State parks are a fabulous place to begin your exploration of the outdoors. Observation and curiosity are the only prerequisites. Trail systems are designed to bring you near unique park features and often provide an explanation with a placard or trail map. If there’s a visitor center, stop by and ask for their recommendations for the day. Parks are open year round and require a day pass.
Area State Parks
Cascade River State Park
Ten short miles to the west on Highway 61 is Cascade River State Park. Named for the many cascades, mini-waterfalls, along the lower reaches of the river, it is known for excellent hiking and cross-country ski trails. You can enter the park off Highway 61 and pick up a pass at the visitor center, or park in the area provided off the highway. Easy paths lead up both sides of the river and you can make a quick loop up and over the foot bridge or climb to Lookout Mountain, explore the river or walk parallel Lake Superior’s shore.
Judge C R. Magney State Park
This park is all about the famed Devil’s Kettle, a 50-foot bottomless waterfall. To get to the Kettle, hike a moderate one-mile trail high above the river to a wooden staircase leading 200 steps down to the base of the Lower Falls. A brief climb brings you to the Upper Falls and the Devil’s Kettle, where the river splits and half the water disappears into a churning cauldron. While most waterfalls are best viewed in the spring when the water level is high, the Devil’s Kettle is best viewed from late spring through fall. You can continue hiking alongside the Brule River but the only way back is up the 200 steps you descended on your way in. Judge Magney is 14 miles east on Highway 61.
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