An RV Owner’s 9 Favorite Spots to Camp in Minnesota
By Jacob Sprayberry
RV camping is the best way to vacation, travel, and adventure – in our humble opinion. Whether you’re traversing your home state or venturing across the country, there’s much to see and explore. Today, one of our RV Owners & campervan enthusiast, Jason of RVThereYet from Minnesota, is going to share some of his best tips for the perfect RV adventure, including his favorite Minnesotan camping spots. Jason has a whooping 25 rentals with RVshare – scroll to the bottom of this post to check them out and experience first hand all the beauty and fun RVing has to offer!
Tips to Pick Your Rig
Never been RVing? First, consider what type of vehicle best fits your desired experience. A campervan, or Class B RV, is a versatile and convenient combination of vehicle and shelter. This option allows you to set up quickly and maneuver with ease. This makes it perfect getting right to the fun in a campground or searching for the perfect site that is off the beaten path.
If you have a tow-capable vehicle at your disposal, perhaps a travel trailer or folding camper would be more your style. While slightly less maneuverable, these towable options allow you to claim your spot and travel independently of your shelter, which can save on gas and simplify daily outings. Travel trailers are great for maximizing occupancy as well as luxury. Folding campers are a more economical option without compromising on sleeping space.
RV Camping in Minnesota
Access to an RV provides a plethora of possible approaches to camping. There are many RV campgrounds that provide the comforts of civilization along with amenities for families or a more of a ‘glamping’ kind of experience. On the contrary, there are also options for those with a desire for the beauty of untouched natural landscapes and isolation.
Most campgrounds will offer basic needs like electrical and water hookups for your RV, as well as access to bathrooms, showers, and WiFi. Full-service campgrounds – such as Jellystone, KOA, or Passport America – have even more amenities, especially for families or those looking for specific creature comforts.
Many fun activities are right on site: swimming pools, sports courts, and group activities like nature walks are common. These campgrounds are usually centrally-located and nearby tourist attractions like state parks, rivers, and beaches.
State and National Parks
If the adventure you have in mind is less about what you can do at the campground and more about exploring around it, venturing to a State Park or National Park may be up your alley. RV camping is available at many of these parks, and they offer the basics like bathrooms, showers, and RV hookups. Camping areas like these may lack the swimming pools and convenience stores of standard campgrounds, but they make up for it with wildlife, hiking, and scenery. Afton State Park and Camden State Park are a couple of the many natural sites that will allow RV camping. Afton State Park is near Voyageurs National Park; a convenient place for an outing.
Boondocking in Minnesota
Otherwise known as “pirate camping”, boondocking is for those who want a free campsite and don’t mind roughing it. When done properly, it is a completely legal, adventurous way to camp for those who enjoy a little solitude.
Utilizing this style of camping is simple. All it involves is finding a good site within the territory of the following federally designated lands. These include Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests, National Grasslands, and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). As common as these lands are, you’re quite likely to pass through some of them when traveling. Brown or yellow signs will usually mark the borders of these public lands. It is completely legal to camp in these areas unless the individual territory has stated otherwise
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters is a massive wilderness reserve for campers with experience. It lacks the comforts of civilization, but more than makes up for it in adventure and raw natural splendor. Within this campground, there are thousands of miles of shoreline, hiking trails, and canoe routes.
Afton State Park
Less than half an hour from St. Paul, Afton State Park is a great place to camp for all from first-timers to full-timers. With horseback riding, canoe routes, and bike trails, there is much to do around the park while being close to the Twin Cities.
Jay Cooke State Park
This picture-perfect campground is a fantastic place for hikers with over 50 miles of trails. Views of the wildflowers, fall colors, and the St. Louis River are staples of the wonderful park.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
This park is more than just a historic lighthouse on Lake Superior. With hiking trails along the shoreline and 28 miles of bike trails, Split Rock is certainly worth a visit.
Tettegouche State Park
One of the only Minnesota State parks to offer rock climbing, Tettegouche is a unique and scenic experience with plenty of space for RV camping. Exploration of this magnificent park is a must. If hiking isn’t your thing, there are also opportunities for mountain biking and a nearby golf course.
Bear Head Lake State Park
For those who wish to see Minnesota wildlife up close, Bear Head offers just that. It is a thriving home to eagles, moose, wolves, and black bears. This park offers a lake for canoeing and fishing, and 14 miles of hiking trails through the wilderness.
Lake Maria State Park
Lakes, forests, and rolling terrain, all traversable through 14 miles of hiking trails, as well as some horseback access. With fewer campsites than most state parks, Lake Maria is perfect for those who want an uncrowded, peaceful camping experience.
Scenic State Park
Scenic boast gorgeous, clear lakes, and a pristine wilderness area. With plenty of campsites, finding the perfect spot is always possible. This park offers backpacking, snowmobiling, hiking, and very few bugs.
George H. Crosby Manitou State Park
Located along a volcanic canyon full of waterfalls and diverse forests, this park has some of the best trails in Minnesota. It brims with many opportunities for fishing and sighting wildlife. There is plenty of hiking and relaxing to be done here. With relatively few backpacking sights, George H. Crosby Manitou is the place for tranquil solitude.
Tourist Attractions and Things to Do in Minnesota
There is no shortage of events and activities when road-tripping around Minnesota, especially within Hennepin County. The Mall of America can be a great time for folks of all ages. Minneapolis/St. Paul is also home to a variety of museums, zoos, sports arenas, and live music venues. Try the Minnesota Zoo or the Walker Art Center. Catch a show at First Avenue or The Comedy Corner. Catch a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field or experience the Vikings at US Bank Stadium.
Outside of Hennepin, there is plenty to do once you’ve left the campgrounds. If you’re going far enough North, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters wilderness reserve is world-famous. South of the tip, there are a number of casinos and restaurants, as well as unique towns and cities. Duluth is a fascinating city on the shore of Lake Superior with plenty of entertainment and great food.