The day we went to visit these spectacular Falls was quite the hoot! Riding with our fave travel buddies Claire & Mike were in the area for the BMW MOA Rally (2014) that was held in St Paul, Minnesota. The ‘boys’ had ridden up from Tampa & Claire and I (as we always do) took the easy option and flew in from Tampa. The weather had been hot and steamy but this day was overcast, a tad drizzly, and much cooler. We decided to make the ride up to Grand Portage State Park to stretch our legs and take in the views.
Well, we nearly ended up in a whole lot of bother! The park is right on the border of the US & Canada, right off of Hwy 61. There we were enjoying the ride, breezing up the highway…..and nearly in to Canada! Thankfully, we spotted the border signs before we had to pull up and explain our silly selves to the patrol staff and were able to turn around back to the Park, which was just about 2 minutes back down the road
The Falls themselves are stunning! The torrents of the water plummet 120ft down in to the Pigeon River. The noise is crazy loud!
They can be reached via a paved, handicapped accessible path just over a 1/2 mile long. The path which leads to three separate observation decks providing various views for photography angles or just staring in awe at the wild water as it crashes down.
The stunning views from this first (Main) deck are easily accessible to families with strollers and by wheelchair users.
A stairway of forty steps leads to this viewing platform that brings you closest to High Falls, shown here during low water. However, during spring, early summer, and after a heavy rain, the mist and spray from the thundering waterfall keeps this deck wet all day and night!
This is the third and smallest viewing deck for the High Falls. From here, visitors may notice hikers on the other side of the river enjoying the view from the Provincial Park in Canada.
The above pictures are borrowed from the official Grand Portage State Parks website but you can see the views from the different decks. When we went back in 2014 I didn’t have a blog in mind and so didn’t keep the shots from these areas, just these ones from the East Deck!
In this video I took, you can hear the how loud the water is as it powers its way downward
There is another trail that you could hike to take you on to Middle Falls. This 5 mile round-trip hike is along a very rugged trail (lots of rocks and roots) with several hundred feet of elevation change and provides more of a wilderness experience.
The trail to Middle Falls climbs 300 vertical feet to give hikers some incredible views over Lake Superior and the beautiful Grand Portage Indian Reservation that surrounds the park
We did not have the time nor we wearing appropriate clothing to take this hike but maybe one day we’ll be back in the area and able to take the time to explore and then I can add it to my ‘Hikes’ page 😉
Let me know if you go!