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

Bears and bozos: On the noisy side at Tettegouche
May 26, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Bears and bozos: On the noisy side at Tettegouche

As an author, I really enjoy hearing from readers and getting their feedback about North Shore experiences. Thanks to Linda Borrell, who wrote to me to share some concerns about her campsite at Tettegouche State Park. She stayed in the cart-in campsites in the Lake Superior Campground, which I highly recommend in my presentations. However, she had two problems: noise and bears.She wrote:"We just stayed at Cart-in B at Tettegouche, cleaning up after some campers who thought the site was for partying with their alcohol beverages in a secluded area...spent a couple of hours cleaning up after them.....disgusting how some … read more


"You’ve got to have a table"
May 5, 2009 by Andrew Slade

"You’ve got to have a table"

When camping on the North Shore of Lake Superior, a table keeps your fresh spinach separate from your poison ivy, your root beer separate from the foamy rivers, and your toddler away from the snakes that are EVERYWHERE!I do sort of like the "cocktail" table though... … read more


North Shore campsites already full
April 26, 2009 by Andrew Slade

North Shore campsites already full

This great sign was up for about a week last May just east of Tettegouche on Highway 61. It has a lesson well worth learning.If you have a favorite Lake Superior North Shore campsite, in a favorite North Shore campground, you should be making plans NOW to ensure you get that campsite again this summer. With the state parks replacing a 90-day advance reservation with 365-day advance registration, people are already reserving well into the fall.A quick browse of www.stayatmnparks.com for weekend openings at North Shore state park campgrounds reveals that about 90% of the campsites that can be reserved … read more


Thinking North Shore summer
April 21, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Thinking North Shore summer

The mighty Lake Superior weather clouds just dropped 6-10 inches of snow around Grand Marais. Above is today's webcam from Golden Eagle Lodge, up the Gunflint Trail. Perfect time to think about summer camping, right?You won't be the first to be thinking ahead. Now that you can reserve state park campsites a year in advance, a lot of the prime campsites are already reserved for the summer.I'll be on WTIP, Grand Marais' fine public radio station, Friday evening around 5-6, talking about North Shore camping with host Ann Possis. Then Saturday I'll be down in the Twin Cities at the … read more


Jay Cooke thanks you
October 22, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Jay Cooke thanks you

Just spent a fun few hours at the studio of KUMD, helping with their fall membership drive and pitching Skiing the North Shore. Northland Morning host-with-the-most Lisa Johnson said she has never been to Jay Cooke State Park. To all four of my regular readers, MOST of whom have been to this fabulous, nearby state park, full of hiking trails and ski trails and an incredible river, THANK YOU for being a good citizen and visiting Jay Cooke. Lisa...haul your trailer (sorry, must be logged into Google-world to see these photos) there for a fall weekend and enjoy this gem. … read more


The End of the World, the beginning of the World Wide Web
July 6, 2008 by Andrew Slade

The End of the World, the beginning of the World Wide Web

Just a quick news note here: Minnesota's own Itasca State Park is adding Wi-Fi service. After our bug-ridden debacle at Sawbill Lake campground, I actually piqued Noah's interest in more camping by mentioning that the Grand Marais RV Park and Campground has Wi-Fi (plus a swimming pool) so we could camp there for some of our last Hiking Club trails... … read more


ARGH! Camping in the bugs
July 6, 2008 by Andrew Slade

ARGH! Camping in the bugs

I always forget, and then I always remember, how bad it can be to camp in June or July in northern Minnesota. The bugs can be truly devastating, especially if there are kids along for the trip.In a fit of camping frenzy, I packed up my two boys, Hans and Noah, along with my nephew Cormac, for what was to be a two-night camping trip on the edge of, and into, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But this is last week. July 1. Being a total camping smarty pants, I planned to arrive early/mid-week, to ensure getting a good campsite. … read more


Be afraid…be very very afraid
June 5, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Be afraid…be very very afraid

...that you will lose your favorite North Shore campsite. As of this week, Minnesota state parks are taking reservations for campsites a full calendar year in advance. It used to be 90 days. Now, if you really have to have that terrific site by the beach at Temperance River State Park for Memorial Day 2009, reserve it now. The reservation website is here.  Do it. Do it now! … read more


Exploring the Gunflint Trail
May 30, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Exploring the Gunflint Trail

I spent the last two days up the Gunflint Trail, that slice of civilization reaching deep into the Bounday Waters. Accustomed to the North Shore, I get excited about the wildness and ruggedness of the Gunflint. Just off Highway 61 on the North Shore you find wide pleasant trails and lots of housing developments; just off the Gunflint Trail, you find wolf scat and a few campgrounds. The Gunflint does not have a huge reputation for hiking; it's more of a canoeing and resort destination in the summer. The hiking trails off the Gunflint are either super long (the Kekekabic … read more


Tough questions in Maple Grove
May 15, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Tough questions in Maple Grove

Camping equipment cash magnet REI has a terrific new store in the "Fountains" shopping center in Maple Grove, MN. Before yesterday, I didn't really even know that Maple Grove existed. What once was cornfields is now a shopping complex. One big difference though from the classic cookie-cutter Mall Land was the wind turbine spinning lazily away in the background. Plus, instead of more mall-lets just beyond the Fountains, there is a massive gravel operation, with tall piles of multi-hued rock that looked for all the world like a North Dakota badlands scene.I did a program at the REI store last … read more