Leech Lake Recreation Area is located in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest in Federal Dam, Minnesota.
The area is best known for its fishing and boat access to Portage Bay on Leech Lake, a famous perch, walleye and musky fishery.
Leech Lake has 316 miles of shoreline and encompasses 14 natural lakes. A mixed forest of elm, ash, maple, basswood, birch, aspen and pine covers the area.
Wildlife is abundant around the lake, where campers commonly hear the tell-tale call of loons out on the water.
Boating, canoeing and fishing are very popular activities. Anglers will find walleye, perch, bass, northern pike and musky, where every cast has the potential to yield a trophy.
Miles of scenic hiking trails meander around Leech Lake, including the Soo Line, Heartland and North Country National Scenic Trails.
This campground offers 73 wooded sites with electric hookups, including five sites with full hookups. Additional, there are four primitive walk-to tent sites. A group day-use picnic shelter with electric is available, as well as two mini picnic shelters.
Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water, laundry facilities, a dump station and overnight boat mooring.
Campers enjoy the parks basketball, volleyball, badminton and shuffleboard courts, as well as the horseshoe pits. Younger campers love the playground areas. Also available at the waters edge are boat ramps and a marina.
Interpretive Programs: Educational Programs
Visitor Center: Ranger Station
While at Leech Lake Recreation Area we stayed in site number 33 which was the electric site with our 30 foot Jayco Eagle travel trailer. There was enough room in the site for a travel trailer truck and probably another tent or screen tent. The other sites were close but not too close. if another travel trailer or RV pulled in it would block our view from their fire ring. The pad was all dirt and you can only set up on the dirt and not on the grass around it. The trees around the site were perfect for hammocks, we hung three of our Kammok brand hammocks. Our only complaint about the site was that the fire pit was dug down into the ground making it kind of unsafe if you had children and the fires didn’t stay lit very well because there was no oxygen going underneath them, so you’re constantly fanning it which was annoying because we cook with cast-iron over the fire for every meal.
We were able to go and take a walk to the lake which is super short walk from pretty much any of the sites but really close from our site. The sunset over the lake were stunning and a loon hung around the dock while we fished.
We took a lot of bike rides around the campground looking at each site and going to the park which was absolutely amazing for the kids. They had basketball courts, a huge playground that was amazing quality, shuffleboard, volleyball, badminton, and a picnic shelter that you could rent out with the cooking area inside the picnic shelter. There are pit toilets and bathrooms close to the playground so that isn’t an issue with little ones. The playground area is a great place to hang out with adults and children.
We took a bike ride to the tent sites as well and found that there are pretty close together and right next to a main road that was kind of noisy. They would probably be good if you got all four at once with a group of people. The dump station for the RVs was right next to the tent sites to which would probably be annoying to see all the RVs on a busy day dumping at the same time.
The federal Dan was a magnificent sight but it was pretty hard to fish around that area without a boat going on the leech lake because of the fast-moving water. They’re also wasn’t an area to swim because it would be unsafe which is kind of a bummer but the playground made up for it.
The park is run by the Army Corps of Engineers volunteers and they were super friendly and kept everything clean and sanitary which was amazing. There was even Washers and dryer’s to do laundry for free and amazing shower facilities that they called comfort stations. Everything was borrow on the loan and bring back which included all of the equipment at the park like basketballs badminton shuffle board stuff and rakes shovels and stuff to clean up your campsite.
All in all this would be a park that we would definitely come back to you and spend a week and possibly have a group of people with kids because it’s a super cool friendly kid park.
There are countless outdoor adventures that await you at the Leech Lake Rec Area in Northern Minnesota. From fishing for plentiful Walleyes, Northern Pike, Perch, and Bass, to biking on the trails, or spending a day at the playground, this park offers adventures for all ages!!
This was the second year our family spent 9 days at the Leech Lake Rec Area. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/leech-lake-rec-area/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73246. We were very happy that we picked a site change to #11 this year as this spot offered plenty of tall pine trees that offered wonderful shade, and gave us a great opportunity to test out our Grand Trunk Hang Anywhere Single Hammock!! Again the park was at full capacity when we arrived, so make sure you make your reservations plenty early. (We made our reservations 6 months in advance.) The campground volunteers have done an amazing job with keeping the area full of fun activities for the whole family, and I can't stress how CLEAN the bathrooms are:) This park offers 68 sites with electric hook ups, 5 full hook up sites, and 4 primitive walk to tent sites, and 2 sites being Handicap Accessible within 3 different loops. Each loop has a bathroom with Mens/Womens sides, and the main loop offers a Fish cleaning building, Laundry facilities, and a Shower/Restroom building seperated for Men/Women. There are garbage and recycling cans every 3rd to 4th site. And they have specific check in times, but let you set up and come back later to check in if you arrive earlier or later.
The sites are comfortable with plenty of room for a bigger RV, screen tent, boat trailer, and vehicle with plenty of room to spare. We spent the bulk of our time out on Leech Lake having luck catching some really nice Walleyes!! You have to navigate a channel to reach the lake, but it is easy to find your way. We brought our kayaks last summer and had a blast exploring all the nooks and crannies in the channel. The sound of the Loons calling at night are so beautiful to listen to while enjoying a campfire at the site. (Note only approved firewood is allowed at the park, and can be purchased from the general store for $20.00 for a wheelbarrow.)
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. Last year I won the June West North Central Review contest and won a gift certificate for Grand Trunk https://www.grandtrunk.com/. I was able to purchase 2 items the Parasheet Beach Blanket (reviewed at Fisherman's Point Campground) and the Single Parachute Nylon Hammock. On this trip, I tested the Hang Anywhere Single Parachute Nylon Hammock https://www.grandtrunk.com/products/single-parachute-nylon-hammock?variant=17340207875. The website at Grand Trunk is so easy to navigate, and their customer service department is top notch in knowledge and support!!
Let me start by saying our family has never owned or used a hammock, ever. I was suprised how small of a item this is when packed in its attached carrying bag. I ordered the hammock in Royal/Kahki, and the colors are gorgeous!! The hammock comes with everything you need to hang it up with instructions that are very simple and easy to follow. The hammock comes with a starter rope kit (Two 5 foot long 5mm rope thickness cords) that you wrap around the tree and knot to the attached carabiners. Even with being a newbie to hammocks, my husband Rich had the hammock hanging up within 5 minutes flat.
I can not put in words how extremely comfortable a person is while hanging out in this hammock!! It makes no difference your height or weight (up to 400lbs capacity for this single) the parachute fabric wraps around your body and has you melting all your cares away. Our rescue pup, Max even loved taking an afternoon snooze (and photo opportunity) with me!! The little storage pouch was super handy for holding my water bottle and phone, and it was super easy to pack the hammock back up in it when we were heading home from our vacation. The super light 20 oz. weight would make it a breeze to carry while backpacking too.
Overall, I have fallen in love with our Grand Truck Single Parachute Nylon Hammock. We have plans on ordering the Double Hammock and Hangout Hammock Stand for our backyard. (Who doesn't need a little hanging therapy after mowing the lawn?!?) The amazing color choice they have are going to make it hard on which one to pick, but my vote is going to Crimson/Charcoal. Grand Trunk offers a lifetime warranty on their hammocks, and that really adds to your peace of mind. I always do my best to review product transparently, and can not find one thing I would change with this product. You will be extremely happy and comfortable swinging your cares away in a Grand Trunk Hammock!!
Another campground geared around RVs, but tents are welcome. Their walkin tent area, however, is in a corner of the park near a road, so it is not very appealing. The recreation area is amazing with volleyball, badminton, shuffleboard, horseshoes, tether ball and swings and play structure. Also a beautiful covered picnic area in the event of rain!
Our family just returned from a 9 day stay at Leech Lake Receeation Area, and wish we could have stayed 9 more!! The Campground is located in north central Minnesota (Federal Dam) about 30 minutes southeast of Bemidji or a 3 & 1/2 hour drive from Minnneapolis/St. Paul, MN area, and is run by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Volunteers. The park is located in the Leech Lake Reservation and Chippewa National Forest.
The park has 77 sites available that you can make reservations online at: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/leech-lake-rec-area/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73246
**Note: We reserved our spot 6 months in advance as they book up super fast in the short Minnesota summer months.
There are 73 sites with electric hook ups (5 are full hook ups) or if you want to tent in a private setting, they have 4 primitive walk to sites. Each site has a large picnic table and fire ring with adjustable grill.
When you check in they give you a code that allows you access to the comfort building (flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities) We took advantage of the boat mooring area (just a few steps down from the campground) that includes a plug in area to recharge our boat batteries, and we really appreciated the fish cleaning station building!! (Super clean!!!)**See pics of the awesome fish we caught-Note all Walleye in the 20-26 inch slot size must be released.
We spent the majority of the time enjoying Leech Lake, but we also spent time hiking the trails (Check out the 400 year old Cedar Tree!!), we played horseshoes, and shuffle board (a new game to us!!), and relaxing by the campfire. **NOTE Only certified & approved firewood can be used in the park. There is a general store just outside the park that sells it for $20.00 a wheelbarrow full.
We would give this campground 6 stars if we could, and know you would too!! Enjoy the pics!!