One of the things that is really awesome and unexpected about Minnesota is all the amazing waterfalls. Every little creek or river has a waterfall along the way before it enters Lake Superior. There is a ridge of mountains (not very tall) along the shore, so all the rivers fall rapidly down the elevation instead of meandering to the lake.
There are so many amazing waterfalls that I decided not to do a blog post about each one – I would be writing about waterfalls for the next week! Instead, I am condensing the remaining waterfalls into one post.
This first amazing waterfall is the Middle Falls on the Pigeon River where it is accessed from Pigeon River Provincial Park. Middle Falls isn’t as high as High Falls, but Middle Falls is still an obstacle to the Voyageurs. We could hike to Middle Falls from Grand Portage State Park, but it was a boring, strenuous hike. Or we could drive over the border, take a short drive, park and hike one kilometer to Middle Falls. Guess which one we chose? We enjoyed the view from the bottom of the falls and walked to the top where we enjoyed the view down the river.
Another amazing waterfall was located in Atikokan, Canada. We stopped in Atikokan for restrooms and something to eat and found Little Falls. We were able to walk around, walk up the falls, and check out some rapids further up the river. We also ate at an amazing little pizza place in Atikokan with heart-shaped booths.
Illgen Falls, in Tettegouche State Park along the Baptism River, was another beautiful place. There is a short hike down to the top of the falls. The first thing we heard when we got to the falls was a young boy saying, “Dad, a guy just jumped off the falls! Can I do that?” Sure enough, there were three people climbing up the rock cliff on the side of the falls and jumping off the top of the 35 foot falls. They assured us that there was a deep pool and it looked like a straight shot down, but I was relieved that the father told his son no.
One last waterfall to mention among the amazing waterfalls we saw: the waterfall at International Falls. The amazing thing about it is that there isn’t one. We drove through International Falls looking for it and finally asked a Voyageurs National Park ranger about it. She said that there was a waterfall at one time (thus the name of the town) but it disappeared when the Rainy River was dammed for hydro power for a paper plant. So the waterfall for which International Falls is named is under the Rainy River.
We really enjoyed all the amazing waterfalls in Minnesota and Canada. There are plenty that we didn’t see but we checked out as many as we could.