Temperance River Gorge Trail

The Temperance River Gorge is a narrow river and waterfall section of the Temperance River located in Temperance River State Park. The water in the river flows through high-walled rock outcroppings. The gorge can be found above the parking area on Highway 61 and is viewable after a short hike.

How the Gorge Was Created

Have you ever wondered what the source of the Temperance River is and how it became so powerful? Or, how the beautiful cauldrons were created along the walls of the river canyon?

The river’s source is Brule Lake. It originates in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and has been paving the river’s way for quite some time. Since the river swirls mightily along the way, water and debris have carved impressive potholes into the ancient rock along the canyon walls. They make for an exceptionally beautiful hike along the river.

No matter which trail you take in Temperance River State Park (if you are beginning your hike from Highway 61), you will follow the miniature canyon carved out of solid rock. The gorge was cut away over thousands and thousands of years by the relentless water.  The canyon, which is surrounded by towering cedars and pines, is spectacular both at its base and from above, so taking short climbs to the top of the canyon has its benefits. There a several small falls along the length of the Temperance River Gorge. At the far end of the gorge is another waterfall, with a drop of 10 feet or so. Beyond that, the river is strewn with rocks, and if the water is low enough you can cross the river without getting your feet wet.

Best Time To Visit

Because the gorge is viewed best from above looking down, you’ll have the best experience visiting during the spring Waterfall Season. After heavy rains in the summer and fall is another great time to visit. While there is still something to be seen and enjoyed during low-water times, high water times will be the best.

Getting There

The Temperance River gorge and trails are located just over a mile northeast of Schroeder on Highway 61. Park in the designated parking spaces near the Temperance River bridge. There is parking on either side of the highway. Follow trails inland (away from Lake Superior) to follow the river gorge and see many waterfalls. This includes the Hidden Falls. Hike toward Lake Superior to view the Temperance River lagoon, the mouth of the river, and Lake Superior.

Learn more about Temperance River State Park at Exploring the North Shore.