Jay Cooke State Park displays some of the most unique geology of any Minnesota State Park. It's river gorge shaped of slanted slate, greywacke and red clay rock are lasting remnants from when the continent was shifting and folding under tremendous pressure over 1 billion years ago. Today you can walk the historic CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) swinging bridge over the thundering rapids of the St. Louis River as it makes it's final miles to Lake Superior. The parks 8,939 acres are lined with 50 miles of hiking trails which include 12 miles of snowmobile trails and 32 miles of cross-country ski trails. The massive rock formations, abundance of wildlife, scenic overlooks and deep-cut river gorge enhance the beauty of this northern hardwood forest in all seasons. A visitor center, which includes a fireplace, picnic tables and modern bathrooms, is staffed year-round with Naturalists who will make you feel at home and leave even more inspired by Jay Cooke State Park. If you've got the time to stay a while, the park offers 79 semi-modern campsites, backpack sites and five camper cabins which are privately tucked under the forest canopy.
Kacie Carlson, Minnesota State Parks and Trails
Camping, hiking, fishing, Naturalist programs, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, biking, volleyball court, horseshoes, picnic shelters, sight-seeing, wildlife-watching, snowmobiling, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. The park is intersected by the Willard Munger State Trail that runs 70 miles from Hinckley to Duluth. Snowshoes, fishing equipment, birding kits, GPS units for geocaching, and kids discovery bags can be rented at the park.
The park is open year round. Visitor center and office hours will vary with the seasons.
FeesStandard Minnesota State Park fees apply. Current pricing for vehicle permits, camping and other amenities can be found at www.mndnr.gov/jaycooke.
Parts of the park are accessible, including the walk across the historic swinging bridge and some campsites. For more information, call the park at 218-384-4610.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are welcome in Minnesota State Parks. They must be accompanied at all times, on a six-foot leash and cleaned up after.