The rugged land formations of Jay Cooke State Park enhance the beauty of the hardwood forests and make for great camping near Minneapolis. The water-eroded gorge, steep valleys, and massive rock formations are seen throughout the park. In some seasons, the water of the St. Louis River thunders over slabs of ancient, exposed rock. At other times, it slows to a gentle trickle. Visitors enjoy the scenic splendor of Jay Cooke State Park during all seasons.
Drive-in Sites 79 Sites: Most are wooded sites. In winter, 12 sites are kept available for winter camping. Of these, five are electric sites.
Pull-Through Sites: One Site
Electric Sites: 21 Sites Majority of sites are 20 and 30 amps, some 50 amp.
RV Length Limit: Variable by site up to 60 Feet Length is measured from front of tow vehicle to rear of vehicle being towed.
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: 3 Sites Located near drinking water. Two sites are electric, one is non-electric.
Backpack Sites: 4 Sites Sites are located from 1 to 4 miles from parking area. Each site has picnic table, fire ring and latrine. Campers must haul water or treat water on site. Trail access to these sites has been restored after a 2012 flood, but a few nearby trails remain closed. Please register at the park office for details on how to get to these sites.
Walk-in Sites: 4 Sites Sites are located 50 to 150 feet from parking area.
Group Camp: 2 Sites - Each accommodates up to 25 people Remote, wooded camp with walk-in sites approximately 150' from parking area (limited parking). Carts are provided to carry in camping gear. Water spigot and vault toilets available. Tents only. Lodging
Camper Cabins: 5 Cabins All cabins have a screened porch. Electricity and heat are available year-round. Agate and Basalt cabins are ADA accessible and sleep 5. Slate, Gabbro, and Shale Cabins sleep 6 people. Pets not allowed in cabins. More information on camper cabins.
The campground here is nice, but could use some updates (bathrooms/showers). The hiking is beautiful, especially along the river (although some trails are closed due to wash out repair). And of course the kids love the swinging bridge!
Located just a short drive from Duluth, MN, this state park has something to offer anyone: hiking, camping, cycling, and gnarly whitewater kayaking. The campground is nestled tightly into the woods, a little crowded, but the sites feel spacious and nearly private. The campsites offer the usual amenities, picnic table, campfire ring, but they really excel in their full-scale recycling program and self-service bike tune up stations.
The bathrooms and showers were very clean -- I even found a park ranger cleaning and working on the toilet at 10 pm! After a week-long paddle in Voyageurs National Park, we pulled into this campground late in the evening simply in search of a hot shower and place to stay for the night…and found a whole lot more when we awoke in the morning!
The visitors center, just a short walk away, offers interpretive programs, miles of hiking trails, and a swinging bridge over the beautiful St. Louis River gorge.
Reservations are required year round, and the website is easy to use https://reservations1.usedirect.com/MinnesotaWebHome/. Campground was amazingly busy in early May, so I would recommend reservations for the high season.
I spent a day trip with friends at Jay Cook. The water levels were low, so we clambered around on the sculpted granite rocks that line the river and falls, dipping on and out of pools and up slick rock faces.
There's always a lot of people, but if you get far enough from parking it drops off dramatically.
I live on the edge of this park but I love to rent a cabin so I'm in the middle of the fun. My grandkids, friends and daughter have stayed with me. Campfire at night, hiking during the day and lots of fresh air. We usually have a few "visitors" in the evening. While sitting around d the fire we can spot raccoons hoping to steal some marshmallows or in the morning when the chipmunks ate our donuts! It's a great place a d the cabins are wonderful for those who aren't fond of tents.
This is an average campground. The campsites have good space and trees. The weekend I went there were no vacancies, so it must be a pretty popular place. There is a cool river with a lot of rapids and white water.
What I noticed most was all of the young people hiking the trails. There were a lot of hikers.
We came with our extended family and while they did tent camping we stayed in a camping cabin. The cabins were great! Our family also was pleased with their tent camping site. This park offered some fun hikes. The views are beautiful- great place to take photos! We came into the stay somewhat unaware of the park, as our family had done the reservations and planning, but we were pleasantly surprised at everything this park offers :)
site: wooded. walk-in sites available. camping cabins available. amenities: very clean. attractions: geocaching. historic sites. nature programs. biking. hiking. I would go camping here again.
Jay Cooke is one of the better state park campgrounds with beautiful scenery and is close to Duluth. I would recommend checking out the fire museums in Hinckley and Moose Lake on your way up from the Twin Cities.