When you bring the RV to the land of 10,000 lakes, spending some time on the water is a must. Moose Lake State Park is located in northeast Minnesota, and at just over 1,000 acres, it is small enough that it rarely becomes overcrowded. Glaciers are responsible for carving out the area and making it what it is today with rolling hills, dense, forested areas, and of course, a lake. The park was created in 1971, after years of locals trying to establish a state park in hopes of creating more camping sites in the area. Since the park's conception, improvements have been made, and Moose Lake is now a must on your next RV road trip through Minnesota.
The park's waterfront location on the petit Echo Lake makes it easy to enjoy all of your favorite water sports, including boating, swimming, and fishing. There is also a picnicking area located near the beach, complete with a volleyball court and horseshoe pits. There are over five miles of trails for hikers to trek, all ranging in length and difficulty. Even when the dog days of summer are over, visitors still make their way to the Moose Lake State Park to enjoy their favorite winter sports.
If one day at the park simply wasn't enough, pull your campervan into one of the 33 RV-friendly sites at the park campground. The campground is open from April through November, and most sites are equipped with electric hookups. There are also a few tent-only sites for those who prefer to sleep under the stars and a group camp for those who are camping with a crowd.
Situated lakeside in northeast Minnesota, Moose Lake State Park is the perfect place to park the RV during your next camping trip. The park is located just 40 minutes southeast of Duluth off of I-35. This well-traveled route makes it easy for anyone to access the park, no matter what kind of vehicle you're driving or which direction you're coming from. If you need to stock up on supplies or gas up the RV before entering the park, the town of Moose Lake is just a few minutes to the east.
Heavy snowfall and ice in the winter may make accessing the park more difficult during the off-season, so check the local weather forecast and road conditions before heading out. Once inside the park, the main road will take you to all the major attractions, including the campground, boat launch, hiking trails, and picnicking area. There are no driving restrictions for RVs, but be sure to adhere to posted speed limits.
If you're staying the night, you have a secured parking space at your campsite, and if you're just staying for the day, you'll find lots near the park entrance and all around the lake.
Moose Lake State Park Campground boats over 30 RV- and trailer-friendly sites, most of which are equipped with electric hookups. The campground is located on the east side of Echo Lake and is set up in three different loops. Site lengths vary, with the maximum length being 60 feet.
No matter which site you choose, you'll find a picnic table and fire ring, and restrooms with flush toilets and showers are located nearby. Toilets and showers are only available from Labor Day through Memorial Day, but vault toilets are available year-round. Pets are allowed throughout the campground as long as they are kept on a leash.
The campground is open from April through November, and reservations are available up to a year in advance. It is recommended that you book your site well in advance if you are planning on staying during the busy summer months.
Those looking to get out of the RV and sleep under the stars can pitch a tent in one of the park's two walk-in campsites. Although the hike to reach the sites is not long, campers should note that vehicle access is not available. These sites are fairly secluded, as they are located off of one of the campground loops, affording campers a sense of privacy while reconnecting with nature.
Each site is outfitted with a picnic table and fire ring, and restrooms with flush toilets and showers can be found in the main campground. The flush toilets and showers are only available from May through September, but vault toilets are open year-round. The tenting campsites are available from April through November, and you can make reservations up to a year in advance.
If you're camping with a group, you can hunker down at the park's group campsite. Located on the north side of Lake Echo just past the park entrance, the group campsite has everything you'll need for a successful camping trip. The site is equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and a water spigot. Only tents are allowed in this area, so you'll have to leave the RV in one of the nearby parking lots for the night. The site can accommodate up to 45 people, and reservations are available up to a year in advance.
If you couldn't secure a campsite at Moose Lake State Park, don't fret. There are tons of options in the surrounding area, so whether you're looking to live in luxury or boondock it for a night or two, you should be able to find a campground that has everything you need.
There are a few private RV parks in and around the town of Moose Lake, many of which offer top-notch amenities like full hookups and seasonal swimming pools.
If you're looking to get the most out of your Minnesota state park pass, then hop back on I-35 and head to a nearby state park. Jay Cooke State Park is less than 30 minutes to the north and boasts over 80 RV-friendly sites (21 of which are outfitted with electric hookups).
Head a bit further east, and you'll find Pattison State Park over the state border in Wisconsin. Here, overnight guests will find nearly 60 RV-friendly campsites, including some with electric hookups. If you prefer to head south, stop at St. Croix State Park and snag one of over 200 campsites available to rigs under 85 feet long.
Everyone knows that winters in Minnesota can get cold. But the summers are often just as extreme, with temps often climbing up into the 90s. Luckily, Moose Lake State Park is equipped with a lake and swimming beach, so don't hesitate to pack your bathing suit along in the travel trailer. The swimming beach is located on the north side of Echo Lake near the park entrance. There is even a picnic area near the beach, complete with a fire ring and tire swing.
Those who prefer to be on the water rather than in it can take their boat out for a spin on the quiet Echo Lake. A boat launch is located on the northeast side of the lake, and there is plenty of parking for your trailer or vehicle near the boat launch. If you didn't tow your own flotation device along behind the Sprinter, kayaks and canoes are available for rent from the park during the summer.
After a day on the lake, you can sit down and relax at the picnicking area near the beach. The area has everything you need for the perfect picnic, including tables, a fire ring, and a tire swing to boot. There is also a volleyball court and horseshoe pits in the picnicking area, just head the park office to pick up the equipment. If you're staying overnight, you can also hunker down right outside of your pop-up, as each site is outfitted with its own table and fire ring.
The Moose Lake Agate and Geological Center should be at the top of your list for things to do and see while RVing through Minnesota. The center is located inside of Moose Lake State Park and offers visitors of all ages the chance to learn a little bit more about the state's geology. You can also learn about Minnesota's gemstone (the agate) and other rocks that are common to the area through interpretive displays or meander through the gift shop and pick out a souvenir to remember your stay at the park.
The anglers in your group will love Moose Lake State Park, and if you're lucky, they may reel in some dinner! Common catches from Echo Lake include panfish, largemouth bass, northerns, and walleye. You can cast out from the ADA-accessible fishing pier on the north side of the lake, or take the boat out and drop a line into deeper water. A boat launch is available on the northeast side of the lake, and if you didn't bring your own boat along behind the campervan, you can rent a canoe or kayak from the park office.
Five miles of trails carve their way through Moose Lake State Park, so lace up your hiking boots and leave the Airstream back at camp. The trails range from easy to moderate, and the longest loop is under one mile in length. Echo Lake Trail is a great route for those looking to explore the whole park. The trail starts in the RV campground and goes all the way to the northwest side of the lake. There are also various connector trails along this route if you'd like to extend your hike at any point.
Nature lovers and avid birders alike will have plenty of chances to see some of the park's full-time residents during their RV vacation to Moose Lake State Park. Some of the best places to spot wildlife is on the park trails. Both the aptly named Wildlife Pond Trail and Rolling Hills Trail loops are great places to look for critters, as both routes lead past ponds, marshes, and woodland areas. Tread lightly and you might see white-tailed deer, squirrels, and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds. Those who are more interested in birding can pick up a birding checklist from the park office.
Those hardy enough to brave the Minnesota winter will be rewarded with some great snow sport opportunities when they park the Class A at Moose Lake State Park. Although the park campground is only open from April through November, the gates are open year-round. Visitors flock to the park to enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and good old fashion snow play. Visitors should note that no trails are groomed during the off-season, but backcountry skiing and snowshoeing are allowed.