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Jay Cooke State Park

Leaf color:

past peak
Flower color:

past peak
Grass color:

past peak
color guide

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Where to go: Colors are past peak but still beautiful. The reds and oranges of the maples are gone, but the golden yellows of the Aspens, birches and a few maples are still beautiful. Some trees have lost their leaves, but that just provides better views of the river as you're driving in. Approximately 30% of the trees still have leaves of them. Good places to observe will be across the Swinging Bridge along the Silver Creek Trail. Also, at Oldenburg Point for panoramic views of the St. Louis River Valley.

If you have some time consider hiking Triangle Trail out to the overlook or the new Gill Creek Trail segment.

Remember that you can only enter the park through our west entrance in Carlton/Thomson on Highway 210. Our east entrance off of Highway 23 is still closed. Take time to drive to Oldenburg Point. There are great river views from our new highway bridge.

What you'll see: Golden colors in the aspens, birches and some remaining maples are quite beautiful. The oaks have turned their reddish-brown colors. Oaks will hold on the longest and drop their leaves during winter. Some of the earlier turning trees such as the ashes and basswood are done and have lost their leaves. There are a few splotches of red in the sumac bushes but the red, oranges and purples of the maples are mostly finished.

Look for small flocks of migrating birds coming through. The picnic grounds were filled with busy yellow-rumped warblers, robins and juncos as they make their way south.

Also of interest: Check out the park website for specific times, dates and topics of interpretive programs.

Last updated: October 22, 2014 

Special Offer for Park Permits

Canít decide between a one-day or year-round park permit? The DNR has a special offer that can help. Start by purchasing a one-day permit for $5 and visit as many state parks as possible. After visiting the state parks, trade in the one-day permit by the end of that day and get $5 off the purchase of a year-round permit. Year-round permits, which cost $25, provide unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
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Getting there

780 Highway 210
Carlton, MN 55718

From the town of Carlton go 3 miles east on State Highway 210 to use the west park entrance. The east park entrance off of Highway 23 in Fond Du Lac is still closed. The Jay Cooke Road area remains soft due to construction - please refrain from using this area if possible.


Phone: 218-384-4610

Email: jaycooke.statepark@state.mn.us

Best time to contact the park:

Starting June 1, office open daily for summer season from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The office will be closed Wednesday, June 10 for staff training.