Jay Cooke State Park encompasses a total area of approximately 8,781 acres that is situated in Carlton County, Minnesota. The main access point to the park is located about three miles east of Carlton on State Highway 210. This Minnesota state park was established in 1915 and is governed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The main attraction that lures visitors to this park are the widespread network of trails and especially a particular one that leads over a swinging suspension bridge high above Saint Louis River. These trails can be used to experience the wide variety of natural features including the Thomson Formation that dates back as far as the Paleoproterozoic era, 1.9 billion years ago.
The park also hosts a wide diversity of wildlife including about 46 mammalian species and 173 bird species. Besides the natural magnificence of the park, there are also several recreational activities that visitors to the park can experience. Some of these recreational activities include hiking, bicycling, river and stream fishing, camping, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and nature programs.
The conveniences available in the park to facilitate these activities include horseshoe pits, hiking trails (50 miles), 80 drive-in campsites, warming house, paved bike trails, visitor center, camper cabin, snowshoe rentals, showers, group camp, ski trails, historic sites, snowmobile trails, walk-in campsites, wheelchair accessible trail, horse trail (six miles), backpack campsites, volleyball court, picnic area and shelters, interpretive exhibits, flush toilets, and a gift shop.
Dogs are allowed into Jay Cooke State Park, but some rules must be followed to protect the park’s resources. For example, dogs are to be kept away from some regions of the park. In areas of the park that dogs are allowed to venture into, a dog leash with a maximum length of six feet must be used. In addition, you should not let your dog bother other park guests or wildlife.