With all due respect to TLC, sometimes a pup’s simply gotta go chasing waterfalls. The thunderous rush of roaring water fills the ears, the humbling size and ceaseless current reminds us of man and dog’s humble stature in the face of nature’s glory… and also? It makes for a pretty good photo op. If your pup is looking to chase something other than his tail for a change, here are six Minnesota waterfalls you can enjoy together.
1. Minnehaha Falls at Minnehaha Regional Park
You can’t beat Minnehaha for majesty or accessibility. The 53-foot falls are located right in Minneapolis, with plenty of parking and paved trails that make it easy as heck to arrive by paw or bike. Take the staircase down to a landing that’s perfect for a photoshoot, or just enjoy the falls from the overlook up top, without setting foot on a single trail or stair.
While you’re in the neighborhood, four-legged falls-peepers can enjoy Minnehaha Dog Park, dog-friendly gardens, and more. The two-legged members of your party can scarf a shrimp po’ boy from Sea Salt Eatery before heading home.
2. Wolf Creek Falls at Banning State Park
Your noble wolf (or rolly polly Pug) will love Wolf Creek Falls. A rocky but quick 1.5-mile out-and-back trail takes you to this secluded gem, which is situated at the meeting point of Wolf Creek and the Kettle River. It’s small, just 12 feet, but surrounded by sandstone cliffs and rocky shore that makes you feel like you’ve stumbled on your own little secret corner of Minnesota. Bring a picnic!
3. Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry is about three hours north of the Twin Cities, but that drive gets you access to not one, not two, but five picturesque waterfalls. Getting to the Upper Falls is as easy as hopping on a half-mile paved trail, but there’s lots more to explore (or for pup to pee on) if you’re feeling adventurous. We’re talkin’ sights like the Gooseberry’s river gorge, Agate Beach, and incredible views of the rocky Lake Superior shoreline throughout.
4. Taylors Falls at Interstate State Park
If the phrase “topographical wonder” gets your pup’s tail wagging, Interstate State Park is a mutts-visit. It’s kind of like two parks in one. You’ve got the Wisconsin side, with miles of hiking trails and stunning views of the Dalles of the St. Croix gorge, and the Minnesota side, where you can scramble around glacial potholes (like MN post-winter, but pretty) and also take in stunning clifftop valley views. Beauty awaits ya on either side, as it all overlooks the beautiful St. Croix River and Taylors Falls. Definitely one to check out in the fall, if you can! Those leaves are something else!
5. Hidden Falls Regional Park
Nestled in St. Paul along the Mississippi River bluffs, Hidden Falls gets its name from a small spring-fed waterfall. It’s a great spot for birders—bald eagles are common—just know that it really is a small fall, and in fact, it can dry up entirely if it’s been a less-than-rainy season. But even if it isn’t exactly falling, Hidden Falls lets you and your dog enjoy 6.7 miles of paved trails. And she’s only in it for the hike and post-walk treats anyway.
6. Grand Portage State Park
Grand Portage is located at the very Northeastern tip of Minnesota—it borders Canada, and that’s about as far north as a canine can go. It’s way up there, but if you’re down for the drive, oh my Dog those views are worth it. Here you’ll find the tallest waterfall in the state, a breathtaking 120-foot torrent that crashes into the Pigeon River below. Take the 4.5 mile round-trip hike to Middle Falls, but be prepared: This is rugged, rocky terrain with several hundred feet of elevation change. It’ll probably take about three hours, so bring snacks and water for you and your hiking buddy!
Do you go chasing waterfalls with your best fren? Let us know your fave Minnesota waterfalls in the comments or in our Dog-Friendly Facebook Group.
Featured photo: @traveling_with_rylee