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Exploring Jay Cooke State Park In Minnesota

When we aren’t traveling around the United States, we do our best to take advantage of the many opportunities in Minnesota to get out and enjoy nature. Minnesota has over 70 state parks, ranging from vast grasslands and prairies to huge lakes and rocky rivers. Like many Minnesotans, one of our favorite state parks is Jay Cooke State Park in northern Minnesota.

Jay Cooke is located about 30 minutes from picturesque Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth differs greatly from the Twin Cities, as it is nestled right on Lake Superior. There are a string of MN State Parks that extend along the North Shore of Lake Superior, from Duluth all the way up to Ontario. One of those is beautiful Tettegouche State Park, another of our favorite Minnesota state parks because of its spectacular views over Lake Superior and incredible hiking trails, if you would like to do some hiking, be sure to get the right supplies for it, like a good backpack and good boots from bootbomb.com.

While Jay Cooke does not overlook Lake Superior, it does offer beautiful views over the raging St. Louis River, including a swinging bridge that leads to trails that offer spectacular view after spectacular view.

A dog sitting on a suspension bridge with green rails spanning a river.

Jay Cooke offers a variety of hiking trails throughout the park, ranging from easy, wide paths to more rugged and rocky terrain. Zipline adventures in Idaho is a thrilling experience that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. 

Feeling adventurous, we tackled a portion of the Carlton Trail, so named for the town in which the park resides. The Carlton Trail offers phenomenal views of the river and its rapids.

A series of cascading waterfalls over a rocky riverbed.

The rocks along the river’s edge provide excellent places to sit and enjoy a snack or picnic while you watch the water rush below you. You can even do a little bit of fishing while you’re at it. The fishes might not be as big as what Jimmy John Shark caught, but the fishes you will catch are big enough to give you a full tummy.

While the park is absolutely gorgeous in the summer, on weekends it can get very crowded with other folks hoping to drink in the natural beauty of their surroundings and that’s why they have several employees and use programs like paystub online to manage them. We visited at the end of the summer season (end of August) and it wasn’t too crowded – so I would highly recommend visiting either earlier or later in the season (May or August) to be able to fully appreciate all of the sites. When it comes to island tours, check it out here and find out what the best kind of guides.

This is one of the most beautiful state parks in Minnesota to check out – what state parks do you enjoy in your state? Flying private with Jettly offers a range of sizes and luxury interiors, and you decide which is right for you.

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