Boondocking in Minnesota

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 09:52 am. Originally published on April 3rd, 2021

There are so many terrific places to go boondocking in Minnesota that you will want to visit different regions of the state. You will love exploring the North Woods with its great canoeing and the incredible history at Voyageurs National Park. Start your exploration of the Iron Range at the Minnesota Discovery Center before venturing out to see the thrilling views of the mines along hiking trails running through deep canyons. Take a bike ride on the Root River Trail or explore the state’s Amish communities on a hike along the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail while visiting the Mississippi Valley. There is always something exciting happening in Minneapolis where you can watch the Minnesota Twins or the Minnesota Vikings play ball. If you want to spend a day on the beach, head to Duluth’s Park Point Beach, Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet South Beach, Bayport’s Lakeside Port Beach, or Park Rapids’ Itasca State Park Beach. 

The sun setting over a small opening to a secluded lake within the Chippewa National Forest.

Boondocking Sites in Minnesota

August Lake Campground

There are two campsites at the August Lake Campground near Ely. Fishing in this lake is outstanding for walleye and northern pike. This campground is very remote, requiring you to drive along a gravel road for about four hours. 

Crane Lake

If you love canoeing, camp at Crane Lake near Orr. It is easy to launch a vessel here and paddle through the lake to access the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which lets you enjoy Little Vermillion Lake, Sand Point Lake, and Voyageurs National Park. Fire rings and latrines are available. 

Marcell Dispersed Camping

While many of the Marcell Dispersed Camping sites are not accessible to RVs, you can find some that you can easily reach in your rig. These camping spots are close to Spider Lake, the birch forest of the Suomi Hills, and Trout Lake. Fire rings and latrines are available at these Chippewa National Forest campsites near Marcell. 

Noma Lake Campground

Camp under old-growth paper birch and white pine trees at Noma Lake Campground near Wirt. This campground within the Chippewa National Forest offers outstanding bass and northern pike fishing. If you did not bring your boat, fish from the fishing platform. 

Buckman Coulee Wayside Park

Operated by Wabasha County, you can experience free camping in Minnesota at Buckman Coulee Wayside Park. The campsites on a paved lot are near the beautiful Zumbro River. While there are no hookups, you can use the restroom and access drinking water in the park. 

Dodge Center Creek Park

Enjoy boondocking in Minnesota by planning a trip to Dodge Center Creek Park. There is a walking track running under tall trees to enjoy. This park is open year-round, and you can rent snowshoes at the local library. 

Bemis Hill Campground

If you love to go camping with your horse, then boondocking in Minnesota at Bemis Hill Campground may be a perfect choice because there are tie posts and manure disposal. Each of the campsites at this campground within the Beltrami Island State Forest near Wannaska offers a picnic table and fire ring. This location can be a terrific place to go hiking and berry picking. 

Where to Boondock in Minnesota

This state is home to two national forests, and they both offer free camping in Minnesota. There are also wildlife areas spread across the state, with many offering boondocking opportunities. Additionally, you can find free camping at some county and city parks. Minnesota is a very RV-friendly state where people value spending time outdoors.

Free Camping in Minnesota

When preparing for your boondocking trip, be sure to stay weather-aware. While the state enjoys many beautiful sunny days, storms can move in quickly. Consider keeping a battery-operated radio or a scanner in the RV so that you can keep abreast of the latest conditions. It is always best to head to a secure location if you see a severe storm approaching. Always turn around and do not try to drive through floodwaters. 

Since many boondocking locations are in remote areas, cellphone service can be spotty. A satellite phone can help solve this problem. Additionally, leave a detailed itinerary with someone who is not going on the trip. Pay attention to your surroundings so that you can describe your location if you must summon emergency services. 

Check out our blog to learn more about the many beautiful boondocking locations. You can go canoeing, hunting, fishing, and more at many of these locations. There are so many different options available from riverside locations to forests that everyone will find one or more spots that they must visit. “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” is a fantastic place to explore, with exciting cities to visit and remote locations for quiet contemplation. 

Minnesota is teeming with unspoiled wilderness for you and your family to explore. If you do not have an RV, then rent one on All different sizes are available in travel trailers and RVs. Each is covered by 24/7 roadside assistance. You can often choose to have your RV or trailer delivered to the location where you want to go camping. Boondocking in Minnesota is a wonderful way to build memories.

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