Jay Cooke State Park

In the area

From Explore MN Tourism

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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

No Drinking Water or Flush Toilets

Due to a massive water line leak, all drinking water has been shut off in Jay Cooke State Park until further notice. Please plan to bring your own drinking water to the park. Due to the lack of water, we have also had to close all flush bathrooms. Outhouses are available in the park.

(Updated November 19, 2017)

UMD Kayak Center Parking Lot Repairs

The UMD Kayak Center Parking Lot on Highway 210 next to the Thomson Dam will be closed for repair work until further notice.

(Updated November 30, 2017)

2018-No Flush Bathrooms/Showers in Campground

Jay Cooke State Park's campground bathroom building is being replaced in 2018. No 2018 camping or cabin reservations will have access to flush bathrooms or showers in the campground. Those camping on weekdays will potentially hear construction sounds coming from the bathroom area. Outhouses will be available for bathroom amenities. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we replace our aging campground bathroom building for the long-term betterment of the park.

(Updated November 19, 2017)

Trail Conditions Update

Trails were cleared of deadfall in late November and early December. If you encounter trees down on a trail, please report it to the park office.

(Updated December 11, 2017)

Highway 210 Update

Highway 210 is now open to the public through the entire park from Carlton to Highway 23. Take it slow and watch for traffic. A lot of sightseers out checking the repair work and enjoying the road after 5 years of being closed.

(Updated October 22, 2017)

Park Notes

Learn more about the park:

North Shore Waterfall Tour - Weekend Itinerary
Virtual tour: Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour
Current St. Louis River Water Levels: Thomson Dam data external link
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 Checklist This 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 typically open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There may be times during that time the office will be closed if staff are 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.