Visitor center

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Inside the visitor center you will find a theater, interpretive displays, trail center, nature store, modern bathrooms, vending machines, park offices, and travel information.

Feel free to wander into the theater to see an entertaining 13-minute "Lake Superior: The Greatest Lake" video, which features some interesting fun facts about this Great Lake and a quick introduction to area geology. This program is followed by an 11-minute "Minnesota's North Shore: A Constellation of Parks" video, which briefly highlights North Shore and park history as well as provides a glimpse to Tettegouche, Cascade River, and Grand Portage state parks. The videos are shown without interruption throughout the day during summer and on weekends during fall, winter, and spring. If they aren't showing when you arrive, simply stop at the front desk and ask to see them.

Four other 5-minute videos are shown without interruption throughout the day in the interpretive display area on the 2 big-screen TVs. They are "Welcome to Gooseberry Falls State Park," "Gooseberry through the Seasons," "Lake Superior Watershed: A Raindrops Journey," and "The Legacy of the CCC Boys." Also in this area, you will find several displays, four touch screen kiosks that highlight the park and North Shore area history, geology, plants, animals, and more.

Before you leave the display area, be sure to look at the park topographic model for an introduction to North Shore geology and how waterfalls are made. (Three lava flows make the Upper, Middle, & Lower Falls, which collectively are known as the main falls. On this display, four rock samples show lava flow anatomy - frothy, bubble-like flow tops with solid, bubble-less flow bottoms. You will be able to see a flow top and flow bottom by the Middle Falls.)

Just outside the visitor center, be sure to look at the "River, Lake, Falls and Forest" nature art column. This special 100+ year-old fir timber column has plant and animal images that were hand cut out of recycled copper, aluminum, and brass. Each side represents a habitat in the park - over 50 animals and lots of plants can be found!

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