10 Things To Do at Jay Cooke State Park in Duluth


golden gate canyon state park

Jay Cooke state park is a must if you are traveling with children. They will love watching the trains pass by, and then they can run along the trails until their heart’s content. This 72 square mile park has over 70 miles of trails to explore.

Here is a list of 10 things you can do at Jay Cooke State Park.

1) Hiking

A close up of a christmas tree

There are over 70 miles of trails to explore with your family. The park is divided into 3 regions, river, north shore, and south shore. The trails will take you through the forest, along ravines with views of gulches or valleys created by Ice Age glaciers, across wetlands and marshland, around lakes, ponds, and streams, over hills, and through fields. Bring your camera to bring home unique pictures of Minnesota’s scenic beauty.

2) Biking

A bridge over a body of water

Jay Cooke State Park has 18 miles of bike trails that are perfect for biking or rollerblading along. You can bike across boardwalks under towering pines, through rolling grasslands, on the path next to the St. Louis River, and more. The trails are a mixture of gravel and crushed limestone suitable for most bikes.

3) Winter Activities

Jay Cooke State Park has some unique winter activities available as well, depending on what part of the park you’re at now. You can cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, or even ice fish. Any of these are great ways to enjoy the winter landscape at Jay Cooke State Park.

4) Fishing

You can fish for trout or salmon in the St. Louis River or Lake Superior, both of which are located along park trails. There is also a VFW fishing pier near the park’s Information Center. It’s a great way to fish and spend the day in the beauty of Jay Cooke State Park.

5) Canoeing & Kayaking

There are 5 miles of water suitable for canoes or kayaks along the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. These tours often include wildlife sightings, such as bald eagles and other birds and various types of waterfowl.

6) Train Watching

Jay Cooke State Park offers a unique experience of watching Duluth’s famous trains go by along the St. Louis River valley. The park has several observation points for watching these machines pass by, producing quite a bit of noise and smoke as they do so! Some people choose to bring their cameras and take pictures of the trains as they pass through the park.

7) Picnicking

Jay Cooke State Park has 29 picnic areas for you to enjoy a meal with your family and friends! 2 group picnic areas can accommodate larger groups of up to 200 people, or you could bring a nice blanket and have a simple picnic on the grass.

8) Visitor Center

The park’s Visitor Center is a place to visit and learn about the history of Jay Cooke State Park and how it came into being. A film will be playing to provide you with more information on this subject, and there are also some hands-on displays for learning even more about this unique state park.

9) Camping

If you need a place to stay the night or several nights while visiting Duluth, Minnesota, be sure to check out Jay Cooke State Park’s campground. There are 238 campsites available for camping in the summertime and 80 sites that remain open year-round (with no water or sewer).

10) Ice Age Interpretive Center

Jay Cooke State Park has an attraction you’ll want to visit during your stay in Duluth, Minnesota. The Ice Age Interpretive Center will teach you all about the glaciers that once covered the land where Jay Cooke State Park is today with much of Minnesota and the United States. You will learn about their habits, how they shaped the land, and much more at this center.

So what are you waiting for now? Start planning your visit to Jay Cooke State Park today and you and your family and friends will have a great time! You can find out even more about this beautiful park at Jay Cooke State Park’s website.

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