Cascade River State Park
Hiking Club Trail


The Hiking Club Trail in Cascade River State Park follows the Cascade River past several waterfalls, then climbs to the top of Lookout Mountain for some long views of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior.

The river portion of the hike has great views of the tortuous path the river takes as it descends to the lake. The climb up and back down Lookout Mountain is peaceful and easy - a nice walk in a pleasant forest.

From the junction of W. 8th Ave. and Hwy 61 in Grand Marais Minnesota, take Hwy 61 southeast 8.3 miles to the entrance to Cascade River State Park.
Take a right to enter the park, then follow the park road 0.9 miles to the trail center parking lot.
There is an entrance station just after you enter the park where you can buy a pass to hike in the park.
Coordinates for the hike: 47.7091270,-90.5212060
Parking / Trailhead amenities
The dirt parking lot is level and has room for a half dozen cars or so. There is a clean pit toilet a short ways away and a trail center adjacent to the parking lot.
Trail observations
The trail exits the parking lot across from the trail center.
The trail is a pair of lollipops - you'll walk the stem, then do half of the first loop counterclockwise, walk a second stem, then follow a big loop counterclockwise, retrace the second stem, finish the first loop, then retrace the first stem back to the parking lot.
Be sure to follow the Hiking Club Trail signs - the trail is well marked, though sometimes the Hiking Club Trail signs seem to be pointing down unlikely paths. Trust them - they worked for me!
Trail statistics
The trail is 3.56 miles long. The sum of all the uphill climbs is 272 feet.
Trail waypoints
0.03 miParkingParking lot
0.13 miTrailhead Trailhead
0.21 miStay leftBranch - stay left
0.25 miBridgeCross the bridge
0.33 miGo rightGo right along the Lookout Mountain / SHT / Hiking Club Trail
0.50 miStay leftBranch - stay left
0.74 miLeft of stairsTake the trail to the left of the stairs towards Lookout Mountain
0.87 miStay leftBranch - stay left (map)
1.02 miGo rightLeave the first loop and go right - head down towards a bridge
1.11 miGo straightIntersection - go straight and start climbing
1.19 miStay straightBranch - stay right to go straight
1.44 miSide trailSide trail - go right, then return and continue along this trail
1.49 miViewpointView from the side trail overlook - return to the trail
1.76 miStay rightBranch - stay right (map)
1.81 miShelterPicnic table,Shelter, Toilet
1.86 miHead leftBranch - head left along the Hiking Club Trail
2.23 miBenchBench
2.36 miHead leftBranch - head left (sign)
2.52 miTee leftTee - go left
2.56 miStay leftBranch - stay left
2.76 miGo straightIntersection - go straight (map)
2.81 miGo rightAt the end of the second loop - go right to return to the first loop
2.89 miTee - go rightTee - go right to continue counterclockwise along the first loop
3.14 miStay leftBranch - stay left
3.33 miStay rightBranch - stay right, cross the bridge and return along path to the parking lot
3.56 miEnd of trailEnd of trail
Trail map - Hiking Club Trail
Altitude chart - Hiking Club Trail Parking Trailhead Stay left Bridge Go right Stay left Go right Go straight Stay straight Bench Head left Tee left Stay left Go right Stay right End of trail
Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty: Moderate
Terrain: Hilly
Trail surface: Dirt
Trail surface: Grassy
Type: Multiple lollipops
View: Enclosed
View: Overlooks
View: Shoreline
View: Wooded
Wikipedia article
PDF map
MN DNR web site
Printable trail map in PDF format (42 Mb download)
Printable trail map in PNG format (5 Mb download)
Waypoints in CSV format
Waypoints in KML format
Instructions on using a trail description page
Instructions on using a trail map printout
Trails in the surrounding area
Trailheads for Michigan and Minnesota (1 additional trail)
Trailheads for Michigan Minnesota, and Wisconsin (4 additional trails)
Trailheads for Michigan Minnesota, and Wisconsin (No additional trails)