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Judge C R Magney State Park
Judge C R Magney State Park © Nancy Bauer
Judge C R Magney State Park © Nancy Bauer
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4051 East Highway 61
Grand Marais, Minnesota   55604

Phone: 218-387-3039
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Reservations: 866-857-2757
Email: park email button icon
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.
Nature of the Area
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.

Judge C R Magney State Park is

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Concrete foundations in the campground and picnic areas of the park are remnants of a transient work camp built there in 1934 by the State. The camp provided work and lodging for men displaced during the Depression years. In addition to building trails, logging, and completing public service projects, these men helped fight a fire in 1935 that burned more than 10,000 acres in the area. Later the men set up a sawmill and began to salvage fire-damaged wood. In 1957, a 940-acre parcel of forest along the Brule River was set aside as Bois Brule State Park. The park became Judge C. R. Magney State Park in 1963 when the Minnesota legislature selected this park as a memorial to the late Judge Magney, a lawyer, mayor of Duluth, justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and a strong advocate of Minnesota State Parks, especially those along the North Shore. With his influence, he was instrumental in establishing 11 state parks and waysides along Lake Superior. Over the years, parcels of land have been added to the park which today totals 4,674 acres.

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Minnesota State Parks