Sure, you knew about the roaring waterfalls, beautiful hiking trails at all levels of difficulty, and jaw-dropping views from the bridge. Maybe you’ve even accidentally fallen asleep there on a hiking trip and gotten sunburned (we’ve heard such things are possible). But what don’t you know about Gooseberry Falls?
Jesus once said to “consider the birds”, and there are at least 150 species of them here. Lake shore, river mouth, forest and inland ridge habitat provide abundant opportunities to see birds like the Black-crowned Night-Heron, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper (who presumably bench presses a lot), and the ever-modest Common Merganser. Merganser, to us, you’ll always be special. You can print out a checklist here and start collecting—please note that you should be checking the box when you SEE a bird, not actually catching them. We figured you knew that, but we have to cover our bases.
Think birding is for the birds? There’s some interesting information on lava flow and rock formation, along with the human side of history, available in
the visitor’s center. But the greatest “insider” tip might be the events hosted by
the park. Here are three to check out:
July 3, 1pm–5pm
Flint Knapping Demonstration
Join flint knapper, Al Anderson, to see a demonstration on the skillful art of making stone tools in traditional form. Even try it for yourself!
July 12, 10:30am
Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area Bike Ride
Meet a naturalist for a bike ride to Iona’s Beach Scientific and Natural Area. This ride will travel on the Gitchi Gammi Bike Trail for 3 miles starting at the Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitor Center and ending at Iona’s Beach for short guided hike and optional picnic at the nearby Twin Ports Water Access. Bike back at your leisure or call ahead to reserve a ride back to your park of origin. Space is limited. This trail has some steep hills so bikers and bikes should be prepared for some challenges. We will travel at a recreational pace. Please dress for the weather, and wear athletic shoes. Cell phones, hats, sunglasses, and water bottles are recommended. Pack a lunch and blanket if you’d like to picnic afterwards. *Picnicking is not permitted on SNA’s but we will enjoy the lake from the water access.*
July 20, 10am–7pm
Lake Superior Day Celebration
Join naturalists on a morning guided hike along the shore of Lake Superior and continue to celebrate Lake Superior throughout the day. Naturalist led programs including paper making and Big Lake Bingo will happen throughout the afternoon at the visitor center, while a special program about Lake Superior will be held at 7:30pm that night. Visit www.dnr.mn.gov and search for Gooseberry Falls State Park to learn more.