Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
279.00 ft (85.04 m)
Trail type
3.50 mi (5.63 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 Silver Creek Trail is a 3.5-mile-long loop in Jay Cooke State Park near Carlton, Minnesota. The Silver Creek Trail also doubles as the state park’s Hiking Club Trail (see last paragraph for information about the club).  The Silver Creek Trail is a wide trail through a hardwood forest. The trail is relatively flat, but does have a few hills. Since this trail is located in a state park, a fee must be paid to enter the park. A day use or annual permit can be purchased at the Park Office. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be on a leash six feet long or shorter.

This hike begins by crossing the iconic Swinging Bridge over the scenic St. Louis River. After crossing the bridge hikers have the option of climbing up a short rocky section to the left or going to the right for a short distance and taking a sharp left at the intersection marked as 28. At intersection 29, go right to stay on the Silver Creek Trail; going left onto the River Trail takes you closer to the river. The River Trail rejoins the Silver Creek Trail after about 0.4 miles. The Silver Creek Trail runs above the St. Louis River for about a mile, but there are not great views of the river.

At Trail Intersection 37 take a right to stay on the Silver Creek Trail. In June look for yellow lady’s-slippers as you hike this section of the trail. At the next intersection (53), go to the right. There are three more trail intersections before the trail reaches the swinging bridge. At intersection 31 go straight, at intersection 32 take a right, and at intersection 28 stay left.

The Minnesota State Park’s Hiking Club program encourages hikers to hike a designated Hiking Club Trail at most state parks. A Hiking Club password is found on all of these hikes. You can earn patches, free camping, and even a plaque (if you hike all of the Hiking Club trails) for participating in the club. A Hiking Club kit can be purchased at most state parks for $14.95 (as of 2022). More information about the program can be found here.

A map of the park and its hiking trails can be found here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Day-Use Fee

Open Year-round



The scenic St. Louis River.


Can be bothersome insects. A few muddy spots when wet.

Trailhead Elevation

898.00 ft (273.71 m)

Highest point

962.00 ft (293.22 m)


Near lake or river
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Family friendly
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota
Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota
Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota


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