The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Minnesota

High Falls Trail
Tettegouche State Park • Silver Bay

The Baptism River has been working on the rugged rhyolite ridges above the Lake Superior shoreline for one billion years. There is still plenty of work to be done as witnessed by the highest waterfall wholly contained in the state of Minnesota (Canada claims half the droplets from the Pigeon River High Falls that helps form the international border).

The High Falls Trail is a broad brown brush stroke of dirt through a lush North Woods forest of birch, aspen, and pine. This is a 1.5-mile one-way canine hike to reach the 70-foot High Falls but there are side delights along the way, including multiple view-points of the vivacious Baptism River. A ten-minute side trail leads to a wide double drop in the river known as Two Step Falls.

The well-established trail reaches the High Falls at a wooden platform with a dramatic overlook of the plunging water. Seaman is not done yet, however. The trail continues down a long set of wooden steps to a swinging sus-pension bridge at water level leading your water-loving dog to the plunge pool. This will require a crossing on an open grate bridge that may give cautious dogs pause.

There are more falls to hunt on the Baptism River in Tettegouche on the opposite bank, a little less than one mile one way. Back at the visitor center, the half-mile ramble to Shovel Point atop the palisades high above Lake Superior is a quick must-do for your dog.

HIKING TIME: 1-2 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Grand Portage National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the 8.5-mile footpath

Mississippi National River Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on most of the trails along this 40+ miles of river shore, including off-leash areas at Minnehaha Park and Riverside

Pipestone National Monument

Voyageurs National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Links to National Forests With Hiking

Chippewa National Forest
Superior National Forest

State Parks With Hiking


Minnesota State Parks
Dogs are welcome in Minnesota state parks but must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet and must be personally attended at all times. No dogs are allowed in state park buildings, lodging, cabins, camper cabins, on tours or in beach areas.

Afton State Park
Banning State Park
Bear Head Lake State Park
Beaver Creek Valley State Park
Big Stone Lake State Park
Blue Mounds State Park
Buffalo River State Park
Camden State Park
Carley State Park
Cascade River State Park
Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
Crow Wing State Park
Father Hennepin State Park
Flandrau State Park
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
Fort Ridgely State Park
Fort Snelling State Park
Franz Jevne State Park
Frontenac State Park
 George Crosby Manitou State Park
Glacial Lakes State Park
Glendalough State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Grand Portage State Park
Great River Bluffs State Park
Hayes Lake State Park
Interstate State Park
Itasca State Park
 Jay Cooke State Park
Judge C.R. Magney State Park
Kilen Woods State Park
 Lac qui Parle State Park
Lake Bemidji State Park
Lake Bronson State Park
 Lake Carlos State Park
Lake Louise State Park
Lake Maria State Park
Lake Shetek State Park
Maplewood State Park
McCarthy Beach State Park
 Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
Minneopa State Park
Minnesota Valley Recreation Area
Moose Lake State Park
Myre Big Island State Park
Nerstrand Big WoodsState Park
Old Mill State Park
Rice Lake State Park
 St. Croix State Park
Sakatah Lake State Park
Savanna Portage State Park
Scenic State Park
Schoolcraft State Park
Sibley State Park
Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Split Rock Creek State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Temperance River State Park  
Tettegouche State Park
Upper Sioux Agency
Whitewater State Park
Wild River State Park
William O'Brien State Park
Zippel Bay State Park

Hiking With Your Dog Minnesota