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 the North Shore this is the weekend you need a copy of my book, Camping the North Shore: A Guide to the 23 best campgrounds in Minnesota’s spectacular Lake Superior region. (Or check out this page for a list of retailers where you can pick up a copy on your way north.) You’ll find detailed directions and descriptions for lovely campgrounds such as Crescent Lake, Two Island Lake, and Temperance River. If you’re willing to go off the beaten path, you’ll find free rustic campgrounds along trout streams, on the edge of the BWCA.

Crescent-Lake-kayakers

Crescent Lake kayakers paddle to their secluded campsite in this quiet campground.

Your Plan B for state park alternatives: head up the Cramer Road

The lucky folks already camped at lovely Ninemile Lake won’t like me for telling you this, but I’d recommend heading to this campground first. From Finland, head east and north on the Cramer Road (County Road 7). The Ninemile Lake campground is about ten miles out of Finland. If all 24 sites are full there, keep heading inland on County Road 7 to check out the rustic campgrounds at Harriet Lake and Hogback Lake. You might end up all the way inland at Kawishiwi Lake, but it will be lovely, quiet, and free.

ninemile-lake

The waterfront Ninemile Lake campground almost always has an open site to enjoy.


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2 Responses

  1. “Wow” I’m sure there was some cussing going on! The holiday weekend and all. I reserved a cabin last February and it seems like gold now. I really feel bad for folks that has reservations at the Gooseberry Falls and others.
    Holiday weeks are only once a year.
    I wonder if folks will remember this at election time?

  2. […] two campgrounds are very popular with hikers as they are close to Superior Hiking Trail trailheads. Read my blog post about campgrounds up the Cramer Road for more […]

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