The Land of 10,000 Lakes is also notable for its likewise numerous assortment of trails and campgrounds for avid lovers of the great outdoors. Minnesota has many diverse natural environments to explore all across the state. While there are lots of spots to choose from, here are a couple especially neat sites to consider for your next foray when camping in Minnesota.
Part of the massive Dulux Complex rock formation, Eagle Mountain stands at a whopping 2,301 feet, the highest point of elevation in the state. Isolated from higher ground for hundreds of miles and overlooking several different lakes and a vast forest, the peak offers excellent opportunities to take a bird’s eye view of Minnesota’s rich natural beauty.
In addition to the campsites adjacent to Whale Lake, there are also many trails that run along the mountain, through the woods, and beside the lakes. Just keep in mind that Eagle Mountain’s trails overlap with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, so be sure to get a BWCAW permit if you plan to cross over. Plus, you need an overnight permit from the Forest Service in nearby Tofte, MN.
The starting point for the grand Mississippi River, Lake Itasca, rests within Itasca State Park. The park hosts a variety of camping amenities such as lodges and internet access. You can also stop at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center to learn more about the lake and its link to the Mississippi. Or you can check out the University of Minnesota’s Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories campus.
In addition to excellent camping facilities, Lake Itasca has many other outdoor sights and activities for visitors to explore. Multiple trails snake by the shores of the lake and into the adjacent wilderness, and it’s definitely a great place to experience the beauty of Minnesota’s northern ecosystems. Plus, you can go fishing at the lake, assuming you have the necessary permits.
With so many different campsites and trails throughout Minnesota’s diverse natural environments, there’s bound to be one that’s just right for you. Whatever you’re looking for in your camping experience, whether it’s finding deluxe accommodations or exploring unique trails or getting a great view of the landscape, you’re sure to have a blast camping in Minnesota.
This campground is really great, the main downside is that in order to pay the fee you have to drive to City Hall which is about 2 miles away.
There are both group campsites and individual campsites here. From the entrance road, once you see the camping rules sign you will take a right down a dirt road to the individual sites. Otherwise if you keep driving straight past the portage, then you will find the group sites.
When we arrived there was no one else occupying campsites, so you might have the whole place to yourself!
Things to do around the park:
Hiking trails to Wolf Creek Falls
Boating and fishing
Read about the history of this former sandstone quarry site (there's a collection of interesting info boards near the portage)
Rock climbing including the state's best 12a/b!!! Sigma lives up to the hype. More info on the rock climbing in this area: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105812719/robinson-park
Ice climbing in winter months (but you'd be crazy to camp in MN winters, in my opinion)
Paddle past the Robinson Ice Cave known to be a popular bat habitat
whitewater rapid rafting
2/15/19-2/17/19. We arrived in the dark and found a clipboard to select your campsite by the main office. It’s first come, first serve. Only a select number of campsites are available in February in the main loop.
The roads were plowed and campsites that were open were well marked. We stayed in #17 and it was shoveled out and kept up for a nice winter camp. The outhouses were open and a short walk from our campsite. We cross country skied on groomed trailed right in the park and they are beautiful. The lake was frozen so we also got to experience walking on Lake superior as well as hiking within the park. It snowed all weekend and I really enjoyed my experience. If you have never winter camped I highly recommend your first time at Tettegouche. Bring a 4-season tent a warm sleeping bag, layer up and make a nice fire.
Amazing hike in only campground. 1.7 mile hike into Tettegouche camp. It has 4 cabins for rent and a main lodge available for use. Has a one room cabin for 2 people with a queen bed, small refrigerator, an electric cook top, dishes and a table with 2 chairs. Heated by a wood stove and has back up furnace if temperature goes below 50 degrees. Very cute, cozy, romantic cabin! There are also three 2 bedroom cabins that sleep 4-6 people. NO RUNNING WATER OR BATHROOM IN THE CABINS but there is a very clean, very nice bathroom house with electricity on site. Your cabin rental includes a canoe to use on beautiful Mic Mac Lake. There is no WiFi and this is not a pet friendly campground. It is very peaceful and quiet. We saw deer and rabbits roaming about. Amazing hiking trails near by and very near the shore of Lake Superior. The cabins are reservable and hard to secure as they are in high demand. I gave this campground 5 out of 5 stars because it is amazing!
About a 25 minute drive west of Grand Rapids, MN, Schoolcraft State Park is a less-often visited park that makes up for its lack of hiking trails and in-park amenities with cozy, quiet charm.
The park does not have a visitor center, but it does have a small shelter near the entrance of the park which houses a box with maps and self-registration envelopes. It also has bundles of wood for $6.
We are visiting during Labor Day weekend and there are still sites available. I think next time we visit this park we will skip the $7 online registration fee and just take whatever site is available because this campground just doesn’t fill up.
There is one hiking loop around the entirety of the park that very easy, but it is a beautiful walk through peaceful red pine forest.
The campsites are semi-wooded and private with fire pits equipped with grates and picnic tables.
Overall, the park is quiet and peaceful. Just right for a camper who likes to relax at camp.
Great campground that is very well kept. Not for the casual or starter camper as bears do wander the campground and need to make sure you keep all food cleaned up. Lots of great hiking within walking distance, and easy access to bwca if you want to do day trips.
Most sites have a view of the water, but this campground has a very specific purpose to this area, and it's not for long term camping. I mean, you can, but there isn't much glamour here.
The good part… They have electric, the bathroom is close, you can take a shower and even do laundry! In the summer, my husband says it's fun to people watch here (he's stayed before), but this time of year, it's quieter. The slips and dock are right in front as well as the camp office. The casino is an easy walk, and since you are so close to the border, you can exchange your money as well (Canadian to USD and vice versa).
We didn't know in advance, but paying for the campground allows you free use of the pool inside the casino!
Now, the ugly party.. The price. It was about $45 for an electric site. I think tents were about $20. While it did come with the amenities mentioned above, there is no privacy at any of the sites. The back row sits against the trees, but that's as good as it gets.
Bottom line, it's a good stopping spot near the border where you can plug in and swim, but not great if you want privacy or upscale.
I'd stay here again, but probably opt for a tent site to save some money if I could make do off the grid.
The staff were very friendly on arrival. Allowed us to pick a preferred spot which is nice. They had a small pool that was to chilly for me but my kids still gave it a shot!!
The restrooms were very clean and the property was well maintained. I would definitely stop here for the evening again if I was driving through.
We love our Boundary Waters Canoe Area to the north of us, and the North shore of Lake Superior to the east, both of which offer some of the best wilderness camping in northern Minnesota. However, they are both a good three hour drive from our home in north central Minnesota. Itasca State Park, between Park Rapids and Bemidji, is our go-to special place when we want to take to the woods for a weekend but only have to drive about a half hour to get there. Most campers at Itasca head for the main campgrounds for standard tent and RV camping…but for a near Wilderness experience, there are 11 remote backpacker campsites which are between 1 and 6 miles trek into the roadless wilderness area of the park south of the parks main loop drive. The Iron Corner Lake remote campsite is one such campsite off on its own in the backcountry, actually by the nexus of the Ozawindib Trail and the North Country National Scenic trail that runs through this part of the park. It is an easy trek in from a small parking area near Josephine Lake, or from a larger parking area at the south entrance of the park. Either trail in goes up and over the Itasca Moraine, so there is some good elevation change along the traild, but not too rugged, and it is really just over a mile that you need to pack in to this campsite. The campsite comes with fire ring and benches, beautiful bed of pine needles for a tent pad, access to a gorgeous crystal clear lake, and a clean three-sided outhouse with a scenic view toward the lake. (No need for a door—its the wilderness! ) You can camp here as a base camp, and then have the chance to hike miles of trails in every direction to dozens of other wilderness lakes in the area. The trails in are both wide, soft, and well maintained so you could easily bring in a kayak ir canoe if you dont mind portaging the distance. Quiet, rustic, pristine, and dark skies at night! Check this page for a description of the MN state park remote campsites with a link to reserve one: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/remote_camping.html and check this link for info on the Itasca State Park overall https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00181#homepage
Large sites. Great tubing and canoeing.
We camped here last minute when the rain held off and we could only find this campground with availability. We haven’t done much camping at Regional Parks but this park did not disappoint! Our “hike in” spot was very close to the car but hidden in a forest. Gorgeous spot. We walked around and looked at all the other sites and each was unique and pretty. I would have liked staying at any of the sites. Cleary Lake is a good size and a kayakers delight! The park also has a golf course and is very well kept! We really want to use one of the large group camp sites for a weekend party!
One of my favorite parks to cart into. The site office is very big and accommodating. There is a small gift shop with coffee and small conveniences. The carts are usually busted. Be prepared for that. The trails are groomed. You will need to hike in wood and water. Unless you have site J or K, the other sites are not beach level. Site H is visible from the trail. People can see everything and you can see them. It is close to the bathroom. Site H has a concrete slab that the picnic table rests on. There are metal railings that are broken. Do not lean on them. There are a few wood steps that lead closer to the cliff edge. There is some flat surface. I placed my tarp and netting here. There is a beautiful view towards the south west. This is not the tent pad. There is enough tree coverage for rain and wind. You can still see the stars. The cart out and in is about 20 minutes. Very easy. You can not see between sites, which is nice. I would still stay here again.
Very well maintained property, beautiful location right on the lake. Clean showers and bathrooms, nice little store, playground for the kids, clean swimming beach, this place has it all! The family that runs the place is awesome and very helpful, we love it and will definitely be back!
We pulled in later and pick it based on a previous review. Easily found a spot by the lake and woke to a pleasant midwestern vista. There are 3 tiers of sites, most are hook up sites for larger RV's. But they do have primitive sites for $15. Which we couldn't find in the dark lol. Showers and toilets well maintained- good safe feeling spot to pull in when you are putting in the miles.