Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota
Tettegouche was another fantastic state park on Minnesota’s North Shore. Centered around where the Baptism River meets the lake, the park features unique stretches of shore line where volcanic pink rhyolite cliffs abruptly drop into the water and forests of spruce, ash, and birch forests that cover the headlands and line the river banks. Our first morning we walked down from the campground to the shoreline, climbing over rocks as we headed south towards the mouth of the river, and then headed to Palisade Head, exploring the headland and getting a closeup of the columnar jointed pink rhyolite.
Around midday we walked the short, mile and a half Shovel Point Trail which ascends the complementary rhyolite cliffs, and were rewarded with more fantastic views of Lake Superior. Our next destination was the trail that goes along the river banks to the waterfalls, so after returning to the trailhead for Shovel Point, we continued along some connectors and walked along the lake shore until we picked up the falls trail. Though we were retracing some of our steps from our morning walk, the angle of the sun allowed us better views of the sea caves near the mouth of the river and of sections of the shore itself.
Walking up the river was another treat: The trail was quiet and the river banks beautiful. Nearing the first of two falls we saw a faint rainbow caused by the mist and upstream at High Falls we saw a much more vivid one. The latter is a hundred foot cascade that dramatically tumbles over a narrow, high-walled spot on the Baptism River to a wide, shallow pool below that is perfectly rimmed with lush forest and rock.