Sandy beach campsites are not my choice either. That said, it would be an amazing site on a hot summer day.
I’ve had issues with sand fleas on sites. Bite that heck out of you.
Beach campsites are great with small kids. When my kids were young we always targeted the beach sites. It was nice to let the kids play in the shallow water without having to wear lifejackets or worry about them falling off a drop into deep water. The water also tends to warm better off a beach.
We stayed at several of the sites already mentioned.
I understand the hassle of tracking sand, but I felt it was worth it when the kids were young. They loved the beach.
After they got older or without kids, we stopped worrying about it.
Frost Lake (I would enter from Cross Bay, but Sawbill will also work). It's a long day there. It's off the beaten track. Most days the lake is empty. The second site on the right as you enter from Unload Lake is next to the beach. It's a long golden sand crescent. It stays shallow for quite a ways out too. You walk out the back of the site to the beach. (Less sand in your gear.). And the bonus is that it's a pretty good moose spot as well.
There are other beach sites on the lake as well. (Maybe 2 others?) Check the campsite reviews on Frost Lake in the maps section above.
Site 520 on Tuscarora is a small beach landing. Only a couple portages in (although one of them is a notorious doosy. Not hard, just long) and not really any "big water" to cross to get there.
Wow, that pic of the Amber Lake site brought back some good memories. The beach sites I’ve camped on, you don’t set up your tent in the sand. The only issue I had was if it rains the morning you are leaving, now you have wet sand. Wet sand sticks to everything. You will bring some home with you, but I never considered it a problem.
Funny, I actually avoid the sandy sites. I hate tracking it into the tent and it gets everywhere when it is windy. I love the rock around there, we just don't have that in Indiana.
To each their own, they are few and far between in canoe country.
Have a great trip.
Check out this thread.
campsite # 846.
Lake Camp Number: 7
Sandy beach, but campsite is not sandy.
Alton is tough if it's windy. (Considering young kids)
Lake Camp Number: 6
Sandy Beach, campsite on rise overlooking Kelso bay.
Easy to get to from Sawbill landing.
One campsite on the north side of Clove Lake on the Granite River route has a nice sandy beach area, and you can wade out about 40 feet and it's still only about 3 feet deep, great spot for kids to swim. There's also a grassy area to pitch a tent. The only downside it it's only 1 campsite, so no guarantee it's not taken.
Thank for the great responses...never expected so much input. This is great!!
I suggested not to camp at a sand beach campsite but there is a site on Lynx Lake that has a nice sandy area in the water that is good for swimming and wading , but has a non sandy shoreline. I think this is a perfect spot to camp with a group of children. Also, Big Moose has two “beach” areas but are not at campsites, but I think would serve your purpose as well.
I second the thought about going for the Amber Lake site, it is very nice. But that will be a two day journey to get there. Malberg has some sand beach sites too and site#1051 is a very good site. But that is one long day (6-7 hours) or two days as well. If you prefer two days, Polly is a nice place to stop.
If you get to Amber and the beach site is taken, retreat just a little ways to the River Lake site on the southern half of the island(#1969) which is(not a sand beach site) a great site with a really nice elevated kitchen site, a few nice tent pads and lots of rocks for lounging and fishing from. And there is very good fishing in the area as well. It is also close enough to Alice that you could do a daytrip there and frolic in one of it's sand beaches if you wanted to.
Malberg site 1051
Amber Lake site...there is another more extensive beach out of the picture to the left
River Lake site
If your going in through Kawishiwi I would check out the beautiful beach site on Amber. It's on the other side of Malberg but definitely worth the sweat equity to get to Amber. The beach site is pretty much the only useable site so if you get it you have the lake to yourself. And the walleye, small mouth and northern cooperated the year we had this site.
I know you are saying you do not want a bigger lake like Seagull. The west side of Seagull can whip up pretty bad. I had to hug the shore one time trying to get to Ogish.
But if you go in through Seagull outfitter and stay to the north in the islands area you will not hit that open basin and you can get to Campsite 469 without the wind. This was a great site if you are looking for sand. I rated it a 4. It would have been a 5 if not for the sand. I am not a sand person!! Beaches would be so great if there was not so much sand!!!
This is my review from 2010.
This is a great campsite. There is a great sandy beach with a protected cove. Water was warmer in cove and would be perfect for anyone with kids that want to swim as it stays shallow and has a slow slope. Made for easiest landing of canoes I have ever seen. There is sand everywhere here so if you hate sand avoid this site. Lots of firewood from downed trees as you walk in the paths to the point. Tent pads were level and you could find places to put at least 3 good size tents. Good trees for hanging and shade. The toilet is isolated but has a very easy walk and actually has a nice little view. Fishing is decent from the point. You can also follow path to top of hill and there is a great look-out rock where you can see the whole area.
Another idea... Cherokee. The lake has many great campsites and it's a beautiful destination lake. You can get there from Sawbill or Cross Bay EP's. Coming from Cross Bay you may want to spend a night on Long Island. Frost is right there as well. On the North side of Cherokee, just west of the portage into Gordon, is a nice beach area for swimming, etc. There isn't a campsite at that spot so you could hang out there during the day. It doesn't show up looking like a beach on Google maps but 4 years ago we spent the good part of a day hanging out there in the sun. We ate lunch there, waded, fished, and had a Bald Eagle watching us for hours. There are also lots of day trip opportunities.
One that came to mind to me was Little Vermilion, the closest campsite to the Loon River, (southern end.) We enjoyed the swimming, but I agree with the comments about camping on sand. After that one, I said "never again".
egknuti: "I’d consider not camping at a beach campsite. While it looks inviting, sand will get in everything you own. Just my 2 cents. "
I second this. Although they look inviting, camping on sand beaches means that eventually it will get into everything. I always enjoyed beaches but not for camping.
So you're throwing out too big, too far, and too easy. Seems like a heck of a filter.
I guess I'd go with one of your too easy options...you can always day trip to make it longer/harder like you mentioned. Keep in mind your day trip options from Kawishiwi will put you in the burn zone. (which is very cool to see, but just fyi)
I'm not sure if there are any but...if Perent had any beach sites that would be a cool mix. Not "super easy" but still almost no portaging to get to and you're only a couple hours from the parking lot.
I’d consider not camping at a beach campsite. While it looks inviting, sand will get in everything you own. Just my 2 cents.
Try this site's search function.
Here is a thread -- just one of many -- with spots to investigate.
Just go the maps section of this website and use the satellite imagery layer. It's pretty easy to spot the the sandy shorelines. Site 1009 on Kawishiwi looks promising if you don't mind being that close to the entry. Might be difficult to snag for that reason as well. The reviews for that site all mention the sandy beach and there are some photos as well.
We've never thought about finding a campsite with a beach, but this year want to try.
I've researched old suggestions and forums mentioning Insula, Alice, Frost, Long Island, Horse, Sea Gull, Sag, etc. Those places would be too far (or too big/wind risk) for my 5 and 6 year old.
I'm considering Kiwishiwi or Isabella Lake, but they seem too easy and with too much traffic. I have a feeling I should just plan on grabbing one of those sites early, then taking day trips to get away. Unless any of you have other suggestions or advice?