10 Best Camping Sites in Minnesota

You cannot lack a perfect spot to place your tent with the several state parks, large wilderness areas, and national forests available in Minnesota. Camping sites in this state are interlaced with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness lakes and watercourses. These water bodies are found across the steppe grass in Minnesota’s southern areas.

Although each camping site in the state differs, they all offer direct access to outdoor exploration. Whether you are searching for a place to park your RV or you want to sleep far away from your car, you will always find a fantastic camping site close to you in Minnesota. The most preferred time to camp in the state is during summer. However, the autumn season is equally ideal, and you will experience fewer mosquitos during the season. Regardless of the time or season, you choose to visit a camp in Minnesota.

All state forest camping sites in the state are considered primal. They contain established campground areas designated by picnic fore rings and tables. They also have freshwater plugs and toilets across their regions.

Although state forest camping sites in Minnesota are less costly, they all deliver access to close attractions and scenery. This piece will enlighten you on some of best camping sites in Minnesota.

Let’s get to details.

1. Split Rock State Park Cart-In Campgrounds

This park stretches from Duluth to the United States-Canadian border. Lake Superior North Shore provides a boundless exploration. You can participate in activities such as cross country hiking and sailing in the lake’s frigid waters.

Additionally, there are several activities to do. There are several campsites located in this campground. Nearly middle up the shore, the park offers a fantastic illustration of these North Shore overnight housings. When you camp at this lakeside campground, you with experience the best views found in Minnesota State.

This campground features 20 cart-in camping sites that area abound 2,000 ft. from the parking portion. All the camping sites possess a picnic table and a fire ring and comprise the cart to haul in your kit.

The campground features include showers, flush toilets, and clean water available to individuals camping at the park. However, the natural attraction for the cart-in camping site is the immediate access to the spectacular environment.

If you are camping at this park, you should consider reserving one of the lakeside’s campsite portions of the camping site circle. You will have the opportunity to experience the Split Rock Lighthouse’s personal views and the rocky shoreline.

If you wish to camp at Split Rock State Park Cart-In Campgrounds, you can book the campsites a year in advance. Most bookings are during the typical summer season.

2. Woodenfrog Campground, Kabetogama State Forest

Woodenfrog Campground - Kabetogama Lake Association
© Kabetogama Lake Association

Minnesota hosts fantastic 58 different state forests. Several state forests provide camping sites such as Woodenfrog Campground. This camping site is less costly than other nearby state parks, and it usually offers a less crowded atmosphere.

Located in the far northern area of Minnesota, Woodenfrog Campground inside Kabetogama State Forest is a perfect example of a fantastic state forest camping site. The campground contains 61 non-electrical camping sites.

The campground offers easy access to explore the surrounding Kabetogama State Forest, and it also provides an accessible entrance to the Voyageurs National park. You will have the opportunity to explore a whole new world.

As one of the few drive-in camping sites that access the water-fed Voyageurs National Park, Woodenfrog Campground offers its services based on first-come, first-served. The sites have the reputation of filling up very quickly.

Extensive exploration in Voyageurs National Park is easily accomplished due to the several paddle-in camping sites located across the national park. Although your schedule may not include an overnight tour to the national park, the Kabetogama State Forest and the Northwoods environment offer you a fantastic place to spend your night.

Situated on Kabetogama Lakeshores, Woodenfrog Campground offers access to the swimming beach and the water using a boat ramp.

3. Itasca State Park Camping Site

Itasca State Park Camping - GoPetFriendly
© GoPetFriendly

Itasca State Park hosts the Mississippi River’s Headwaters. The park is also home to many scenic camping choices. Situated in the northern part of Minnesota, 30 miles southwest of the City of Bemidji, the park features more than 200 sites which range from walk-in only to RV-accessible.

The camping sites split between two campgrounds in the park; the Pine Ridge Campground and the Bear Paw Campground. When you visit the park, you will have access to different amenities such as hot showers and flushing restrooms. There are also playground areas and potable water across the camping sites.

Additionally, Itasca State Park provides quick access to the park’s massive expanse comprising over 50 miles of hiking trails and 100 lakes. If you are looking for nature exploration, this is the place perfect destination. Group and solo camping are available across at this park. Sites made for year-long camping are also available.

4. Portsmouth Campground, Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area - Trip101
© Trip101

This is one of the newest state recreation centres in Minnesota. Cuyuna Country is on the rise as a popular recreation facility. It was previously an iron mine site with abandoned pits. It contains 25 miles of fantastic mountain bike trails in the state and plenty of turquoise-tinted water.

If you want to enjoy your stay at the park, you should consider camping at the Portsmouth Campground located within the park’s boundaries. This camping site’s location is in the eastern area of the 5,000-acre Cuyuna Country Recreational Area. 

The park also nears the Portsmouth Mine lake shores. Portsmouth Campground features include 18 electric sites, four walk-in sites, and 15 non-electric sites.

All camping sites at Cuyuna Country have freshwater facilities, and they also possess fast access to all the recreational chances contained in Cuyuna Country. The State Recreational area comprises over 20 human-made and natural lakes, extensive views stretching beyond the horizon, and plentiful mountain bike singletrack trails.

Ironton, the neighboring community makes enhances the camping experience since they trade bike rentals and camping supplies. Cuyuna Country also contains three seven-individual yurts available throughout the year.

5. Afton State Park 

Afton State Park - Davison N
© Davison N

Situated near the east of Saint Paul, this park is a well-known prairie-packed state park attracting visitors from the Twin Cities and other regions. Afton State Park is a unique camping site in the Minnesota state park system since it is only available for individuals who want to backpack their kits to the site.

The park’s 27 backpack sites are situated a mile less from the parking area. All the backpacks comprise a fire ring, picnic table, and spacious areas to place a tent. The camping site also shares the accessibility to water fixtures and a communal pit toilet.

The Afton’s backpacks sites differ from exposed to shaded, and they all provide access and view to the adjacent wooden surrounding. This comprises the extensive trail system winding its way across the park.

All the campsites are spate from each other. This helps in providing privacy than other campgrounds. However, it’s common to hear a nearby campfire crackle during the night. This will help remind you that you are not alone in the sites.

6. Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park - Minnesota Camping & Hiking
© Minnesota Camping & Hiking

Jay Cooke State Park hosts some of the fantastic trails in the state. The park is a well-known camping site destination. Jay Cooke State Park is near the St. Louis River, close to the Lake Superior western tip. The park features more than 80 sites which range from electric areas to park an RV to walk-in tent sites.

Jay Cooke State Park also features restroom facilities containing hot showers and camper cabins. It has more than 50 miles of trails spread across the park’s 8,125 acres. The park’s 300-mile Superior Hiking Trail starts from the Wisconsin/Minnesota border close to the state park.

Jay Cooke State Park also links with the Willard Munger State Trail. This camping site is situated close to the park’s most popular hikes, the Silver Creek Trail, which comprises passing over an attractive bridge that swings over the St. Louis River.

7. Wild River State Park Campground

Wild River State Park Campground - Mi S.
© Mi S.

Wild River State Park Campground is one of the big state parks in the state. The park’s location is along 18 miles of the St. Croix River.

 Besides several horsebacks, hiking, and canoeing activities, the park also has plentiful excellent campsites.

Although the park does not possess many backcountry campsites reachable by non-motorized transportation, it has some of the most popular spots with over 90 sites. A third of the park’s campsites offer electricity. All the camping sites comprise a fire ring, picnic table, and spacious areas, allowing you to park your RV comfortably or pitch your tent.

Regardless of the park’s high spaces numbers available, visitors should seek advanced bookings, especially during weekends. However, Wild River State Park Campground has 6,000 acres for adventure and wild waters to paddle. The park offers an abundance of space for exploration.

8. Fall Lake Campground, Superior National Forest

Fall Lake Campground - BWCA
© BWCA

Superior Forest, located in the northern part of the state, has numerous camping sites. Campers have many camping options across this wild and rugged area, ranging from RV-accommodating camping sites to boat-access-only backcountry spots. This campground also offers modern amenities.  

Situated east of Ely, Fall Lake Campground is an excellent example of a modern camping site inside Superior National Forest. Fall Lake Campground has flushing toilets and clean water, and all its 64 camping sites offer tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. The camping site also offers a great North Woods backdrop comprising Fall Lake’s forested shoreline.

The lake’s quick access to the Boundary Water Canoe Areas Wilderness makes this camping site a unique place to visit. If you have a single paddle stroke, you can explore the Boundary Waters at Fall Lake Campground.

If you wish to stay in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness overnight, you should acquire additional permits. Fall Lake Campground is a great camping site near the Boundary Waters Canoe due to its proximity to the vast expanse of waterways.

9. Glendalough State Park

Glendalough State Park - Glendalough State Park
© Glendalough State Park

Located in the western part of the state, about two hours northwest of St Cloud, the park is a scenic state park that offers a genuine opportunity to explore the canoe and cart-in sites. Glendalough State Park avoids the bustle and hustle of the regular drive-in camping sites by providing a quiet environment and an easy connection to the natural surroundings. The park’s 22 cart-in sites have restroom facilities containing hot showers, and they also have access to potable water.

Many water bodies surround the park in the transition area between hardwood forests to the north and Minnesota prairie. The 332-acre Annie Battle Lake, a non-motorized water lake, is popular with Kayaks and canoes. The camp offers campers quick access to the water, and you can also enjoy the paved bike trail skirting the lake.

If you visit this camping site in this Minnesota, you will find it easy to unplug and relax. Campgrounds in this park offer several activities, including campfire during the night, lake activities, hiking, among many others. Therefore, if you want to stay away from the bustle and hustle of your daily life, visit Glendalough State Park

10. Lakeview Campground, Father Hennepin State Park

Father Hennepin State Park - MapQuest
© MapQuest

Located on Mille Lacs Lakeshores, Father Hennepin State Park’s name originates from a priest in the 17th Century who wrote about the place first. Mille Lacs Lake is among the biggest inland lakes in the state. Lakeview Campground location is inside Father Hennepin State Park, giving the overnight campers a fantastic camping experience as they enjoy the lake view. 

The 60 camping sites split between electrical and non-electrical locations. However, they all have access to toilets, water fixtures, and showers.

Lakeview Campground also offers quick access to the Lake to moor a boat and a fishing pier. Pop-up campers, tents, and RVs, which length doesn’t exceed 60 feet, are all welcome at Father Hennepin State Park. If you want to reserve a spot at the Lakeview Campground and unluckily it’s full, you can consider the 40 camping sites nearby at the Maple Grove Campground.

You can opt to make camping bookings at the park and all other parks in the state one year in advance.

Conclusion

Minnesota provides visitors with unprecedented access to some of the best camping sites and natural adventures. As the sites in this article have indicated, you have the opportunity to choose your favourite camping site that offers you a fantastic camping experience. If you are looking for nature exploration, there are many destinations also. Camping sites in Minnesota offer every visitor a chance to enjoy themselves fully. 

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