MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Where to camp with little kids?

I am planning a camping trip with my husband and young children ages 3 and 2. Last year we went camping on Madeline Island's Big Bay State Park and loved it. But, we thought we would try some place different this year. We both like rustic and wooded and fairly quiet campgrounds, but enjoy the convenience of car camping with our little ones - especially on rainy days, it's nice to head into town for pizza and ice cream. We also love nice beaches. Can you recommend any campgrounds or areas to look into too? We've both spent a lot of time in Voyaguers and BWCA to and like those areas as well. I appreciate any suggestions! - Dawn, Twin Cities

In Minnesota, Pelican Beach in Crow Wing State Forest, not far from Nisswa, is great for little kids because it's so shallow. So is McCarthy Beach State Park near Hibbing.

Hok-Si-La Park is a great place to camp, just north of Lake City on Lake Pepin, especially if you can go on a weekday. In northern Minnesota, the forest-service sites on Cass Lake are pretty and not far from Walker.

There are also two good Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds near Brainerd, the Gull Lake Recreation Area and Crosslake Recreation Area. Both have sand beaches, playgrounds and fishing piers.

Crosslake is walking distance from the little town, which has pizza places, groceries, etc., 218-692-2025.  Gull Lake Recreation Area is on the southeast corner of the lake, just down the road from Madden’s, 218-829-3334. To reserve, call 877-444-6777, www.reserveusa.com.

For more, see 10 great campsites and other Camping stories.

Last updated on May 13, 2009