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Split Rock Waterfall

Home > Minneapolis > Nature | Places of Interest | Walks
by Gail Clifford MD (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and photographer traveling the world, often following my daughter. Visit our site at www.ABLETravelPhoto.com and follow us on Instagram @ABLETravelPhoto
Published June 23rd 2022
Minnesota Waterfalls, Split Rock Falls, Split Rock Waterfalls, Sandra Coates photographer, nature, environment, beauty
Split Rock Waterfalls Photograph by Sandra Coates


While Split Rock Lighthouse remains the most photographed lighthouse in the United States, The Split Rock Waterfalls is one of the least known. West of Highway 61, south of the Split Rock Visitor Center, slow down at Mile 51, just north of Gooseberry Falls State Park, and make a hard left into the wayside parking lot when you spot the "Split Rock River" sign. The parking lot is just south of the river and holds about a dozen cars.

Pro Tip: Use insect repellent liberally. The tree canopy protects you from the sun along the entire one-mile trail but the mosquitos are fierce.

Split Rock Falls, Stairs, Exterior, Outdoors, Minnesota, Duluth Day Trip
Stairs You'll Take Down to Split Rock Falls


In June, parts of the trail remain muddy so walk with care. There are multiple small sections of stairs and a short path to the right that you can take down into the woods. But stay on the trail until the clearly marked path shows you the loop trails.

Climb through the birch trees a half mile and take the right fork, down about 30 steps, cross a bridge (partial view) and up the other side of the water for a poolside view of these 20-foot waterfalls tumbling over grey rock.

Split Rock Waterfalls, June, Beauty, ebbs and flows
Split Rock Falls in June


There are additional waterfalls, rock formations (twin red pillars and 50-foot cliffs) along the 5-mile trail. When the river is low and slow, you can catch great Lake Superior views walking down the river to the high east trail.
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