Gooseberry Falls is one of the most popular places to visit and explore on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The falls are actually three separate waterfalls along Gooseberry River (Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls) that cascade through a gorge carved by glaciers. It is an easy walk to all three waterfalls, and the farthest from the parking lot is about 0.5 mile. One can easily access all three, and they are all ADA accessible.
Start by heading toward the Upper Falls. Walk up the Gateway Plaza (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps) for an outstanding view of Lake Superior. Keep following the trail toward Upper Falls. There are several paths to meander around the waterfall, including a footpath underneath the Highway 61 bridge, which provides a great view of the waterfall to the west and Lake Superior to the east.
After exploring the Upper Falls, return to the Lower and Middle falls, which is the most popular place in the park. There are several trails that one can follow, or you can wander off-trail around the falls. Note that wandering off the path requires extreme caution and swimming is not recommended.
This waterfall is a place of pride for Minnesotans, and it is a great place to hike and explore for a couple of hours. It can be combined with trips to neighboring Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Tettegoche State Park for a weekend trip from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. It is also a very popular place to visit, so the parking lots can easily fill by 10:00 a.m. on weekends. It is strongly recommend to arrive before 9:00 a.m. to get a place to park and enjoy the park with minimal crowds.