Minnesota North Shore – Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche is the third state park you will encounter on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  It sits 58 miles northeast of Duluth in Lake County on scenic Minnesota Highway 61. The park’s name stems from the Tettegouche Club, an association of local businessmen which purchased the park in 1910 from the Alger-Smith Lumber Company. The club’s members protected the area until its sale in 1971 to the deLaittres family. In 1979, the state of Minnesota acquired 3,400 acres from the Nature Conservancy, including Tettegouche Camp. The land was added to Baptism River State Park, which was renamed Tettegouche State Park.

The park covers some 9000+ acres which is home to six lakes and the Baptism River.  There are four waterfalls total, but the 70 foot High Falls is the jewel of the park.  There are 22 miles of hiking trails and access to the Superior Hiking Trail.  Shovel Point and Palisade Head cliff’s offer climbing directly over Lake Superior.  Diverse camping opportunists await you here as you can drive-in, walk-in, cart-it and even kayak-in to a campsite.

There is a new visitor center under construction and the main park entrance has shifted to a new location temporarily as a result.  Read more…

At this park we photographed Two Step Falls and High Falls; we didn’t venture around to the other side of the river to capture the staight-on view of High Falls.  There wasn’t any fog at this park as it was far enough off Lake Superior and it was quite bright.  These were not good conditions to capture the falls without ND filters 😦  High Falls is the highest waterfall entirely inside Minnesota’s border whereas High Falls in Grad Portage State Park on the Pigeon River is the tallest in Minnesota (on the border with Canada).   I completely missed Illgen Falls on the map – next time.  There is a rental cabin right at Illgen Falls.  I would love to stay here some day and catch the sunrise through the stone arch on the beach.


In 1898, the Alger-Smith Lumber Company began cutting the virgin pine forests of Northeastern Minnesota. A logging camp was set up on the shores of a lake the loggers called Nipisiquit, an Indian name from a tribe in New Brunswick, Canada, the logger’s native country. They took the Algonquin names for New Brunswick landmarks and gave them to the lakes in Tettegouche.

In 1910, after removing most of the Norway and white pine, the logging company sold the camp and surrounding acreage to the “Tettegouche Club,” a group of businessmen from Duluth who used the area as a fishing camp and retreat. One of its members, Clement Quinn, bought the others out in 1921 and continued to act as protector for the area until 1971 when Quinn sold Tettegouche to the deLaittres family. The deLaittres continued Quinn’s tradition of stewardship for the land, beginning negotiations several years later for the preservation of Tettegouche as a state park. During these years, the Nature Conservancy, a private land conservation organization, played a vital role (along with other concerned individuals and groups) in the transfer of ownership. Finally, on June 29, 1979, legislation was enacted establishing Tettegouche as a state park.

Here are my shots of our visit to Tettegouche.

The State Parks:  (1) Gooseberry Falls |(2) Split Rock Lighthouse | (3) Tettegouche | (5) Temperance River | (6) Cascade River | (7) Judge C.R. Magney | (8) Grand Portage


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