Want to know some of the best places to camp in Minnesota? Fun fact: Minnesota has more miles of shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined! It’s not called the Land of 10,000 Lakes for nothing. If you love the outdoors and spending time by the water, camping in any of Minnesota’s beautiful campgrounds will be sure to impress. No matter your expectations, the state’s various campgrounds have a little something for everyone. Here’s a list of the 25 best campgrounds near the Twin Cities.
Afton State Park - Hastings, MN
Afton State Park is a great place to visit all year ‘round. During the winter, there are even areas to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or winter hiking.
Lake Maria State Park - Monticello, MN
Be ready for a fun getaway at this state park. Visitors enjoy hiking the one-mile trail from the parking lot to their campsites/cabins. Various other forested hiking trails exist around the campground so you can fully immerse yourself in wildlife.
Wild River State Park - Center City, MN
This park’s campsites are well spread out, making you feel like you’re alone with Mother Nature. Many beautiful birds, both native and not native to Minnesota, can be found migrating and nesting near the park. This makes Wild River State Park a birdwatcher’s paradise!
Interstate State Park - Taylors Falls, MN
Perfect for tent campers or RV campers alike, this state park has roughly 100 drive-in and electric campsites. The park even has fun outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts, such as cliff climbing, river rapids kayaking, and hiking.
Lake Elmo Park Reserve - Lake Elmo, MN
Be sure to obtain a vehicle permit before driving into this state park. If you love spending time on the water, Lake Elmo allows for fun, non-motorized boating including kayaking and canoeing. Do you enjoy trail riding? Load up the horses! The park even has outdoor trails for horseback hiking and horseback riding.
William O’Brien State Park - Marine, MN
Have immediate access to the St. Croix River or Lake Alice from this state park. This campground has equipment for various activities available for checkout. Activities include fishing, canoeing, and even skiing in the winter.
Carver Park Reserve - Victoria, MN
Whether you prefer boating, geocaching, sledding, or snowmobiling, Carver Park Reserve is open all year ‘round. You can even learn more about the natural world around you with the area’s various nature education programs.
Baker Campground - Maple Plain, MN
With over 200 sites, this 2,700 acre national landscape is located on Lake Independence. 90 of these sites have electric hookups. Bathrooms with toilets and showers are also available throughout the park.
Cleary Lake Regional Park - Prior Lake, MN
The park, consisting of both the Red Pine campground and Basswood campground, has many year-round activities unique to the area. People from all around flock to this park to participate in skijoring and dog sledding in the winter.
Lebanon Hills - Apple Valley
Surrounded by an abundance of lakes, camping at this campground makes you feel like you’re far away from the city. You won’t feel like you’re completely roughing it with their laundry facility, fire rings, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables.
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park - Hastings Minnesota
The southern most public park on the St. Croix offers sites with pull through, electric hookup and non-hookup for those more adventurous families. The campground is even near a swimming beach as well as canoe/kayak areas—only accessible by watercraft.
Sandy Lake - McGregor, MN
The Sandy Lake campground is located near a small history museum, making it the perfect place to learn about the area’s historic industry. You can even make last-minute camping plans with the park’s available walk-in campsites.
Moose Lake State Park - Moose Lake, MN
Located roughly two hours from the Twin Cities, Moose Lake State Park is located in a wooded and secluded area. The campground even has a fishing pier, swimming beach, playground, and picnic area.
Jay Cooke State Park - Carlton, MN
People love visiting this state park because of the various hiking trails and abundant wildlife. While you’re there, check out the park’s historic swimming bridge that is suspended over the St. Louis River.
Old Barn Resort - Preston, MN
Bring your RV or camper to the Old Barn Resort to enjoy beautiful trails and scenery. You can even take a “break” from camping life to swim in the resort’s heated pool or play a round of golf at its golf course.
Nerstrand Big Woods State park - Nerstrand, MN
This beautiful campground with a rustic feel allows for drive-in or walk-in visitors. You can have the option to be in an open or wooded, secluded campsite depending on your preferences, as well as visit its famous wildflower garden.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park - Preston, MN
Camp at one of the 100 campsites near Minnesota’s Mystery Cave—the longest cave in the state. Experience the site’s variety of tour options; just be sure to pack warm clothes, as the cave is a constant 48°F.
Whitewater State Park - Altura, MN
Open during both the summer and winter, the park has over 100 drive-in campsites ready for your stay. Hike the park’s trails, relax on the nearby beach, or even cross-country ski in the wintertime.
Carley State Park - Plainview, MN
Guests love this park because of its relaxing atmosphere that helps them get away from the stressors in life. If you’re interested in camping at Carley State Park, you better make plans! Only 20 drive-in and two group sites are available for camping.
Crow Wing State Park - Brainerd, MN
This historic state park allows campers and visitors to participate in educational programs to learn about its history. Its over 50 drive-in campsites make it the perfect weekend getaway for your family.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park - Onamia, MN
When you visit this state park, be sure to check out its 100-foot-tall fire and observation tower, where you can get a unique view of the area’s natural and historic land.
Father Hennepin State Park - Isle, MN
Enjoy a sandy swimming beach, boat access, and fishing docks on the Mille Lacs Lake in this state park. Choose to stay in one of two campgrounds, and spend your time exploring the park’s hiking trails along the Mille Lacs shoreline.
Flandrau State Park - New Ulm, MN
This state park has a group center, picnic area, and swimming pong, making it a popular spot for families. Hikers and cross-country skiers also enjoy the flat trails in the valley. Planning on bringing a large group? The park accepts group reservations!
Glacial Lakes State Park - Starbuck, MN
This state park consists of vast, open prairie land dominated by prairie grasses and wildflowers during the summer. You can swim, fish, boat, or canoe (electric motors only) on the Signalness Lake near the campground.
Sibley State Park - New London, MN
Interested in camping with a large group? Some of the group campsites can hold as many as 128 people, making it the perfect place for large retreats. There’s plenty to do that the whole group will enjoy, including swimming, playing volleyball, or simply relaxing.