Great for camping near Minneapolis and 58 miles northeast of Duluth in Lake County on scenic Minnesota Highway 61 lies a massive reserve of lakeside beauty and scenic wilderness. Situated on the shores of the mammoth Lake Superior, Tettegouche State Park is a Minnesota marvel which earns its name from the Tettegouche Club, an association of local businessmen which purchased the park in 1910 from the Alger-Smith Lumber Company. In fact, it was the club's members who guarded over the area, up until 1979 when the state of Minnesota acquired 3,400 acres from the Nature Conservancy, including Tettegouche Camp.
Today this park is absolutely huge, spanning 9,346 acres of wetlands, forests, and sandy beaches. The acreage contains six inland lakes which contain walleye and northern fish, four waterfalls, and an extensive 70 foot sandy beach right on Lake Superior. And thankfully, all of this beauty is now preserved. In fact, the Tettegouche Camp, on Mic Mac Lake, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perched on the Baptism River, one of the park’s most famous attractions is High Falls, the highest waterfall located (entirely) within Minnesota. The Baptism River Campground is home to a number of campsites with and without electric hookups, as well as a heated building open year-round, with flush toilets and showers, even in the winter. Firewood can be purchased at the park entrance year-round. Five picnic areas are also available with fire rings and tables. However, not only does Tettegouche boast the State’s highest waterfall and winter heated showers, it also contains one of the largest network of hiking trails in the region.
All in all, the park contains over 35 miles of hiking and ski trails, including access to the famous Superior Hiking Trail. The park is one of only four state parks in Minnesota offering rock climbing. Both Shovel Point and Palisade Head cliffs are popular spots offering climbing directly over Lake Superior. Additionally, on its North boundary, Finland State Forest and the Red Dot motorized trail attract OHV enthusiasts from all over the nation for the world class trails and off-road terrain. Thankfully, all of this wilderness creates plenty of room for animals to roam freely.
In fact, it’s normal to see all sorts of wildlife at Tettegouche. A a huge variety of flora and fauna shelter watchable animals such as the woodpecker, red squirrel, white-tail deer, peddle, snowshoe bunny, beaver, and weasel. Moreover, diligent spotters will encounter moose, wild bear, waterway otter, and red fox. Not as commonly spotted, one can find the timber wolf and even the Northern Flying Squirrel. For bird lovers, the recreation center is a great location to spot peregrine birds of prey that nest along the trees and bluffs of the Lake.
The park contains several camping areas, with drive-in, cart-in, walk-in and kayak-in sites.One accessible cabin is open for reserve at Illgen Falls. Furthermore, the parking lot at the entrance to the park also serves as a highway rest area, with a year-round visitor center, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, restrooms, and vending machines. Aside from the accessible cabin, there are also four cabins available for those willing to hike in.
We've camp here before, and it's a lovely park. The problem is that it is increasingly popular during the summer, so you have too book well in advance. When we checked on a Tuesday in late August, all sites were already reserved for the next four days. (We instead stayed at a campground in the Eckbeck Forest nearby.)
We still spent the day rock climbing in the park. The black flies were unbearable along the hiking trails though, so we ended our day hours early because we were getting painfully bitten so much, even with bug spray and long sleeves/pants.
Easy access to trails from campground.
2/15/19-2/17/19. We arrived in the dark and found a clipboard to select your campsite by the main office. It’s first come, first serve. Only a select number of campsites are available in February in the main loop.
The roads were plowed and campsites that were open were well marked. We stayed in #17 and it was shoveled out and kept up for a nice winter camp. The outhouses were open and a short walk from our campsite. We cross country skied on groomed trailed right in the park and they are beautiful. The lake was frozen so we also got to experience walking on Lake superior as well as hiking within the park. It snowed all weekend and I really enjoyed my experience. If you have never winter camped I highly recommend your first time at Tettegouche. Bring a 4-season tent a warm sleeping bag, layer up and make a nice fire.
We also got to see the famous “sea stack” (3rd photo) from the ice. Which was taken down and crumbled during a powerful winter storm in November 2019.
Amazing hike in only campground. 1.7 mile hike into Tettegouche camp. It has 4 cabins for rent and a main lodge available for use. Has a one room cabin for 2 people with a queen bed, small refrigerator, an electric cook top, dishes and a table with 2 chairs. Heated by a wood stove and has back up furnace if temperature goes below 50 degrees. Very cute, cozy, romantic cabin! There are also three 2 bedroom cabins that sleep 4-6 people. NO RUNNING WATER OR BATHROOM IN THE CABINS but there is a very clean, very nice bathroom house with electricity on site. Your cabin rental includes a canoe to use on beautiful Mic Mac Lake. There is no WiFi and this is not a pet friendly campground. It is very peaceful and quiet. We saw deer and rabbits roaming about. Amazing hiking trails near by and very near the shore of Lake Superior. The cabins are reservable and hard to secure as they are in high demand. I gave this campground 5 out of 5 stars because it is amazing!
One of my favorite parks to cart into. The site office is very big and accommodating. There is a small gift shop with coffee and small conveniences. The carts are usually busted. Be prepared for that. The trails are groomed. You will need to hike in wood and water. Unless you have site J or K, the other sites are not beach level. Site H is visible from the trail. People can see everything and you can see them. It is close to the bathroom. Site H has a concrete slab that the picnic table rests on. There are metal railings that are broken. Do not lean on them. There are a few wood steps that lead closer to the cliff edge. There is some flat surface. I placed my tarp and netting here. There is a beautiful view towards the south west. This is not the tent pad. There is enough tree coverage for rain and wind. You can still see the stars. The cart out and in is about 20 minutes. Very easy. You can not see between sites, which is nice. I would still stay here again.
I camped at the Baptism campground with my mom and our dogs. The state park is simply beautiful. And so is the campground. The sites are all very private. Some have electricity, some are without. There are even some walk in campsites. The bathhouse with showers and toilets is very clean. A lot of people had campers so I had the feeling it was not used so much. The walk in sites had little vault toilets in the parking lot. From the campground you have the choice of several hiking trails and access to 2 waterfalls. You can also park at the visitor center and enter hiking trails from there. They have a very nice gift shop. Firewood can also be purchased. There are a lot if cool things around the park as well like Split Rock Lighthouse or Gooseberry Falls. I would definitely camp here again. It was a great experience.
Site #20e was perfect for our 5th wheel camper, and had easy access to both the high falls and two step falls. Quick drive to the main park building and lake superior. Dated shower house, but very clean!
Amazing views by the water and while hiking up above it all. Great campsites, visitor center and restrooms up near the campsites. Definitely would go back. We stayed at baptism river campground. Tried once to stay at the cart in sites but had two little kids and a dog and the black flies were horrible.
This is my favorite state park in MN thus far. Not as popular as ones like Gooseberry Falls but SO GORGEOUS! We stayed at a group campsite that was cart-in, and it was lovely. The site was surrounded by plenty of trees and set a little bit away from the other group sites. A++
The drive in sites are unique and more private than your typical state park site. Some have stairs from where you park to the picnic table and fire ring. The hiking trails are gorgeous, unique, and challenging, with lots of roots and rocks to manage. The pebble beach is a gem, with lots of other treasures to find, like crab claws.
We’ve visited a number of state parks in MN and Tettegouche is definitely one of my favorites.