Best Tent Camping Minnesota  by Tom Watson

Best Tent Camping: Minnesota Guide Book

by Tom Watson (Menasha Ridge Press)
Best Tent Camping Minnesota  by Tom Watson
If you subscribe to the opinion that televisions, Japanese lanterns, and electric guitars are not essential camping equipment, The Best in Tent Camping: Minnesota should be your constant companion. Each campground profile includes: detailed campground maps; key information such as fees, restrictions, and dates of operation Driving directions to the campgrounds; and ratings for beauty, privacy, spaciousness, quiet, security, and cleanliness. From Zippel Bay State Park's birch-jack pine forest, overlooking the incomparable Lake of the Woods, to the Blue Mound prairies of southwestern Minnesota, The Best in Tent Camping: Minnesota is a guidebook for tent campers who like quiet, scenic, and serene campsites. Whether you are a native Minnesotan in search of new territory or a vacationer on the lookout for that dream campground, this book unlocks the secrets to the best tent camping that Minnesota has to offer.

© 2012 Tom Watson/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Tent Camping: Minnesota" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

Like most property converted to parks, this one has its roots in Minnesota’s timber industry. Once the timber was harvested, the lumber company sold the area to a group of Duluth businessmen—the Tettegouche Club—to be used as a fishing retreat. It changed hands a number of times until it became a park in 1979. Outflows of lava (along a rift line that stretches all the way to Kansas), layers of seabed sediment, and scouring by several glacial periods all helped create the park we enjoy today. The rivers, waterfalls (including Lake Superior shoreline, Minnesota’s tallest), and rapids are indescribable, and, the hiking is some of the best in the region—what's not to like about tent camping here? Very little!
Monticello, MN - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
Although this park is teeming with amenities such as a waterfall, sets of rapids, exposed bedrock, and all the other natural features of the great northern Minnesota woods, it doesn't, at first drive-through, appear to have a striking landscape or stunning vistas. This is a birder's park, featuring more than 184 species of birds that either visit or migrate through the park. Camping in Banning State Park in confided to one 3-section loop located in the center of the long, narrow, north-south oriented park.
Sandstone, MN - Campgrounds
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Because Beatrice Lake Campground is officially an overflow campground for McCarthy Beach State Park, this may seem like a double listing. But because of its rustic atmosphere and distance from the rest of the activities at the “beach,” I feel it deserves a place of its own. The campsites are laid out along an irregular loop through a mature birch forest dotted with tall red pines and underlain with a solid understory of mixed vegetation. This helps give each site an enclosed, private feeling.
Stevenson, MN - Campgrounds
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Campers who love to fish will enjoy the angling opportunities at Birch Lake. The lake is considered one of the more productive ones in this part of the forest. Its shallow, 25-foot depth and rocky and irregular shoreline provide a perfect habitat for walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, northern pike, and panfish. The 5,628-acre reservoir is part of a flowage that includes three other lakes. The area in which the campsite is located is covered in mixed hardwoods. The sites are laid out along two loops, although only half of the northern loop has campsites. The southern loop, laid out in a kidney bean shape, offers a full circle of campsites.
Ely, MN - Campgrounds
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To geologists, Blue Mounds are outcrops of Sioux quartzite that jut out across a mile and a half of western Minnesota prairie (Blue Mounds is one of the largest expanses of prairie found in the state's park system). To pioneers crossing this prairie, these bumps on the western skyline appeared blue--hence the name. Since the first three American bison were introduced here in 1961, Blue Mounds has become home to more than 40 of the animals. And for campers seeking a unique setting amid the prairies of southwestern Minnesota, Blue Mounds is an inviting natural "speed bump" that rewards those who take the time to slow down and look around. The campgrounds are situated along Mound Creek at the northern end of the Blue Mounds outcrop. The main campground consists of 73 campsites, laid out along one side of the road or in three main loops on the other.
Luverne, MN - Campgrounds
I guarantee that when you drive into the Devil’s Track Lake campground you will do a double take on seeing the size of most of the sites here! They are huge expanses of grass. You could arrive in a bus and put up a circus tent and still have room for more. These sites are incredibly spacious—and therefore private. Being as close as it is to Grand Marais, the lake serves two masters: those who want the amenities of a recreational water playground (motor boating, sailing, and even floatplanes) and those who want to feel that the northwoods is right in the backyard. The campground is laid out on a knobby peninsula at the western end of the lake.
Grand Marais, MN - Campgrounds
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Even if you have miles to go before you need to stop for a night of camping, treat your legs, your eyes, and your spirit to a stop-off at Great River Bluffs State Park-and then plan to camp at yet another favorite site. Most of the accessible areas of the park are situated along the steep and narrow ridges than fan out like a bony hand. What's nice about the campground is that the driveways into each site are staggered-you don't see the campground across the road!
Winona, MN - Campgrounds
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Hok-Si-La earns a place in this book not only for its roomy, spacious and woodsy campsites but for a unique campground policy. When you drive up to your campsite, you'd better unload all your gear as fast as you can because after 15 minutes you have to remove your car from the campground. Vehicles must be parked outside the security gate during your stay and can only be brought back in on departure. To park your car, hike back to your site--the farthest is about .2 mile from the parking lot. Use a cart to haul your camping gear in and out of camp to transport groceries or other items. At Hok-Si-La, it's well worth the trek. There are four campsite groups at Hok-Si-La; three are for one or two tents, and one area has six designated group sites.
Frontenac, MN - Campgrounds
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