Jay Cooke State Park Snapshot Tour
(Page Two)

Photo of a camper cabin.
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Camper Cabin

Jay Cooke State Park has five camper cabins available for rent year-round. These rustic, one-room cabins have a screened-in porch, electricity, and heat

Photo of a family gathered around a campfire, toasting marshmallows.
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Marshmallow Roast

Camping opportunities at Jay Cooke State Park include drive-in sites for tents and RVs, plus a choice of walk-in and backpack sites. When the sun goes down, the campground is full of scenes like this, with families roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

Photo of a family sitting around their campfire.
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Tall Tales

A campfire can be enjoyed any time of day. Cook your breakfast, lunch, or dinner over the fire, or just sit around it with your family and friends, telling tall tales. Firewood is available at the park office.

Photo of a solo cross-country skiier.
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Skinny Skis

Jay Cooke State Park has 32 miles of cross-country ski trails to explore in the winter.

Photo of people crossing the swinging bridge.
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Visitors to Jay Cooke State Park will find plenty of adventure, from hiking across the Swinging Bridge to finding a geocache. The park loans out GPS units and instructs beginners how to use them to find hidden treasures in the woods.

Photo of a family seated at a picnic table.
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All Minnesota state parks offer free admission on the first Sunday in June. It's a great opportunity to check out a new park, have a picnic, and make family memories.

Photo of a family exploring the rocks at the side of the river.
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There is much to discover along the trails at Jay Cooke State Park. Pausing at a scenic overlook, this family appears to have spotted something interesting in the water below.

Photo of a pair of bicycle riders on the trail.
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Trail Riding

In addition to eight miles of paved bike trails like this one, Jay Cooke State Park also has 9 miles of mountain bike trails.

Closeup photo of a beaver-gnawed tree.
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Beaver Works

Here, a beaver has started chewing away at the trunk of a tree. Beavers are just one of 46 animal species at Jay Cooke State Park. The park is also home to 185 bird species and 16 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Closeup photo of trillium in bloom.
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Trillium bloom at Jay Cooke State Park in the spring. Low to the ground, these wildflowers have three white petals and yellow centers.

Photo of yellow Lady's Slippers in bloom.
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Yellow Lady's Slippers

The best time to find yellow lady's slippers blooming at Jay Cooke State Park is from late spring to early summer.

Photo of the Minnesota state flower in bloom.
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Showy Lady's Slippers

Minnesota's state flower, the pink-and-white Showy Lady's Slipper, can be found throughout the park, but it is unlawful to pick them.

Closeup photo of oak leaves in autumn.
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Autumn Rays

Grand oak trees can be found throughout the forests of Jay Cooke State Park. Fall is a great time to visit, when the oak leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and red.

Photo looking straight up at birch trees.
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Paper birch trees tower high over the forest floor, creating a golden canopy of leaves flickering in the sunlight on a fall day.

Photo of a waterfall in the distance, beyond trees in fall color.
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Autumn Glory

A streak of red leaves hints at the autumn glory that is drawing near.

Closeup photo of bright red maple leaves.
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Forest Red

Sugar maples, which turn bright red in the fall, add an extra splash of color to the tree line.

Photo of a frost-covered tree against a bright blue winter sky.
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Visit Jay Cooke State Park in the winter to see frosty white branches glimmer against the bright blue sky.

Photo of the full moon rising above silhouetted trees at night.
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As night falls upon the park, the forest is illuminated by a full moon, and a careful listener may hear the sounds of tree frogs, crickets, owls, and other wildlife.

Photo of moss and seedlings on the forest floor.
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Ground Cover

A close examination of the forest floor reveals new life—seedlings and clusters of red berries, for example—springing forth from the ground cover of fallen leaves.

Photo of the St. Louis River under ice in winter.
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Winter Flow

During the winter, the St. Louis River does not completely freeze over, but ice and snow cover large sections of it.

Photo of a blue jay perched on a snowy tree.
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Blue Jay

While many other birds migrate south for the winter, blue jays stay in the park year-round.

Closeup photo of a Great Gray Owl.
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Great Gray Owl

With its round face, brown feathers, piercing yellow eyes and yellow beak, the Great Gray Owl is the tallest American owl with the largest wingspan.

Photo of a pair of white-tailed deer in winter.
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White-tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are a common sight in the park. They are especially easy to spot in winter, when the trees are bare.

Photo of a Great Blue Heron standing at the water's edge.
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Great Blue Heron

The largest of North American herons, the great blue heron stands four feet tall. A quiet observer may notice these birds tiptoeing in the shallows and catching fish in their long beaks.

Photo of a pair of adult bald eagles, perched on a branch under a bright blue sky.
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Bald Eagles

Adult bald eagles are unmistakable with their white heads and tails, yellow beaks and dark brown bodies. Once an endangered species, they are now thriving along lakes and rivers throughout the United States and make regular appearances at Jay Cooke State Park.

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Virtual Tours

Jay Cooke State Park home page

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This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.