Summer Map and Guide
Summer Map of Jay Cooke State Park (SP) in Minnesota. Published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR).
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MAP AND GUIDE: JAY COOKE STATE PARK 780 HIGHWAY 210 CARLTON, MN 55718 CARLTON COUNTY 218-673-7000 JAYCOOKE.STATEPARK@STATE.MN.US VISITOR TIPS • Wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. • The beautiful St. Louis River is rocky with steep cliﬀs and unpredictable water ﬂows. • Cellular communications are not always reliable in the park. • Watch for ticks and poison ivy. • Keep wildlife wild. Do not feed or approach animals. • In an emergency call 911. • Non-emergency sheriﬀ’s number: 218-384-4185. ONLY HAVE AN HOUR? • Park at the historic River Inn and set out on the iconic Swinging Bridge which sways above the St. Louis River. This route is accessible to all. • Visit Oldenburg Point for Civilian Conservation Corps structures and glorious views over the St. Louis River valley. • Visit the Thomson Pioneer Cemetery which dates back to the late 1800s. ABOUT THE PARK SO EVERYONE CAN ENJOY THE PARK... The park was established in 1915 with a donation of land from the St. Louis River Power Company. Today, the park protects nearly 9,000 acres of forests and streams that surround the water-eroded gorge, steep valleys and rock formations of the St. Louis River, Lake Superior’s largest tributary in the United States. Millions of years of dramatic geologic events, including volcanic activity, glaciation and plate tectonics, formed the unique rock you experience here. The area also has a rich human history. Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, French fur-traders, railways, hydropower companies, and the Civilian Conservation Corps all left impressions you may notice as you explore. The stunning landscape hosts a healthy ecosystem. Walk quietly, listen and look, and you may ﬁnd some of the diverse wildlife that rely on the park’s varied habitat. Watch for white-tailed deer, black bears, timber wolves, an abundance of birds, and more. A FULL SET OF STATE PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS IS AVAILABLE AT MNDNR.GOV. 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. VEHICLE PERMITS Permits required; purchase at park oﬃce or entrance kiosk. PETS WELCOME Keep on leash; pick up after; attend at all times; not allowed in buildings or beaches. Cross the St. Louis River on a bridge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. − CAMPGROUND QUIET HOURS 10 p.m.– 8 a.m.; only registered campers may be in campground during quiet hours. FIREWOOD TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS Silver Creek Trail (Hiking Club Trail) 3.5-mile loop Some hills • Mowed Grass • Bare rock Cross the Swinging Bridge, climb a short section of rock, and follow a wide grassy route through birch and basswood trees. Enjoy views of the St. Louis River and Silver Creek. In spring, watch for blooming yellow lady’s-slippers. Part of this route is shared with segments of the Superior Hiking Trail and North Country Trail. Carlton Trail Trip 5-mile loop Steep • Rugged terrain • Bare rock • Packed Dirt • Narrow Hike this rugged route for spectacular views of the St. Louis River. The path brieﬂy joins the paved Willard Munger State Trail. You may then return on the easier Thomson and CCC trails, passing through a pioneer cemetery and shaded forest along the way. CCC Trail 1.8-mile loop Mostly ﬂat • Mowed grass • Wide From behind the River Inn, take an easy stroll and stop at benches near scenic points along the St. Louis River. Then, head into the forest to look for signs of wildlife or listen for diverse bird species. Prefer to save the river views for the end of your trip? Start from the kiosk at the back of the River Inn parking lot instead. Thomson Dam Trip 2 miles one-way Some hills • Paved Bicycle or hike up the Forbay Trail, then follow the Willard Munger State Trail west to a trestle bridge. Lock your bike at the rack and explore the rocky river gorge and dam before returning the way you came. MORE TO EXPLORE AT THE PARK • Join a free naturalist program. LOOKING FOR MORE TO EXPLORE DURING YOUR STAY? VISIT MNDNR.GOV/JAYCOOKE PARK OPEN • Borrow GPS units or birding or ﬁshing kits at the park oﬃce. • Visit Hemlock Ravine Scientiﬁc and Natural Area. • Cast a line in a designated trout stream. • Look for signs of wildlife on 50 miles of diverse recreational trails that oﬀer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. • Reserve a cabin, campsite or group camp and stay awhile. Visit mndnr.gov/reservations. Must be purchased at this park or from vendors who sell wood approved for this park; no gathering ﬁrewood in the park. SPECIAL RULES • Cliﬀ jumping and swimming is prohibited due to dangerous currents. • Take only photographs. Flowers, driftwood, agates and cultural elements are protected within the park and may not be collected. • Drones are not allowed to land within the park. CURIOUS ABOUT THE WILLARD MUNGER STATE TRAIL? VISIT MNDNR.GOV/STATETRAILS TO LEARN MORE. MORE INFORMATION Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Information Center 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155-4040 888-646-6367 or mndnr.gov/parks The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This information may be available in alternative format upon request.