Minnesota, also known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is a nature lover’s paradise. With its abundance of forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, this state in the Upper Midwest of the United States offers some of the best camping experiences in the country.
From cozy campsites nestled in dense forests to scenic lakeside campgrounds, Minnesota has it all. So, pack your camping gear, grab your friends or family, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable camping adventure. Here are some of the best camping spots in Minnesota.
1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a pristine wilderness area located in the northern part of Minnesota, near the Canadian border. It is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy canoeing, camping, and immersing themselves in the beauty of nature. The BWCAW offers over a million acres of untouched wilderness, with over 1,000 lakes and countless miles of hiking trails.
Camping in the BWCAW is a unique experience as it is a remote and primitive wilderness area with no roads, motorized vehicles, or electricity. Campers can choose from over 2,000 campsites, which are only accessible by canoe or hiking and are equipped with basic amenities such as fire rings and tent pads. The pristine lakes offer excellent fishing opportunities, and the chance to spot wildlife like moose, wolves, and bald eagles is high. The BWCAW is a perfect destination for those seeking a true wilderness camping experience and a chance to disconnect from the modern world.
2. Itasca State Park
Located in north-central Minnesota, Itasca State Park is known for being the oldest state park in Minnesota and the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. It spans over 32,000 acres and offers a diverse range of camping options, including drive-in campsites, walk-in campsites, and group campsites.
One of the highlights of camping at Itasca State Park is the opportunity to visit the Mississippi Headwaters, where you can walk across the river on a series of stepping stones and say you’ve crossed the Mississippi River on foot. The park also offers miles of hiking and biking trails, including the renowned Wilderness Drive, which takes you through the heart of the park’s beautiful wilderness. Wildlife enthusiasts will also enjoy the chance to spot deer, beavers, loons, and other native animals. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse camping options, Itasca State Park is a must-visit camping destination in Minnesota.
3. Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park is a unique and remote national park located in northern Minnesota, known for its pristine lakes, rugged landscapes, and abundant wildlife. The park encompasses over 218,000 acres and is a haven for camping, boating, fishing, and outdoor exploration.
Camping in Voyageurs National Park is an extraordinary experience, with campsites accessible only by water. Visitors can camp on one of the park’s many islands or along the shoreline of its picturesque lakes. The park offers a variety of camping options, from rustic tent campsites to houseboat rentals for a more luxurious camping experience. With its remote location, Voyageurs National Park offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the serenity of the wilderness.
4. Gooseberry Falls State Park
Nestled along the picturesque North Shore of Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls State Park is known for its stunning waterfalls, scenic trails, and beautiful campsites. The park offers a variety of camping options, including drive-in campsites, cart-in campsites, and backpack campsites. Camping at Gooseberry Falls State Park is a treat for nature lovers, with easy access to the park’s famous waterfalls, including the Upper, Middle, and Lower Gooseberry Falls. The sound of rushing water and the sight of cascading falls are sure to provide a serene camping experience.
The park also offers miles of hiking trails that wind through dense forests, along the rocky shores of Lake Superior, and past breathtaking overlooks. Wildlife sightings are common, with opportunities to spot deer, foxes, and various bird species. In addition to camping and hiking, Gooseberry Falls State Park offers recreational activities such as fishing, picnicking, and wildlife watching. The park has a visitor center that provides educational exhibits about the area’s natural history and geology, making it a great destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike.
5. Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park, located along the North Shore of Lake Superior, is known for its rugged cliffs, pristine lakes, and stunning waterfalls. The park spans over 9,000 acres and offers a range of camping options, including drive-in campsites, backpack campsites, and cart-in campsites.
Camping at Tettegouche State Park offers the opportunity to explore the park’s many trails, including the popular Tettegouche Camp-to-Camp Trail, which connects several backcountry campsites and offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior. The park is also known for its stunning waterfalls, including High Falls, Illgen Falls, and Baptism Falls, which are easily accessible by hiking trails.
Tettegouche State Park also offers recreational activities such as fishing, rock climbing, and bird watching. The park has a visitor center that provides information about the park’s natural history and offers interpretive programs and guided hikes.
6. Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park, located near Duluth in northeastern Minnesota, is known for its rugged landscapes, scenic trails, and historic swinging bridge. The park offers a variety of camping options, including drive-in campsites, group campsites, and camper cabins.
Camping at Jay Cooke State Park offers the opportunity to explore the park’s extensive trail system, which includes over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. The park has stunning views of the St. Louis River and its dramatic sandstone cliffs. The iconic swinging bridge, which spans across the river, provides a unique and thrilling experience for visitors.
Jay Cooke State Park also offers recreational activities such as fishing, canoeing, and picnicking. The park has a visitor center that offers interpretive exhibits about the area’s natural and cultural history, making it a great destination for families and history buffs.
7. Lake Maria State Park
Lake Maria State Park, located in central Minnesota, is famous for serene lakes, pristine forests, and peaceful camping experiences. The park offers a variety of camping options, including drive-in campsites and backpack campsites.
Camping at Lake Maria State Park offers the opportunity to explore the park’s miles of hiking trails, which wind through oak savannas, maple-basswood forests, and along the shores of Lake Maria. The park offers tranquility, providing a peaceful retreat for campers seeking solitude in nature. The park also offers opportunities for wildlife watching, with chances to spot deer, foxes, and various bird species.
Lake Maria State Park also offers recreational activities such as fishing, canoeing, and snowshoeing in the winter months. The park has a nature center that provides educational exhibits and interpretive programs about the park’s natural history.
In conclusion, Minnesota is a treasure trove of natural beauty and outdoor recreation, offering a wide range of camping options for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From the remote wilderness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to the scenic shores of Lake Superior, Minnesota has something for everybody. Regardless of what you like, you will find it in these 7 camping spots.