Camping

Campgrounds are places of magic: camping restores our deep connections to nature and a campfire connects us with our Paleolithic ancestors in ways a PBS documentary never could. For a great vacation, go camping on Minnesota’s North Shore. In these pages you’ll find the best places to camp and fun things to do when you’re there. With choices from Jay Cooke State Park to the Gunflint Trail, from convenient campgrounds in town to wilderness campgrounds on the edge of the BWCA, find your perfect place in the North Shore area.


Camping the North Shore

A guide to the 23 best campgrounds in Minnesota's spectacular Lake Superior region

Find your perfect place in the woods as you're guided to the 23 best North Shore campgrounds, from Jay Cooke State Park to the Gunflint Trail.… read more


Posts from Camping

New Trail Center at Bear Head State Park
October 14, 2014 by Andrew Slade

New Trail Center at Bear Head State Park

Nestled in a forest near the beach on scenic and wild Bear Head Lake, the new building is bright and welcoming. Running water, an indoor fireplace and comfort are available before and after your adventures. … read more


Best North Shore at the Outdoor Adventure Expo
November 13, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Best North Shore at the Outdoor Adventure Expo

What do you get when you cross a canoe and a snowshoe? The "X" in Expo, that's what. As in the twice-a-year Outdoor Adventure Expo.It's this weekend, November 16-18, on the West Bank near downtown Minneapolis. This is the winter version (hence the snowshoe). There's a summer version every spring (hence the canoe). Every spring and every fall Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis puts on the biggest outdoor show of the season. It's coming up this weekend, and if you're at all interested in exploring the outdoors this winter, you should get there.It's shoulder-to-shoulder fun. Midwest turns all their parking lots … read more


Make your North Shore campsite reservations now
April 2, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Make your North Shore campsite reservations now

After six months of repair and frustration, the Minnesota DNR's state park reservation system seems to be up and running. As of today, you can reserve your choice of North Shore campsites as far as 12 months in advance. Act quickly: most of the popular weekends are already filling up.For Memorial Day weekend, as of today there were a few sites at Cascade River State Park and a few more at Judge CR Magney State Park, but the rest of the North Shore state parks are already full. For Fourth of July, things are a little more open, but that might … read more


The State Fair is on; special secret season for the North Shore
August 22, 2011 by Andrew Slade

The State Fair is on; special secret season for the North Shore

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is starting up this week. If you want S'Mores without the hassle of 1) camping, 2) campfires and 3) stick whittling, you could go to the Fair and patronize the "Real S'Mores" shack. They might even put it on a stick for you. But if you want another authentic Minnesota experience, head for the North Shore instead. As soon as the Fair starts, the summer crowds on the North Shore drop right off. Shhhhh...it's the special secret season! As of today, there are open campsites you can still reserve at every North Shore state park from Gooseberry … read more


Minnesota state parks are closed: alternate North Shore campgrounds
July 1, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Minnesota state parks are closed: alternate North Shore campgrounds

Yes, the terrific North Shore state parks are closed due to the Minnesota government shutdown. Even if you made reservations for that prime campsite a year ago for this holiday weekend, you can't use it. Plan A has gone down the drain. Where else do you camp? You need a Plan B. For campsites right on Lake Superior, the only options left are private campgrounds and municipal campgrounds. They have already absorbed the overflow from the state parks and are full. I recommend hitching up your sense of adventure and heading inland for a campsite in the Superior National Forest. To camp … read more


A super solstice weekend in Grand Marais
June 16, 2011 by Andrew Slade

A super solstice weekend in Grand Marais

Grand Marais is the place to be this weekend. Northern evenings are long and the nights are short. Duluth and Two Harbors will be packed with marathon runners, so head farther up the shore for a classic North Shore experience with elbow room This weekend is the 14th Annual Wooden Boat Show at North House Folk School. The show celebrates the romance and history of wooden boats. From noon on Friday to 3:00 pm on Sunday, a fleet of wooden kayaks, canoes, scows, and more will be on display at the Folk School campus. There's a Community of Crafters, a contra … read more


Camping: Stuff White People Like
January 6, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Camping: Stuff White People Like

This is a great entry from the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek "Stuff White People Like" blog. Enjoy, and join the conversation in the comments!For example, "In theory camping should be a very inexpensive activity since you are literally sleeping on the ground. But as with everything in white culture, the more simple it appears the more expensive it actually is." … read more


Big news for biffies
September 30, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Big news for biffies

When you gotta go, you gotta go, right? So I was thrown off by this sign at the Crescent Lake Campground, off the North Shore up the Sawbill Trail, a few weeks back.How exactly do you close an outhouse? The door was literally screwed shut. Someone meant business; I wasn't doing my business there.A few days later, a friend told me he saw a huge outhouse doing 60 mph on Highway 61, headed up the shore. Smelling a story, I wrote to the Superior National Forest and received a courteous, detailed response.It turns out that the RFA had identified the … read more


Trail’s End Camping: Dine and Dash
June 8, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Trail’s End Camping: Dine and Dash

One of the hardest parts of the day when you're camping on the North Shore can be dinner time. I love company at meals, but I don't relish being the meal. Whether it's mosquitoes or blackflies, the bloodsuckers come out right about the time you want to be calmly preparing your campfire delicacies.So I've come to really appreciate a nice campground restaurant. You can dine at your leisure, even into the evening hours when just the hum of mosquitoes gets unbearable. Then you can dash back to your tent. Dine and dash, except in this case you pay the bill … read more