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

2018 Camping Reservations Update

We are anticipating a possible campground construction project in the Jay Cooke State Park Campground. Until we have final word of its status, we have reservation blocks on all 2018 reservations until we can determine which campsites will be impacted and whether or not we will have water, flush bathrooms and showers available. We plan to post an update in this visitor alert at least a week before unblocking sites so as to give customers notice of when 2018 reservations will be available. Please check back frequently and thank you for your patience as we work to improve our campground.

(Updated May 25, 2017)

Have Extra Books or Magazines?

Jay Cooke State Park has a lending library alongside our campground bathroom building that always seems to be in short supply of reading materials that would interest our campers. If you would like to donate books or magazines to the lending library, please drop them off at the park office or in the lending library.

(Updated May 25, 2017)

Trail Conditions Update

Trails were cleared of deadfall in early April. Expect to encounter muddy patches and lengthening grass when hiking in the park. If you encounter trees down on a trail, please report it to the park office. Due to the wet conditions, it will take weeks for trails to dry out enough for us to get our mowing equipment on the trails.

(Updated May 25, 2017)

Highway 210 Update

Highway 210 remains closed between the intersection of Hwy. 210 and Jay Cooke Road (1.5 miles east of the park office, River Inn, campground and swinging bridge entrances) to the intersection of Hwy. 210 and Hwy. 23 on the east side of the park. Please plan your route accordingly. Hwy. 210 is tentatively slated to reopen fall 2017.

(Updated June 5, 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 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


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.