Waterside camping in Minnesota with campfires

Four seasons of outdoor adventures await campers in the Land o' Lakes.

95% (4197 reviews)
95% (4197 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Minnesota

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6 top waterside campgrounds in Minnesota with campfires

100%
(279)

Shady Rest Acres

3 sites · Lodging, Tents23 acres · Brownsville, MN
Once the site of the historic V.J. Fetzner Brewery from the late 19th Century. The land is now used as a hobby farm, honey bee sanctuary and nursery to a unique tree species normally not found in Southeastern Minnesota. Remnants of the brewery are still visible. Foundation walls outline the massive structure of the brewery. Nestled in the center of the foundation is the entrance to the sixty-seven foot deep cave that once held barrels of beer and can be accessed by canoe only. Hops have been located on the property and are believed to be ancestors of those raised to make the beer once stored in the cave. The pond that provides access to the cave was dug out in the early 1990's to create a fish out for the Spring Falls Trout Farm that used to exist across the highway. Some of the original brood stock still exist and continue to naturally stock the pond. It is not uncommon to see fish that are five to ten pounds in size. We do not allow fishing from our pond. The residents house is built to scale to the original brew master's house. While the house is only twenty-four years old it looks as though you have taken a step back in time. The name Shady Rest was given to the house by the Brew Master's wife. We thought it was appropriate to keep the name alive. Shady Rest Acres is comprised of twenty-three acres of beautiful woodlands and pasture that are protected forever in the Minnesota Land Trust. The pasture is home to Scottish Highlander cows, two miniature donkeys, five sheep, four goats, honey bees and a flock of chickens. Scottish Highlanders were selected for both their grazing and browsing abilities. They are very docile and make excellent pasture mates to the smaller species sharing the pasture. The cows are excellent forest managers. They clear out invasive species such as Honey Suckle, Buckthorn, and Barberry which can often be difficult to manage. A guided tour with the host can be taken to meet the pasture animals. The forest is comprised of many tree species. Some are unique in that they normally do not grow in this region of Minnesota. The yellow birch is a species normally found in Northern Minnesota. It's bark is golden in color and glistens when the sun hits it just right. We have a cluster of several yellow birch including one that is so big that the bark no longer looks golden but instead is grey and very rough. Years ago the largest of these trees made excellent wood for turning bowls. Blue Beech (musclewood) can also be found on the property. As the name indicates the bark is shaped like muscles. Songbirds and some other species will use different parts of the tree as a food source. Towering white pines also speckle the landscape. Mother pine requires at least two humans arm lengths to encircle the whole tree. She is a favorite resting spot for the barred owl. There is oak, elm, maple, ceders, poplars and numerous other species. Honey bees are an integral part of the landscape. We partnered with a friend and started raising honey bees two years ago in order to do our part to keep pollinators thriving. Their hives are located in the pasture where it has the perfect amount of early morning sun to get them moving and afternoon shade to balance out the summer heat. It is not uncommon to see them pollinating garden plants, trees and wild flowers around the property. One of their favorite feeding spots is the acre and a half prairie which offers a range of plants including big blue stem, wild indigo and baby blue stem, to name a few. Not only are honey bees essential to the food chain but they also provide a very enriching experience when they are observed moving about their hives. There is nothing more relaxing and fascinating than watching these amazing creatures.
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$40
 / night
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(1)

Sunset Pines MN

71 sites · Lodging, RVs50 acres · Backus, MN
Mike and Loellen discovered Ruttger’s Camping Resort in the winter of 2005 while driving around the area and scanning websites for trailers. We bought a trailer on a seasonal site and have thoroughly enjoyed our summers here ever since! Our sons grew up on the lake, boating and fishing and exploring the area and we have developed a wonderful lake-family. We have watched Bill and Candy Ruttger build the resort into the beautiful property that it is today and feel privileged to have the opportunity to now share it with you. Under our new ownership and with a new name, Sunset Pines MN in January 2023, we are eager to carry on the legacy created by our friends and mentors. We welcome you to enjoy our piece of “Up North” Minnesota lake-life with your family and friends, and don’t forget to enjoy a sunset or two! Mike & Loellen
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$55
 / night
70%
(5)

Northland Paradise

2 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents6 acres · Park Rapids, MN
Welcome to the north woods! Camper available next to a small private beach, a larger public beach, two fishing piers, and a boat access onto Long Lake! Also within walking distance to a very nice restaurant. You'll have access to paddle boards and kayaks and assorted water toys for your stay. The camper is a 37 foot '97 Dutchmen Royal that has been updated, it features a queen bed and a full size futon. Sleeps 4. It's a pretty nice spot!
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$30
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(137)

Woods and Meadows Farm

3 sites · Lodging40 acres · Wrenshall, MN
"All are welcome here." We love sharing our beautiful space with you. There are forty acres with woods, trails, meadows, ponds and a creek. It is peaceful and private. Each cabin has its own special ambiance. We will help you with suggestions of things to do and see in the area if you like. We want our guests to feel welcome, safe and comfortable, so please ASK us if you have questions before you "instant book." If you have a couple of extra people or need more elbow room, ask us for more information. Please read the following through: It helps us to know your ETA in advance and to update us so that we can plan our own day as well! Once you are in the area send us a message just before your arrival so we can meet you and set you up properly! Thanks in advance! We raised kids and host international students here, and always enjoy meeting other travelers. We are now retired but still traveling and exploring. While living and teaching internationally we looked for adventure, staying in a wide range of hostels in developing countries around the globe. We have enjoyed staying in everything from bamboo long-houses in Borneo and Thailand to adobe shelters in the Andes to rondavel huts in South Africa. There are free range chickens and a friendly farm dog here, and there are sometimes dogs staying at the other cabin. There are also all kinds of wildlife in the area, so we require that dogs be supervised and leashed, for their safety and the safety of our chickens and our wild animal neighbors. No dogs may be left unattended on our property while you go out and about... take your canine pals with you! Quiet hours are dusk to 7am. If you choose to bring a dog, we want you to consider your dog's inclination for barking. We keep the peace and quiet of all of our guests in mind. We hope that you (and your pet) will have fun at our northern Minnesota retreat. Burnell and Ann enjoy having company, and hearing about your travels and adventures (if you feel like sharing) and want you to feel safe and secure. All people are welcome here, as long as you follow our reasonable rules! When you come into our driveway you will see our house and barn. One of us will meet you and take you down to your site. -We ask that people check in before ten at night your first evening, so as not to disturb other guests... ;) It is very difficult to find your way in the dark. DRAGON LOFT cabin has one double bed in a loft with a ladder. Great for two people. Very little extra sleeping space except for a dog bed or kennel below the loft. This space has a nice reading/coffee room, a private "and a deck with table and chairs and patio with a fire ring. You can cook on a grill we provide, outside. You have access to a dock on the pond, and full use of the trails in our wooded acres or play frisbee in the hayfield! RAVEN WATCH cabin is comfortable for up to four people (two full size beds) A bed upstairs overlooking the pond and downstairs by the wood stove. The little kitchen comes with a nice propane stove and wash area. There is space for sitting at the table and playing cards or reading on the sky-chair swing. Wood supply is right outside your door, the picnic table and fire ring are next to the creek, nearby. Sitting outside on the benches by the pond, you can enjoy a raised fire ring and roast some marshmallows. Price based on two adults. Small fee for up to two more people. Sad to say we have to say this again: NEVER leave a dog alone at the site while you are out and about. We/you do not want to deal with damages from doggies who feel left behind. Keep in mind the number of pets and limited in the space there is. Write to me if you have questions. We love our dog, too, but please, no animals are allowed on human beds. Bring your kennel or dog bed and leashes. We also love and respect our wild critters' space so keep yours on a leash and pick up all poop. :) No firearms, off-roading, fireworks, or other items or activities deemed to be dangerous by the hosts. No unregistered guests.
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$83
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86%
(22)

Hoodoo Valley Farm

3 sites · RVs98 acres · Tower, MN
Our farm was originally a homestead at the turn of the last century. We purchased 65 acres of the property with its original house completed in 1905. Later we purchased an additional 33 acres from the grandchildren of the original owners. We have lived here since 1984 and are raising the youngest of 12 adopted children. We also raise Shetland Sheep, chickens, guinea fowl, ducks and grow an acre garden. Our land is very diverse, borders a river and is bisected by a spring fed stream. We are two miles from a town of 500. We have several options for tent campers with varying degrees of isolation from our family life. If you have an rv and want to plug in, you will be close to our house or sauna and in the midst of our family life which includes children, grandchildren, dogs and cats. We are a farm, so there are farm animals in pens and pastures. Our plug ins include an adaptor but we do not have a dedicated 30 amp hook up, a permanent water hook up or a dump station. The plug ins available will run your air conditioner without a problem or a microwave, but not both at the same time. There is a hose available to fill your tank. If our sauna is hot you are welcome to take a sauna after our family bathes. The sauna is not lit every night and takes several hours to heat. Because of Covid 19 we do not allow campers in our house to use our kitchen or shower.Learn more about this land:We have 100 acres. A small part of it is a sustainable organic farm and 65 acres is wild land with great diversity. We have both a river and a creek that run through our land, a cedar swamp, giant white and Norway pine, a beaver dam, 2 miles of cross country running trails, a traditional Ojibwe longhouse, two meadows, a spring fed pond and miles of public trails bordering our property. We live 4 miles from Lake Vermilion State Park and 3 miles from a public beach on the same lake. An old railroad grade bisects our property and is a good hiking and mountain bike trail.
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$30
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Rosie's Ranch

1 site · RV, TentBrooten, MN
We have a small sheep & lamb operation on our small farm nestled into the Glacial Lakes area in West Central MN. We are right off of the Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway. Surrounded by over 1000 acres of public land and Nature Conservancy preserves within a quick drive, our ranch rotationally grazes sheep on diverse native prairie pastures. Our operation is rustic, quiet, private and humble but inviting. Learn more about this land:Primitive, quiet private campsite on a small farm with sheep and dogs (dog lovers only please)! Native prairie hills hug a lake loaded with wild rice and wild waterfowl adjacent to oak woods. Abundant hiking options as well as some local access to the Chippewa river as well as some fishing holes we can guide you to. About 10 min drive to Green Lake/ Norway lake areas with great public beaches. Sunburg is close by with a bar & grill, New London is 17 miles with a great brewery and tons of outdoor events all summer long. We allow limited access to our mudroom/ bathroom area for campers. 
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Waterside camping in Minnesota with campfires guide

Overview

The land of 10,000 lakes―11,842 to be exact—is a water-logged paradise for anglers, paddlers, and campers. From the shores of Lake Superior to the banks of the Mississippi, you'll never be more than a short drive from a lake campground or a forest hiking trail. Minnesota's distinct seasons afford plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, whether you're hiking or horseback riding through autumnal woodlands, wild swimming in the lakes in summer, or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the long winter months. The best weather for a camping trip is from May through October, but you'll find many Minnesota campgrounds open year-round.

Where to go

Northwest Minnesota

Bordered by Canada to the north, and South Dakota and the Red River Valley to the west, northwest Minnesota is home to some of the state's biggest lakes. Grand Rapids and Bemidji are the gateways to the Leech Lake Recreation Area and the Chippewa National Forest, while nearby Itasca State Park lies at the headwaters of the Mississippi River. To the north, two Minnesota state parks border the Lake of the Woods, known for its walleye fishing and winter snowmobiling.

Northeast Minnesota

Lush state forests, wetlands, and island-studded lakes blanket the northeastern tip of Minnesota, stretching down from the Canadian border to the north shore of Lake Superior. Minnesota camping is at its wildest out here, whether paddling out to island campsites in Voyageurs National Park, RV camping with full hookups in Superior National Forest, or seeking out a tranquil lake campground in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Central Minnesota

On the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are launchpads for outdoor adventures in central Minnesota. Some of the region's best campgrounds are just a short drive from the city at Mille Lacs Lake, while Frontenac State Park has a mix of drive-in RV sites and cart-in tent sites along the Mississippi. Further north, there's kayak and canoe camping along the St. Croix River at Wild River State Park, or yurt and camper cabin rentals at Afton State Park.

Southern Minnesota

Glacial plains and scenic river valleys give way to the wooded bluffs of the Mississippi River in southern Minnesota. RochesterMankato, and Winona provide easy access to the south, where highlights include aptly named Great River Bluffs State ParkWhitewater State Park, and Minneopa State Park, home of Minnesota's tallest waterfall. In the far southwestern corner, Blue Mounds State Park is known for its soaring cliffs—a hotspot for rock climbing—and free-roaming bison.

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