BWCA Canoe camping around Forest Lake, MN area? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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WanderingWoodsmanMN
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/16/2024 07:52PM  
Hi all,

Pretty sure I know the answer to this, but are there any canoe/boat camp sites around the Forest Lake/Chisago/Lindstrom/etc area? I know there are a few on the St Croix but any on lakes in the vicinity even an hour or so north? Not looking for a campground, more of a "BWCA like" experience at a secret spot somewhere in the area. I know this is a long shot but thought I would throw it out there, thanks!
 
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EmmaMorgan
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
04/16/2024 08:27PM  
I live in the Chisago Lakes area and the only sites I know of on lakes are on the Chisago Lakes Water Trail. There are a couple of boat-in/hike-in campsites on North Center Lake and one on an island in South Center Lake. They’re not really BWCA like, though, as the lakes are very populated with houses on the shores and lots of power boats. I believe you can also camp at Ojiketa Park in Chisago City. Here’s a link to the water trail map, which shows the campsite locations. Chisago Lakes Water Trail map and website
WanderingWoodsmanMN
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/16/2024 09:43PM  
EmmaMorgan: "I live in the Chisago Lakes area and the only sites I know of on lakes are on the Chisago Lakes Water Trail. There are a couple of boat-in/hike-in campsites on North Center Lake and one on an island in South Center Lake. They’re not really BWCA like, though, as the lakes are very populated with houses on the shores and lots of power boats. I believe you can also camp at Ojiketa Park in Chisago City. Here’s a link to the water trail map, which shows the campsite locations. Chisago Lakes Water Trail map and website "


Ah yes, right I thought there were a few campsites on North Center and South Center! Assuming they are non-reservable/first come first serve right? Do you know how popular those are? Is it one of those deals where they are busy every weekend in the summer but likely to be open in shoulder seasons? I was considering going this upcoming weekend. I am looking at the Pancake Island specifically, can I park overnight at the boat launch off Hwy 8 or Loren's Park if I canoe?
jsmithxc
member (33)member
  
04/17/2024 06:37AM  
If you end up on the St. Croix the levels are a bit up today and most likely going higher from the rain. Also the William O'Brien State Park boat/canoe launch is closed for a year or so for some park upgrades, no river access at all in the park.
EmmaMorgan
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
04/17/2024 07:05AM  
WanderingWoodsmanMN: Ah yes, right I thought there were a few campsites on North Center and South Center! Assuming they are non-reservable/first come first serve right? Do you know how popular those are? Is it one of those deals where they are busy every weekend in the summer but likely to be open in shoulder seasons? I was considering going this upcoming weekend. I am looking at the Pancake Island specifically, can I park overnight at the boat launch off Hwy 8 or Loren's Park if I canoe? "


Yes, they are non-reservable. There is a fee box for the 2 sites in Allemansratt Park on North Center. I’m not sure if a fee is collected for Pancake Island. I’ve been past all 3 sites on summer weekends and have seen them open at times and occupied other times, so I imagine they’ll likely be available during shoulder seasons. I’m not sure about overnight parking. You could call Center City 651-257-5284 to ask about overnight parking at Lorens Park.
 
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