Judge C.R. Magney State Park ~ Grand Marais, Minnesota

Our final stop of the morning before a late lunch in Grand Marais, we a state park to the north of Grand Marais called Judge C.R. Magney State Park. They have a unique waterfall there called Devil’s Kettle, where the water splits into two parts: one goes further downstream and the other disappears into a pothole that no one knows where they end flows into.

This park is a bit more primitive than some of the others in the area. There is a small ranger station when you pull in, but it was unmanned. We simply had to fill out envelope and enclose the proper cash (or you can fill in your card info) and rip off part to place on your windshield to prove you paid the entrance fee. There are rangers who patrol the parking lots now and then so don’t neglect this stop!

We drove a bit further in before reaching a loop parking lot that held several spaces to park near a few trail heads. There was a map located in the middle of the lot and signs indicating which way to go to see the famous falls.

To begin on the Devil’s Kettle Trail, you must cross over the Brule River via a small bridge that runs over what I assume are the Lower Falls, the map didn’t give a name.


On the other side of the bridge there are a few picnic tables where you could enjoy a nice meal either before or after your hike.


The first portion of this trail is mainly all a dirt path. It was certainly the most primitive path we had walked on so far at any state park, clearly showing this park doesn’t get quite the same amount of visitors as some of the others where the falls would be much more accessible. Along the way we also met up with a tiny bit of wildlife: this friendly bunny.

Once you get closer to the falls, there are a series of steps built in that you will have to walk down to reach Upper Falls. It’s not so bad walking out to it when you are going down, but the looming thought of going back up them on the way back is quite daunting.

The first falls you come upon are the Upper Falls. After all the hiking it was nice to walk down closer to the falls and feel the misty spray hit your face.


A little further up the trail is the Devil’s Kettle. This can only be viewed from an observation point at a distance.


As you can see the upper portion of Devil’s Kettle is the part that drops into the “kettle” that no one knows the end to. Here’s a close up shot of that section.


We enjoyed hiking to both of these waterfalls, but wish we had brought some food to eat beforehand. The hike took a lot longer than we thought since the trail was less traveled and contained a lot of stairs.

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