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Duluth, MN: Wolf Creek Falls

Tour old quarry country and the hardwood forests of Banning State Park on this 7.2-mile lollipop loop that passes a waterfall payoff–twice!

Rating

From the trailhead at Robinson Park, this route heads north along the Kettle River skirting an old dam, a quarry, and a railroad trestle before reaching Banning State Park’s Wolf Creek Falls. The pretty, 12-foot cascade lands in a shaded pool—a perfect place for a quick dip on the return trip—before joining the river downstream.

The 4.8-mile loop section begins with a stepped climb on the High Bluff Trail and descends to the river approaching the Little Banning Rapids, one of a series of 5 Kettle River Rapids that make this area popular canoe and kayak destination. Evidence of the Banning State Park’s quarry history abound along the old-railroad-turned-trail: carved walls of pink sandstone, the foundation of a crushing and sorting room, and the 3-story frame of an old power house. Climbing away from the river, the trail transitions to clay as this route zigzags toward the northbound Cartway Trail and loops back under hardwood and aspen toward Wolf Creek. Heading south, the waterway’s namesake trail passes campgrounds and several left-hand spurs before arriving back at the falls where hikers can retrace their steps to Robinson Park.

-Mapped by Steffan Fay

To Trailhead

Drive south on I-35 and take exit 195 to MN 23, heading south. In Sandstone, turn left onto MN 123 and left again 0.3 mile later onto Old Wagon Rd. Proceed 0.3 mile to Robinson Park and the trailhead.

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