Section Length: 6.9 miles Trail Authority: North Country National Scenic Trail Association and the Superior Hiking Trail Association
Trail Surface: Natural Campsites along this section: 1
Trail Start/End Points: Gooseberry Falls State Park.
Split Rock River Wayside TH.
Towns/Cities along this Trail section: None
Trail Type: Long Distance Hiking Trail Trail Related Websites: Superior Hiking Trail Association and North Country Trail Association
Trail Uses: Hiking Section Last Visited: 12/09/2020

Superior Hiking Trail - Gooseberry Falls State Park to Split Rock River Wayside


This section is currently a reroute (as of 2021). The section now mostly follows the Gitchi-Gami State Trail from Gooseberry Falls State Park to the Split Rock River Wayside Trailhead. Therefore, it is a paved trail. For a state trail, it is gets relatively light traffic. It runs close to Minnesota Highway 61, so there is substantial traffic noise in some places. However, the section does provide some awesome views of Lake Superior. Instead of following the Gitchi-Gami State Trail for the entire distance, it is possible to cross Minnesota Highway 61 at Blueberry Road and follow that road up to where the trail resumes. This would be the way to go if you need to camp, as the Blueberry Hill Campsite is located just east of Blueberry Hill Road once you resume travel on the main SHT path. Iona's Beach is a sand beach (rare on Lake Superior) that starts just north of the Iona's Beach Scientific and Natural Area.

Trail Connections

Superior Hiking Trail - Castle Danger Road TH to Gooseberry Falls State Park
Superior Hiking Trail - Split Rock River Loop at Split Rock River Wayside
Gitchi-Gami State Trail
Gooseberry State Park Trails
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Trails

Trail Access/Parking

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Split Rock River Wayside
Iona's Beach Scientific and Natural Area

Restrooms/Water Available

Gooseberry Falls State Park water, snacks, restrooms. There is a highway rest area also located here.
Filtered water from Lake Superior and creek at Blueberry Hill Campsite.

Campsites in this Section: One

Blueberry Hill Campsite

Scenic Overlook Spur Trails in this Section: One

Breadloaf Ridge Overlook: View of Lake Superior.

Realtime Section Video (hiked south to north)

This video shows the section of the Superior Hiking Trail from the Castle Danger Trailhead to Gooseberry Falls State Park near the Minnesota Highway 61 bridge.

This Section - Mile by Mile

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Mile 0.0 (section) Mile 111.8 (SHT): Frozen Gooseberry Falls.

View of Gooseberry Falls from the Minnesota Highway 61 bridge.

Mile 0.4 (section) Mile 112.2 (SHT): Nelsens Creek.

Crossing Nelsens Creek. Lake Superior visible in the distance.

Mile 0.7 (section) Mile 112.5 (SHT): View of Lake Superior.

Trail bends down closer to Lake Superior at this point.

Mile 1.6 (section) Mile 113.4 (SHT): Gitchi-Gami State Trail.

View of a long stretch of the trail as it.

Mile 1.7 (section) Mile 113.5 (SHT): Long Curve.

Long hill around a curve where the trail gets down closer to the lake.

Mile 1.9 (section) Mile 113.7 (SHT): Thompson Beach.

Quiet and somewhat secluded beach on Lake Superior.

Mile 2.7 (section) Mile 114.5 (SHT): Blueberry Hill Road.
Head up the hill and cross Minnesota Highway 61 to get onto Blueberry Hill Road. This is the alternative route to Split Rock River Wayside instead of following the Gitchi-Gami State Trail.

Mile 2.8 (section) Mile 114.6 (SHT): Iona's Beach Scientific and Natural Area.

There is a nice beach here, just north of the pier. Boat launch and parking facility.

Mile 3.3 (section) Mile 115.1 (SHT): View of Lake Superior.

View from bridge hanging over the edge of a cliff along the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Mile 4.2 (section) Mile 116.0 (SHT): Split Rock River Wayside Beach.

A crescent beach made of small pebbles at the mouth of the Split Rock River.

Bridge over the Split Rock River.

Mile 4.3 (section) Mile 116.1 (SHT): Mileage Sign at End of Section.

Mile sign. The next section is the Split Rock River Loop.

Continue hiking next section of the SHT: Split Rock River Loop

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