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Jay Cooke State Park

Trailblazers: this park is a must! Park trails link up to the Willard Munger State Trail at the north edge of the park; perfect for backpackers, bikers (both mountain and tour), hikers, horseback riders, and skiers.

Check out the wildflowers in the spring, and the vivid colors in the fall. Walk on the swinging suspension bridge high above the raging St. Louis River. Visit the historic cemetery and the gorge at Thomson Dam.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert

Jay Cooke campground and day use areas unaffected by storm

The campground, cabins, backpack sites and day use areas of Jay Cooke State Park were unaffected by the recent storm. There is some tree damage on park trails south of the St. Louis River, but crews are out working to clear, and trails are passable. The Willard Munger State Trail remains open but please use caution. There is debris on the trail after the Severe Storm that went through on the morning of July 21st. Expect to see twigs, leaves, and gravel along the entire corridor from Duluth to Hinckley.

Events around Carlton

The local community of Carlton is holding an event the weekend of July 29th which visitors may enjoy. Carlton Daze Facebook information.

On July 30th, spectators are welcome for both the Paddlemania kayak races and "Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon." Hikers, please expect to share the trail with runners along the route during this event.

2016 Reservations changes

  • All campsites at this park are reservable.
  • Same-day reservations are now available.
  • If you need help making a reservation, call 866-857-2757.
  • For more details, read the FAQ.

(Updated July 22, 2016)

Park Notes

Learn more about the park:

Virtual tour: Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour
Who is Jay Cooke?This link leads to an podcast. (5:05 MP3 narrated by Kris Hiller, Park Naturalist)
Timeline and photo history of the Swinging Bridge

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Jay Cooke State Park.


Bird ChecklistThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Jay Cooke State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Camping

tree Hiking

tree Swinging Bridge

tree Pioneer Cemetery

tree Thomson Dam

tree Oldenburg Point


The park office is currently open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Office is intermittently closed if staff is unavailable.


780 Highway 210
Carlton, MN 55718

tel: 218-673-7000

email: jaycooke.statepark@state.mn.us

Getting There

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.