JUDGE C R MAGNEY STATE PARK
JUDGE C R MAGNEY STATE PARK
4051 East Highway 61
Grand Marais, Minnesota 55604
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Come for the quiet, the solitude, and the famous Devil's Kettle waterall. The most popular hike leads from the trailhead upstream along the Brule River to Devil's Kettle, where the river splits around a mass of volcanic rock. Half of the river plunges 50 feet into a pool, while the rest pours into a huge pothole. Anglers can catch brook and rainbow trout in the Brule River or its tributary, Gauthier Creek. The park offers camping, picnicking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
The vast open waters of Lake Superior moderate the area climate. Summers are generally cool and winters are usually mild with abundant snowfall. The scenic Brule River races through the park, forming whitewater rapids and waterfalls on its way to Lake Superior. Along the lower stretches of the river are a series of spectacular waterfalls. Birdwatchers will find a bonanza of warblers during the nesting months of May, June, and July. Early fall is a good time to observe migrating hawks as they congregate along the shore of Lake Superior. Large white spruce grace the campground and other upland areas. The forested areas are dominated by birch and aspen stands. Wildflowers begin to show in early spring with the marsh marigold, wood anemone, and violet. In summer, look for the rose, thimbleberry, moccasin flower, coral root, clintonia, wild sarsaparilla, and fireweed. Asters and goldenrod add to the fiery colors of autumn.
The bedrock exposed along Lake Superior's North Shore has a geologic history that goes back some 1.2 billion years. During the mountain-building, volcanic activity of that time, molten lava poured through great fissures that developed in the earth's crust. One particular flow complex, the Brule River rhyolite flow is thought to be as much as 3,500 feet thick. As these flows accumulated, the land along the rift zone sank to form a great basin, presently occupied by Lake Superior. Long periods of erosion followed. The local Sawtooth Mountains of the Grand Marais area in Minnesota are the remnants of this ancient mountain range. More recently, glaciers also took their toll on the area as massive ice sheets gouged out basins and scoured the surface of the bedrock. In Cook County where the park is located, the glacial action eroded more earth than it deposited.
Moose, white-tailed deer, black bears, and timber wolves are among the larger animals that inhabit the park. Smaller mammals that visitors may see include the woodchuck, snowshoe hare, red squirrel, and chipmunk. In the spring and summer, listen for the songs of warblers. All year round, chickadees, nuthatches, jays, woodpeckers, and ruffed grouse can be seen in the park.