Cascade River is the sixth park you will encounter while traveling the North Shore. This park doesn’t have much of a presence right off the road; there is a wayside that looks out over Lake Superior, but the best parts are along the easy hiking trails opposite the lake. These cascades are spectacular. The River cascades over one ledge after another as it drops 900 feet in the last three miles as it makes its way to Lake Superior. The volcanic canyon is home to many fragrant cedar trees and we even stumbled upon some lady slippers in bloom. The 18 miles of hiking trails loop up around Lookout and Mouse mountains as well as parallel Lake Superior right along the beach (1.5 miles) where you will find seven picnic sites. This park offers a variety of camping options which include several semi-modern drive-up, two group camps and five back pack-in sites.
I think this was by far our favorite park of the trip. The cascades are just so beautiful as our you complete surroundings. I definitely would like to make plans to return here in the Fall for the leaf color. From Temperance River on up is my favorite stretch of the North Shore. I stumbled upon the Trifecta: Three Parks. Three Trails. Three Days. This would be absolutely fantastic to do – especially along this stretch of the North Shore.
Years ago, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had a camp at the Cascade River. The men in this camp worked on a variety of conservation projects. Today, you can see some of their handiwork on the trails that wind along the river. One enrollee told how they cut and moved the large pine logs from Cascade down to Gooseberry Falls State Park to finish buildings in that park. From the beginning, Cascade was thought of as a state park, but it wasn’t until 1957 that it was officially designated as such.
Here are my shots from my recent visit to Cascade River State Park.