Leave the crowds along the north shore of Lake Superior behind and enjoy the quiet and open campsites of three rustic campgrounds located in the over 300,000 acres of Finland State Forest in Minnesota. Comprising secluded woodlands, massive wetlands, pristine lakes, and stretching to the shoreline of the largest great lake, this state forest promises adventures for the outdoor and wildlife enthusiast.
The three first-come, first-served campgrounds are a wonderful alternative to the often booked camping along the nearby north shore of Lake Superior. Warm water lakes to cold-water streams, this State Forest is an angler’s dream. There are miles of gravel road access to various parts of the forest where paths lead deeper into the woodlands. Multi-use trails for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers lead into the heart of mixed hardwood forests to visit scenic uplands, hidden lakes, and wetlands filled with waterfowl. In the winter, miles of snowmobile trails weave across frozen lakes for an arctic style adventure.
Despite the wilderness feel of the idyllic campgrounds, all three are located no more than a few miles from paved thoroughfares, making access with your camper only a short drive down a gravel road. So leave the crowded sites along Lake Superior behind to enjoy a natural and peaceful setting when you Finland State Forest in your RV, campervan, or trailer.
Located in the northeastern section of Minnesota, Finland State Forest, with its mixed hardwoods, warm lakes, and cold-water streams, stretches across inland forest to the shores of Lake Superior. Numerous paved roads bisect the State Forest, and there are over 50 miles of gravel access road to trails and lakes for those wishing to explore. Most roadways are narrow and wind through the forest with some hills, so drive slow and look for the plentiful wildlife.
The forest is accessible year-round, but be prepared when venturing off the pavement for mud, loose gravel, and, in the winter, ice and snow. The three campgrounds offer limited parking, though most campsites will fit your rig with a trailer. Water access points and trailheads offer some additional parking.
ATV and multi-use trails cross through the park, so bring your mountain bike or your snowmobile for some fun exploring routes away from your camper. With plentiful lakes with mostly carry-in access points, a canoe or paddleboard is a great way to see the forest from the water.
The campgrounds are open early May to the end of October. All three are less than two miles from paved routes and located on the eastern side of the park near Lake Superior. The campground roads are gravel and may have potholes and soft spots.
Located on Baptism River, Eckbeck Campground and Day-Use Area is located only three miles from Lake Superior and Tettegouche State Park. Just a stone’s throw from paved Route 1, this handy campground is easy to access in your rig as well.
With 31 first-come, first-served campsites open from early May to late October, this compact campground set amid tall pines and mixed-hardwoods offers quiet camping with river access for fishing or a paddle. Latrine toilets, a water spigot, and trash cans are available in the campground, but there are hookups or dump facilities, so come with tanks empty to avoid a trip of 20 miles to the nearest dump facilities.
A registration kiosk is located at the campground entrance. Pick up a fee envelope before taking a slow drive around the single loop of the campground and picking a spot complete with fire ring and a picnic table.
Just around the corner from Eckbeck Campground, Finland Lake Campground contains 39 naturally surfaced campsites set amid the woods and along the confluence of two rivers. Open from early May until late October, this campground is first-come, first-served with a registration kiosk and fee envelopes at the entrance. Larger than Eckbeck, the campsites are more spread out and can accommodate a larger RV. Check this one out especially if you are hoping to access the nearby ATV trails, as it provides access to 15 additional campsites if you want to leave your campervan behind for a night or two.
Easily accessed from paved Route 6, this campground is a great spot if you want a wilderness experience but are nervous driving your rig too deep into the forest. Plus, at only seven miles from the north shore of Lake Superior and Tattegouche State Park, it is a convenient spot to enjoy nature and the nearby lake front.
Tucked onto the shores of Sullivan lake and with campsites right on the water, Sullivan Lake Campground offers quiet camping in your camper from early May until late October. Plus, this rustic first-come, first-served campground has carry-in access to enjoy the solitude of Sullivan Lake. Naturally surfaced campsites are spread out along the shoreline and offer scenic views of the water from the forested shore.
Located on a gravel access road a mile from paved Route 11, this campground is not difficult to access, but the road along the shore serving the 11 campsites has a tight circle at the end to reverse directions, so it is best to visit with a shorter rig. A registration kiosk is available just before the campground where you can pick up a fee envelope before checking out the sites, which come complete with a fire ring and picnic table.
At over 30 miles from the shores of Lake Superior and Tattegouche State Forest, this campground is quieter and offers a deeper wilderness feel than the other two in Finland State Forest. It is considered primitive as well, offering only vault toilets and a water spigot, but no electrical or sewer hookups. Come with your water topped off and holding tanks empty to avoid a long drive to dump facilities outside the State Forest.
Finland State Forest is a fishing enthusiasts dream. With warm and cold-water lakes, as well as cold-water streams, a multitude of fish species are waiting for a lucky angler. There are several boat launches for motorboats with the State Forest, however most water access points are carry-in, making a canoe a better choice for the most opportunities to toss a line. All three campgrounds provide water access from lake to stream, or head out on the hiking trails with your rod to access quiet streams.
Over 25 miles of mountain biking trails run through Finland State Forest with access available from the three campgrounds. Plus, there are an additional 50 miles of well-maintained gravel roads if you want to tour further. Bring your bike to enjoy miles of riding through the mixed-hardwood forest, beautiful streams, and quiet lakes off-the-beaten path. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer and even bear, as well as a multitude of bird species.
From Finland Campground and Day Use Area, you can access the Moose Walk and Red Dot ATV trails for over 40-miles of family friendly class II ATV riding. The routes wind along the hills forested with spruce and pine. Before you head out, all ATVs must be registered and a trail pass is required. Follow all posted signs and laws.
With a diverse ecosystem ranging from the shores of Lake Superior to forested uplands, streams, and wetlands, numerous wildlife species await the curious viewer. Visit the bogs for a chance to see waterfowl, or watch for big game, often visible from the 50 miles of maintained forest roads. In the evenings, listen for owls while enjoying your campfire at one of the three RV campgrounds.
When the ATV season ends, the snowmobile trails open up. With over 100 miles of snowmobile trails, the campgrounds might be closed but the forest is still a fun place to visit and explore. Check for trail updates and conditions before taking off to enjoy the snow-filled woodlands and icy lakes, as well as any closed sections. All snowmobiles must be registered. Follow all posted rules and remember that speed limits on frozen lakes is 50 mph.
With plentiful and varied game, sections of Finland State Forest are open to hunting to licensed hunters, during appropriate hunting seasons. Within 200 feet of a recreation area, including campgrounds, parking areas, and boat launches, all firearms must be unloaded and cased. Follow all applicable laws and check for areas that are posted closed while out in the forest or lakes. If heading out on your ATV, do not drive off-road to retrieve game.