BWCA Post trip campground on Highway 61 Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Samsquatch
member (44)member
  
06/24/2024 10:52AM  
My group has a trip planned for the Gunflint Trail area of BWCA in early August. On the final day we intent to return to the outfitter around lunch and from there drive south toward home. We are looking for a place to camp between Grand Marais and Duluth. Do you have any recomendations for a place to camp not to far off Highway 61? I did notice last year the state parks along 61 were very busy on Friday as we drove south along Hwy 61.
 
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TuscaroraBorealis
Moderator
distinguished member(5723)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/24/2024 11:04AM  
I'm sure the state parks will all be full. But, there are a couple of campgrounds near Finland (about 5 miles off of 61) that may have vacancy. Since theyre both on the Baptism River I'm guessing they're flooded out right now but, hopefully by August the waters will have sufficiently receded.
06/24/2024 11:14AM  
Maybe the Black Beach Campground in Silver Bay right next to the hotel that used to be an Americinn. Not sure of its new name.

I’m not certain on availability in August, but when I drove by there for 2 different trips (so 4 different drive bys) in June this year it was mostly empty. One of those times was on a Saturday. Doesn’t look like there is much shade, if any.

Temperance River Superior National Forest Campground (not the state park) is about 12 miles up the Sawbill trail out of Tofte. It’s been a while, but I used to stop there to fill the water jug on my way up to camp at Kawishiwi Lake campground and the Temperance river campground was never more than 1/2 full.
Findian
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
06/24/2024 12:23PM  
Might go up the Sawbill and try Temperance River campground. If full you could try going up to fs rd 170 the grade a few primitive campgrounds up that way. Superior forest service maps shows them all. I think the fs also has an online map with campsites. FYI dispersed camping in allowed in SNF.
06/24/2024 12:56PM  
wagon wheel campground is between two harbors and duluth on that bottom road. lots of sites have great views of the big lake.
Samsquatch
member (44)member
  
06/24/2024 02:10PM  
Thanks everyone. I checked with our trip leader and we are camping on Monday night before the trip. Maybe that means more available campsites. I'm going to start looking into your suggested campgrounds.
WHendrix
distinguished member(631)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/24/2024 03:18PM  
My favorite campground along that route is Sawbill. The downside of that is that it is 23 miles off highway 61 and most of it is gravel. The up side is that it's a very nice campground and it is managed by Sawbill Outfitters which is right there on the lake, and if you get there before too late in the day you can get showers for a fee. Many of the sites can be reserved.
06/25/2024 09:14AM  
TuscaroraBorealis: "I'm sure the state parks will all be full. But, there are a couple of campgrounds near Finland (about 5 miles off of 61) that may have vacancy. Since theyre both on the Baptism River I'm guessing they're flooded out right now but, hopefully by August the waters will have sufficiently receded. "


I have been camping at the Finland campground for more than 30 years and always liked it alot. Until this year. I don't know what happened but the entire campground was just sad. Downed trees, debris, and such. Didn't really look like typical storm damage but it was too ugly to stay.

Eckbeck, down the road a bit, was a little better but suffered some of the same.

I tried Sullivan Lake for the first time this year. It is about 25 minutes out of Two Harbors. About 9 sites, several by the lake. Okay place.
das1660
member (44)member
  
06/25/2024 02:05PM  
Hi Traveler..
I read somewhere that the tree's in that campground were infected with a disease (sorry, I can't recall which). That's the reason for all the cut down trees.
06/25/2024 06:27PM  
That makes sense with what I saw. Too bad.
gravelroad
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06/27/2024 04:41PM  
Traveler: "
TuscaroraBorealis: "I'm sure the state parks will all be full. But, there are a couple of campgrounds near Finland (about 5 miles off of 61) that may have vacancy. Since theyre both on the Baptism River I'm guessing they're flooded out right now but, hopefully by August the waters will have sufficiently receded. "



I have been camping at the Finland campground for more than 30 years and always liked it alot. Until this year. I don't know what happened but the entire campground was just sad. Downed trees, debris, and such. Didn't really look like typical storm damage but it was too ugly to stay.


Eckbeck, down the road a bit, was a little better but suffered some of the same.


I tried Sullivan Lake for the first time this year. It is about 25 minutes out of Two Harbors. About 9 sites, several by the lake. Okay place."


Sullivan Lake disappeared this past week when its dam failed. It is currently a muddy mess with a very uncertain future:

Lake drains after dam breaks near Two Harbors
06/27/2024 06:05PM  
Sorry to hear that, although it was not a spectacular lake. I actually did not realize that it was not a natural lake.
gravelroad
distinguished member(1042)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/27/2024 08:25PM  
Traveler: "Sorry to hear that, although it was not a spectacular lake. I actually did not realize that it was not a natural lake.
"


Neither did I. I have been there a couple times while passing through the area and scouting for trailer campsites.
 
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