Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
627.00 ft (191.11 m)
Trail type
16.00 mi (25.75 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Gitchi-Gami State Trail is a paved trail project that is in progress. When finished, the trail will be 89 miles long and will run from Two Harbors to Grand Marais along Minnesota’s scenic North Shore of Lake Superior. As of 2022 over a third of the trail has been completed. This trail is for non-motorized traffic only.

The Gooseberry Falls State Park to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Segment is about 8 miles long. The trail does have some hilly terrain, the highest point being about 175 feet above the trailhead evaluation. Parking for this hike is located at a large parking lot between the campground and Lake Superior in Gooseberry Falls State Park. There is a fee to enter the park; a day use or annual permit can be purchased at the Park Office.

The first mile of the trail runs through a wooded section of Gooseberry Falls State Park before approaching highway 61. At the 1.25-mile mark, the trail passes through a plaza above the Gooseberry River. A short side trip down some stairs can be taken to view the falls of the river. From here the trail crosses the highway 61 bridge over the Gooseberry River and generally stays near the highway for nearly 2 miles. Around the 3-mile mark, the trail moves away from the highway toward Thompson Beach. This beach can be accessed via a trail near a bench and picnic table just off the trail.

At the 4-mile mark the trail passes through the parking lot for the Twin Points boat launch and Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area. There is a short path to Iona’s Beach right off the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. About a half mile beyond the parking lot there is a bridge that provides a view of a rock cliff and Iona’s beach. At the 5-and-a-half-mile mark, the trail passes over the West Split Rock River near where it empties into Lake Superior. From here the trail runs through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and is not next to the highway. The Trail Center in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park can be used as the turn-around point for this hike, but be sure to check out the views of the Split Rock Lighthouse from the shores of Lake Superior which is only a short distance from the Trail Center. There is parking at the Trail Center, so this hike can be reserved.

The official website for the Gitchi-Gami State Trail can be found here.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Day-Use Fee

Open Year-round



View of Lake Superior. Easy access to waterfall and lighthouse views.


Highway noise. Some of the trail is near a highway.

Trailhead Elevation

724.00 ft (220.68 m)

Highest point

797.00 ft (242.93 m)


Near lake or river
ADA accessible
Family friendly
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota
Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota
Gooseberry Falls State Park


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