Hidden Falls waterfall hike at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

It’s difficult to choose the best state park in Minnesota, but Temperance River State Park ranks high on my list and may be my husband’s favorite. Temperance River State Park offers rugged and scenic hiking trails, access to the shoreline of the majestic Lake Superior, beautiful campsites, and rock climbing. Pictured is Hidden Falls foot bridge at Temperance River State Park.

See my related Minnesota state park series.


This post contains recommended links to products and services. While you will not accrue any additional costs to support my blog, I may receive compensation if you purchase these products and services. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All images taken by kmf are available for purchase via digital download.



Top 10 things to do at Temperance River State Park in Schroeder, MN

Scenic hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Here are the top 10 things to do at Temperance River State Park in Schroeder, Minnesota.

  1. Hike 22 miles of rugged and scenic trails at Temperance River State Park.
  2. Take in gorgeous views right from the Highway 61 bridge overlooking the Temperance River gorge and Lake Superior. Trek down the stairs for even more beautiful views on the foot bridge as well as access to Lake Superior’s rocky shoreline filled with driftwood.
  3. Follow the Temperance River Gorge Trail and Upper Falls Trail to two waterfalls and powerful cascading water.
  4. Connect with the Superior Hiking Trail within Temperance River State Park for breathtaking panoramic views at Carleton Peak (~1,000-ft elevation) and Tofte Peak.
  5. Rock climb Carleton Peak  – one of only five state parks where you can rock climb.
  6. Kayak on the Lake Superior State Water Trail.
  7. Fish for brook, brown, and rainbow trout in Temperance River and for steelhead, and Chinook salmon nearby.
  8. Camp lakeside or surrounded by trees (traditional tent, RV, SUV, van, and hammock) typically early May through mid-October. Rustic cart-in campsites also available.
  9. Wade, swim, or splash at the pebble beach near Temperance River State Park’s lower campground. It’s also a great place to skip rocks or picnic.
  10. Enjoy winter activities like winter hiking and cross-country skiing on groomed trails, or snowshoeing anywhere in the park on ungroomed trails. Snowmobile trails are nearby.

Frequently asked questions about Temperance River State Park in Schroeder, Minnesota

Scenic hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Where is Temperance River State Park located? What is the address for Temperance River State Park?

Temperance River State Park is located on the North Shore in Minnesota between the charming small towns of Tofte (2.2 miles) and Schroeder (1.4 miles). The address for Temperance River State Park is 7620 West Highway 61, Schroeder, MN 55613.

Note that GPS may take you to the Upper Campground. Watch for roadside parking right on Highway 61 (North Shore) on both sides of the road. You can access the bridge and stairs overlooking the mouth of the Temperance River State Park and Lake Superior on the west side. East side parking is next to the trailheads leading to the waterfalls and cascades. If parked on the west side, watch for traffic and take caution crossing the highway.

Additional parking is available at the Lower Campground (right before you get to the roadside parking). If you’re planning to hike to and/or climb Carlton’s Peak at Temperance River State Park, you can also park at Britton Peak Parking Lot.

When is Temperance River State Park open?

Temperance River State Park is open year-round, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Campground sites are typically available early May through mid-October and trails are open year-round for day use.

Is Temperance River State Park free? How much is the admission fee at Temperance River State Park?

Admission to Temperance River only costs $7 per vehicle per day ($5 per motorcycle). That includes unlimited visits to all Minnesota state parks on the same day. I highly recommend an annual pass, which gives you entrance to all Minnesota state parks. See the Minnesota DNR website for more information. And it’s highly recommended to pay online ahead of time. Minnesota state parks are no longer accepting cash self-payment envelopes on site.

You can also visit other Minnesota state parks for free four days each year. See my related post for this year’s free state park days. Admission to every Minnesota state park is free for all Minnesota state tribal members throughout the year.

Does Temperance River State Park have a lake, river, or waterfall?

Temperance River State Park easy waterfall

Yes. Temperance River State Park features the scenic Temperance River that cascades over ancient lava bedrock as it forces it way through a gorge to Lake Superior. Cross Lake is also located here.

Cascades at Temperance River State Park waterfalls in Minnesota

You’ll find two waterfalls within Temperance River State Park: Hidden Falls and Upper Falls.

Ice forming over a lake with trees in background

Additionally, take the stairs down to the shoreline of Lake Superior. Beautiful views in every season!

Can you fish at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota?

Yes. Anglers may fish on Temperance River and Cross River. Both are designated trout streams (brook, brown, and rainbow). You can also fish for steelhead and Chinook salmon nearby.  

Does Temperance River State Park have a swimming beach?

Swimming beach on Lake Superior at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Yes. Temperance River State Park features a swimming pebble beach near the Lower Campground. You can also find picnic tables here.

Can you boat at Temperance River State Park? Does Temperance River State Park offer a boat ramp?

No. Temperance River State Park does not allow boating or have a boat ramp. However, you can sea kayak on the Lake Superior State Water Trail.

Does Temperance River State Park have a campground? Can you camp at Temperance River State Park?

SUV camping at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Yes. The Temperance River State Park campgrounds are typically open early May to mid-October. One of only four Minnesota state parks on the North Shore with electrical hookups, Temperance Rivers offers two campground sites: Upper (shaded and wooded) and Lower (overlooking Lake Superior). They feature:

  • 52 drive-in campsites with 2 pull-through sites
  • 18 electric sites with 20- and 30-amp hookups (Upper Campground only)
  • RV parking length: 60 feet
  • 6 cart-in sites

I’m not much of a camper. And am a reluctant camper. However, when I set out to complete my Minnesota state park challenge, I selected Temperance River State Park as my first SUV camping experience. And I loved it!

View of Lake Superior at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Pictured is the view of Lake Superior just a short hike from my SUV campsite at Temperance River State Park.

See my related posts:


Where to stay near Temperance River State Park?

Entrance to Caribou Highlands Lodge best resort on North Shore in Lutsen, MN

If you’re not a camper or are visiting Temperance River State Park in late fall and winter, I recommend staying at one of the best resorts centrally located on the North Shore. The dog-friendly Caribou Highlands Lodge, located just 11 miles north in Lutsen, MN, features ski-in, ski-out townhomes. While our stay at Caribou Highlands Lodge was hosted, opinions are always my own.

How big is Temperance River State Park in Minnesota?

Scenic winter hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Temperance River State Park in Minnesota covers more than 5,000 acres.  Pictured is the frozen Hidden Falls waterfall.

Is Temperance River State Park buggy? Mosquitos? Ticks?

I don’t recall Temperance River State Park particularly buggy. However, I always apply picaridin and Aunt Fanny’s DEET-free mosquito wipes when hiking in Minnesota state parks.

How long and how difficult are the hiking trails at Temperance River State Park?

Challenging hiking trail at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Temperance River State Park offers 22 miles of moderate and very challenging hiking trails. You can determine how long to hike depending on your abilities.

Scenic hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

If hiking is not your thing, you can take in the breathtaking views of the Temperance River mouth and Lake Superior from the bridge next to the roadway. Parking is available alongside the bridge so the walk is not far.

Footbridge in winter at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

On the lakeside of Temperance River State Park, you can climb down the stairs to the footbridge for a closer look at the mouth and Lake Superior.

Scenic winter hiking and frozen waterfall views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Turn around for a spectacular view of Temperance River flowing through the gorge and under the Highway 61 bridge. In the winter, you’ll enjoy magical frozen cascades.

You can also access the footbridge via stairs from the Upper and Lower campgrounds. Take the steps down to the Lower Campground to stroll along the pebble beach on Lake Superior.

Scenic hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Across the highway (watch for traffic), you’ll find the trailhead that leads you to two waterfalls, more scenic views and rugged landscapes. You can also hike three miles from Highway 61 trailhead to Carleton Peak and Toft Peak via the Superior Hiking Trail that crosses through Temperance River State Park. Or you can drive to the Britton Peak Parking Lot for a one-mile hike (one-way) to Carleton Peak.

Be sure to check for any alerts or seasonal updates (snow or flooding especially) that which may impact access to hiking trails.

Are hiking poles needed on the trails at Temperance River State Park?

Challenging winter hike at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Yes. I highly recommend hiking poles at Temperance River State Park in every season. The hiking trail terrain is hilly, steep, and uneven throughout the park.

And during the winter, you can only navigate the rocky inclines to the waterfalls if you are wearing crampons or metal spikes on your hiking boots.

Winter hiking at Temperance River State Park

Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trails at Temperance River State Park?

Yes. You can snowshoe on any of the ungroomed trails in Temperance River State Park in the winter as well as cross-country ski on groomed trails. Additionally, winter hiking to see the frozen waterfalls is magical. See my full review on the most scenic frozen waterfalls in Minnesota.

Can you snowmobile at Temperance River State Park? Which state parks offer snowmobile trails?

Yes. You can snowmobile on the North Shore State Trail in Temperance River State Park.

What are the best views at Temperance River State Park?

Scenic hiking and views at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

In my opinion, Temperance River State Park offers scenic views anywhere you are. View the scenic Temperance River mouth, gorge, and Lake Superior from Highway 61 bridge or the footbridge below. Take in the stunning river, cascades, and waterfalls on the Temperance River Gorge Trail. Beautiful views of Lake Superior are also available at both campground sites. And for panoramic views, hike to Carleton Peak and Tofte Peak in Temperance River State Park.

See related post: Top 12 breathtaking views in Minnesota.

Are there bike trails at Temperance River State Park?

You can find a mountain bike trail within 10 miles of Temperance River State Park. Additionally, you can bike on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail for three miles between Schroeder and Tofte, MN. This section of the bike trail does run through Temperance River State Park. Eventually, this trail will run interrupted from Two Harbors to Grand Marais, MN. Hover over Temperance River State Park on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail website for tips on how to connect to other parts of the bike trail.

Does Temperance River State Park feature equestrian trails?

No. Temperance River State Park does not have horseback trails.

Can you rock climb at Temperance River State Park? Which Minnesota state parks offer rock climbing? Where can I rock climb on the North Shore in Minnesota?

Yes. Temperance River State Park offers a free rock climbing pass at Carleton Peak. Note that you must apply for a rock climbing pass at individual state parks. Temperance River State Park is only one of five state parks that offers rock climbing.  

Here is a list of all the state parks in Minnesota where you can rock climb:


Does Temperance River State Park have a visitor center? Modern restrooms?

The park office at Temperance River State Park is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (except in the winter). Modern facilities (showers and flush toilets) are available in the Upper Campground at Temperance River State Park for campers during camping season. Vault toilets are available throughout Temperance River State Park.

Is Temperance River State Park dog-friendly?

Yes. Leashed dogs and pets are welcome on Temperance River State Park hiking trails. All Minnesota state parks welcome dogs except inside buildings (service dogs, of course, are allowed). Leashes must be six feet or less.

Are there bears and moose at Temperance River State Park?

Yes. Moose and bears may wander through Temperance River State Park. In fact, when I was SUV camping at Temperance Rivers State Park, I saw several black bear warning signs posted.

Is firewood available at Temperance River State Park?

Yes. Firewood is available for sale at Temperance River State Park when the park office is open or via the Yodel app. You can also purchase at nearby stores or gas stations that sell certified wood.

To protect Minnesota trees, you can only burn certified wood on MN DNR land. Collection is not allowed in state parks and you may not bring firewood from home. This helps prevent spreading harmful insects and diseases.

How far is Temperance River State Park from the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP) airport?

Temperance River State Park is located 239 miles from the Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.

What’s near Temperance River State Park? Top things to do near Temperance River State Park?

Bright sun and blue sky with blue lake in the winter

Here are the top things to do near Temperance River State Park in Minnesota.  

  • You’re only 12 miles south of Lutsen Mountains Ski and Summer Resort in Lutsen, Minnesota. The Midwest’s largest ski resort is open year round and in addition to skiing and snowboarding offers hiking, a gondola for spectacular views of Lake Superior (pictured), and an alpine slide. Read my full review of my hosted experience: Guide to Lutsen Mountains Ski and Summer Resort. Opinions are always my own.
  • Next door to Lutsen Mountains Ski and Summer Resort is the fabulous Caribou Highlands Lodge (which hosted my husband and me one winter). And located inside is one of the best places to eat on the North Shore: Mogul’s Bar and Tap Room.
  • Do you love chasing waterfalls? Then stop at the Caribou Falls State Wayside 10 miles south of Temperance River State Park. Illgen Falls, located in one section of Tettegouche State Park right off Highway 61, is 23 miles south.
  • Plan to hike all 66 Minnesota state parks? Then I recommend hiking Cascade River State Park which is only 21 miles north on the North Shore. Tettegouche State Park is located just 22 miles south. Both feature scenic views and waterfall hikes.  
  • Here’s a list of all my favorite stops on Minnesota’s scenic North Shore.

When was Temperance River State Park in Minnesota established?

Temperance River State Park was established in 1957.

How did Temperance River State Park get its name?

It’s believed that Temperance River State Park got its name because the river that runs through it has no bar.

No bar. Temperance. Clever and witty.

There’s no bar (debris/sediment built up near the mouth of the river) on the Temperance River because the cascading water is so powerful.

Does Temperance River State Park host deer hunts? Is Temperance River State Park closed during deer season?

While Temperance River State Park does not host deer hunts, hunting is allowed in the Superior National Forest. So if you’re hiking in the fall/early winter, use caution and review this map that outlines where hunting is permitted in the Superior National Forest within Temperance River State Park.

For a complete list of which Minnesota state parks are closed or limited to the public during deer season, see this related post: Hiker safety: MN state parks that host deer hunts.

Hiking safety tip during deer season: Wear bright orange when hiking during deer season. I typically avoid hiking at all even if the state park is partially open to non-hunters.

A list of the best Minnesota state parks

Footbridge at scenic Temperance River State Park

All Minnesota state parks are the best in my opinion. You can read reviews of each one to create your own list of top-ranked Minnesota state parks: Take the Minnesota state park challenge


 

Pin it for later: A local’s guide to Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Please share and pin this guide for when you visit Temperance River State Park in MN – one of the best Minnesota state parks for scenic hikes, waterfalls, SUV camping, Lake Superior picnics, and rock climbing.

Top things to do at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Top things to do at Temperance River State Park in Minnesota

Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

26 comments

  1. I would like to visit Temperance River State Park in both seasons. When the waterfalls are flowing and when they are frozen. And, I would like to go down by the lake.

  2. Temperance State Park is beautiful! The pictures are breathtaking and make it look serene. I love learning about new places to visit someday!

  3. Great overview of Temperance River State Park, capturing its beauty and diverse activities succinctly. Your guide is a valuable tool for both first-time and returning visitors.

  4. Ooooh fabulous Karen!! Temperance River State Park looks like an incredible area to camp, hike and swim!

    Those canyons are amaaaazing both in the summer with rushing water and in the winter when they are frozen. Wowza!

  5. Wow this looks like an amazing place! Your guide covers everything we need to know before taking off, thanks!

  6. This looks like a gorgeous state park to check out! I love that there are so many trees (I like hammock camping! 😀 ) and that you can also go climbing here too! :] I’m glad you liked your first camping experience here — it definitely looks like a great choice for that!

  7. Temperance River State Park looks ruggedly gorgeous! That gorge is amazing, with the river moving through it. I’d love to camp here.

  8. Temperance River State Park looks like an amazing spot to visit. Lots of great sights along the hiking paths. And we would definitely love to check out the cascades over the lava bedrock. We would certainly check out the resorts close by to let us stay for a few days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.