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Chippewa National Forest, MINNESOTA
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Camping Minnesota Chippewa National Forest
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Had everything we needed

Beautiful trail on the peninsula, had canoeing and paddle-board rentals, and the mosquitos weren’t too bad. Definitely enjoyed this trip. Caught my first largemouth bass here too!

Love love love

Have been going to this campground every summer since I was very little. Many amenities, very friendly and helpful staff. My absolute favorite!!!

Nice Facilities

We spent a lot of time camping without facilities in dispersed campsites, so the Bemidji KOA was a great break from the primitive monotony. We only stayed one night (we were on a fast paced road trip) but would definitely stay again. Definitely more expensive than free, but you get what you pay for. Happy camping!

Beautiful state park off the beaten path

Stayed here for 3 nights in the Lodge Campground, site 82. Nice quiet campground. Site 82 was large but has a slight slope to it. Close to bathrooms and (free) showers. A little annoyed because several of the water spigots weren't turned on, including the one at my site. Bugs weren't too bad. Get up early and watch the sunrise over the lake. This park has 2 campgrounds, 2 boat landings, a beach, and hiking trails.

Close to: Grand Rapids & Hibbing

Great setting for fishing & camping

Beautiful campground with spacious, wooded sites. We camped here with our sons 9 & 11 and there wasn’t a minute of the day they weren’t exploring! The small, sandy beach is clean and provides a large swimming area. The boat ramp is convenient and easy to use, also free. There’s a tie up point right at the campground that has room for 4 boats. The rock jetty provides an area for shore fishing. Great fishing on Leech Lake. Showers and bathrooms (flushable ones) were the cleanest I have seen in a federal campground. Only reason I have I four stars was because we were plagued by biting flies. It became unbearable at times so we would go to the town of Walker and walk around to escape the insects. We had no luck with any one spray that worked to keep them away. However, can’t wait to go back.

Itasca campground

Decent car camping location.  Offers large hiking area and fishing opportunitys. Can check out the beginning of the Mississippi river which is pretty cool.  Campsites are right on top of each other.  Good for a night or two.

Very clean and nice campground

Was very impressed by the facilities. Super clean and very nice. Overall quiet it’s nice with fishing and the River right there. Only downfall is noise from trains and traffic on Hwy 2

Nice big sites, very clean restrooms, water right there, we loved it!

Large sites will fit RVs and tents, picnic tables and fire pits with cooking grates, clean restrooms with running water, flush toilets and showers! Lake right there for recreating, bike trail. Campground Host on site. Firewood and ice for sale nearby.

Great park, fun trails!

The park was beautiful and well kept. The campsites were a little crowded but it was peak season. Didn’t run into many other people on our hikes so that was good! We will definitely go back to see the colors in the fall :)

So pretty

Great place to run away to….plenty of things to do to keep busy if that’s what your looking for and also nice little camp spots to hang out and relax.

Nothing Exceptional (but still nice)
  • There is a public water access area.
  • Decent trails for walking, showshoeing, or cross country skiing.
  • Nice playground for kids.
  • There is a host on site in case you have any issues. There is an overlook of the lake with a decent view.
  • There are vault toilets outside of the shower house.
Can’t skip the Headwaters
  • This is the headwaters of the Mississippi, which is a neat experience.
  • Itasca Rentals is here. This is a great option for pontoon, kayak, canoe, SUP, bike, and child/ pet carrier rentals.
  • TONS of hiking throughout the massive park.
  • The wilderness drive is very scenic.
  • Some k the best hiking included: preacher’s grove and the fire tower
  • This would be a great location to host an event such as a family reunion, because there is something for everyone.
  • Very nice playgrounds for the kids.
Nice Campground

For a State Park, this campground within Itasca State Park is nice and clean in the area that we were in. Farther to the back of this campground, it is heavily wooded with small lots and no electricity. Overall I would stay here again, but would remember that it is not really Big Rig friendly due to the tree branches hanging down and into the road. So it means slow travel and alot of dodging tree branches. This campground does not have a dump station which means that you have to go to the Bear Paw Campground to fill up and empty.

Nice Campground

Bring bug spray! LL rec area is a large campground best suited for fishing trips. I missed that there is no swimming available and my kids weren’t happy with me. This is on a river and is not suitable for swimming. There is a nice large play area for the kids and the roads around the campground are good for biking. We rained out one day so drove to Grand Rapids for a movie and stopped at Tioga Beach in Cohasset(well worth the trip) on the way back. This is very well maintained but there is very little to do outside of the campground without traveling 45 minutes in either direction.

Bring certified wood along as you don’t want to buy it from the local outfitter/guide service (trust me).

Short but sweet stay

We booked the leech lake recreation area about a week out from the actual camping date and there was plenty availability during the couple days leading up to the fourth.

Check in is kind of annoying as you can only check in between certain hours of the day. We were unable to check in when we arrived and had a full day planned the following day. They give you two hour intervals to check in.

We arrived later in the evening due to work schedules and were greeted by an amazingly level site. The only complaint we had about the site was the fire pit was dug down and didn’t allow good airflow causing our fire to go out.

Facilities were amazing. They had a “comfort station” which had free laundry area along with bathrooms and showers along with shovels and rakes.

There was an amazing area to play games such as shuffleboard, teather ball and basketball. Park for the kids to play at which was very nice.

The park also has its own boat launch that you can use and a mooring area for boats. There was an amazing fish cleaning shack that was fully equipped with a grinder for the guts and cleaning area for all your knives and fish.

Dump area was also very nice and clean and it seemed as though the whole park was up keeped very well. The campground was run by army corps of engineers and volunteers and it was by far the cleanest campground.

Overall I would stay at this campground again in the future.

Camp by the lake
  • Campsite near the beach is recommended. There is a private rocky section away from the crowded beach. Our pup loved running out here and taking a swim by himself.
  • The bog walk is a great hike! Also recommend the rocky point hike.
  • There is a small store at the park entrance with camping necessities.
  • The sites were large and spacious.
Short but sweet stay

We booked the leech lake recreation area about a week out from the actual camping date and there was plenty availability during the couple days leading up to the fourth.

Check in is kind of annoying as you can only check in between certain hours of the day. We were unable to check in when we arrived and had a full day planned the following day. They give you two hour intervals to check in.

We arrived later in the evening due to work schedules and were greeted by an amazingly level site. The only complaint we had about the site was the fire pit was dug down and didn’t allow good airflow causing our fire to go out.

Facilities were amazing. They had a “comfort station” which had free laundry area along with bathrooms and showers along with shovels and rakes.

There was an amazing area to play games such as shuffleboard, teather ball and basketball. Park for the kids to play at which was very nice.

The park also has its own boat launch that you can use and a mooring area for boats. There was an amazing fish cleaning shack that was fully equipped with a grinder for the guts and cleaning area for all your knives and fish.

Dump area was also very nice and clean and it seemed as though the whole park was up keeped very well. The campground was run by army corps of engineers and volunteers and it was by far the cleanest campground.

Overall I would stay at this campground again in the future.

Small Cabin
  • Very small family run resort made up of 3 cabins and ~10 seasonal campsites.
  • The campground is directly on Balm lake. There are beautiful views of the lake from the dock. This makes a great place to watch sunrises and sets. There are canoes, paddle boats, and kayaks for guests to use.
  • Keith is a very friendly and helpful host. He provides firewood and is wants his guests to feel at home.
  • I stayed in the small camping cabin for 3 weeks while interning at the hospital in Red Lake. There is electric, a small couch, a tv with ~15 channels, hot plate, coffee pot, bunk bed (full on bottom, twin on top, and a half wall for privacy separating the living area from the sleeping area. Keith provides everything you need from linens, towels, broom, vacuum, pots, first aid kit, trash can, paper products and dishes were in the cabin (although we brought our own and left them behind to add to the stash), and even firewood for evening campfires.
  • Excellent location for nature sightings. The lake has an eagle’s nest, fishing, and loons. You know you’re in the north when you can sit outside and listen to the loons calling on a summer evening. -This definitely not where you should go if you want to be pampered or stay in a fancy cabin, but if you don’t mind roughing it and love to be on the water, then this is the place to stay!
Great place for fun and outdoors

I had a fun time on this lake. Really close to the shores of leach lake which is good for fishing

Great lake

Great campground on an even better lake

Headwaters of the Mississippi River

Great place to see and visit! Lots of opportunities to photograph! Enjoyed geocaching as well.

Family owned & operated

Peaceful and serene, at the end of the road. Family camping RV sites have playground right there. Paddle Boats available and swimming beach. Right on the lake so kids spent a lot of time in the lake and on the lake fishing. Shower house has bathroom and washer & dryer.

Amazing

This place is simply amazing. Beautiful lake side spots, friendly hosts, and clean restrooms. You can’t go wrong staying here!!!

Great for tent camping but not so much for Rv/travel trailer camping

We planned a huge family camping trip this year and the lovely Chippewa Loop campground in the Chippewa National Forest was the camp ground that we had the honor of staying at! We had three sites, 79, 80, and 81 with 17 people total. 9 Adults and 8 kids ranging from ages 7 to 1. The campground is right outside Cass Lake Minnesota that had a nice grocery store, a pretty weird liquor store, a family dollar, and a fishing pier if you didn’t have a boat. It was about a half an hour outside of Bemidji, Mn that has a lot of history from Minnesota and a great fireworks display over the lake on the Fourth of July. The City of Bemidji has a lot a little boutique shops if you are into shopping while on camping trips. It also had a cute little ice cream store that we took all the kids to across from the Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox statue and a nice park for the kids to play at right off of Lake Bemidji. If you’re into craft breweries Bemidji also has a brewery called Bemidji Brewing right in town. There’s also a Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and a dollar tree amongst other stores if you have that “I forgot list”.

Site number 80 was the best to put up a travel trailer, but it was also extremely close to site number 82 and practically joined site number 82. We ended up putting our Jayco Eagle 30 foot travel trailer in site number 81 because with everyone else tent camping and we were the only one with a travel trailer, we felt this site was the best to park our travel trailer in because it was the least level site and only had one small pad for a tent. Site number 79 and 81 were joined together by a path that made it easy for us to all eat in one site. We all pretty much congregated in site number 81. We put most of our tents, three to be exact, in site number 80 because it was the most level and open for tents. The site was capable of having two large cabin tents and a small 4 person tent comfortably. Site had a lot of good pine trees for hanging Hammocks but, like I said before, it was almost right on top of site number 82 so we decided to only put up the 3 tents and congregate across the road in site number 81 as to not disturb the other site occupants. It was pretty frustrating that that was the most level site because it was also the best one to park a travel trailer in and have an awning out and a picnic table but we couldn’t do it because we didnt want to disturb the other site with 17 people.

Site number 79 had a good drive pad but the tent pad was extremely un-level. we put up a single pole tipi in that site because the people in that site had cots and didn’t mind sleeping on an incline. When I say incline, I mean incline, the tent pad was not level at all which is kind of frustrating. Site number 79 was the least friendly for hammocks so we hung all her hammocks in site number 81.

Site number 81 is where we decided to put up the trailer but the trailer pad was super un- level. We ended up making a Walmart run to get two more packs of leveling blocks and we use three packs of leveling blocks to make it level with room to have our awning and out. Right behind the travel trailer was a sloped hill that went down to the fire pit and a tent pad that was also on a slight incline which we were up by eight person tent there but that person had a raised air mattress and didn’t mind sleeping on an incline. Attached to site number 81 was also the path to the showers that was right down the hill. It worked out great because the showers and the bathrooms were so close to our site but we felt like the trees were blocking everything from our site.

We took a lot of bike rides and got to see a lot of the other sites and they had a lot of good tent sites in some of the other loops and it seems like all of the electric sites were not as great as the tent sites. All of the electric sites seem to be un-level and not a great place to pitch a tent as well as having the camper.

The park itself was very beautiful had a lot of nature things like milk weed and monarch butterfly’s everywhere and a beautiful swimming beach that was about waist high (4 feet deep) for about 300 to 400 yards out from shore. The beach was great for swimming and kayaking and you could dock a boat on the sandy beach and eat lunch if you wanted to. We ended up catching 40 crawfish and doing a crawfish boil, which the kids absolutely loved. The picnic shelter was pretty awesome too, very shaded and on a rougher part of the beach. There was a really long bike path that went through all of the loops and the main road was super bike friendly as well.

In the visitor center there was a really cool area for the kids to go to play if it was too hot or rainy, or if you just wanted to be indoors for a little bit. They had a bike decorating event and we brought all the kids bikes and decorated them. There was a little gift shop and they also gave out free stickers which we ended putting on our camper as we do at every park we get a sticker from.

Each camp ground loop also had a campground host that sold firewood, three bundles for $10. The firewood was pretty bad and some of it was wet and it burned really really fast. But like every park in Minnesota you can’t bring your own firewood unless it’s kiln dried lumber or something like that within a certain number of miles of the place you are camping.

A few downsides to this park where there’s no official places to fill water up for your camper and no official place to dump your black and grey water tanks from your camper. You end up having to go to another park and pay to dump your camper. This could be a problem if you are staying for an extended time and use a lot of water. There also wasn’t a whole lot to do aside from biking and hiking and swimming like there was a leech lake recreation area we were at a few days prior to this trip. The restrooms and showers were pretty unkempt and dirty. Everyone but me and my sister had cold showers every time they went to take a shower.

All in all the park is very beautiful and I had some very good attributes like friendly staff, clean campsites and secluded campsites where you didn’t feel like you are right on top of the other site aside from site 80 and 82. It seemed like there were three or 4 sites together in groups and then a little ways away there were a few more clumped together.

I don’t know if we would actually come back to this park because the sites weren’t as big as they seemed in the pictures online and we felt cramped most of the time. There wasn’t a good space in the sites to put up games like corn hole or ladder ball which made it a bit boring at times to just stay at camp. We spent a lot of time at the beach.

Great experience!

We had a wonderful time. The park has everything! Even rented a pontoon for the day and cruises all around the lake. Only problem - closest grocery store is 20 minutes away. There is a small convenience store nearby - they were life savers!!

Awesome and extremely clean and quiet

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.

Scenic!

Stayed at campsite #9 in Chase Point Campground and had good tree coverage and space from other campers with potable water right next to the site. We hiked backcountry the following day to BC #1 and it was a moderate hike with a descent view atop a hill looking out at Pine Lake. The site was beautiful with big pines and a shelter. Highly recommended!

She’s a Beaut.

Rad campground, but get there early. No sites left at 330 on a Friday.

Very Nice Spot Surrounded by Large Pine Trees near the Lake

Very hard to find road into area. But easy enough to get into with spots for a few vehicles. Camping spots are in a Pine Forest with large mature trees. Sandy shoreline spots for very small boat. Water quality is good. Swimming spots not great.