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Tettegouche State Park Travel Guide: Camping & Things to Do

What is stunning about Tettegouche state park? Is it a worthy vacation destination? This guide gives us a comprehensive outlook of the park and its features.

“The land of 10,000 lakes,” is never short of beautiful sites, things to do, or stunning places to visit. If you are in Minnesota, only time can be your constraint to having fun.  

If you want to enjoy nature, go hiking, or even camping, Minnesota has just the right spot for you – the Tettegouche state park. Rich in magnificent sceneries and long, breathtaking hiking trails, you will never regret visiting this place.

Aerial View of Tettegouche State Park Coastline

The park offers an excellent blend of natural features that will make your camping or tour worth the while. Its rugged terrain, six inland lakes, a mile-long Lake Superior shoreline, and waterfalls from its cascading rivers, are just a few stunning features you’ll love.

Plus, you get to enjoy the serene environment offered by the natural northern hardwood forest. Tettegouche State Park is an excellent vacation destination, any time, whichever the season. If you adore nature, here’s why you should visit this park.

Tettegouche State Park Information

Tettegouche State Park | Things to do & Attractions [4K HD]

This state park is located on Lake Superior’s northern shore, around 58 miles northeast of Duluth. It was named after a local businessmen club, the Tettegouche Club, which bought this park in 1910. Originally, the park belonged to the Alger-Smith Lumber Company, which sold it to the club.

In 1921, Clement Quinn, one of the club members, bought out the park from the rest of the club members. He took care of the park for around 50 years until the deLaittres family acquired it in 1971. The family protected and preserved the park for another 8 years.

In 1979, the Minnesota State acquired some 3,400 acres of the Nature Conservancy. This included the Tettegouche Camp. Combining this with the Baptism River State Park, the whole land was renamed the Tettegouche State Park.

The park is famous for its numerous alluring features, like waterfalls, serene nature, and amazing bird watching, especially during warm seasons.

Tettegouche State Park Map

Here is a brief depiction and map of Tettegouche State Park along Lake Superior.

Tettegouche State Park Map

Top Reasons to Visit Tettegouche State Park

If you wish to visit this iconic park, here are some reasons that should make you long for the visit even more.

Tettegouche State Park

1. Tettegouche State Park Hiking

tettegouche state park trail

Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota offers the best hiking options for everyone. With over 23 miles of hiking trails, 12 of which are taken by the Superior Hiking Trail, you are certainly spoiled for choice.

The trails will take you through stunning waterfalls, tree-rich valleys, and finally, the breathtaking Lake Superior views. If you are looking for a short trail, the Shovel Point trail fits you perfectly. It’s a 1.2 miles trail along the shoreline to the 100-foot cliff at the end. From here, Wisconsin is quite visible on a clear day.

You can also try out the 1.5 miles mountain bike trails or the 6.5 miles ATV trails. All these trails guarantee breathtaking moments in nature. For longer and more difficult hiking trails, why not try the 15.5 miles of cross-country ski trails? This includes about four miles of skate and skiing trails, plus 12 miles of snowmobile trails.

Generally, people take one of these four Tettegouche state park trails:

  • Superior Hiking Trail
  • Tettegouche Hiking Club Trail
  • Cascade Falls Trail
  • High Falls Trail

The high falls Tettegouche state park trail offers an incredible mixed terrain for the active hikers, including a 1.5 miles-trail of bare rocks.

This route takes you to one of the highest falls (60 feet) in Minnesota and all the way to the Baptism River’s mouth. Tettegouche State Park waterfalls result from the steep drops on the Baptism River, creating magnificent waterfalls.

If you are longing for exceptional views, this route offers exactly that. From up there, you’ll have the best Tettegouche views, some of which are not available anywhere else in the park. So, ensure you’ve carried your camera to record memories of these stunning moments.

Whichever time of the year your vacation takes you there, you are sure to have some great hiking experiences.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to do in Taylors Falls, MN

2. Tettegouche State Park Camping

Lake Superior Coastline of Tettegouche State Park

If you love camping, you certainly should try out Tettegouche state park camping options. This state park offers incredible camping opportunities for you and even for those traveling as a family.  

There are more options here than you can imagine. For instance, their main camping ground (along the Baptism River) has 28 drive-in camping sites. These sites allow tents and RV camping – 22 of them have electrical hookups.

Other camping sites in Tettegouche state park include:

  • Five backpack camping sites within the Superior Hiking Trail
  • Thirteen cart-in campsites on the shore of Lake Superior
  • Five kayak campsites with the  cart-in camping ground

The camping experience you get from this park is second to none. The most exciting here is that you don’t even have to carry your camping gear. For starters, you can get all your preferred camping equipment from Tentrr-the best site to book a campsite and camping equipment.

Even better, Outdoorsy allows you to rent an RV for all your camping expeditions from where you are. This means there is no reason for you not to enjoy a splendid camping trip to Tettegouche state park.

Note: If you are camping as a group, one campsite can host not more than six people in a single camping shelter.

Lake superior on tettegouche state park

See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis, MN

Tettegouche State Park Camping Reservations

If you wish to make reservations for a camping trip to Tettegouche state park, you certainly can do that. The pack allows you to book and make lodging or camping reservations, even up to 120 days in advance.

Reservations can be made online (24/7), except on the first day a reservation is made available. If it’s the first day of the reservation, you can only make a booking after 8 a.m. CST.

For lodging reservations during the pandemic, you can only call the park’s call center as online services are temporarily unavailable for the booking. During your stay, the staff will manually adjust your reservation to create more time between stays.

You should note that for any reservation, there is a non-refundable fee – $7 for an online reservation and $10 for a call center reservation.

And, if you want the ultimate convenience in making reservations and booking for your travels, Travelex offers the best travel credit cards.

See Related: Minnehaha Falls Regional Park

Tettegouche State Park Map

So, how do you get to Tettegouche state park? The park sits on a 9,346 acres piece of land, 58 miles northeast of Duluth, along Minnesota Highway 61. To get to the park, you’ll need to drive about 4.5 miles on Highway 61, heading north from Silver Bay.

Driving to the park from Duluth will take you approximately 1 hr. 4 minutes following the MN-61 N. If you are coming from the Twin Cities, the park is approximately a 4hr 48 minutes drive, from Minneapolis and 5hr 29 minutes from St. Paul. You can also take a bus from either of these cities.

Once there, you’ll have to pay park permit fees at the park office. If the park office is closed, you can seek those services at the park’s self-registration station. But if you wish to be all prepared, buy an annual vehicle permit.

This will cost you around $35, and you can enjoy an unlimited car permit to any state park in Minnesota, Tettegouche state park included. Income from these vehicle permits goes towards maintaining and improving natural resources, amenities, and education programs in Minnesota parks.

And, there might be a discount on extra year-round permits.

Where to Stay in Tettegouche State Park

There are more than enough places to stay while visiting the park, both within and outside the park. You can decide to spend your nights at the campgrounds, cabins, or hotels near the park. Some of these places include:

Tettegouche Camp

This sits on the park’s interior and is accessible either by foot, cross-country skis, mountain bikes, or snowshoes. To get here, you can choose either the 3.5 miles hiking trail (starting at the trailhead), or the 1.7 miles trail at the Lax Lake Road entry.

Here, you’ll find a lodge, shower building, and 4 all-year rentable cabins.

Heart of Superior Lake Cabin 15

log cabin in winter

These are two-bedroom cabins overlooking Lake Superior. They are available all year round, offering a private setting, full kitchen, gas fireplace, massive deck, etc.

For the campers, these cabins offer excellent lodging options. There are picnic tables, showers, fire rings, vault and flush toilets, and a dump station.  For more rental details, you should contact the park office.

If you are visiting Tettegouche State Park you can reserve your accommodation here.

See Related: Cheap & Fun Things to do in Duluth, MN

Falls Ridge Log Cabin

This is a classic, log-cabin design hotel near the park. If you want more exclusive lodging than the campsite cabins, this one is an excellent choice. It has warm hotel rooms and offers a serene riverside environment for the best experience.

Other appealing features and amenities here include a lounge and spacious rooms, ensuring an even more comfortable living.

AmericInn Silver Bay

Another incredible place to stay near Tettegouche State Park is the AmericanInn. The hotel allows you easy access to the park and other attractions in Silver Bay. With amenities like a sauna, indoor pool, and hot tub, you’ll undoubtedly love this place.

This smoke-free hotel is family-friendly and even offers a free breakfast. So, whether you are alone or with family, you won’t have to worry about lodging.

Best Family Activities at Tettegouche State Park

Whether you are traveling alone, in a group, or with family, Tettegouche State Park has plenty of amazing activities for you.  

From educational programs, sports, stunning views, and amazing nature, the park is just what you need for that perfect vacation. 

1. Naturalist Programs

Paved Hiking Trail at Tettegouche State Park

Learning about the park’s flora, fauna, and ecology only adds to the good moments you’ll have at Tettegouche State Park. The programs are 100% free and are designed to improve both hiking and exploration experiences at the park. And, your kids can learn more about appreciating nature as well.

There is a gift shop at the park’s visitors’ center, where you can pick some souvenirs to take home as a reminder of the great moments here.

Also, in the summertime, you may be lucky to encounter some live music.

2. Kayaking and Canoeing

canoeing in tettegouche state park

Besides the hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing are exceptional activities that you wouldn’t want to miss while here. Instead of walking, you can make things more exciting by renting a kayak or a canoe and enjoying the fun from the water. 

And, if you love fishing, these waters also offer some of the best sites for that. 

See Related: Best Things to do in Ely, Minnesota

3. Winter Fun

During summer, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and canoeing takes the day. During winter, things take a new but exciting turn.

Winter sports like skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing will make your stay at the park more stimulating. You can get your snowshoes at the park’s visitors’ center and create those special moments.

4. Picnics

Rocky Shores of Lake Superior at Tettegouche State Park

There are four excellent areas in the park for picnics. These include the main wayside picnic area, the trailhead area, the Nipisquit Lake site, and the Tettegouche Camp.

There’s also an enclosed lodge at the Tettegouche Camp, used mainly as a warming house for winter. At the new visitor center, there’s an amphitheater, a multi-purpose room, and a fireplace plaza. This is all rentable if you wish to hold a picnic event there.

5. Go Bird Watching

For nature and bird enthusiasts, you’ll be glad to know there are numerous types of winged friends in the park to marvel at. All you need is a printout of the park’s bird checklist and your binoculars.

There are more than 140 types of beautiful birds in the park, including the least flycatcher, red-eyed vireo, American crow, eastern phoebe, etc.

In addition, you might come across other animals in the park, such as the black bear, the flying squirrel, the spot moose, or the white-tail deer.

Best Time to Visit Tettegouche State Park

View of Tettegouche State Park from Palisade Head

If you ask me, it’s always a fun time in Tettegouche State Park. Whether your vacation is in summer or the cold winter months, there are always some exciting things to do at the park, all year round.

If you want to go hiking, mountain biking, camping, or rock climbing, summer is certainly the best time for you. The warm weather and clear sky also offer the best opportunities for breathtaking sceneries and moments.

But if you don’t mind the freezing cold of winter, you can enjoy various winter sports, including snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.

About the Tettegouche state park weather, some months are quite hot while others are very cold. The coldest months are mainly from November to March, with temperatures dropping to lows of 8°F and highs of Hi 18°F in January.

The warm months start from April to October, with temperatures rising even up to 71°F in August. When planning for your vacation, always remember to check on the weather aspects first.

See related: 16 Best Places to Visit in Minnesota

Health Advisory

When planning to visit Tettegouche state park, there are some things you should always consider. Whether it’s a few-hour trip or a few days’ camping vacation, remember these tips.

  • Always be prepared – carry your own hand sanitizer, water, soap, toilet paper, towels, and disinfectants.
  • Adhere to the state, federal, and MDH guidelines.
  • Follow the set cleaning requirements.
  • Ensure you follow all directional signage to avoid unwarranted mishaps during the trip.

Note: For any trip or vacation in Minnesota or beyond, always remember to acquire travel or holiday insurance. This will protect you against any eventualities that might happen, like loss of personal property, medical expenses, personal accidents, and so much more. For cheap but comprehensive travel coverage, companies like SafetyWing or Travel Insurance are excellent choices.

Important Tips when Visiting Tettegouche State Park

Before visiting this park, here are a few tips you should know:

  • Arrive prepared – to avoid any inconveniences, ensure you have a car permit, you’ve downloaded maps, and you have checked visitor alerts.
  • Be flexible – besides the already-known park destinations, try to explore more. As more people travel during summer, ensure you discover new favorite places.
  • Recreate sustainably – help conserve the park by avoiding things that might pollute or destroy it. Stay along the trails and leave no trace.
  • Use certified firewood – This is meant to avoid the spread of invasive insects that might harm trees in the park. Only gather or buy approved firewood near where you are going to burn it.

See Related: Best Travel Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions

Electric Vehicle charging station

For electric vehicle owners, the park also has you in mind. They recently installed a charging station for electric vehicles visiting the park. This was done through a partnership between the local Cooperative Light & Power and the MNDOT.

You’ll find the charging station at the main Visitor Center’s parking lot. It is a 120V, 2 cables station, which is completely free to use.

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