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Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

5 Best Campgrounds in Minnesota (2023)

The state of Minnesota is fondly known as the land of 10,000 lakes and this name is not to be taken lightly because the state is very much home to over 10,000 lakes. This Midwestern state sits at the border of Canada and Lake Superior, and it is a hotspot for visitors who want to indulge in some exciting outdoor activities, especially fishing.

This has made Minnesota into a popular family vacation destination, with most people choosing to come here during the summers to take part in numerous water activities at the many lakefronts.

With so many state parks, national forests, and an abundance of wilderness throughout the state of Minnesota, there is no shortage of great places to pitch a tent. The many campsites in Minnesota are interwoven with the waterways and lakes of the state, especially the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and can also be found throughout the tall prairie grass in the southern part of this breathtaking state.

With so many places to camp in Minnesota, visitors feel delighted to learn that all the campgrounds in the state offer easy access to a wide variety of outdoor activities. Whether you are searching for a place to park your RV for some time or you want to sleep under the stars, there are great camping grounds spread throughout the state of Minnesota.

5 Best Campgrounds in Minnesota

Now, without any further delay, let’s take a look at some of the best campgrounds in Minnesota.

1. Woodenfrog Campground in the Kabetogama State Forest

Kabetogama State Forest

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It surprises many tourists to learn that there are 58 different state forests in Minnesota. Most of these state forests offer campgrounds. Woodenfrog is one of the more affordable campgrounds you can find, and the conditions also are significantly less crowded.

It won’t be wrong to say that all the state forest campgrounds in Minnesota are sort of primitive. They contain many established camping spots marked by picnic tables and fire rings. Pit toilets and fresh water spigots dot the area.

Located in the far northern part of Minnesota, the Woodenfrog Campground is sitting inside the Kabetogama State Forest. There are 61 non-electrical campsites here. The place is easy to access if you want to have an adventure in the surrounding Kabetogama State Forest. It is also located very close to the Voyageurs National Park, and you can use it as a launching point to discover a whole new and exciting world at Voyageurs.

This is one of the few drive-in campgrounds in Minnesota that has access to the water-fed Voyageurs National Park. However, the camping ground is only available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the sites are known to fill up quickly, especially in peak tourist season.

2. Split Rock State Park Cart-In Campgrounds

Spread out from the city of Duluth to the US-Canadian border, the North Shore of Lake Superior is the perfect place for endless adventures. Activities here range from sailing in the frigid waters of Lake Superior to cross-country hiking. There are many things that you can do here, and the campsites at this park stretch all along this major recreation destination. Located halfway up the shore, the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is one of the best examples of North Shore overnight accommodations. With very little effort, campers at this place get to take in some of the best views found in the state.

There are 20 cart-in campsites located at Split Rock State Park camping ground. These are found approximately 2,000 feet from the parking lot. All the campsites come with a picnic table, a fire ring, and there is a cart to haul in your stuff. Showers, flush toilets, and clean water are readily available to all campers, but the big draw here is the immediate access to the breathtaking landscape all around.

The biggest recommendation to visitors who are staying the night at the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is to go ahead and book one of the campsites located on the lakeside portion of the campground loop. These offer some of the best personal views of the Split Rock Lighthouse and the magnificent rugged shoreline. It is possible to reserve campsites one year in advance, and they tend to get sold out very quickly in the popular summer tourist season.

3. Jay Cooke State Park

The Jay Cooke State Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in Minnesota. It is also a very popular spot for camping. The state park sits adjacent to the St. Louis River, very near to the western tip of Lake Superior. There are over 80 camping sites that range from walk-in tent sites to electric spots that allow you to park your RV.

This camping ground is also home to many camper cabins and provides restroom facilities with hot showers. The state park is home to over 50 miles of trails that are stretched throughout its 8,125 acres. One of the best trails that you must check out is the 300-mile Superior Hiking Trail that starts at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, very near to the Jay Cooke State Park.

The state park is also a connecting point for the Willard Munger State Trail. The campground is located near the Silver Creek Trail, which is one of the most popular hiking trails of the park. This trail includes crossing over a beautiful scenic bridge that swings over the mesmerizing St. Louis River.

4. Portsmouth Campground in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Cuyuna Country is one of Minnesota’s newest state recreation areas, but it is rapidly growing in popularity. This was a former iron mine that encompasses abandoned pits which are today filled with turquoise water. It is also home to 25 miles of some of the best mountain biking routes in Minnesota. Of course, one of the best ways to experience all the activities and beauty of this campground is to stay at the Portsmouth Campground within the recreation area’s boundaries.

Portsmouth Campground is located on the eastern part of the 5,000 acres Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, very near to the shores of the Portsmouth Mine Lake. The campground is home to 15 non-electric sites, 18 electric sites, and four walk-in sites.

All campsite residents here share freshwater facilities, and they have easy access to all the recreational opportunities offered at the Cuyuna Country. There are also over 20 natural and manmade lakes, a vast number of mountain biking single track trails, and fantastic views that seem to stretch on beyond the horizon.

The neighboring community of Ironton is the ideal basecamp for your camping as you can get all your supplies and even rent a bike if you want. There are also three seven-person yurts at Cuyuna Country, which are available for rent all year round.

5. Wild River State Park Campground

Located along 18 miles of the mesmerizing St. Croix River, the Wild River State Park is one of the bigger state parks in the state of Minnesota. Apart from the many hiking, horseback, and canoeing activities you can indulge in here, there are also many beautiful camping spots available where you can spend the night.

There is a wide variety of backcountry camping sites at Wild River that can only be accessed by non-motorized transportation. The most popular spots for camping at located at the Wild River State Park Campground, which has over 90 sites.

One-third of the camping sites here provide electricity and come with a picnic table, fire ring, and lots of space to put up your tent or park an RV.

Despite the number of spaces available, it is recommended that you book ahead, especially on the weekends. With 6,000 acres of beautiful nature to explore and wild waters to enjoy in, there is a lot of room at this state park to explore it by yourself as well.

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