Gooseberry Falls State Park, located about 45 minutes north of our Duluth Bed and Breakfast and near the town of Two Harbors, is an absolutely wonderful place to spend a fall afternoon. The park is most popular for its 5 stunning waterfalls, which are absolutely stunning during the peak of fall colors. There is also some great hiking and biking in the park, and overall just makes for a delightful fall day in the Duluth area.
If you do plan to visit Gooseberry Falls State Park or any of the other top attractions in the Duluth area this fall, make sure to book a room at our #1 Rated Best Duluth Bed and Breakfast. We offer seven guest rooms, a delicious breakfast each morning of your stay, and some of the best midwest hospitality you’ll ever experience. Moreover, our property is small and has just earned the AAA ‘Best of Housekeeping’ property for 2020, which means staying with us ensures you a safe place to call home during your time in Duluth. Come see the difference for yourself this fall, and book a room at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast today!
Things to do at Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park is best known for its waterfalls, but it also offers some scenic overlooks of Lake Superior, along with hiking trails and trout fishing. In fall, the water thunders over the waterfalls and through the narrow river gorge, making for a truly dramatic backdrop to your afternoon. Beyond just offering beautiful scenery, the park is also home to a variety of wildlife. Gooseberry Falls State Park has recorded over 225 species of birds that nest or visit the park, along with 46 species of mammals, and ten species of reptiles and amphibians.
The geology of the park is just as fascinating as the scenery. Visible here is a lava flow that dates back approximately 1.1 billion years. Several of these lava flows can be seen at the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls and south of the Gooseberry River along the Lake Superior shore. After billions of years of glacial and volcanic activity, the area is now best characterized by its Rocky Lake Superior shoreline and the narrow, rocky river gorge. Beyond just enjoying this interesting scenery, here are 7 of our favorite things to do at Gooseberry Falls State Park:
- There are more than 20 miles of hiking trails throughout Gooseberry Falls State Park. In the winter, this turns into 12 miles of cross country skiing, and 2 trails for snowmobiles to use. In the fall, these trails are beautiful, as they pass along the Gooseberry River and through aspen, cedar, spruce & pine forests, and their varying shades of autumn.
- Get ready to chase waterfalls! A short walk either up or down the river will give you great views of the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. If you feel up for more hiking, there’s a nice loop trail that will take you to all 5 of the waterfalls.
- There are several historic sights throughout the park that are on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a self-guided tour map that will take you through these sights, which include several buildings & the original bridge that was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a crisp fall afternoon at the park. There are 3 picnic areas, 1 of which is along the river, and the other 2 on the shores of Lake Superior.
- Hop on your bike and explore the short trail, which leads to the Gitchi Gami Trail, a popular and flat biking trail in Duluth.
- Fisherman love this area for access to both the river and Lake Superior. There’s excellent trout fishing here, just make sure you have a trout stamp and a Minnesota fishing license.
- Enjoy wildlife in the area, including the fall bird migration as they move through the park on their way to warmer climates for winter.
There’s also an electric car charger at Gooseberry Falls State Park, which makes it a convenient pitstop for those with electric cars who may be traveling along the North Shore Scenic Drive!
More to do in Two Harbors
While you’re up in the Two Harbors area, you may as well stay and explore for a bit! There’s plenty to see in this charming town, also located on the shores of Lake Superior. Here, you’ll not only find the North Shore’s oldest working lighthouse, which was built in 1892, but you’ll also find massive ore docks, a picturesque break wall, a boat launch, and a walking trail downtown. There’s also an interesting bit of maritime history – it’s the home of the famous tug the Edna G. – and it’s worth getting to know!
Two Harbors is also a great place to get a feel for the history of the North Shore. You’ll still find trains coming down to Agate Bay to meet the Ore Ships, as they deliver taconite pellets and take them to the steel mills in the East. In fact, one of these docks was actually once the largest ore loading dock in the world. It’s an impressive sight to see in person. There are several great museums along the waterfront if you’re interested in learning more, too. Two Harbors is also the home of popular Brewery Castle Danger Brewing. It’s a great place to sit back and relax after a long day of exploring!
Finally, end the day back where you began, at the A.G. Thomson House Bed and Breakfast in Duluth. Our luxury Inn offers 7 guest rooms, a hearty breakfast made from scratch each morning, 2 beautiful acres to enjoy while here, and a healthy dose of Midwestern hospitality. Stay safe, and stay small this fall, and enjoy the time at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast.