58 miles northeast of Duluth in Lake County on scenic Minnesota Highway 61 lies a massive reserve of lakeside beauty and scenic wilderness. Situated on the shores of the mammoth Lake Superior, Tettegouche State Park is a Minnesota marvel which earns its name from the Tettegouche Club, an association of local businessmen which purchased the park in 1910 from the Alger-Smith Lumber Company. In fact, it was the club's members who guarded over the area, up until 1979 when the state of Minnesota acquired 3,400 acres from the Nature Conservancy, including Tettegouche Camp.
Today this park is absolutely huge, spanning 9,346 acres of wetlands, forests, and sandy beaches. The acreage contains six inland lakes which contain walleye and northern fish, four waterfalls, and an extensive 70 foot sandy beach right on Lake Superior. And thankfully, all of this beauty is now preserved. In fact, the Tettegouche Camp, on Mic Mac Lake, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perched on the Baptism River, one of the park’s most famous attractions is High Falls, the highest waterfall located (entirely) within Minnesota. The Baptism River Campground is home to a number of campsites with and without electric hookups, as well as a heated building open year-round, with flush toilets and showers, even in the winter. Firewood can be purchased at the park entrance year-round. Five picnic areas are also available with fire rings and tables. However, not only does Tettegouche boast the State’s highest waterfall and winter heated showers, it also contains one of the largest network of hiking trails in the region.
All in all, the park contains over 35 miles of hiking and ski trails, including access to the famous Superior Hiking Trail. The park is one of only four state parks in Minnesota offering rock climbing. Both Shovel Point and Palisade Head cliffs are popular spots offering climbing directly over Lake Superior. Additionally, on its North boundary, Finland State Forest and the Red Dot motorized trail attract OHV enthusiasts from all over the nation for the world class trails and off-road terrain. Thankfully, all of this wilderness creates plenty of room for animals to roam freely.
In fact, it’s normal to see all sorts of wildlife at Tettegouche. A a huge variety of flora and fauna shelter watchable animals such as the woodpecker, red squirrel, white-tail deer, peddle, snowshoe bunny, beaver, and weasel. Moreover, diligent spotters will encounter moose, wild bear, waterway otter, and red fox. Not as commonly spotted, one can find the timber wolf and even the Northern Flying Squirrel. For bird lovers, the recreation center is a great location to spot peregrine birds of prey that nest along the trees and bluffs of the Lake.
The park contains several camping areas, with drive-in, cart-in, walk-in and kayak-in sites.One accessible cabin is open for reserve at Illgen Falls. Furthermore, the parking lot at the entrance to the park also serves as a highway rest area, with a year-round visitor center, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, restrooms, and vending machines. Aside from the accessible cabin, there are also four cabins available for those willing to hike in.
One of my favorite parks to cart into. The site office is very big and accommodating. There is a small gift shop with coffee and small conveniences. The carts are usually busted. Be prepared for that. The trails are groomed. You will need to hike in wood and water. Unless you have site J or K, the other sites are not beach level. Site H is visible from the trail. People can see everything and you can see them. It is close to the bathroom. Site H has a concrete slab that the picnic table rests on. There are metal railings that are broken. Do not lean on them. There are a few wood steps that lead closer to the cliff edge. There is some flat surface. I placed my tarp and netting here. There is a beautiful view towards the south west. This is not the tent pad. There is enough tree coverage for rain and wind. You can still see the stars. The cart out and in is about 20 minutes. Very easy. You can not see between sites, which is nice. I would still stay here again.
I camped at the Baptism campground with my mom and our dogs. The state park is simply beautiful. And so is the campground. The sites are all very private. Some have electricity, some are without. There are even some walk in campsites. The bathhouse with showers and toilets is very clean. A lot of people had campers so I had the feeling it was not used so much. The walk in sites had little vault toilets in the parking lot. From the campground you have the choice of several hiking trails and access to 2 waterfalls. You can also park at the visitor center and enter hiking trails from there. They have a very nice gift shop. Firewood can also be purchased. There are a lot if cool things around the park as well like Split Rock Lighthouse or Gooseberry Falls. I would definitely camp here again. It was a great experience.
Site #20e was perfect for our 5th wheel camper, and had easy access to both the high falls and two step falls. Quick drive to the main park building and lake superior. Dated shower house, but very clean!
Amazing views by the water and while hiking up above it all. Great campsites, visitor center and restrooms up near the campsites. Definitely would go back. We stayed at baptism river campground. Tried once to stay at the cart in sites but had two little kids and a dog and the black flies were horrible.
This is my favorite state park in MN thus far. Not as popular as ones like Gooseberry Falls but SO GORGEOUS! We stayed at a group campsite that was cart-in, and it was lovely. The site was surrounded by plenty of trees and set a little bit away from the other group sites. A++
The drive in sites are unique and more private than your typical state park site. Some have stairs from where you park to the picnic table and fire ring. The hiking trails are gorgeous, unique, and challenging, with lots of roots and rocks to manage. The pebble beach is a gem, with lots of other treasures to find, like crab claws.
We’ve visited a number of state parks in MN and Tettegouche is definitely one of my favorites.
This is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in northern Minnesota along the glorious shores of Lake Superior. The campsites are surrounded by plenty of wilderness to allow some privacy. There is a wonderful newly built visitors center with wonderful interpretive displays. You can hike some really great trails to beautiful waterfalls. This is Minnesota in all it's glory
We camped in the cart-in area and it was a blast! It was our first time doing the cart-in and was slightly hard, but you have to commit to this if you reserve. The trek into the campground was manageable and the area was very scenic. Going back to camp at the drive-in campground next!
Tettegouche has lots of camping options -- walk in, cart in, RV, and drive in. We drove in.
The drive in sites didn't have a lot of space between them, but site 16 had a little more privacy than the others. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table. Facilities are nearby and there is also a bath house which is closed for cleaning every afternoon.
There are plenty of gorgeous hikes and waterfalls to visit. We even caught someone getting engaged at the waterfalls -- that's how pretty it is. It's still cold in June - bring lots of layers and be prepared for a fire!
I wish we had a longer weekend to enjoy the park. Between all the great hiking trails waterfalls and lake Superior there is something for any outdoor enthusiast. Lots of ups and downs. One trail we counted 595 stairs one way.