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There are a lot of things to do/see here. Headwaters, fish on lake itaska miles and miles of hiking/biking trails. Now the camping its really nice on weekdays and its ok on weekends but weekends have more kids and noise as expected. The major downfall was the FLIES they were insane there were so many one day we had to go inside just to get away. So plan on some fly deterrent method. This trip tought us we need it.
The campsite was perfect. There is a bench, firepit, latrine and multiple campsites. Very scenic view with the sounds of loons and frogs in the background. I have camped there twice and have never come across another hiker. The hike is fairly short to get there.
If easy camping is what you're looking for, this is it. Our 15X15 tent fit in their listed 12X12 spot. Built in grill on fire rings with park bench and table. Potable water available to everyone. Perfect cell reception as it's eyesight to the city of Bemidji. Self serve wood and ice when office is closed. Even a vending machine. Amazing showers for a camp ground, bathrooms ok and clean. If you want to get away while still being in easy driving range of city. Hiking trails are quite a walk but easy and cleared. Beach, dock, sand volleyball court. Some outdoor showers also available but they were buggy when we went mid July.
A campground away from it all. The sites clean and well maintained. Showers and restrooms were sufficient and clean. It was extremely quiet with heavy wooded areas. All of the sites felt secluded from each other and you really got the outdoor feeling.
First time camping at this park in June 2019 and found it to be clean and well maintained. Some short easy trails and part of the Paul Bunyan State trail is their. Great if you bicycle? Jog or simply walk. Sites are pretty level, but not very secluded but you do have distance between sites. Facilities are well maintained and clean.
The campground is massive with hundred of people, but it’s possible to get a more private site in the furthest loop- poplar. Ours wasn’t too private and we were surrounded by families with small kids. But the staff park has plenty to do and is well-worth a visit!
Campground Review: The Stumphges Rapids Canoe Landing is a stop on the Mississippi Headwaters Water Trail. It has a primitive dispersed campsite that lies with the river buffer zone that is part of the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest, but the DNR is no longer maintaining it as a full scale Water Trail canoe campsite, eg there is no water pump, latrine or Adirondack shelters such as at Coffee Pot Landing or Wanagon upstream or Pine Point downstream. Although on a bluff overlooking one of the more pristine sections of the Headwaters, the campsite itself has seen better days. There is a clearing for tents and parking, a fire ring with stump seats, and a beautiful bench overlooking the sandy but steep trail to the canoe landing. Be prepared to bring your own water, and to Leave No Trace when you visit the woods for an al fresco potty stop. For those who appreciate a very rustic campsite in a secluded state forest location, you might choose this spot to either drive in or paddle in, but it is not as nice as Coffee Pot or Fox Trap, which are your next closest full canoe campsites on the Water Trail. Whether driving or paddling, the site is not really accessible during the winter season although you probably could ski or snowmobile in for winter camping. I give the river location itself a full five points, but the campsite itself just a 3 at best
Brochure and map for the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_forests/sft00034.pdf
Map of the first hundred miles of the Headwaters Water Trail: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/canoe_routes/mississippi1.pdf
Directions to the Stumpghes Rapids Landing and adjacent dispersed campsite are at this link: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/water_access/site.html?id=WAS00636
Product Review of Eclipse Sunwear protective clothing:
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I sometimes have the chance to try new products and review them for the Dyrt camping community. The Eclipse Sunwear shirts are a relatively new brand of sun protective clothing, and I tried both the hooded shirt in mint green and the electric yellow shirt. You can see an example of them here: https://eclipseglove.com/collections/cover-ups/products/equinox-hoodie-beach-cover-up PROS:For health reasons, I have been advised to be cautious about sun exposure, which is a challenge as I do a lot of outdoor recreation and I also work outdoors. The Eclipse Sunwear is pretty awesome at protecting from sunburn and minimizing sun exposure without use of sunscreen lotion, as the fabric screens out UV light. The shirts are made of a lightweight stretchy fabric that is really cool and comfortable to wear doing anything from kayaking to carrying gear for field work. You can wear them swimming and they dry quickly. The hooded shirts are sleek and comfy and have extra pockets, one dedicated to holding your cell phone and keys which is real handy. There are a variety of nice colors, you can choose to “blend in” with natural outdoor colors, or for safety you can choose their fluorescent colors to be seen when biking or hiking or working alongside roads. CONS: The only con is that the sleeves have open vents on the undersides. These may be meant to keep you cool with airflow in a spot that isn’t exposed to the sun, which may be great at the beach or on the water, but it gives access to mosquitos when you are in the woods. I am thinking about sewing up the vents in mine for that reason.