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Trip Planner:   USA  /  Minnesota  /  Carlton  /  Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton

4.8
#15 of 141 in Nature in Minnesota
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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Jay Cooke State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, protecting the lower reaches of the Saint Louis River. The park is located about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Duluth and is one of the ten most visited state parks in Minnesota. The western half of the park contains part of a rocky, 13-mile (21 km) gorge. This was a major barrier to Native Americans and early Europeans traveling by canoe, which they bypassed with the challenging Grand Portage of the St. Louis River. The river was a vital link connecting the Mississippi waterways to the west with the Great Lakes to the east.

Today Minnesota State Highway 210 runs through Jay Cooke State Park. The 9 miles (14 km) of the route between Carlton and Highway 23—which include the park—are designated the Rushing Rapids Parkway, a state scenic byway.
The park is named for Pennsylvania financier Jay Cooke, who had developed a nearby power plant, which is still in use. The Grand Portage trail and three districts of 1930s park structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
To visit Jay Cooke State Park on your trip to Carlton, use our Carlton journey planner.
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Jay Cooke State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
233 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Good trip. We arrived at approximately 5:45 pm and made our way towards the entrance of the park. The park was a little difficult to find, as it was not clearly marked. We parked our car, and made... 
    Good trip. We arrived at approximately 5:45 pm and made our way towards the entrance of the park. The park was a little difficult to find, as it was not clearly marked. We parked our car, and made...  more »
  • Wish we had more time. Awesome park! To see the swinging bride enter at the River inn visitor center. Very short walk to the swinging bridge. Trails are little tricky in many areas if you want to go....  more
    Wish we had more time. Awesome park! To see the swinging bride enter at the River inn visitor center. Very short walk to the swinging bridge. Trails are little tricky in many areas if you want to go....  more »
Google
  • Jay Cooke has beautiful scenery and many wonderful hiking trails. It is a great place to relax and take a breath. Dogs are welcome on the trails as well. The power of the river/damn is breathtaking in the spring and when there has been a lot of rain. If you are passing through this area, and are an outdoorsy person, Jay Cooke is a must! Enjoy!!
  • Absolutely amazing views of the St. Louis River, pine trees, and fun rocks to climb on. We also camped here and spot 26 was great for a tent. Has a couple of nice hammocking trees too. Bathrooms were in amazing condition and are newly remodeled. There were also about 5 showers so I didn't have to wait at all in the morning.

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