This map requires WebGL
Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.Troubleshooting Info
The #1 Camping App
Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.
Enter your phone number to get the app.
This is a State Forest Campground, and for the price of only $14 a night, you can't go wrong. Although you may get some noise from RVs with generators, we visited in late september, and there were enough sites to choose from that we could be away from that noise. Almost every site had a fair amount of space, and some privacy from neighboring sites with brush and foliage. There seemed to be pathways back to little vault toilet houses, and when we visited, they were very clean! They must have been recently cleaned, and there was no smell at all. Perhaps the cooler weather had something to do with that as well.
We had a fire ring that was tall, and deep. With a grate so you could grill. A picnic table, and again, plenty of space for our teardrop trailer. The property had a few small, short trails through the woods, and also boat access.
It's far enough off the main road that you won't hear road noise. You will, however, see and hear deer, and possibly black bear.
There's no electricity, because it's a State Forest campground, but if the price of $14, it's exactly what we wanted for this time of year.
One more bonus is that motorized two-wheel vehicles and off-road vehicles are not allowed past the entrance. That doesn't mean they can't be carried on the back of a truck, but you will not find them riding around this campground. Made things a little bit quieter!
Not a terrible place to camp. Great amenities and care taken to clean bathrooms and showers. Walk in tent site was large enough to accommodate a 10x18 tent easily. Raccoons are smart enough to open coolers and non latching totes. Mosquitoes will also sweep you off around 9pm even with bug spray.
It was a 2.5 mile hike of all sorts of terrain. Scenery was perfect. Not much for available tent sites or hammock sites. It could fill up fast. Has a fire pit and water is super clear. Very quiet and was mosquito free till darkness set in. I would definitely camp here again.
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.
We have stayed here for a family trip 2 years in a row. The sites are very spacious and with all the trees, feel secluded. We had small trails running through the treeline between our 3 campsites which was great. As expected in the woods, the mosquitos were thick, but we fogged our site and that took care of it! The campground has a nice little playground but it was closed off due to COVID. the showers and vault toilets were clean. You can put your boat in easily at the landing. The walleye fishing is great!
Itasca is a beautiful park. Gorgeous scenery to enjoy. We saw lots of deer within the park. We loved our stay at the Pine Ridge Campground. We were close to drinking water and the very well maintained modern showers/toilets. There are other campsites within the park that are more rustic if that is what you’re looking for. We will definitely be back!
The Remote campsites at DeSoto Lake provide a Boundary Waters type experience without being far from the towns of Bemidji snd Park Rapids. These campsites have the double distinction of being both on the National North Country Scenic Trail, as well as being in the backcountry region of Itasca State Park. Local NCT members help maintain the trail and campsites, but as the campsites are with the State Park Boundaries, the sites must be reserved through the MN State Park reservations website, with request for Itasca Backpacking sites # 3 or 4. These sites are accessible to NCT through hikers, but access within the park is either through backpacking in in the Nicollet Trail or DeSoto Lake Trail (each a several hour hike in from the Parks Wilderness Drive), or from the Gartner Farm trailhead of the NCT to the west, or the Itasca South entrance parking lot. For those who prefer paddling, the Desoto Portage is about a 15 minute portage from the 113 parking lot to the south shore of DeSoto Lake, then a paddle acroos the lake to the campsite landings.
Both campsites are on a bluff on the northeast side of the lake, with a landing and set of stairs up to the sites. The west site has log benches, fire ring, and room for several tents, and the east site also has a picnic table. Both have access to a pit toilet of the modern type with three walls and a roof, but no door as it is off in the woods facing away from the camping sites and overlooking another nearby lake. From these camp sites you can portage into several nearby lakes that are even more remote and pristine, or you can hike miles in any direction either on the NCT, or in several state park trails that intersect nearby. DeSoto lake itself is full of many islands and small bays where there is abundant wildlife including wild swans nesting. A calm, serene, and beautiful retreat if you dont mind backpacking in at least three miles or portaging a canoe or kayak about a mile. You need to bring your own water, or a water filter as there is no potable water.
Info about remote MN state park camping and link to reservations: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/remote_camping.html
Info on Itasca State Park: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00181#homepage
Info on the North Country Scenic Trail, part if the National Park Service’s national trail system: https://www.nps.gov/noco/index.htm
Info on the Laurentian Lakes chapter of the NCT, which maintains the trail to the DeSoto campsites https://northcountrytrail.org/trail/minnesota/llc/