Where is Tettegouche State Park?
A state park located in Minnesota, Tettegouche lies on the northern shore of Lake Superior. The land is quite diverse. Inside its borders, there are six inland lakes, four waterfalls, a beach, and the northern border is shared by the Finland State Forest. Access to the park can be achieved via Minnesota’s scenic highway 61, and by an hour and a half drive from Duluth. The park is about 215 miles from Minneapolis or about a three and half hour drive away.
How Big is Tettegouche State Park?
Tettegouche US State Park lies entirely in the state of Minnesota. The park consists of over 9,000 acres and is home to some of Minnesota’s premier outdoor attractions. The highest waterfall in Minnesota sits in Tettegouche Park. The aptly named High Falls are 70 feet or 21 meters high. The park provides access to 22 miles of hiking trails and 12 miles of skiing trails. Visitors can also access the Superior Hiking Trail from the park.
Tettegouche State Park Weather
Weather in Tettegouche varies seasonally and the park even experiences vast changes within days. In Winter and early Spring the park’s temperatures have been known to drop below freezing for several days at a time. The park’s temperatures peak in Summer with July and August being the hottest months. Though, temperatures in the park rarely approach anything warmer than 70 degrees. The park is often quite windy. Winds blowing off of Lake Superior often reach the park. Winter temperatures and first snowfall normally find the park around mid-November. Though, snow has been reported earlier in the year. Tettegouche State Park experiences around 90 days of rain each year.
When did Tettegouche become a State Park
Tettegouche State Park officially received its designation in 1979 when the state of Minnesota acquired over 3,000 acres from the Nature Conservancy. This land was added to Baptism River State Park and then eventually renamed into Tettegouche State Park. The original land that makes up the park was purchased by a group of businessmen named the Tettegouche Club in 1910.
Things to do in Tettegouche State Park
No matter the season, Tettegouche State Park is filled with opportunities to explore the great outdoors and all the Minnesota wilderness has to offer. Compiled below you will find some of our National Park Visitors Guide favorites.
Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail is a hiking trail located in northeastern Minnesota that follows the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior. The trail is 310 miles long, and about 12 miles of the trail lies within Tettegouche State Park. The trail is labeled as moderate to difficult.
Tettegouche State Park offers its visitors 6.5 miles of ATV trails. More trails are located just outside the park and more information on these trails, including location and terrain, can be obtained at the park office.
In winter, Tettegouche State Park transforms from a hiker’s paradise to a winter wonderland. The park offers 15 miles of cross-country skiing trails. The remaining miles of hiking trail not designated for cross-country skiing are perfect for snowshoeing. Updated winter conditions appear on the park’s website every day during the skiing season.
Being one of only four parks in Minnesota to offer rock climbing, Tettegouche State Park has become a climber’s haven. Shovel point and Palisade Head cliffs are the most popular climbing spots in the park.
Located near the Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park provides viewing access to four waterfalls. High falls is the park’s premier attraction and Minnesota’s premier waterfall. High falls sits at 70 feet.
Lakes in the park provide opportunities to fish for northern pike and walleye. The fish can be found in each of the park’s six inland lakes.
Tettegouche State Park Wildlife
Wildlife in the Park is quite diverse. Visitors often report seeing white-tailed deer, beavers, weasels, and snowshoe hares. Other wildlife in the park includes red squirrels, timber wolves, flying squirrels, Canadian lynx. The park’s premier bird is the Peregrine falcon.
Camping at Tettegouche
The park offers over 70 camping sites. Fifty of these sites, half of which include electric hookups are located in the Baptism River Campground. The sites are available year-round. The park also offers five backpacking sites and six walk-in sites.
Hiking Trails in Tettegouche
Inside the park’s boundaries, there lies 23 miles of hiking trails. These trails vary in terrain and difficulty. The park offers three waterfall loops that wind through a few of the park’s lakes. The park also offers access to the Superior Hiking Trail.
When to go to Tettegouche State Park
A visit to Tettegouche State Park is achievable and pleasant anytime of year. However, your interests and hobbies may dictate which time of the year is best for you to visit. The spring and summer are perfect for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts. The park’s waterfalls also radiate beautifully during the summer months as the sun shines down on them. The winter is perfect for skiers, snowshoers, and winter wonderland seekers. In June through October the park experiences its peak season. Campgrounds have filled up during this time of year before. Reservations are achievable through the park’s website.
Must-Have things to bring to Great Smoky Mountains
Any trip to the outdoors requires some planning. Here are some List of Parks items that will protect you on your trip to Tettegouche and provide some comfort.
Water is always a must. It is recommended that hikers carry 1-2 liters with them before setting off from the trailhead. In the summer months, more water may be necessary.
Food and grocery stores around the park are limited. It is best to bring quick and easy energy filled snacks with you to the park. Beef jerky, trail mix, energy bars and fruit are great options to combat your hunger and provide a needed boost late in the day.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
The terrain of Tettegouche State Park, particularly on the Superior Hiking Trail, can be quite tricky to traverse. A sturdy pair of hiking boots will become your best friend in the Minnesota wilderness. Look for a pair that is lightweight and breathable for added comfort. Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of socks.
Rain falls within the park rather suddenly at times, and it is a good idea to always carry a lightweight jacket with you in the park. A waterproof jacket can turn a damp rainy hike into a rather enjoyable experience.
Layers of Clothing
Due to the park’s changing temperatures, its best to wear a series of layers when hiking or recreating in Tettegouche. Hikes in the park traverse various terrain that may be less or more exposed to the sun and wind. Lightweight layers are easy to take off and put back on depending on comfort.
Tettegouche State Park offers endless wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can spot timber wolves, Peregrine falcons, and white-tailed deer from a distance using binoculars. A lightweight pair is a good investment for any hike hoping to see a particular species.
Tettegouche State Park and all of its various hiking trails can be quite confusing at times. Park maps can be picked up from the park office and entrance stations. Additional maps, including detailed Superior Hiking Trail maps can be accessed and purchased online. Rangers in the park will also provide additional information when prompted.
Where to stay in Tettegouche State Park
The park’s campgrounds are the premier place to stay in and around Tettegouche State Park. The various campsites within the park offer various amenities including water access, bathrooms, and astonishing views of Minnesota northern landscape. Reservations are recommended for each of the park’s campsites. These reservations can be made through the park’s website. If you are looking to stay in a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, Duluth offers several options.
Food Nearby Tettegouche State Park
Access to restaurants and grocery stores is limited near Tettegouche State Park. Supplies can be obtained from several places in Duluth. The city also contains various restaurants to stop in and grab a hot meal. Around the park, there are a few convenience stores where visitors can access snacks, gas, and ice.
Airports near Tettegouche State Park
The closest airport to Tettegouche State Park is Duluth International Airport. The airport is about 65 miles and hour and half drive away from the park. Further south lies Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. This airport is about 220 miles and a three and half hours drive from the park. Both of these airports are located in Minnesota.