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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.
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 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 😊
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.
The sites weren’t particularly large, the singular available vault toilet for the tenting sites was usually in disarray and the general noise level was surprising….but even with all of these unexpected speed bumps the trip was great!
Everyone was super friendly and I appreciated being able to have my 3-legged companion along for the adventure. Sites were clearly marked and easy to find, along with trails to the beach area. Lots of families with children, so if you’re looking for a place to bring your littles, this should be on your list.
Bear Head Lake has it all. Camping, fishing, boating, swimming and hiking. The lake itself is fully private and the only access is through the state park. There was very little boat traffic during our stay and we were able to paddle most of the lake. We really enjoyed some of the calmer bays. The temps were close to 90 during our stay and the beach was busy. There is a nice sandy area and the water shallow and warm. There are several small docks along the campground for people to tie up motorboats, it was a fun little section to walk. Sites 51-58 are closest to the lake (but they don’t have actual lake views) and have the nearest access to these docks, though anyone can use them. There is also a fishing pier and another dock by the beach.
Not only is the lake a huge draw, but so is the hiking. Norberg Lake was absolutely gorgeous and the trail that passed through. There is also a little sandy spot and people (and dogs) were swimming here. We also enjoyed the Blueberry Lake trail (around the backpack sites) and the Becky Lake trail.
The sites in the campground seems very close together and small. Even the sites near the water. We prefer more remote sites and were able to book BP5. This site was on Bear Head lake itself so we were able to paddle across the water from the beach area. Our site had its own dock and I think it was the best in the park. The site itself was very spacious, with a bear locker, fire pit, picnic table, hammock spot and sunset views. We were able to go into two other backpack sites because they were vacant and they were also very spacious and private We loved our time at Bear Head and will be returning next summer.
6/25-6/26/20. Site 409
This was our first trip to Lake Vermillion-Soudan and we spent one night here. You can get wood as you enter, it’s in a little shed to pick your own and $6 a bundle. Our site was spacious and grassy, though we could see our neighbors, so it wasn’t the most private. We drove around all campground loops and decided we liked our section best. It had a lot of trees (and hammock spots), but also a lot of RVs. Some of the other loops were more open and had less trees. The campground was very quiet and the cell service was top rate. If you are looking for a state park campground to work remotely, this would be a great choice.
The mine was closed when we visited but it was still fun to explore from the outside. We hiked the hiking club trail loop - which was actually confusing to follow - but it was fun to see some remnants of the old mines and the trail was wooded and pretty. There was also still snow in one of the deep pits. The picnic area was gorgeous with a lot of trees and there was a large fishing dock. There is also a nice boat launch to a quiet bay that brings you right into Lake Vermillion. It was windy so we did not kayak. The state park is kept up and maintained very nicely. We enjoyed our visit.
Sites leaning towards more of an rv type of site with the gravel and lots of large rocks in the ground but an amazing location. The hiking trails are fantastic and they have many hike in sites that appear to be in super cool locations. We are definitely making a return trip here!