Best Camping in Minnesota

Camping in Minnesota

By Alex Murphy

Minnesota, appropriately nicknamed The Land of a 10,000 Lakes, is an outdoor adventurer's dream spot, with plenty of places to explore and a few great cities to visit as well.

While the majority of the state lives in the Minneapolis area, to the north, visitors will find access to Lake Superior and miles of canoe trails in a National Park, while the more rural western half of the state shares a border with the Dakotas.

Visitors will want to grab a jacket as they check out what makes Minnesota known as "the Star of the North."

See a map of all camping in Minnesota.

Minnesota State Parks

There are 67 Minnesota State Parks, and many of them have access for those looking to tent camp or park their RV.

For visitors looking to stay close to Minneapolis, they can check out popular destinations with Great River Bluffs State Park, which sits on the Mississippi River, or Whitewater State Park, a summertime swimming spot with plenty of private campsites.

A little off the beaten path, campers will find Itasca State Park, which protects the headwaters of the Mississippi, or enjoy a waterfront campground near Lake Superior at Jay Cooke State Park.

National Parks in Minnesota

When it comes to land managed by the National Parks Service, Minnesota has a park, monuments, and protected river areas.

Voyageurs National Park covers the northern border of the state and is great for canoeing and kayaking with miles of waterways and protected islands to explore. Campers looking for campsites with easy water access can check out Wooden Frog Campground or Ash River Campground.

History buffs can check out Grand Portage National Monument, where fur trading took place on Lake Superior. RV camping is available nearby at the Grand Portage Casino RV Park.

Heading south, Pipestone National Monument features unique pipestone rocks often considered sacred to those who have called the area home for generations.

In St. Paul, visitors of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area can camp nearby at Lake Elmo County Park Preserve.

Finally, the St. Croix National Riverway is an area protected by the Federal Government, compromising hundreds of miles of riverways on the Minnesota and Wisconsin border.

National Forests in Minnesota

Minnesota has two National Forest, Chippewa National Forest, and Superior National Forest, and both are found in the northern part of the state.

Superior National Forest is known for its Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which covers more than one million acres and has 1,200 miles worth of canoe routes. The area also has plenty of camping for paddlers at Crescent Lake Campground, with easy access to the Lake.

In Chippewa National Forest, visitors will find more than 1,300 different lakes. Many campgrounds offer sites with lake-views, including Cass Lake Loop.

Minnesota RV Parks

With most of the state outside the Twin Cities being fairly rural, the state has hundreds of Minnesota RV Parks to choose from.

Campers can stay outside popular spots like Voyageurs National Park at Pines of the Kabetogama Resort or near Lake Superior and have access to a marina at Lakehead Boat Basin.

If you're staying closer to Minneapolis and the southern part of the state, you can stay just outside city limits at Minneapolis Northwest KOA.

Free Camping in Minnesota

Finally, the Land of 10,000 Lakes' camping experience almost guarantees water nearby, and finding free camping in Minnesota to enjoy all the water is easy.

Visitors looking to save money and be closer to the wilderness can stay at Cedar Bay Campground for easy lake access or Harriet Lake Rustic Campground in Superior National Forest.

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Recent Minnesota Campground Reviews

Finland, MN

Eckbeck Campground

Dec 07, 2022

"Great spot to base from to explore the North Shore!"

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Great location near the North Shore! We camped here for 3 nights in July of 2022 (just a bit behind in posting reviews...) and really liked it. I walked ahead of my husband (long Dodge truck with 22' trailer) to see which sites we could fit in - many were tight, smallish and / or had trees. #23 was nice - we got in fine and were level. There...
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Dec 06, 2022

"Awesome little city campground!"

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We stayed here for 4 nights in July of 2022 and loved it! Great little city park on Bartlett Lake. Sites are just back in on the grass, but had power. Water and a brand new dump station is on the left side of the entrance road just before the campground sign. The city rep man was very polite and asked for any suggestions etc. I think they...
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Dec 06, 2022

"Great for a couple of nights!"

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We stayed here for two nights in July of 2022. This was a great little city park for $16 a night with electricity. I had hoped to go into town to do laundry, but the laundrymat was closed. Decent grocery store on the main road. Reasonable quiet camping area. There were a few people possibly living out of their cars there and possible one...
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Nov 11, 2022

"Lake Time"

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A place to slow down. The utilities are all here and the grounds are impeccable.

Nov 05, 2022

"Not Open In November"

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Just looking for an overnight in November. It was closed for the season.

10 reviews