Butterwort Cliffs SNA


Area and County

    Cook County
    Northeast Minnesota

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43 acres


Detail map (MN DNR)


 Printable Map with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

N47 43.157, W90 28.645

Hiking Trails

No maintained trails


No hunting

Ecological Classification Province  

Laurentian Mixed Forest

Ecological Classification

Northern Superior Uplands


North Shore Highlands

Land Type Association(s)

North Shore Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype

Dry Bedrock Shore (Lake Superior)

Exposed Mafic Cliff (Lake Superior)

Wet Rocky Shore (Lake Superior): Bedrock Subtype

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Cascade River State Park

Minnesota DNR


Most of this SNA lies within Cascade River State Park.


Closed May 1 through August 15

This SNA is closed April 1 through July 15 to protect a Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) nesting colony.








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  Butterwort Cliffs SNA   Butterwort Cliffs SNA

Wood Routed Sign

  Butterwort Cliffs SNA    

Closed April 1 through July 15

  Butterwort Cliffs SNA    

Dry Bedrock Shore (Lake Superior)

  Butterwort Cliffs SNA   Butterwort Cliffs SNA






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Other Videos
  Butterwort Cliffs Caves and Arches
Bryan Hansel

Published on Jun 17, 2013

http://www.northshoreexpeditions.com -- A few of the caves and arches on our Butterwort Cliffs Guided Kayaking Tour. I guided this trip as the first trip of the year and mounted a camera on my kayak. This is near Grand Marais, MN.




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MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations

Two bird species with conservation status in Minnesota and one tracked species have been seen here:



Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)


Special concern

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist

Insects and Arachnids

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

cabbage white


whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer


Two plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:


Special concern

Hudson Bay eyebright (Euphrasia hudsoniana var. ramosior)

common butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris ssp. vulgaris)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn43b1

Dry Bedrock Shore (Lake Superior) LKu43a

Exposed Mafic Cliff (Lake Superior) CTu22a

Wet Rocky Shore (Lake Superior): Bedrock Subtype LKu43b2



alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

Appalachian barren strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides)

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigleaf lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus ssp. polyphyllus)

bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

blue spruce (Picea pungens)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Canada lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

field sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis)

fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium)

flat-topped aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

green alder (Alnus viridis ssp. crispa)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)

large-flowered beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus)

large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum)

narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard (Crepis tectorum)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Pennsylvania buttercup (Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

roundleaf serviceberry (Amelanchier sanguinea)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

showy mountain ash (Sorbus decora)

shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

squashberry (Viburnum edule)

thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

white avens (Geum canadense)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)


Acer ginnala (Amur maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Alnus viridis ssp. crispa (green alder)

Amelanchier sanguinea (roundleaf serviceberry)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)

Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Chamerion angustifolium (fireweed)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Crepis tectorum (narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Doellingeria umbellata (flat-topped aster)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum (large-leaved avens)

Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)

Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus (bird’s-foot trefoil)

Lupinus polyphyllus ssp. polyphyllus (bigleaf lupine)

Lysimachia borealis (American starflower)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Penstemon grandiflorus (large-flowered beardtongue)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Picea pungens (blue spruce)

Pilosella aurantiaca (orange hawkweed)

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunus pensylvanica (pin cherry)

Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Pennsylvania buttercup)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sonchus arvensis (field sow thistle)

Sorbus decora (showy mountain ash)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Viburnum edule (squashberry)

Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry)

alsike clover

big bluestem

black-eyed Susan

Canada wildrye

common evening primrose

common St. Johnswort

common tansy

common yarrow

field sow thistle

flat-topped aster (var. umbellata)

northern lady fern

oxeye daisy

pearly everlasting

prickly rose

shrubby cinquefoil

yellow goat’s beard




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