October 6, 2014

Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN (and a shout out to the CCC)

Gooseberry Falls is known as the gateway to the North Shore of Lake Superior -and many more waterfalls- and one of the most visited of Minnesota's 67 state parks.  (2nd most visited after Fort Snelling, which is located way down within the twin cities grid.)  Located close to the road, Gooseberry's falls are popular for their easy access. 
The park has been modernized quite a bit since I was a kid, with paved walkways and major improvements to the visitor center.  Because of that, I haven't been there much as an adult. 
We were last there when Mason & Eric were about 4 years old and I was expecting Johnathan.   I believe we attempted to stop a few years later after all five kids were born, but the parking lot was pure madness, so we left and continued north. 
But during our Last Hurrah of Summer, a quiet weekday before the Labor Day rush, our younger three kids were able to climb around these beautiful falls at last. 
We arrived after dinner time and there were only a few cars in the large lot.  Perfection.

As you can see, Lilly has entered a stage of not enjoying having her picture taken..  she is so much like her older twin brothers it amazes me. 

Although, they hadn't reached that stubborn stage yet when I took their photo in the same place 12 years before:

A quick photo and she was free to roam about, happy once more. 


Johnathan didn't mind photos at all.  He & I took a separate trail (we took the longer route to a bridge crossing, those in bare toes & waterproof shoes splashed across river rocks.)  Johnathan explores much like I do, stopping to look closer and investigate often.  And to my delight - to take pictures.   


Late summer, nearing fall, water volume was low, making for a quiet river bed, and plenty of climbing in the gorge.  I watched THIS VIDEO back in April of the raging river when ice went out - a different story.   Minnesota is always changing.



Upper Falls, on the other side of scenic highway 61, one of five of the Gooseberry River's waterfalls tumbling down toward Lake Superior:

Gooseberry Falls State Park has many stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 
A major part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, the CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the U.S. while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory.  In nine years 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).
Principal benefits of an individual's enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability.  Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.
During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.
By 1942, with World War II and the draft in operation, need for work relief declined and Congress voted to close the program.

This statue of a CCC worker was enough to get all three kids smiling.  :)

Peace, Love, and State Park Appreciation,

Sharing with Our World Tuesday.

31 comments:

  1. beautiful falls. and loved seeing your 3 youngest (and 2 oldest in retrospect.) :)

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  2. We're going to have to add Gooseberry Falls to our 'must visit' list. We haven't done much visiting in the Upper Midwest, but this gives us a good excuse to visit. Thanks for telling us about it.

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  3. My dad was in the CCCs when he was a young man, before he joined the Air Force. He always remembered it with fondness. Love your waterfall pictures and wondering how you make the water look so perfect and soft. Mine never looks that way. :-)

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  4. What a great park! I'm sure the kids loved it there. How wonderful that you are instilling a love for nature in your kids. They are extremely fortunate.

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  5. A great park indeed and I can surely understand why the kids loved it -- I love your photos so I know I would love the park itself!! Thanks for sharing the beauty!! The waterfalls are awesome!!!

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  6. Gorgeous waterfalls and beautiful and handsome young people! Great shots!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  7. A lovely series of captures which, I'm sure, will bring warm and happy memories to your kids in years to come.

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  8. Such great compositions - I just love waterfalls. However, that step photo is outstanding! I'm wondering if Lilly is a tomboy with all those brothers?

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  9. beautiful images. great video.

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  10. That's a lovely waterfall! I just love all it's tiers and cascades. I also enjoyed the photos of your kids. They look like they're having a blast.

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  11. What a gorgeous place - and lovely shots of your children too!

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  12. Beautiful area! I loved your photos of the waterfalls and the wood steps winding upwards. You have adorable children!
    Blessings, Aimee

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  13. What a picturesque area and such a fun place to take the kids.

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  14. Gooseberry Falls are part of a very picturesque park - love your waterfalls photos. Interesting how outings like this bring forth children's unique - and changing - personalities.

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  15. Happy children in a beautiful landscape - bliss!

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  16. Great set of pictures - you really can tell the kids are brothers and sisters!

    The water falls look like the kind of place my kids would love - and get very wet at!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: glad you liked the Darwin statue - he's not always popular!

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  17. The beauty of waterfalls always captures my attention too. Gooseberry Falls State Park looks like a great way to spend time exploring as a family.

    Hope you get your autumn projects done before the snow falls and stays. It's to early to think about the white stuff.

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  18. Beautiful place and beautiful pictures. That waterfalls is just awesome.

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  19. The falls looks magical. I like the wide rock wall.

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  20. Gorgeous... George sent me the email you sent him with more info about Gooseberry Falls/area. Looks like some place we need to visit sometime. Thanks so much, Amanda...

    It is beautiful --and I enjoyed seeing all of your pictures.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  21. Such interesting rock structures around the falls. We have granite cliffs next to our cabin home, but they have been ground down round by the ice age glaciers. - Margy

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  22. Such a lovely place to visit. I love waterfalls of any kind. Your kids looked to be having a great time. That one shot with all the stairs looks like quite a climb.

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  23. Lovely Picnic place......beautiful falls...Have a nice day....:)

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  24. wow what amazing photos and places-your photos of your children are stunning (as usual) great post.

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  25. Such an awesome place! I loved to see the picture from 12 years ago ... How the time flies - Ain't it mysterious?! Our boys are not so happy of being photographed either ... Our oder one has an eye infection at the moment - Fall is the season for all kinds of vira. We're having Fall Break next week - It's lovely to have slow mornings and forest trips!

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  26. Gorgeous park . . .
    Enjoyed some history . . .
    Also enjoyed the individuality of children . . .
    Love, Love, Loved this . . . (Really like your writing creativity.)

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  27. SUPER shots and what a fantastic place for everyone-I do enjoy the before photos you share and your lovely insights on your crew, wonderful post.

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  28. One of Minnesota's many gorgeous parks. We are so lucky to live in a progressive State with such diverse and beautiful regions

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  29. Perhaps the most striking of the many beautiful State Parks along the North Shore. We are so lucky to live in a such a progressive State with such diverse and wonderful regions. I've always loved the Arrowhead country....:)

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  30. Hi there - my copy of The Riverbank arrived today - I can see why you like it!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (who may be having 'word verification' issues on his blog!!)

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  31. Such beautiful photo. And what a beautiful place.

    Hugs~

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