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.
Tettegouche is one of my favorite campgrounds. The cart-in campground is right on Lake Superior and has very private sites. The state park has a great trail system with areas to stop and enjoy the scenery and waterfalls.
This campsite was amazing. Right on the shore of Lake Superior, within walking distance to a beach. There were several miles of trail to hiking including a pit stop at a waterfall. We had to walk in off the parking lot, they provide carts. Employees in the main building were very helpful and had recommendations. Great get away from the city life.
Great place to stay for the adventurous, almost never packed but heavily hiked in the area. Kind campground volunteers, good water stations, well run.
Had a lovely walk into the site on an old road. Found our cabin to be quaint, but a few too many mice for my liking! I'm not opposed to their finding shelter, but their skittering throughout the night not enjoyable! Did enjoy the lake and the early morning canoe ride. Nice hikes and lots of wildflowers.
Awesome park for exploring. There are tons of stairs on one trail, but they are worth it to see the top of the waterfall and walk the swing bridge.
The campground is very small, but we were able to reserve a spot with electric for a long weekend. The natural beauty of the North Shore is on full display here! There are several shorter hikes (our specialty) including one to the highest waterfall completely in Minnesota (non-border waters), shovel point, and Palisade Head. Every one is a must see!
Our site was very private and quiet. In fact when the wind was still we could hear the rushing waters of the Baptism River.
The new visitor center is beautiful and has fantastic naturalist programs and a great store. I could go on an on about the things my kids loved here, but I'll sum it up by saying that overall we rate this as one of our top 3 favorite State Parks!
A group of us stayed in the cabins at Tettegouche camp. The camp is a quick 1.7 mile hike off the main road. You have to pack it in and pack it out but the polks made light work of our gear and food. The trail (old logging road) is groomed in the winter so snowshoes aren’t required for the initial hike. They do carve in grooves for the cross country folks. It’s a steep elevation gain for the initial portion of the trail then it’s all down hill into the camp.
The cabins were nice and the amenities at the camp were great. They had plenty of wood for the stove to keep us warm on the extremely cold nights. The shower house provided private stalls and was well maintained. Having access to a warm shower and flushers is a major plus.
We spent a lot of time off the beaten path and snowshoed across the lakes located near the camp. We were there for a couple full days but you could easily spend a few weeks there exploring all that Tettegouche has to offer. It was beautiful in the winter and it would be a new adventure in the summer. There are canoes available for the summer time.
Overall, I would recommend Tettegouche and Tettegouche Camp for anyone looking to get away and experience what makes Minnesota such a great camping spot.
We visit the north shore every Labor Day weekend to celebrate our anniversary. This park is less crowded than gooseberry and has beautiful waterfalls with scenic hiking trails.
The park itself and visitor's lodge is absolutely gorgeous. There are so many great trails and sights in the park and along the Lake Superior shore. We camped in the campground closer to the lodge and highway but heard little traffic and saw no light. The campsites were spread out far enough and were clean, but signage could've been better for the area, especially when trying to get to the beach.
Like most of MN State Parks it was a very clean camping area. Beautiful scenery, Lake Superior on one side and the Tettegouche River runs between the two campgrounds. So much to do there! Swimming, fishing, hiking, photography, the list goes I'm!