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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Road up to the campground is very rough, broke the axle on our camper. Bathrooms are just ok, showers need improvement- especially the shower head. Dump station is tilted the wrong way so we weren’t able to completely empty the tanks. I suggest using the free dump station at the gas station down the hill. Secluded but close to Duluth. Pricey for what you get.
I visited Gulch Lake campground October of 2019. The leaves could not have been more beautiful. The outhouses were clean. There were only two other campers in the campground, perhaps given the time of year, because who could resist this spot? It's not actually on the lake, and can be difficult to find down an old rickety road, I would suggest getting there with plenty of light so you can locate the grounds. Not only is it connected to the North Country Trail but there is also a beautiful trail around Gulch Lake that is connected to the north side of the campground just past Spot 1. We spent all day hiking through the crowds at Itasca (about 15 minutes down the road) and learned that we had the best most secluded hiking right next door. I will be returning!