Visitors interested in camping without a tent, camper cabins offer a fun alternative. At least two dozen Minnesota state parks offer rustic, one-room wooden buildings for those that prefer to camp inside four solid walls. While a few of the cabins may only be used seasonally, heated cabins make up the majority, allowing for warm sleeping conditions. Each cabin sleeps five to six people in bunk-style beds with several offering wheelchair access. All you have to do is choose a location, make a reservation, and get ready for daytime adventure and nighttime comfort.
Several state parks offer camper cabins located on the state's western prairie, near the towns of Marshall, Willmar, and Fergus Falls. However, if you plan to visit the northern tall grass and aspen forests of northern Minnesota, Hayes Lake is the only locale to offer cabins. State parks located in the state's northeastern pine forests offer a number of cabins near the towns of Duluth, Grand Rapids, Ely, and Brainerd. Cabins sitting among deciduous forest in the south-central part of the state may be found near Minneapolis, Rochester, and St. Cloud.
Some of the 12' x 16' wooden cabins offer electricity; however, none offer indoor plumbing. Campers must use the restrooms, showers and other water sources provided to other visitors in the campground itself. Cabins also feature picnic tables, fire rings, and grills. With the exception of crock pots and coffeemakers, cooking is prohibited inside the cabins. Cabins also contain wooden tables, benches and twin-size bunk-beds with mattresses. Bedding material is not provided. Most cabins offer screened-in porches to keep out summer mosquitoes. Purchase firewood at the park office.
Items to Bring
Bring your own bedding, including sleeping bags or sheets, pillows, and blankets to fit twin-size bunk beds. You also must bring your own cookware as none is provided--don't forget to bring cups, plates, and eating utensils. Depending on your cooking plans, bring matches for the fire, charcoal for the grill and water containers for beverages. Also add flashlights or lanterns to your gear, so you can find your way to the restrooms or around cabins with no electricity. Don't forget your lawn chair.
Most camper cabins require advance reservations made online, although a few get rented on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations are accepted between November 1 and March 31, so call the individual state park to determine availability. Otherwise, make reservations from one day to one year in advance.