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40 of the Best Places for Camping in Minnesota

Minnesota isn’t just the land of 10,000 lakes – it’s also the land of thousands of amazing campgrounds!

In Minnesota, you have a wide range of camping options to select from, including lakeside canoe camping, amenities-filled RV camping, rustic tent camping, and everything in between.

Here are 40 of the best campgrounds in Minnesota to help you plan your trip.

Best Campgrounds in Minnesota

To help making select a campsite even easier, we’ve rounded down your options to just 40 of the very best campgrounds in Minnesota, whether you prefer RVing, canoe or kayak camping, or tent camping.

1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area

An evening view of Paddle Lake in the BWCA

Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the absolute best places for camping in Minnesota.

It spans 1,090,000 acres, almost all explorable by canoe or kayak. If you’re looking for the camping trip of a lifetime, then this is it.

Not only is BWCA one of the top-rated camping destinations in all of Minnesota, but it’s also one of the best places for camping anywhere in the United States.

Check Out Our Full BWCA Review!

2. Grand Marais Campground & Marina

Lakeside in Minnesota

Grand Marais Campground and Marina is a gem located right on Lake Superior.

Watching the sunrise on the cove and walking into town for a cup of hot coffee in the morning will be just a couple of your favorite things about staying here.

If you’re looking for an ever bigger adventure, the campground offers a nice basecamp for your hiking trips to Devils Kettle and Grand Portage.

If you want to keep things simple, you can explore the smooth rock beach and the rock formations on Lake Superior.

3. Gull Lake Recreation Area

Bird in lake in Minnesota

Another amazing Minnesota campground, the campground at Gull Lake Recreation Area sits on the Gull River at the outlet of Gull Lake.

Each campsite is uniquely carved out giving each camper plenty of peace and quiet. It’s very private here, even though you’re just 9 miles from town.

Gull Lake is popular with fisherman thanks to the large fish population which includes stocked walleye, northern pike, bass, and panfish.

4. Eagle Cliff Campground

Man fishing on a lake in Minnesota

Eagle Cliff Campground has something for everyone to enjoy.

Because it’s located on the Rum River this campground offers summer days filled with tubing, kayaking, and canoeing. All of these can be rented from the campground itself.

Eagle Cliff campground is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the town of Lanesboro for day trips. It’s known for its historic setting in bluff country.

5. Itasca State Park

Rustic bridge over a stream in Minnesota

Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s oldest state park. It was established in 1891.

Today, the park spans over 32,000 acres and includes over 100 lakes! The photo above showcases the beginning of the mighty Mississippi River, which travels 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Itasca State Park is a wonderful place to walk trails, play in the Mississippi River, and camp with your family.

Our family actually saw a mama bear and her two cubs when we camped there! It’s a state park, but it should be a National Park in my mind. One of the best places to visit in Minnesota, hands down.

Check Out Our Full Itasca State Park Review

6. Camp Holiday Resort & Campground

Woman kayaking on a beautiful lake in Minnesota

Camp Holiday Resort and Campground is a quiet, cozy Minnesota camping gem that offers an all-around experience for campers.

You can choose to stay in a cabin, lake home, or a campsite. Campers enjoy a wide range of summertime activities, including swimming, rafting, fishing, and more. Boat rentals are available.

Camp Holiday Resort and Campground is appropriately named – staying here is like a mini holiday!

7. Wild River State Park

family walking on fallen tree in balance

Wild River State Park is about 45 minutes north of the Twin Cities.

It’s located with all sorts of outdoor activities. These include hiking on one of the many trails, biking, horseback riding, geocaching, visiting the wonderful nature center, and so much more.

Enjoy the wildlife alongside the great St. Croix River.

8. Lake Maria State Park

Dock on a lake in Minnesota

Lake Maria State Park is perfect for those who are interested in a slightly more challenging Minnesota camping experience.

It’s about an hour away from the Twin Cities, making the trip there easy for most, but far enough you feel away from your everyday life.

Campsites and cabins are about a one-mile hike from where you’ll park your car. Walking and hiking trails are forested and winding, one even brings you on a wooden trail through a marsh.

During the winter there is a frozen pond you can skate on next to the Trail Center. Lake Maria State Park is also known to have a variety of wildlife and is perfect for bird watching.

9. Two Rivers Campground

Two people floating in inner tubes in Minnesota lake

There’s a whole lot to like about this Royalton campground.

For one thing, it’s only 90 minutes from the Twin Cities via US-10. Second, it sits at the junction of the Mississippi and Platte Rivers. Three, it has close two 200 tent and RV campsites.

Campers are able to tube down the Platte, swim and slide at the campground’s pool, and enjoy the quiet of the surrounding forest. Children are kept busy with playgrounds, mini-golf, and a game room.

Sitting around a campfire is another favorite activity. But due to ash borer in the state, Two Rivers Campground ask that you leave your firewood at home and only use the provided firewood.

10. Interstate State Park

St Croix River in Minnesota

Interstate State Park has approximately 110 RV campsites complete with full hookups.

Restrooms with showers are available for all campers, including those who choose to stay at a non-hookup tent campsite.

While staying at this popular Minnesota campground, remember to walk among the park’s many wildflowers in search of its famous lava flows and glacial deposits.

Other activities include fishing, canoeing, and even climbing.

11. Ham Lake Campground

Ham Lake Campground is located an easy 35 minutes straight north from downtown Minneapolis. This popular Minnesota campground boasts 115 RV sites along with 5 cabins available for rent.

The biggest attractions here are the amazing sandy beach with a super shallow swimming area as well as a petting zoo and playgrounds on site.

12. Baker Park Campground

Roasting hot dogs on the campfire while camping in Minnesota

Baker Park is one of our families favorite “close to home” Minnesota campgrounds. It’s located an easy 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis.

Baker Park offers all kinds of activities for the family on it’s amazing 3,300 acres.

There is a beautiful campground offering hundreds of campsites, a huge playground with zip lines, tons of picnic tables to eat at, two huge sandy beaches, miles of biking and hiking trails, a golf course, and so much more.

Check Out Our Review of Baker Park

13. Father Hennepin State Park

If you want to experience some of the most relaxing camping in Minnesota, Father Hennepin is the perfect destination.

Situated on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake, Father Hennepin State Park is named after a 17th-century priest, who first wrote about the area – and with a single visit, you can see why it was worth writing about.

Mille Lacs Lake is one of the largest inland lakes in Minnesota, and the Lakeview campground within Father Hennepin State Park gives overnight users a front row seat to it all.

Split between non-electrical and electrical, the 60 campsites at Lakeview all share access to flushing toilets, showers, and water spigots, and more importantly, easy access to Mille Lacs Lake in the form of a fishing pier and places to moor a boat.

Tents, pop-up campers, and RVs up to 60 feet long are welcome at Father Hennepin. If the Lakeview Campground is full when you go to reserve a spot, nearby Maple Grove Campground hosts another 40 campsites, though not quite as close to the water.

Check Out Our Full Father Hennepin State Park Review

14. Afton State Park, Backpack Sites

Afton State Park in Minnesota

Located less than a half hour east of Saint Paul, Afton State Park is a popular park that attracts campers from the Twin Cities and beyond.

What makes the campgrounds at Afton unique within the Minnesota state park system is that they are only available for those willing to backpack their gear to the sites.

The 27 backpacking sites at Afton State Park are located less than a mile from the parking lot. All include a picnic table, fire ring, and plenty of space to pitch a tent or two as well as shared access to a communal pit toilet and water spigot.

The backpacking campsite at Afton vary from shaded to exposed. All offer views and access to the surrounding wooded and prairie environments, including the extensive trail system that winds its way through the park.

No campsite is a direct neighbor to another, offering more privacy than your average campground, but it’s not uncommon to hear the crackle of a nearby campfire throughout the night, reminding you that you’re not completely alone in the woods.

15. Cedar Hill Campground, Whitewater State Park

Winding road through forest in Minnesota

There are countless factors that make Whitewater State Park one of the best state parks in Minnesota.

Between the bluff-lined hiking trails and churning waters of the Whitewater River, what really ties everything together are its spacious and scenic campsites.

More than 100 campsites are available. The most abundant and most popular sites fall within the Cedar Hill Campground, which abuts the Whitewater River and provides opportunities like tubing, wading, and fishing.

Two communal sanitation buildings are located within Cedar Hill Campground. Another can be found in the neighboring Gooseberry Glen Campground. All three provide toilets, showers, and clean water throughout the camping season.

Every campsite at Whitewater State Park provides a picnic table and fire ring. They vary from pull-in to pull-through – with a few requiring a short walk from a parked car.

For those looking for more solitude, on the other side of the river from the Cedar Hill and Gooseberry Glen Campgrounds, Whitewater State Park also offers six walk-in sites averaging 500 yards from the parking area, allowing for a little more space and just as many views.

16. Split Rock State Park, Cart-In Campground

Split Rock State Park - Minnesota - Duluth - Lake Superior

Stretching from Duluth to the US/Canadian border, the North Shore of Lake Superior provides endless adventure, ranging from cross-country hiking to sailing the frigid waters.

On top of the many things to do, great campsites stretch all along this recreation destination, just waiting for you to spend the night.

Nearly halfway up the shore, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offers a great example of these North Shore overnight accommodations. With just a little bit of effort, Minnesota campers at this lakeside destination are afforded some of the best views found in the state.

Located 2,000 feet from the parking lot, Split Rock offers 20 cart-in campsites. All feature a picnic table and fire ring and include the cart to haul in your gear.

A strong recommendation when staying the night at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is to reserve one of the campsites on the lakeside portion of the campground loop. These all offer personal views of the rugged shoreline and Split Rock Lighthouse in the distance.

Flush toilets, showers, and clean water are available to all campers at Split Rock, but the real draw for the cart-in campgrounds of this North Shore state park is the immediate access to the stunning surroundings.

18. William O’Brien State Park

This top-rated Minnesota campground offers a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, and skiing.

It’s pleasant and relaxing sitting next to the St Croix River or on Lake Alice – you won’t have to do so without your phone if you don’t want, because some areas of the campground have Wi-Fi for your convenience.

Another perk of this campground is that lots of equipment for a variety of activities is available to be checked out for free by visitors, making this a great place to try new things.

William O’ Brien State Park is truly on the best campgrounds within two hours of Minneapolis.

hiking trail in the Minnesota woods

19. Lebanon Hills Campground

View of clouds reflected on a lake in Minnesota

If you’re looking for a place to go camping in Minnesota that is close to the Twin Cities but yet feels far away, this is it.

The land here is wooded and lake-ridden, which makes it feel far more than just half an hour south of Minneapolis.

There is a laundry facility, onsite caretaker, picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms with showers. The West Camping Loop has Wi-Fi for your convenience and the park’s Visitor Center has educational programs and displays to enjoy.

Take your little ones for an educational day trip or stay the night to get away from the hubbub of the city.

20. Old Barn Resort

Old Barn Resort in Minnesota

This resort campground has a golf course and heated pool, both of which are very popular and well maintained. The trails and beautiful sights to be explored will have you waking up early so you can fit in as much as possible.

The misty and picturesque golf course is an early morning treat that you can get a sneak peek of now if you check out their Instagram. Fire pits are provided in every campsite, hookups are available for RVers, and there are outdoor restrooms nearby.

21. Mystery Cave State Park

Mystery Cave State Park in Minnesota

Near the Minnesota-Iowa border, Mystery Cave State Park is perfect for Minnesota campers who want to spend time exploring this unique area.

Approximately 145 sites grace this park, including 55 equestrian campsites reserved for horseback riders.

Guests have the opportunity to select from a number of activities like fishing in trout streams, hiking, and horseback rides.

And, of course, there’s the cave.

Seven different tours are offered to guests. These include the popular scenic tour, a guided walk where guests see everything by lantern, and a two-hour trip for those who want to set up tripods for cave photography.

22. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park in Minnesota

The Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is known for its wildlife and history. There is a fire and observation tower that visitors can climb which goes 100 feet into the air.

This Minnesota campground offers you a view that you cannot get at any of the other campgrounds in the two-hour radius of Minneapolis. The park is open year-round, making it a popular place for winter and summer activities alike.

With 70 drive-in sites and 3 pull-through campsites, it’s a great option for RV camping as well.

23. Flandrau State Park

Flandrau State Park - Man Made Swimming Hole and Beach

Flandrau State Park has a large variety of options for your sleeping arrangements should you decide to stay here.

Visitors can go geocaching or participate in a variety of water activities including fishing and swimming at the beach. Don’t forget your swimsuits!

There are plenty of other things to do within one mile of the campgrounds, so exploring the general is encouraged!

24. Sibley State Park

Sibley State Park in Minnesota view of night sky

Sibley State Park is one of our family’s favorite campgrounds in Minnesota.

Group campsites can hold up to 128 people, making it a great place for church or family gatherings. A gift shop is located nearby as is a grocery store and restaurants.

Feel free to play volleyball next to the swimming beach or relax while fishing on the fishing pier.

Whether you’re looking to find a place to be for a day or stay the night, make sure you call ahead and check availability!

25. Bear Head State Park

Bear Head Lake State Park in the Winter

This Northwoods park is just a stone’s throw from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and offers miles of shoreline to explore. You can swim at the park’s beach, cast a fishing line, or take to the woods and hike on a trail.

Bear Head State Park’s campground is complete with showers and restrooms. It has 73 campsites, 45 of which have electricity. There are also four walk-in sites, one boat-accessible site, five camper cabins, and one rustic group camping site.

The park encompasses 5,685 acres that include Bear Head Lake and some smaller lakes. Those without a boat can still take advantage of the water – canoe, kayak, and boat rentals are available.

Check Out Our Review of Bear Head Lake State Park

26. Glendalough State Park

Glendalough State Park located by Battle Lake and Ottertail Lake, Minnesota

Year-round camping opportunities are available at this state park, just northwest of Minneapolis.

In addition to standard cart-in sites, Glandalough features three canoe campsites on the northeast shore of Annie Battle Lake, four cabins, and two yurts. 

Visitors have access to the 335-acre lake, a swimming beach, and a fishing pier.

Those who come in the winter can take advantage of an enormous sliding hill and areas for snowshoeing. Visitors during the warmer months can explore Glendalough via canoe, kayak, hiking trails, and a paved bike loop.

For those interested in geology, Glendalough shows the transition from prairie to northern hardwoods across 9.2 miles of undeveloped shoreline.

27. Two Island Lake Campground

Sunset above Secret Lake in Superior National Forest

Located in the Superior National Forest near Grand Marais, Two Island Lake Campground is far enough off the beaten path to allow for plenty of peace and quiet.

Trees provide a buffer between sites. The campground’s location on the western edge of Two Island Lake offers campers a chance to catch a beautiful sunset over the water.

For more seclusion, hop on the nearby Twin Lakes Canoe Route to get to one of the five backpacking sites accessible by water.

28. Voyageurs National Park

Looking at a waterfall in Minnesota

Minnesota’s only national park is a destination point for boaters, whether you’re in a canoe, motorboat or houseboat.

Motor or paddle up to a dock, sandy beach or rocky ledge near a campsite — or tie off on a mooring post if you’re in a houseboat — and enjoy the island-filled waters of Rainy, Namakan, and Kabetogama Lakes along the Canadian border.

Voyageuers National Park has 270 beautiful campsites that fill up fast – so book early.

29. Tettegouche State Park

Waterfall in Tettegouche State Park

Tettegouche State Park is one of the North Shore’s most popular camping spots. Located along Lake Superior just off Minnesota 61, the park has 14 cart-in campsites along the shore.

For those wanting to car camp, the park has 28 such sites — and six walk-in sites — at its Baptism River campground. There are also four rental cabins in the park.

Campers have access to 28 miles of trails and the Superior Hiking Trail. Travel along the Baptism River to view waterfalls or hike a bit more to see the park’s lakes and several scenic overlooks.

30. Ann Lake Campground

Child laughing at Minnesota campground

Ann Lake Campground provides visitors with a clear area, fire ring, table, vault toilets, and drinking water.

Of course, those who visit this campground aren’t interested in high-end accommodations. Instead, they visit to partake in winter sports like snowmobiling and summer adventures such as horseback riding and swimming.

The area also features three miles of hiking trails that double as cross-country ski trails during the winter.

31. Kamp Dels Campground

Kamp Dels in Minnesota

Kamp Dels is more than a simple campground…

It’s a modern camping experience where you can raise a tent, park an RV, stay in a lake-front cabin, but still have access to many modern amenities and activities. And that includes the campground’s amazing waterpark!

With several pools to choose from, this popular attraction features two water slides, a splash park, and a children’s swim area.

Other recreational activities include a petting zoo, mini golf, and fishing pond.

In addition, the campground is located on the shores of Lake Sakatah and its watershed area. With 1336 acres of shoreline, visitors can enjoy swimming, tubing, boating, or jet skiing.

Check out our guide to Kamp Dells for kids to learn more about this unique Minnesota camping destination.

32. Trail’s End Campground

Large family tent illuminated from the inside.

This beautiful Minnesota campground features bedrock outcrops among white and red pine.  T

he 2007 Ham Lake Fire bounced through the area, leaving some heavily burnt sites, now regenerating, and some untouched sites.  It is an excellent spot to see fire ecology in action.

Many campsites are hike-in, view or access water, or have steep drop-offs. Commercial services include canoe rental, outfitting, showers, and sales of groceries and gear, and a restaurant.   

The campground provides access to entry points 54, 55, & K for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. There is long and short term parking for the BWCAW. Day use and overnight BWCAW permits (if quotas allow) are available for those entering the BWCAW.

33. Flying Goose Campground & Resort

Campfire near tent

Over half a century old, Flying Goose Campground is for campers who want to spend the night or longer on the shore of central Minnesota’s Lake Imogene.

The grounds offer plenty of campsites for tent and RV camping. One of the unique features are the 100-foot sites with 50 amp full hookups for pull-thru vehicles. Those looking for a more glamorous experience can choose one of the Flying Goose’s cabins with a full kitchen and two queen beds.

With the amount of available recreational activities, Flying Goose visitors won’t ever be bored. The 185 acre lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and watersports like rafting and kayaking. Dryer activities offered are a sand volleyball court and 18 hole mini-golf course.

34. Cascade River State Park

Cascade River Falls

If you’re looking for a camping experience that offers incredible sights, then Cascade River State Park is perfect for you.

Waterfalls, fishing, hiking, and other year-round activities are highlights of Cascade River. Situated on the eastern shoreline of Lake Superior, the campground is ensconced along the Cascade River. Forty drive-in spots, four pull-through locations, and five backpack sites are spread out through the park.

Once setup, visitors have a lot to see. For instance, you can hike to gorges with majestic waterfalls as well as along paths among spruce and white cedar trees.

Then, you can make a stop on the shores of Lake Superior. Those looking for more adventure can connect to the Superior Hiking and North Shore State Trails. 

35. Blue Mounds State Park

Camping in Minnesota - Cloudy Summer Sky over a Blue Mounds State Park Cliffside Vista

Besides being a wonderful campground, Blue Mounds State Park has the honor of protecting a herd of American bison. The herd currently grazes on one of Minnesota’s largest prairie remnants.

These bison are just one of the many things visitors can see when they reserve one of Blue Mound’s nearly 130 campsites. 

Located in the southwest corner of Minnesota, this state park has a different feel. Instead of ferns and moss, visitors encounter 100-foot quartizite cliffs, seas of prairie grasses, and prickly pear cactus.

Along with viewing the bison herd, hiking and rock climbing are park’s main recreational highlights.

36. Jay Cooke State Park

Fall Color at Jay Cooke State Park

Travel 10 miles southwest of Duluth and you’ll reach Jay Cooke State Park — one of the ten most visited parks in Minnesota.

Why do we flock to the park? Aside from the large mix of drive-in, electric, and backpacking campsites as well as five camper cabins, it’s because of the trails. 

Jay Cooke State Park features 50 miles of hiking trails. And all of them link to the Willard Munger State Trail.

Check Out Our Full Guide to Camping at Jay Cooke State Park

37. Great River Bluffs State Park

Scenic View of the Mississippi River near Great River Bluffs State Park

Head south from the Twin Cities along U.S. 61 and you’ll be at Great River Bluffs State Park, a simple, yet beautiful Minnesota camping destination.

Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, this sprawling campground offers a little over 40 drive-in, cart-in, and bike-in campsites.

38. Fall Lake Campground

Lake scene in Superior National Forest

Located in the Superior National Forest, this campground is situated on the shores of Fall Lake and is surrounded by aspen and fir trees.

Visitors have opportunities to swim, hike, and birdwatch. You also have access to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), a permit-based recreation area with 1200 miles of canoe routes.

Fishing enthusiasts love Fall Lake Campground for the opportunity to catch walleye once the season starts in May.

39. Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior during sunset

Waterfalls are one of the main reasons visitors set up camp at Gooseberry Falls State Park.

The other major draw is its location on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Nearly 120 campsites are available to reserve, including one kayak site for those traveling on the Lake Superior Water Trail.

Among the many offerings at the park beyond the waterfalls are the river gorge and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) log and stone structures built over 80 years ago.

40. Judge C.R. Magney State Park

40 of the Best Places for Camping in Minnesota 1

Yet another great campground on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Magney State Park is home to the Devil’s Kettle.

This is where the Brule River goes over a waterfall and seemingly disappears into a hole. 

Campers who set up at one of the 27 drive-in campsites can walk the 200 steps down to the river to see what happens.

In addition to viewing the Devil’s Kettle, visitors can fish for trout and hike along paths that connect to the Superior Hiking Trail.

Here Are Some Other Great Places to Go Camping Near Minnesota

Looking for other great places to go camping in the Upper Midwest?

Then our state camping guides have you covered:

Let us know what your favorite Minnesota campground is in the comments below.

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