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.
Just got back from Itasca State Park and I am very impressed. Stayed at the Pine Ridge campground in the Poplar Circle. This area is more private than the camp circles before and less populated usually. Restroom area was up to date and very clean. Camp sites were nice and clean as well. The next three nights we went backcountry camping to BC #2, 3 and 9 and were very impressed. BC sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 we all passed on our trek and all were spacious, beautiful and clean. Highly recommended and will be coming back soon with my kayak, rollerblades and bike!
We go to this campground once a year - week before Memorial Day Weekend. They offer a discount then, so we get the premium spots down by the river for a good price. We like spots 161 & 162 as you can park parallel with the river and nobody bothers you. It is just beautiful. I hear it becomes kind of a party place during the year, but we have not experienced that.
We enjoy this park a lot. We stay here 2-3 times per summer. Shuttle takes you to casino, but sometime we don’t even go there and just enjoy the area. Good things are level cement parking area and grassy spots. Bad thing is they don’t make you pay to make a reservation so people reserve a spot and don’t show up. My photo shows our row with 5 empty spots and they said they ere full.
The tent sites are all cart in, making the scenery the main focus. You don't have to stare at vehicles while you are enjoying a fire, which I love. They also have sites that you can canoe in to as well as cabins and yurts. The trails are well kept, the river clean and the lakes are motor free. You would never know that you are as close to the town as you are. And they have plenty of activities to do on the water like canoeing, paddle boarding, paddle boating, kayaking or just swimming.
Good place for a camping get away. We had 4 groups taking 4 spots adjacent to each other. Children loved the swimming, canoeing and hiking. The sites were spacious enough for a large tent and screen tent.
Not too far from Marcell where you can get any supplies that you may have forgot or just ran out of.
Pulled our new camper here for the weekend. Loved every minute it. Beautiful park and nice campground.
We have stayed her many time visiting family. Great golf course right next to it. Nice large sites and great price. 27.00 for pull through and full hook-up. We have always had friendly people staying next to us. Has a very very small swing set for kids. If you are in search of a great butcher shop while there—head to Schmidt’s meat market in Nicollet, MN. Outstanding items to grill. Would highly recommend staying at Sawmill.
While I have seen parks and campsites with more privacy, there are so many trees (and many sites with a lake view) that it's worth a stay at Father Hennepin State Park in MN. Especially if you are rocking out with a pair of OOFOS flipflops!
We've stayed at this campground a few times before, and it should seem obvious that since we keep coming back, it's not too shabby. Yes, I've seen campgrounds that have more privacy between spaces, but I don't think this place is every terribly crowded (at least not when we visit, in May). The leaves are just beginning to bud on the trees, so there is less coverage from your neighbors than in the heat of the summer, but since there are less campers, you can spread out a little bit. My only complaint, and this is the same of previous years here, is that the electric sites are so close to the tent sites that you can generally hear the generators and/or those that think that the wilderness is for loud music dance parties. Fortunately, this time, we were in our new teardrop camper and could shut out the tunes!
We were at site 7, which was the last one in this campground that sits and faces the lake. And while we've been to this site before, it's the first time we've been in our Teardrop Trailer at this park. Lucky for us, the ice was gone and the wind was pretty calm, so the icy chill wasn't too bad. Each site has a fire ring with a grate that swings back and forth, depending on if you want to chill by the flames, or grill off some burgers. The site we had was fairly level. and provided ample space to park our teardrop and our car without hanging out into the road. A picnic table rounded out the scene to provide a full on camping experience. And lovely night sounds of frogs that sang us to sleep!
There are well over a hundred sites, about 100 of them tent pads (no electric), and about 50 with electric. A few group campsites as well as 4 handicapped sites.There are 2 shower houses, 2 flush toilet buildings, vault toilets scattered around and water (in season, when it's turned on).
In Minnesota, reservations are required. We've found that if you make them in advance, and then decide to cancel the day of the reservation, there are cancellation fees and first night fees and blah blah blah. If, however, you decide to take your chances and book it the "day of", there are no online reservation fees and you can cancel without penalty if you decide to go elsewhere.
Drive in sites are approximately $23/night. Electric are about $34/night.
Now, I have to admit, I'm an OOFOS junkie. Ever since I won a pair in my very firsts campground contest. That said, I'll never pass up the chance to review another pair! This time, I had the OOFOS Women's OOriginal Sandal. The last pair I had was a light color, and I loved the shoes, but they got dirty so quickly. Since these shoes are a type of foam, they scuff and dirty a little easier than other shoes, but the comfiness of them is off the chart, so they are totally worth having in other colors! This time, I chose black, to combat and dirt issues I might have while camping. If you can't see the dirt, it's not there, right?
OOFOS are recovery shoes, and I didn't know what that meant at first, but just wait until you put them on at the end of a hard day on your feet (long work day, long hike, etc). They literally massage the sole of your foot. I'm not joking. I can't believe how my feet feel when I change shoes. If I listen veeeeeery carefully, I can hear my feet smiling! They are sort of spongy and squishy, but not in a strange way. Like walking on marshmallows! (but not sticky). Seriously, they cushioning, higher arch and wide fashion of the shoe (yes, it's a little chunkier, not a huge fashion statement) make it stable and comfy. They hug your feet and don't slip off the way some other "slippy" flipflops can. And so lightweight! The price is a little more than I normally pay for shoes, but I'd absolutely invest in another pair if this one wears out. The bottom has some fun grippy texture that looks as if it might channel away water if you stepped in a puddle.
Quite frankly, as long as I have my OOFOS, I don't care what campground I'm staying at, but this one is good enough that I enjoy staying a little while, to look at the lake and enjoy the singing frogs!
I visited this location as I was at Sibley State Park nearby, and this site was unreviewed. There is no campground or campsite here, actually, this is just a “four corners” at the edge of a residential area of regular houses and lake homes outside Willmar.
This place is more old school and ma & pop type place!!! Very family friendly, quiet, and plenty to do if you like fishing, kids swimming in the lake, kayaking, paddle boards, bikes you can use for free but must follow his safety rules, also has boat and pontoon to rent. We go a few times a year and love it!!! Not pet friendly unfortunately but nice and clean!! Also has sand volleyball, basketball court/tennis. My kids love the big cleaning the kids get a big baseball game going or kick ball!! Has 7 sites to rent and 3 cabins
We stayed there in July 2018. We went for the lift served downhill mountain biking and found this to be an extremely convenient place to stay. The Campground is lovely and shaded and at the top of the ski mountain. You ride across the road to acsess the trails. We stayed for a week and it helped that the weather was perfect. The days are long there so after we tired ourselves out riding we did some hiking and and siteseeing along the Ridgeline that goes through Duluth and up the lakeshore. Also saw the ship museum in Superior. The campsites have electric and they recycle the orange bags for the firewood so be sure to return those to the office before you leave. The ice is for sale at a good price too. There were some mosquitos but not nearly as many as I expected. Restrooms and showers are decent and clean. The spirit mountain beginner trails are machine built and smooth and are a total blast. I saw advance riders on the beginner trails also. We wore full face helmets but some people don't. I can't do the advanced trails but a lot of people were enjoying them. I recommend this Campground for sports enthusiasts.
The outside sites are the place to be if you can stay for a week (required). We were there for a weekend and our site was almost impossible to get into and was very small. We had to pull ahead into the neighbors site to get in/out. Once we got past the frustration of parking the weekend was a blast. The pools and slides were so much fun and they have a food court with many options so theres no need to leave the pool area to eat. There are 3 areas to swim. One is for toddlers, the middle is a regular pool with diving boards and the last one is the waterslide pool area.
We were very impressed with how well the grounds were maintained. One of the best we had seen. We had a back in with full hookups and a fire ring. The park is beautiful and there's a great bike path that goes all the way to the zoo. Downtown Minneapolis is 20-30 min drive away. My only complaint was the fire rings and the neighbor's sewage hookup is close.
This is the best campground I’ve been too as far as privacy and site layout. Trees are between each site. Lake front campsites are actually lakefront! The bathrooms are super clean and the shower actually felt like a “personal” shower. However I would be concerned with shower availability if campground was full, 3 showers per loop (one in men’s, one in women’s, one in unisex/family bathroom). My only “complaint” if that’s what you want to call it was the heat in the bathrooms was already turned off and it was still 28 degrees at night. Made showering pretty chilly with the cold air in the bathroom. Actually ended up using the family bathroom since it was smaller and shower warmed the air some.
This campground was an excellent getaway for my husband and I as well as our two fur-babies. The campground was organized and clean. We felt like we were secluded yet there were so many spots at the campground! The campground offered music and an arcade. Perfect for a rainy weekend. Nearby are bike trails, a winery, and a brewery.
Such a quaint town and park!
We spent one night here and booked it for our wedding venue as well! The lake view was spectacular and the park manager, Joanne was so humble! Joanne lives on the grounds so it made for easy access to any answers we needed while camping. We were looking for an outdoor space surrounded by tall trees for our 2020 ceremony and this site hit the sweet spot! There are a number of grassy campsites as well as dirt sites. Bunk cabins are available as well! We stayed right on the edge of the lake and absolutely loved it. So serene!🙌🏾May is the perfect time to go if you’re looking for some peace and quiet away from other campers. This campsite also doesn’t allow cars or generators on any of the camping spots, so be sure to keep that in mind!
Can’t wait to go back!
We arrived hours before the office was supposed to close, but the firewood was locked up. After a long hike we got setup in the dark, nearly getting lost on the poorly marked trail. Went back to get some safe move certified firewood. (No good way to transport more than a few bundles on that terrain. Recommend fake logs for longer burning and easy transport.) By the time we got back and setup with a fire and food, we were exhausted. During the day though, it was pretty and tranquil. Didn't hear much from the neighboring sites. If we knew what to expect, it would've been a better start to the trip. We would possibly go again.
We wanted to get a jumpstart on the 2019 camping season so we booked a backpacking site (Friday) and two sites here (Saturday) for the first weekend in May. In hindsight, it may have been a bit ambitious as temperatures dropped to the low 30s at night - but hey, it was retrospective fun!
Our sites, E119 and E120, were pretty standard as far as drive-in sites go, and perhaps a bit expensive ($25). That said, after backpacking the previous night, it was nice to be able to charge our electronic devices. Each site has its own picnic table and fire ring, and ample room to place a tent (or two!). If you're camping outside shoulder season, make sure you stock up on firewood as most of the local convenience stores don't seem to have it in stock. Overall, solid spot - but nothing overtly special.
We started the 2019 camping season early and spent the first weekend in May exploring Itasca State Park. We parked at the trailhead near Lake Josephine and took the Red Pine Trail about three miles to our site. We were happy to find BP5 as quiet and secluded as it appeared on the map, and not nearly as close to other sites as some of the other remote options.
The best part about the site is easily the stunning view of Mckay Lake, where we saw a beautiful sunset and sunrise. We also appreciated the bench, vault toilet, and rope left to hang our bear bag. The clearing fit our two tents easily. Overall, a great site if you're craving some distance from the grind for a while.
Love this place your site is of the road with a campfire ring n ok water or power in the woods lots of wildlife you can camp for free for 21 days at a time if your a rock hound great place for it got stuck in a ditch last year for the whole weekend not one person came by all weekend lol that's how private it is there
The entire Gooseberry Falls State Park and campground were built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The stone work is amazing! There are great hiking trails along the waterfalls as well as away from the water along the Superior Trail (which was developed long after the CCC work ended). The campground has nice sized private campsites, newer and clean modern showers and bathrooms. The campground is very popular and fills up fast, so you might want to make reservations. Supposedly there are one or two kayak in sites at the mouth of the river, but I did not check it out. This park is VERY busy with visitors who want to see and play in the falls. But it is easy to escape the crowds- just head out on one of the hiking trails away from the falls and you will have the place to yourself.
Two Harbors is a neat little deep port town on Lake Superior with a very busy campground just on the edge of town. The campground overlooks the lake and a few lucky sites have lake access. Most sites in the main campground are tiny and on top of each other, and most people were camping with RV’s or campers, though not all sites have hookups. There is an auxiliary RV area across the street from the beach where all sites have hookups, but it is in the full sun and the pull through sites are right next to each other. The bathroom is clean, considering how many people have to use it. It seemed that there were campground staff buzzing around on golf carts constantly to see to the needs of the campgrounds. Firewood, ice, t-shirts, and other sunderies are available for purchase at the campground store, but you are not far from the grocery stores for your bigger needs. I found the campground to be loud, but that might just be because there is nowhere for noise to dissipate between sites since they are on top of each other.
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