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.
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This area is insanely beautiful and serene. You’ve got to be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time though! Lots of campsites in different lakes to choose from. We stayed on Crab Lake and had an entire island all to ourselves. 200+ rod portage, all well worth it. Plenty of fishing too. It’s the absolute perfect spot to unplug from the world and truly live in the wild. We plan to go back at least once every year!
We came up here with a bunch of friends and all of our kids as a group. We had three campers and a tent and they accommodated us with no issues.
This is a relaxed and mellow place and I'm sure the seasonal campers appreciate visitors being the same. It certainly felt like a family, while we checked in we were offered a piece of cake because someone there had a birthday and why wouldn't you have cake?? Awesome!
The site we shared was clean and very well maintained. The lake is privately owned so the wonderful fishing is only open to guests and there is very good fishing there.
We showed up with a ton of kids from ages 1 to 15 and they played, and swam and rented boats and hung out in the gift shop and I'm sure they pestered the wonderful people and they took it like champs. They were amazing hosts in every sense of the word.
The showers and bathrooms weren't the most modern but they were very well maintained and very clean and so much better than others I've used.
There is also a dump station as you exit so we didn't have to make another stop when we left. This is such a big perk!
We will be coming back here.
My wife and a number of her friends have raved about this place so we booked a site for a week over the 4th of July.
First off, every member of the staff we worked with from reservations to the store were wonderful. They were helpful, courteous and polite but you could tell that they were no nonsense. Personally I appreciate that. It signaled to me that we were dealing with professionals and gave me confidence in the campground.
We got there and I knew we were in for a treat. There is a causeway that leads from mainland to the island and it's such a fun and unique way to get to camp. Check in was smooth and went off without a hitch. The facilities were so very clean and well maintained. There was even easy access to a potable water station to fill out camper.
They were very clear from the get go that campers over a certain size weren't allowed and while ours isn't huge, maybe 30 foot hitch to bumper, I could see why they were so up front. We fit into our site and were able to get around when we needed to but it was certainly snug at times and some sites would be tough for a rookie to back into I think. If you're tenting it you've got no issues.
The facilities were amazing! That isn't hyperbole, they were so very clean and modern that we used them instead of our own camper most of the time. The bathhouse is easily the best I've seen at a campground, there are pit toilets scattered about for convenience and we would see staff stop by a few times a day to clean and stock up.
The beach area is great and nice sand. There are tables with umbrellas and volleyball slides in the water.
They offer various things to rent. We didn't use any of them but I remember the rates were very reasonable and what I could see things looked very well maintained.
The two things that stick out in my mind are the lack of bugs and how reasonably priced firewood was. I don't know if they actively control bugs or if it's just a natural byproduct of their unique location but in the week we were there we never applied bug spray.
We loved our one week there so much that we've asked to be put onto a permanent renewal because we will be going back over and over.
3/6/20-3/8/20. Cart-in 4
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is situated on Lake Superior in Two Harbors. It’s a backpacker’s paradise! They are open year-round and have 20 secluded Cart-In campsites within 2000 feet of the parking lot. They have wheeled carts available to move your camping gear to your campsite - or in the winter you could sled-in like we did. Each site has a fire ring, picnic bench and a bear locker for your food or gear. They also have 4 backpack sites with their own vault toilets and are 1/2 mile to 2 mile hike from the parking lot.. The sites are all nicely spaced with some close to the water with gorgeous views of Lake Superior, some of the lighthouse and others wooded. We got to scope out almost every one of them, as only one other person was camping here this weekend. You really can’t go wrong with any site at Split Rock as they were all beautiful and have their own little something to offer. Their showers are not open in the winter but they do have vault toilets throughout
They have 12 miles of hiking trails that run along Lake Superior and double back on the Gitchi-Gami trail. The Gitchi-Gami trail is a paved trail in summer which boasts biking or hiking and unplowed hiking in the winter. In the winter the park has hiking, snowshoeing and xcountry ski trails. .
The big draw is their historic lighthouse in which they charge a separate fee to enter. For all the times I have visited Split Rock, I have honestly never been to the light house. There is also river/stream fishing and access to several rock beaches. We hiked ALL the trails during our stay. They are diverse and beautiful! We particularly enjoyed the Day Hill trail which leads up to an overlook and gives you panoramic views of Lake Superior, the lighthouse and Split Rock Point.
This state park fills up very fast and is reservable, so we opted to visit in the winter. We chose site 4 which is close to the parking lot, next to Lake Superior and has views of the lighthouse. Our site was beautiful nestled among birch and pine (which most are), with waves crashing in the background. There is a short path that leads to a private bench that provides stunning views of the lighthouse and cliff views of the lake. We had clear skies and very little wind in our campsite. Highs in the 40s - low of 15 Friday, 28 Saturday. It was perfect winter camping weather!
I highly recommend a visit to this state park!