Manitou River below Hwy 61 is entirely private then where did that beautiful, (National Park) looking footbridge across the Manitou River Slot Canyon below Hwy 61, come from?  It does not look like a private built bridge.  But rather it looks extremely much like a government funded and constructed bridge.


The NO TRESPASSING signs along the Hwy 61, are likely… for real.  However, wading thru the tunnel at river level, the one and only sign we noticed seemed to be in a very confusing location… leaving the question in our minds: what is public and what is private…???  The river appeared to be public to us.  Which maps are correct and which maps are incorrect?  Perhaps only a visit to Lake County Courthouse will clear the fog.





Gooseberry Falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy-pvmUsUS4

There are 3 main tiers to Gooseberry Falls.  The photo above shows the main falls near the highway and the lower tier in the foreground.  All 3 tiers are about the same height... approximately 40 feet high each.    Lowell Hill Photo

The 40’ high upper tier (shown below) ...upstream a short ways above the highway

There’s a nice little natural arch at Gooseberry Falls hey…! ! !    Lowell Hill Photo

Lowell Hill Photo


beta facts:

name- Gooseberry Falls

height- all three tiers are the same height = 40’ each

GPS coordinates- ±47°08.582’N 91°28.072’W

access- is from Hwy 61

nearest town- Castle Danger is about 2.5 miles southwest of here

fun fact- close to Hwy 61, paved trails... easy access for all 




There are many waterfalls within Banning State Park

We hope to document them all someday, but until then... here are a couple of them:

Big Spring Falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zru79hQD_bA

At Big Spring Falls in Banning State Park, the Kettle River falls about 10’


beta facts:

name- Big Spring Falls

height- 12’

GPS coordinates- ±46°06.802’N 92°51.457’W

access- Drive south on Pine Ave a mile or two.  Park at the locked gate and hike the trail to Big Spring falls.

nearest town- Sandstone is about 2 miles north of here

fun fact- Men buried this beautiful waterfall under water for years...!!! then thankfully the dam was removed about 20 years ago and the falls re-appeared...! ! !


Big Spring Falls appears near the center of the lower map.

Topo Map

*note that Wolf Creek Falls appears on both maps, right where the two maps join.

North Map


South Map



Wolf Creek Falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJvWsU9xso8


12’ high Wolf Creek Falls is a very pleasant hiking destination within Banning State Park


beta facts:

name- Wolf Creek Falls

height- 12’

GPS coordinates- ±46°08.800’N 92°51.665’W

access- is from Banning State Park or hike north from Robinson Park

nearest town- Sandstone is about 1 mile south of here

fun fact- Banning State Park is GREAT HIKING......! ! ! 


Two Natural Arches at Hells Gate Rapid -One on each side of the Kettle River.





Ramsey falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clVL5QwtJac

Ramsey Falls is about 30’ high on Ramsey Creek within Alexander Ramsey Park   Janelle Ericson Photo


-below is a high water photo:


beta facts:

name- Ramsey Falls

height- 30’

GPS coordinates- ±44°32.778’N 95°07.536’W

access- is from Alexander Ramsey Park – Redwood, Minnesota

fun fact- -easy access... beautiful waterfall




Redwood falls


Redwood Falls has been capped over with a man-made dam.  All of it’s original beauty is lost.


Downstream a quarter-mile is a 3-foot high falls over a natural occurring granite outcropping


beta facts:

name- Redwood Falls

height- unknown

GPS coordinates- ±44°32.473’N 95°07.306’W

access- is from Hwy 19 Bridge in Redwood, Mn

fun fact- nothing nice about man’s destruction of Redwood Falls




Minneopa falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv23TD1JvUc

30’ high Minneopa Falls is found within Minneopa State Park.  Notice the footbridge above it and the ten foot high upper tier/waterfall - upstream in this photo above.


beta facts:

name- Minneopa Falls

height- 30’ plus a ten – foot high tier upstream

GPS coordinates- ±44°08.929’N 95°05.427’W

access- is from Minneopa State Park at Mankato, Mn

fun fact- This is a very pleasant park 





Triple falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXuhW3qVPsA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlrWXoPh1M  

30’ high Triple Falls has 3 tiers and is found along the Blue Earth River south of Mankato, Mn

*Triple Falls sometimes runs dry during dry weather conditions*


beta facts:

name- Triple Falls

height- 30’ in three tiers...

GPS coordinates- ±44°07.048’N 94°06.856’W

access- is from Hwy 169 and 198th road-

nearest town-Rapidan is about 2 miles south of here

fun fact- This beautiful waterfall is a bit difficult to find






next falls ?

send us your photo and info... ! ! !


Falls is blah, blah, blah...  your name goes here.


beta facts:

name- xx

height- x

GPS coordinates- ±°.’N °.’W

access- is from

nearest town- ? is about ? miles ? of here

fun fact- ? 






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