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Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Minnesota

by Joe Dorish on 19/05/09 at 10:20 am

Minnesota is known as “The Land of Lakes” but it has its share of beautiful and scenic waterfalls.

In the Dakota Sioux language Minnesota is the word for “water” and while Minnesota is better known for its 10,000 lakes it does have some very nice waterfalls primarily along its rivers as they flow into Lake Superior.

Here are the most beautiful waterfalls in Minnesota.

High Falls of the Pigeon River


The High Falls of the Pigeon River is located in Grand Portage State Park on Minnesota State Highway 61 at the Minnesota/Ontario, Canada border along the Pigeon River before it empties into Lake Superior. This beautiful waterfall is 120 feet high which makes it the highest in Minnesota. Also sometimes simply called Pigeon Falls.

Devil’s Kettle Falls

Devil’s Kettle is a fascinating waterfalls because the Brule River splits into two as it goes over the falls and the right side of the falls continues downriver but the left side of the falls disappears into a glacial pothole known as Devil’s Kettle. Nobody has ever been able to determine where the water goes from the Devil’s Kettle and scientists have tried using colored dyes. Devil’s Kettle and Devil’s Kettle Falls are located in Judge C. R. Magney State Park along Minnesota State Highway 61 on the North Shore of Lake Superior 14 miles northeast of Grand Marais.

Source (Water vanishing into Devil’s Kettle Pothole never to be seen again)

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is located in Minnehaha Park along Minnehaha Creek shortly before it merges into the mighty Mississippi River in a large city park located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Minnehaha Falls is beautiful in its own right but is really famous today because it is the waterfall of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Song of Hiawatha”. The waterfall is 55 feet high and the park is located off of Hiawatha Ave (Route 55).

High Falls of the Baptism River

Image via Wikipedia

The High Falls of the Baptism River is located in Tettegouche State Park along Minnesota State Highway 61. The High Falls of the Baptism River is roughly 100 feet high and quite picturesque.

Gooseberry Falls

(Upper Gooseberry Falls)

Located in Gooseberry State Park along the north shore of Lake Superior along Highway 61 some 12 miles northeast of Two Harbors, Minnesota are the three falls of the Gooseberry River. The Upper Falls are some 35 feet high, while the Middle and Lower Falls are very close together near the parking area.

Source (Middle and Lower Gooseberry Falls)

Minneopa Falls

Minneopa Falls is located in Minneopa State Park in Mankato, Minnesota. The falls are 39 feet high. There is also a smaller Upper Falls in the park just above Minneopa Falls, seen behind bridge top of photo, along the Minneopa Creek shortly before it joins the Minnesota River.

Illgen Falls


Upstream from the High Falls on the Baptism River is the also picturesque 45 foot high Illgen Falls.

Winnewissa Falls

image by pbogs via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0

Winnewissa Falls is located in Pipestone National Monument in southwest Minnesota.

Temperance River Gorge Falls

Water tumbles down numerous falls inside this pretty river gorge just before the Temperance River drains into Lake Superior between the towns of Schroeder and Lutsen, Minnesota along Highway 61.

Cascade Falls

Image via Wikipedia

Along the Cascade River in Cascade River State Park on Highway 61 is the Cascade Falls.

Image via Wikipedia

Caribuo Falls


Also along Highway 61 is Caribou Falls which can be reached via a trail from the parking lot at Caribou State Wayside.

Vermillion Falls

Vermillion Falls is located right in downtown Hastings, Minnesota in Vermillion Falls Park on 26th Street just off of Vermillion St. The falls were once used to power a mill operated by Alexander Ramsey, one of the leading citizens of early Minnesota. Vermillion Falls are 35 feet high.

Upper Falls of the Brule River


Located downstream from Devil’s Kettle Falls in Judge C. R. Magney State Park is the 25 foot high Upper Falls of the Brule River.

Ramsey Falls


Ramsey Falls is located in Alexander Ramsey Park in the city of Redwood Falls in southwestern Minnesota.

St. Anthony Falls

(The Falls of St. Anthony by Albert Bierstadt prior to collapse)

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls was the only natural waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River until 1869 when it collapsed and was replaced by a man-made apron. In the 1950’s the apron was replaced by a series of locks and dams creating the present day look of the falls.

For more great waterfalls see Most Beautiful Waterfalls in New York State.

Liked it

Jo Oliver

May 19th, 2009

awesome falls. Well done, as always.

Kate Smedley

May 19th, 2009

You know how much I love waterfalls … stunning pics again.

Ruby Hawk

May 19th, 2009

your falls are majestic, wish I could visit them all.

Ask Cash

May 20th, 2009

These are really truly beautiful. reminds me of north Sikkim.

Betty Carew

May 20th, 2009

They are all so beautiful Joe but I think my favorite of these are Gooseberry Falls, great article and pics


May 22nd, 2009

i saw the falls,

and ur write is beyond my ability,
to comment,

am i not right?

Momma Tells

May 22nd, 2009

Love it. I like the Gooseberry Falls, too.

David Irvine

May 25th, 2009

cool, that painting is awesome.


May 29th, 2009

very nice article!! how does a waterfall collapse?

Katie Marie

Jul 4th, 2009

Gooseberry Falls are not only beautiful but very accessible to visit, which makes them a very popular tourist stop along the North Shore drive, just north of Duluth. Been there several times.


Jul 4th, 2009

I love rivers and waterfalls
Is that the Highway 61 from Bob Dylan’s song?
He also has a line “in that little Minnesota town” so maybe he came from there (Is Duluth in Minnesota?)

Joe Dorish

Jul 4th, 2009

Yep Bob Dylan is from Duluth, Minnesota. Highway 61 stretches from Minnesota to New Orleans following the Mississippi River and is known as the Blues Highway.

Lucy Bethke

Jan 31st, 2011

im only in 4th grade i was looking for Austrilia waterfalls but i thought i should see my states waterfalls!! Im going to paint some waterfalls now!!!!!! : ) : )


Oct 25th, 2011

St Anthony Falls collapsed in 1869 due to the collapse of a man-made water power tunnel under the falls.

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