With an abundance of manmade and natural structures in Minnesota, there’s no shortage of camping spots for you to enjoy with your loved ones. While the state is known for a plethora of lakes, other beautiful landscapes fill it up as well such as national forests and parks.

Having said that, no matter where you decide to camp out, you must follow the camping laws of Minnesota as well as the rules and regulations established by the national parks, state parks, and recreation areas.

Camping Laws In Minnesota

For Forest Campgrounds

  • Camping is only allowed on designated campsites.
  • The maximum duration for camping in one campsite is 14 days in the period 1st Saturday of May to 2nd Sunday of September. For the rest of the year, it’s a total of 21 days for one campsite.
  • The occupancy limit for one campsite is 8 people, 2 vehicles, and 2 camping Any exceeding number for camper or gear must be permitted by the forest officer before the arrival.
  • If more than 6 campsites are occupied by a large camping party, approval should be obtained from the forest official before arrival.
  • For some forest campgrounds, a camping fee (which expires at 4 pm) is applicable along with a camping Failing to pay the fee will result in an additional charge of one night’s camping fee.
  • Camp cannot be set up between 10 pm and 8 pm.
  • Liquid waste should be disposed of in the provided sump. If not provided, it should be disposed of on an area150 feet from a water body keeping in mind that no water supply is polluted.

For State Parks

  • Camping is only permitted in designated campsites or watercraft following the occupancy limit mentioned below.
  • The campsite permit expires at 4 pm when the location should be left while making sure that it’s clean.
  • The occupancy limit for one campsite is 6 people, 1 vehicle, and 1 camping
  • Each camping party should register in person with a list of names of all the campers in the group, along with the payment of the rental fee in full.
  • Registration should be done by 11 am to stay at a campsite that night.
  • The maximum duration of stay is consecutive 14 days for everyone except the campground host.
  • Power units should not be used from 10 pm to 8 am to prevent disturbance caused by its operation.

Best Camping Spots In Minnesota

Stony Point Campground

Camping Laws Minnesota

Located in Chippewa National Forest, Stony Point Campground has 44 campsites for you to choose from with amenities such as shower stations, clean toilets, and fresh drinking water.

Not only is it a great launching point around the national forest, but it also gives you access to a swimming beach and picnic spot. For hikers, the must-check-out trails are the Paul Bunyan Trail and the North Country Trail.

Jay Cook State Park

Camping Laws Minnesota

Situated adjacent to the St. Louis River, this state park features more than 80 campsites catering to the preferences of all campers who are looking for electric spots or walk-in tents.

Three popular trails near this park are the Silver Creek Trail, the Willard Munger State Trail, and the Superior Hiking Trail. So you may check out those before coming back to your cabin in your campsite and using the restroom facilities that ensure hot water.

Fall Lake Campground

Camping Laws Minnesota

The Fall Lake Campground is a go-to spot for locals due to its proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The campsites here range from RV-accommodating options to boat-access-only sites.

With 64 campsites to choose from you’ll have access to tent pads, fire rings, clean water, picnic tables, and more. It’s the perfect location to spend time with your loved ones while grasping the surrounding nature in the form of forests, lakes, and shorelines.

Dispersed Camping Rules In Minnesota

Dispersed camping is quite popular in Minnesota due to the availability of state forests and it’s suitable for campers who do not want to be restricted to only a particular campsite. Dispersed camping allows you to experience the wilderness at its best given that you’ll not have access to any amenities that you would in a campground.

For dispersed camping, you should find a spot at least 1 mile away from campsites on state forests. The spot could be on a meadow or a natural clearing but you must not hamper any vegetation to create a camping spot.

  • Dispersed camping has a 14-day limit throughout the year except for the period from the 2nd Sunday in September to the 1st Saturday in May when the limit is 21 days.
  • You must park your vehicle in a spot where it does not block a trail, road, or gate.
  • You must not dig a trench to set up your tent.
  • For campfires, only dead wood on the ground can be collected.
  • Human waste and food waste must be buried at least 150 feet from any water body.
  • All garbage must be disposed of before leaving the camping
  • You must not damage any tree, habitat, or water body.
  • To build a campfire, choose an area void of overhanging branches, dry shrubs, or grass.
  • A campfire should not be more than 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. You must also get rid of all combustible items found 5 feet around the campfire ring.

Final Words

While summer camping is quite popular in Minnesota, Autumn is favored as well especially by campers who want to avoid the heat. The perfect combination of lakes and waterways makes this state a favorite camping destination for the nearby states as well. However, not all states follow the same camping laws, so before you plan to camp in Minnesota, make sure you’re aware of all the laws, rules, and guidelines.


Also Read: Camping Laws In Washington – State Camper State Camper

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