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Stayed at a camper cabin- had the park to ourselves! Absolutely gorgeous. The drive off the main highway is a few miles, so you really end up out in the wilderness! We also appreciated that this park doesn’t allow hunting so you know you are safe during that season.
The campground is along a series of winding lakes, with multiple access points to the water. Very spaced out and easy access to vaulted toilets and water. A couple of different fishing piers and docks right near the campground itself. Has electric and non-electric sites. Definitely impressed with the campground itself. Very pretty no matter where you camp.
- fishing pier
- hiking trails
- fish cleaning building
- stocked backcountry fishing lakes
- canoe rental
- a trail center with a community fire ring and comfy chairs
- dump station
- RV sanitation station
- camper cabins
- group camp
- swimming beach
- trailer access
- watercraft and backpack sites
We enjoyed night walks and star gazing- we decided it was the best stars we had ever seen! Even saw shooting stars. Cooked some great meals, and enjoyed the hiking club walk through the woods to some super-secret small lakes.
Checked out the group site- so cool. Right on the water with a personal dock and toilets.
This park is truly in the wilderness, felt like actually being in the Boundary Waters! Crystal clear water, thick gorgeous forests, and an amazing sky.
Head into Ely, maybe 20 mins, if you need supplies or a break from the woods. Also can access the BWCAW there too.
We appreciated that this park is open year-round, but can’t wait to go back in the summer!
This state park is in my top favs. It’s quiet and remote and there’s a lot to explore. We stayed at a remote watercraft site, accessible only by water so that was thrilling!
The landscape here is fun, with the huge peninsula jutting out into the lake, makes for fun canoeing/kayaking with many little areas to explore, and a couple little islands!
The site itself had a rustic log shelter built in it overlooking the lake, very cool.
The Chase Point peninsula is a great hike and has a little boat landing area at the tip of it to so you can start from either end.
Scooped out Chase Point campground though we didn’t stay in it - sites spaced well, quite wooded. Water and toilets spaced out well too, very accessible from anywhere in the park.
Very cool feature is the little boardwalk with docks along Coon lake and campground edge - makes for easy access to park your kayak or canoe and just a fun little morning walk or place to view sunset over the lake. So charming!
Scenic is definitely the word to describe this park!
Was hear earlier in summer—not in October as review date states.
Easy 1.5-2 mile hike in. Bring big spray as mosquitos can be bad
There is a bear locker, pit toilet, and a shelter on site. This site is very private.
There is no real way to get down to the pond at the bottom of the camp site.
The trails here are nice for hiking but they aren’t extensive and won’t keep you entertained long. The real reason to come here is for water sports on the main lake. Unfortunately during Covid the rentals weren’t available.
Bring a saw to get firewood—you don’t want to lug the wood on with ya.
Stayed here for two nights in tents. Used it as a base camp while me and some friends were mountain biking RedHead Mountain and Tioga over the weekend. Beautiful spot, kind of secluded away from the rest of the campers but not tucked away by any means. Right on the lake. Grills are at all the tent sites but we used the fire. The fire wood provided was wet and sappy and didnt light but we iust grabbed some from town. Will be staying here again when I come back to the area.
An extremely safe and pleasant location. You can either use the paid campground or stay in the parking lot, say if you had a sprinter travel van or some such thing. Alternatively if you are tent camping there are a couple nearly hidden campsites that you can use for free right by the canoe landing. A large part of the year clean showers are available and are free! although this fact is not publicized and at certain times of the year they are put under code for campground use only. I find that most the time they are open. A bathroom is attached each shower and can be locked from the inside making it great for a couple to use the facilities efficiently together. This is a one-of-a-kind place that does not exist much anymore. Free shower free camping clean bathroom , great walking trails, Great spot to fish. For a stop alongside the highway it has it all.
I spent two nights at site #13 which was an electric site with my RV. There is a mile-long hiking trail in the park which is a plus. It was raining and was windy so I didn't get to enjoy it much but what I noticed that it is overrun with mice during the night. They kept me up getting in and running around. I put traps out during the night and I caught 6!!! I never caught six in one place during one night ever. I was talking to the neighbor and she said she also had mice in her rig. The park needs more owls :)
Anyways, it is a nice park, and I can see that it is lots of fun when the weather is nice, you can kayak, canoe on the lake, and kids can run around. I just didn't have the best experience there.
I spent 3 nights in a tent and my friends had a large camper in the same site. They were clean and the chipmunks were our pets for the weekend. The docks are convenient for your boats or pontoons. The fishing is phenomenal and beautiful! Definitely recommend for hiking, site seeing, swimming at the beach, fishing and other things 😊
A literally literary campsite! This is a recently developed campsite for through-paddlers on the Mississippi Headwaters Water Trail. It was developed by a local “River Angel” family who are part of the Mississippi River paddlers group, with cooperation of the city and with funding from the local Blandin Foundation. It is located on the beautifully landscaped grounds of the municipal public library, so you can relax and read while staying at this campsite! For paddlers on the Mississippi Headwaters Water Trail
it is a welcome addition to the area campsite options, especially as paddling through Grand Rapids is slow due to having to portage around two dams en route. (see map here: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/canoe_routes/mississippi3.pdf
The campsite is marked from the river with the standard DNR water trail canoe campsite signage. There is a wide easy access from the river, though it doesn’t have a dock and can be a little mucky when the river is high. There is a fire ring and a couple of picnic tables, along with a lockable bear-box which, in this case, could be used to lock up your valuables so you can go into town. Since the campsite is right on a path and bike trail in the city library park, safe storage is important if you want to leave the campsite for any reason . In addition to being adjacent to the beautiful town library and flower gardens, there are many cafes, stores, and more, including a local microbrewery and a great coffeehouse, within an easy block or two walking distance. The campsite location is great, perfect for canoe campers. Of note if you stop here is an incredible mural that is an in-laid map of the whole Mississippi River, from Lake Itasca to New Orleans. There is no cost to camp here, but camping is limited to paddlers on the water trail, or bikers from the nearby Taconite Trail. Infor on the Taconite Trail is here:
Note: Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms right at the campsite. You will have to use the facilities at one of the nearby businesses. Prior to covid precautions, you could have access to the library bathrooms and access to drinking water there, but hours are now limited. If you want to access full shower and bathroom facilities you can walk across the bridge that is adjacent to the campsite, over the river to the YMCA on the opposite shore, (there is a visitors fee but reasonably good hours most days.) Access the YMCA website here: https://ymcaitasca.org/operational-hours .
The lights in the library parking lot adjacent to the campsite do have electrical receptacles if you need to plug in to re-charge anything. There is public wifi accessible outdoors from the library adjacent to the campsite.
Pokegema Dam This is a campground established by the Army Corps of Engineers, adjacent to the Pokegama Dam. Highlights include fishing in the rapids below the dam, or in the still river water above it, camping and relaxing under the tall pines in the campground, canoeing and kayaking on the river, and having a base to explore nearby Grand Rapids and attractions like the Minnesota State Forest History Museum a few miles away. Unless you are here for the fishing on site, though, you will probably use this campground as a base to do day trips in the area, as the campground is not big enough to feature hiking trails and other on-site activities. The campground seems oriented towards RV and trailer camping, with hook-ups and hard packed gravel vehicle access on most sites. A few sites do include sufficient grassy areas for tent camping. Almost all the campsites are located on the shores of the Mississippi River just downstream from the dam, and are sheltered under huge shady pines. The setting is more beautiful and scenic than can be seen from the road when passing by. Unfortunately, that road is the 4-lane highway 2, which provides easy access to the campground, but also adds a bit of road noise to your experience. Plus factors include a thoughtfully designed handicapped accessible campsite, several canoe campsites for paddling the Headwaters Water trail, and easy fishing access via boat landing, the dam itself, and various fishing piers. Everything is sparkling clean and there are bathrooms, showers, potable water, and a kids playground.