The best camping near Jay Cooke State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Jay Cooke State Park adventure.

100% (13 reviews)
100% (13 reviews)

Hiking, rafting, and a swinging bridge provide the fun.  

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Community favorites near Jay Cooke State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Jay Cooke State Park

100%
(859)

Balsam Ridge Retreat

8 sites · Lodging5 acres · Duluth, MN
Many folks that have visited our place refer to it as 'country living in the city'.  We are so blessed to live in this little piece of serenity just inside the city limits of Duluth.  It was once an abandoned house that sat for years, until a friend mentioned to us that it might be going up for sale.  We loved the location and rolled up our sleeves. Twenty years later we still marvel at the beauty around us and can hardly believe that we LIVE here! Just down the road is a trout stream and just beyond that was a popular farm that attracted many folks to this neighborhood for hay rides and sleigh rides. The farm has since retired it's horses and closed it's doors to make room for new homes,  but memories live on in the beauty of the open fields. I often imagine the sound of horses and sleigh bells and people singing carols and then warming up around a toasty fire sipping hot cocoa. Some of those memories live on right here at Balsam Ridge (minus the horses). Over the years many groups of folks have enjoyed a sense of community in these back woods no matter the season. Campfires, kids catching frogs, neighborhood campouts, snow picnics, hair-raising toboggan runs, family campouts, spiritual silent retreats, a take-your-breath-away giant swing, and some tales too daring to mention are all part of the fun.  This is why we do what we do. We've been given much, and love to give back. It just wouldn't seem right to keep all this good to ourselves.   
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$69
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68%
(14)

Amnicon Adventures & Retreats

8 sites · Lodging, Tents600 acres · South Range, WI
At Amnicon you'll find the perfect blend of far-enough-away and easy-enough-to-get-to. We're located at the end of a 5-mile-long dirt road, just 30 minutes outside of Duluth, MN. Our site features 600 acres of protected forests along the Amnicon River on the South Shore of Lake Superior. The wildlife is abundant, and we even have an eagle's nest on site. You'll enjoy falling asleep to the sound of the waves on Lake Superior, and waking up to 118+ species of birdsongs. We have an enormous sandy beach on Lake Superior that's a great place to watch the sunset and have a SMALL campfire. You're going to love it here.
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$25
 / night
96%
(112)

Hidden Pines

5 sites · RVs, Tents2 acres · Kerrick, MN
Come get away in our grove of balsam pine trees in a rural area with lots of wildlife to see and hear. We have 5 primitive campsites, one for large groups and three for smaller more private camping and one drive in site for camping out of vehicle or tent . We offer un mapped hiking trails onsite and there is plenty of activities to do within 10 to 15  miles from camp. Activities include swimming at local beaches, Nemadji State Forest, General CC Andrews State Forest, ATV riding, lots of great fishing lakes, several rivers for kayaking and canoeing, local restaurants, coffee houses, movie theater, general store, shopping, antiques/craft, grocery, gas, local brewery, agate center, fire museum. The land was purchased by the Sway family in the late 70's from a farmer and has been in the family since. We are one of the 4 current land owners of this property and plan to keep the land in the family as long as we can. Our home was built in 2011 on part of the property. Since living here we have used the land for hiking, gardening, wood harvesting, selling Christmas trees, and now we are excited for our new adventure of opening a small part of our land for camping. We are excited for you to enjoy our land as much as we do.
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$25
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91%
(23)

Stargazer On Superior

1 site · Tent1 acre · Port Wing, WI
We have two properties on the beautiful South Shore of Lake Superior in Port Wing, WI. At our lakefront property, we have 700' of shoreline and access to our private sand beach, perfect for swimming and bonfires! At our forest property, we have 68 acres of private trails weaving through the woods. Over the next few years, we'll be building more sites throughout our property to offer private, secluded lodging in a natural setting. We are planning to open up our first few sites in July 2024. The South Shore offers a bounty of activities and is much less crowded than the North Shore. Nearby, there are hiking trails, waterfalls, skiing, kayaking, paddling, ATV trails, and much more. Port Wing is halfway between Duluth/Superior and Bayfield, so it's the perfect spot to stay and visit all the South Shore sights!
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$89
 / night
88%
(49)

Trembling Gardens

2 sites · Tents10 acres · Rice Lake, MN
PRIMITIVE - HIKE IN CAMPSITE Wilderness Experience Minutes from Duluth About the campsite: THIS PROPERTY IS RUGGED WITH MINIMAL DEVELOPMENT BEYOND HIKING TRAIL AND CAMP AMENITIES. Camp Palustria is on the edge of a beautiful marsh within 75 feet of a trout stream. It is about 1000ft off of the Superior Hiking Trail. The campsite is primitive which includes fire pit with grill, table, and composting outhouse. The site is about a 600ft hike from the road where you'll park. The first 400ft of the trail is a swamp with a simple elevated boardwalk through most of it.  95% of the time is it passable with hiking boats or street shoes, but there might be some muddy spots. Dispersed winter camping is also available. This campsite was featured on NPR Marketplace Campsite is closed during hunting season. About the property: Trembling Gardens is my 10 acre swamp camp paradise in the rural suburb of Rice Lake. The property is about 20 minutes away from downtown Duluth and Canal Park and has easy access to the North Shore.
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$25
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100%
(119)

Bundo's Cabin

2 sites · Lodging10 acres · Finlayson, MN
This cabin was built by hand in the 1970s from white pine that was harvested and milled on-site. Our family purchased and rehabbed this beautiful cabin throughout 2021. Indoor and out, there are so many ways to relax and connect with loved ones during all seasons at Bundo's Cabin. Learn more about this land: Where the forest meets the field. Unplug and relax at Bundo's Cabin with extraordinary views of wildlife and endless outdoor opportunities. The modern yet cozy cabin has electricity and features a front patio, an external outhouse and outdoor rainwater bucket shower, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, a living area, and a sleeping loft with a reading nook. No matter the season, this cabin is a wonderful, cozy, and clean, place to relax and unwind. Feel free to roam around the 10-acre property and explore the 80 acres of state land to the north. Deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, owls, eagles and more are likely to be seen or heard. Explore, Banning, Moose Lake, and Father Hennepin State Parks which are all within 30 minutes, and return to the cabin to read, play games, listen to records, have a fire, and relax. The kitchen provides you with everything you need to prepare your meals including a refrigerator, small freezer, stove, oven, cookware, cutting boards, sink, seasonings, oil, and coffee. Water for washing is available from an electric pump faucet in the kitchen, and a brand-new outhouse is located steps from the cabin. The cabin is efficiently heated and cooled with a user-friendly heat pump and gets the cabin to your desired temperature very quickly. We are grateful to honor the Dakota and Anishinaabe people whose land we occupy by donating $10 from every booking to the Makoce Ikikcupi Land Recovery Project. This project is actively working to return the land to the indigenous people from whom it was stolen. You can learn more about this project in reparative justice at www.makoceikikcupi.com.
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$135
 / night
93%
(14)

Moosehorn Campground

5 sites · RVs, Tents330 acres · Kettle River, MN
Discover a serene woodland campsite with expansive trails perfect for ATVs, Side by Sides, biking, and hiking adventures. With ample space for you and your companions, relish breathtaking stargazing views and seize the opportunity to paddle in the nearby Kettle River with your kayak or canoe. Access the campground via the southern entrance, where you'll find a spacious gravel road tailored for your vehicles' convenience, complete with a secure gate to ensure your privacy. Upon arrival, you'll receive a lockbox code for added security.
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$29
 / night
100%
(8)

Luna Light Trails

3 sites · Tents20 acres · Makinen, MN
Come walk or bike our emerald aisles! We have five miles of groomed trails that lead through state land to the Mud Hen Creek! Bring your kayak and pole! By the creek we have a few beaver lodges and so much wildlife to admire! As you trek along Silver Ridge Canyon, don't be surprised by the sudden flight of grouse along this trail! Visit Scout Hill for a sunny afternoon picnic; the cedar trees will lead you there. If you hear knocking, you will see Mr. Woodpecker enjoying his lunch on a nearby birch tree! Our campsites are nestled underneath a canopy of mixed wood forest. We have birch, poplar, maple, and a variety of pine. Nearby you will find our newly finished outhouse, complete with a portable shower and natural light. You will have access to parking near or next to your site with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy! Our property features a beautiful variety of trees and plenty of trails throughout our land with wildlife you might see or hear. It might be the hoot of an owl or the drum of a grouse! You will also hear the "buck wheat" and the "chee-chee" of our guineas calling for each other. Our beautiful forest is our main feature. Since 95% of our land is wooded, we enjoy the great beauty and majesty of the trees. See if you can find "Prince." This giant is hidden on the northeastern side of our property. His beautiful branches tower over our trails and we have cleared a spot there to rest. His lovely "Princess" is near the back of the main house. She is surrounded by strong pines that stand guard through our long cold winters. Our property extends, via trail, to state land and the Mud Hen Creek. The views are breathtaking! Please come and bring your family and friends! Our campsites' proximity would create a great weekend getaway for a retreat event or a family reunion, as well as a quiet romantic weekend! Off site: We have Long Lake public access 5.8 miles down our road. Mud Hen Lake, Half Moon Lake, Pleasant Lake, Elliot Lake (all with public access) are just a few within a 15 minute drive. We are also within an hour drive from either Duluth or Two Harbors. The Range Cities are charming and you could visit several in one day. Other wonderful things to do in this area are walking or biking the Mesabi Trail. The Redhead Mt. Bike Park is within 45 minutes. The Soudan Underground Mine will be open summer of 2024! There are many local museums, parks, and more to discover on the Iron Range! Here at home we raise chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl. We also have a Catahola Leopard dog named Hickory. She enjoys roaming our Luna Light Trails on the off season. When I was a child, I lived on a church camp property in Uruguay, South America. This plot of land had a grove of the most beautiful, tall, eucalyptus trees in the neighborhood. These trees were the home to Monk Parakeets. These small green parrots are the only members of the parrot family to build stick nests and to nest colonially. Needless to say, they were very loud, but one of my favorite childhood memories! This little plot on the Minnesota map has been our home for the last three and a half years. We have enjoyed our woods and so will you! ~ Taking reservations for summer 2024 ~
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$38
 / night
92%
(18)

Fish Lake Getaway

1 site · RV, Tent10 acres · Finlayson, MN
Learn more about this land:There is a fire pit and firewood,  access to a basicly private lake. 14’ aluminum boat is available or bring your own canoe. There is no place to put your own boat in. There is an outhouse and a shed with many yard games.  There is a park model camper available to use with no hook ups other than gas stove
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$45
 / night
90%
(5)

Cloverdale Cabins

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents10 acres · Hinckley, MN
Cabin is shared with 2 other tiny home options on the same property. Contact me to host up to 16 guests. Cabin hosts 8 guests and the other 2 tiny homes host up to 4 guests each. Inquire about booking your large party group as our calendar is filling up for the summer and into the fall. Charcoal Grill available for your use on site. Guests supply the charcoal. There is a fire pit on site as well. Guests supply the firewood.
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$35
 / night
99%
(134)

Superior Beach Camp

2 sites · Tents15 acres · South Range, WI
Escape to Superior Beach Camp and immerse yourself in the beauty of 15 private wooded acres abutting an endless sand beach on the world’s greatest lake. We have a beautiful, private and spacious site which we call Agate that you have all to yourself. The site is situated on an 80' bluff overlooking Lake Superior, with lake views and surrounded by birch and aspen trees. A path within your campsite gives you access to a sandy beach on Lake Superior. Superior Beach Camp is 2.5 hours north of the Twin Cities and perfectly positions you to discover all the wonders of the Twin Ports. Or, if you choose, stay put and have a beach day! Set up your chair in the sand (or up above at the overlook) and take in the many moods of Mother Superior. Watch the ships come and go to the sparkly backdrop of Duluth’s city lights. The crackle of a driftwood fire on the beach provides the perfect soundtrack as you watch for shooting stars and the aurora. Stock up on supplies and explore the charming industrial town of Superior, WI – 10 minutes from your campsite. Spend a day mountain biking the Duluth Traverse and touring the city’s amazing tap room and cocktail scene – only a 20-25 minute drive away. If you’d like to venture further, you could meander up the North Shore. Or keep it local and check out Bayfield and the Apostle Islands – only 75 minutes East. Perhaps you’d like to experience world class trout fishing on the Brule River a half hour from Superior Beach Camp? (ask about our fishing guide!) Maybe Parks are your thing: Amnicon Falls, one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful State Parks, is reachable in 10 minutes by car. Drive a half hour further to Pattison State Park and take in Wisconsin’s tallest waterfall. On the Minnesota side, the magic of Jay Cooke State Park is 30 minutes west (and puts you on the doorstep of legit white water rafting). The options are plentiful year round. Whether you're looking for solace and relaxation in a blissful [great] lakeside setting or simply seeking a convenient place to rest your head while exploring the many adventures a stone’s throw from your campsite, there is something for everyone who camps here. Please note this is a new offering and primitive in nature as we begin our journey to share this special place with others. Please treat this as your own and remember to pack in any supplies or provisions you need, and leave no trace when you depart so our next guests can be greeted by the pristine beauty of Superior Beach Camp.
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$69
 / night
99%
(71)

Medicine Creek Farm

2 sites · Lodging160 acres · Finlayson, MN
At Medicine Creek Farm, we raise grass fed beef and lamb and pastured pork and eggs. We direct-market our food to customers in the Twin Cities and Duluth, primarily through our website. We have been moved and inspired by soil health and what we've learned of regenerative agriculture's ability to heal the land. Hannah manages the daily farm operations, taking care of the animals and moving fences and flocks through the pastures to improve the soil. Meanwhile Jason has been hard at work building our farm infrastructure including our house, shed, remodeled camper trailer, and rebuilding an 1880s timber frame barn where we host our farm stay.
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$100
 / night

The best camping near Jay Cooke State Park guide

Overview

About

Rocky ravines and forested valleys sweep the banks of the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park. With more than 50 miles of hiking trails, there’s a challenge to suit all abilities, plus options for biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Admire views along the St. Louis River from the Swinging Bridge, visit the 19th-century Thomson Pioneer Cemetery, or take to the water to tackle the rapids and waterfalls in your kayak or canoe. Campers can choose from electric hookups and camper cabins at the main Jay Cooke Campground, or one of four hike-in/ski-in sites. 

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve one of the park’s 79 campsites (20 available year-round) in advance via the Minnesota State Parks website. 
  2. Campsite reservations open 120 days in advance, and same-day bookings are possible. 
  3. Campsites can book up as fast, especially on summer and holiday weekends. Book your spot as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

When to go

Peak season at Jay Cooke State Park runs from early May through October. Camping is possible year-round, but limited sites are available through the winter season, and some park facilities are closed. Summer weekends bring the crowds, but the most impressive time to hike is in spring or fall, when vibrant wildflowers and fall foliage transform the landscapes.

Know before you go

  • Jay Cooke State Park is about a 25-minute drive southwest of Duluth.
  • Vehicle permits are required for all Minnesota state parks, in addition to camping reservation fees. Permits can be purchased in advance via the Minnesota State Parks website. 
  • Park facilities include a visitor center, gift shop, restrooms, and picnic areas. Camping facilities, including showers and the dump station, are open in high season only. 
  • Cell phone service is patchy, but the picnic shelter does feature a public phone.
  • There are accessible campsites, restrooms, and picnic areas at Jay Cooke State Park. The Swinging Bridge is also accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

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