Date of Stay: August, 2012
Beautiful, family friendly campground. Sites are small, but fairly private with brush and trees separating each site. Roads are gravel and narrow. A large rig may have trouble. Bathrooms with flush toilets and showers were relatively clean and well maintained. Because this is such a beautiful and popular destination area, there were many inexperienced campers who did not always know or follow campground etiquette. (Unsupervised small children wandered into our campsite several times.) The trails and lakes are beautiful. You can rent a canoe or boat, or hike many wonderful trails. We recommend the Norberg Lake hike (3miles) and, outside the park, the Kawishiwi River Falls (1 mile) hike. Both have beautiful scenery and are relatively easy hikes. The swimming beach is wonderful. The small town of Ely (pronounced e-lee) describes itself as the coolest small town in America. With all the unique shops, they may be right. Don't miss the Brandenburg gallery.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
This is a small, county park. Some of the sites are seasonal. The sites are tiny and you are only a few feet away from your neighbor, on both sides. Most of the sites are on the lake, which is beautiful. Our site was so small, that we could not use the fire ring, which was literally in the lake weeds. There is a swimming beach and play area. The bathrooms were clean and modern; there are pay showers (bring quarters). This campground is not a destination in and of itself, but makes a nice base camp for area activities or overnighting.
Date of Stay: June, 2012
This is a beautiful campground with large sites. There are plenty of trees, for both shade and privacy. There are some good hiking trails and a public boat launch onto the Rum River. As with most Minnesota state parks, the bathrooms were clean, the rangers were friendly and extremely knowledge and the park was very well cared for. This park can be a destination on its own, or makes a great base camp for activities on Mille Lacs lake.