"Often Overlooked by North Shore Travelers" Temperance River State Park by babybird

Perhaps the most powerful of the Northshore Rivers

Far upstream (many miles from the Cauldron waterfalls section) the Temperance starts out shallow and relatively calm before becoming an extremely challenging whitewater canoeing course for EXPERTS only. The river can be run by the most experienced up until the rocky and boulder-strewn section at the top of the park.

If you are hiking from hwy 61, park and take full advantage of the trails.
First admire the waterfall under the bridge which always gives off a deafening roar. Next, follow the trail up the steep hill where you will see a falls which is almost hidden in a cave! The rest of the hike upstream has many impressive views of the gorge and three more spectacular waterfalls.
There is a surprisingly peaceful section above the first waterfall where you can sometimes wade (In extremely LOW water only) or have a picnic. The falls section has some incredible potholes carved out by the contorting boiling river through the soft lava. There are even some dry potholes where the river ran at one time if you look hard enough.

I find this to actually be one of the more spectacular of the numerous waterfall parks on Minnesota's North Shore Drive, yet many overlook it in favor of the more popular Cascade and Gooseberry Falls State Parks. What impresses me more about Temperance River is the fact that the river is only 8 feet wide or less in some areas, yet it constantly boils its way through some gorges that are nearly 100 feet deep.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: Although this is a captivating river, it has KILLED
at least 8 people and almost taken the lives of many more in just the last 10 years. READ my VERY IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS UNDER WARNINGS
OR DANGERS before you go there, ESPECIALLY if you have children.

Spring Runoff in May at Temperance River---WOW!!!

Some people get a little cocky and although it IS very tempting to swim below the Falls. DON'T!!!! This river takes lives of those who think they are stronger than nature. All of them have been described as "Good Swimmers." READ my very IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS under WARNINGS and DANGERS!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Breathtaking River Gorges and 5 thrilling waterfalls
  • In a nutshell:My favorite waterfall park on the north shore
  • Last visit to Temperance River State Park: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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