Split Rock State Park, Minnesota
The Split Rock State Park is one of the most popular on Minnesota's North Shore, though few visitors ever make it farther than the historic lighthouse. When it comes to waterfalls, the nearby Gooseberry Falls get most of the glory, but the Split Rock River features at least seven major drops and one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the state. While trips to the lighthouse and Gooseberry have been staples of our trips for years, we had put off the 5-mile round-trip hike at Split Rock until the summer of 2013 because we were usually pretty exhausted by the time we got there. This time we made it a focal point of our trip, and while it definitely wore us out it was worth it.
Getting there: the trailhead for the Split Rock River hiking trail is in a parking lot south of the state park, near mile marker 44 on Highway 61. The trail gets confusing in a few spots, so having the Wallinga's book or a map from the state park office is a good decision.
Hike: Moderate to Difficult