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Bear Head Lake State Park
A Minnesota State Park

Bear Head Lake State Park is a Minnesota State Park located in the Arrowhead Region of northeast Minnesota near Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Bear Head Lake State Park

This is the farthest north "drive in" camping area. Once you reach the wilderness of the Boundary Waters, campgrounds are reachable only by backpacking and canoeing.

How to Get to Bear Head Lake State Park: Take U.S. Highway 169 east for nine miles out of Tower, MN. When you get to Highway 128, drive south for seven miles to the park. Or, from Ely, go west on Minnesota Highway 169 to County Highway 128. Follow this road south 7 miles to the park.

Minnesota State Parks Guidebooks

Bear Head Lake Highlights:

  • Bear Head Lake was awarded the 2010 title of "America's Favorite Park" and a $100,000 prize in a nationwide campaign sponsored by Coca-Cola®.
  • The park touches the shores of nine lakes and is populated with beautiful stands of the Minnesota State Tree: the red, or Norway, pine.
  • The huge forest fires of 1911 and 1913 left charred stumps that are still visible.

Bear Head Lake's Natural Attractions: This is some of Minnesota's best wilderness area outside the Boundary Waters. Catching fish and spotting eagles are almost guaranteed here. Black bears, wolves, and moose are often seen in this area as well.

Things to Do in Bear Head Lake State Park: The lakes provide many recreational opportunities. You will find a swimming beach, a fishing pier, and boat access. Rental boats and canoes are also available. You can even go waterskiing. A picnic area and shelter are located on Bear Head Lake.

Ely Minnesota Vacation Rentals


There are 17 miles of trails in the park, including 9 miles of cross-country ski trails. Snowshoeing is permitted throughout the park. The Taconite Trail is a popular snowmobiling trail that links the park to Ely and Grand Rapids.

Bear Head Lake State Park Camping

Camping in Bear Head Lake State Park: There are 73 campsites for tents and RVs; the 26 RV campsites have electrical hookups. In addition,you will find 4 backpacking tent-only sites and 2 canoe-in tenting sites.

Other accommodations include a group campsite for up to 100 people, a year-round camper cabin that sleeps 5, and a 3-bedroom winterized guest house.

Camping Equipment Checklist - Do you have what you need for camping?

More Attractions in This Region: Visit Ely and explore the International Wolf Center, the North American Bear Center, and the Dorothy Molter Museum. Take a trip into Voyageurs National Park or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Visit Cook, Minnesota. Travel the famous Gunflint Trail.

Other Minnesota State Parks in This Region of Minnesota: Soudan Underground Mine State Park > McCarthy Beach State Park > Scenic State Park

Contact:

9301 Bear Head State Park Road
Ely, MN 55731
Phone: 218-365-7229
Email: bearhead.statepark@state.mn.us

Top Things to Do in Minnesota

Bear Head Lake State Park

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Related Pages:

Boundary Waters Minnesota Vacation

Voyageurs National Park

Minnesota National Parks and Forests

Minnesota Camping

Minnesota State Parks Reviews

Campgrounds in Minnesota

Minnesota Campgrounds

Minnesota RV Campgrounds

Minnesota Campground Directory

Camping List

Back to Minnesota State Parks

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