19 Parks near Carlton, Minnesota
Aug 2016 - $31.00
We visited this park on Sunday through Thursday. It was completely full almost every night. Reservations are strongly recommended even for non-electric and hike-in sites. The park office is fairly new and staff is knowledgeable and helpful.
There were programs to attend at the River Inn interpretive center during the week. We enjoyed hiking along the river, at the Thomson Dam and Oldenburg Point overlook. There are wonderful biking paths too. The swinging bridge and massive rock formations are the main attraction at this park.
The bathrooms are in horrible condition due to age. The seats are loose and sliding around. Also, you can't get out of the stall without brushing up against the toilet because the door opening is too close. The bathrooms are cleaned often, but they still smelled. They have clearly seen better days. The showers were a little better, however hot water was scarce. We had very cool water until someone flushed and then we would get warm water.
Sites here seem to be better suited for pop-ups and tents. They are a bit short for those with big rigs. We camped in a 25 foot travel trailer and had to park our vehicle sideways. Phone service is spotty, but WiFi is available near the office. We were able to use WiFi in the parking lot and benches around the office. Bathrooms aside, this is a great park for camping and recreation. - brendajoro
Jul 2015 - $30.00
We had a wonderful time at Jay Cooke State Park. The weather couldn't have been better and the bugs were at a minimum. This year the park is celebrating it's 100-year anniversary, so fun things are planned throughout the year. The swinging bridge, rock formation, woods and hiking are always great at this park. I emailed the park directly because there is an issue with opening the pictures of the sites. I ended up with a completely sunny site next to the bathroom (#48 ). Also, the bathrooms are very old and outdated. They were kept clean, however, there is not a stall for a disabled person to fit in a wheelchair, only railings. We were close to the new office, so we ended up going across the road to use the new facilities. Much to my surprise, the new Park manager emailed me back promptly to let me know the bathrooms are at the top of their list for repair or upgrade. She also said they will look into making site 48 a non-reservable site because it's so small and open. Actually, the first 3 sites used to get a lot of road noise, but since hwy. 23 is closed 1.5 miles down the road they are just wonderful. We stayed in a popup. - brendajoro
May 2012 - $38.00
Jay Cooke is very wooded. This location is pretty far from other activities, but it is pretty in a deep woods kind of way. We liked the hiking trails and swinging bridge. There are campgrounds closer to Duluth and Lake Superior if you are going up there for an event. Nice place. - carlie dalton
Aug 2016 - $40.00
Nice pool. Hot tub (the kids do use it). Laundry (3.00/load.) Clean restrooms. WiFi spotty. OK Verizon signal, 3 bars. Before accepting a site you may want to inspect it first for level, electrical, and tree branches. There are shared electric poles. We thought we had 50 amps on the pole, turns out we were only given the 30 amp plug. 50 amp was for the next site. We did relocate to a 50 amp back-in site but the electrical insulator was damaged. Sites are close together. The park needs an electrical upgrade and general maintenance. The trains did not bother us. Heard them a few times, and if you are a light sleeper it may bother you at night. Not all sites have sewer, but they have a free pump-out service. Site 5 had only 30 amp and tree branch issues and was not satellite friendly. Relocated to site 29. Easy back-in, satellite friendly, level, 50 amp. No sewer. Overall, thought it was a bit expensive for the quality of the campground, but not much else to choose from near Duluth. - wtravlr1
Jun 2016 - $55.00
Cost includes surcharge for 3 extra people ($12), using a tent.
Be advised that you risk expensive damage if camping here with electricity.
Other reviews have covered the basics of this campground. We found most of the already mentioned negatives not to be big issues. There were trains, but even our 2 yr. old slept through them (in a tent!). They delivered firewood to the site. It appears they even restocked us with additional the next day, at no charge. WiFi was present, but as typical for most campgrounds, virtually unusable due to demand during peak periods.
Bad electricity alone would have earned a low rating. Although they responded by sending their electrician over, there was no solution, except to move to one of two very marginal sites, where it was unknown if power was better.
Our last evening, there was a very large thunderstorm. We arrived back about an hour after it had passed. A crew was finishing up clearing a couple of downed trees that were on, but not blocking, the main entrance road. Tent had been uprooted, and the fifth was surrounded by 4" of standing water out to about 25 feet. No access but to wade. No place for the tent, except in the lake that was our site. There was no response from the staff. When I informed the office that we were leaving due to being flooded, I was met with a shrug. No offer to try to relocate, or even a show of concern. Requested final pump out was denied as the crew was busy with the scheduled ice cream social (despite storm cleanup/flooding!?!) I did later see the honeywagon pass by, and the driver agreed to stop and pump us out. Storms and other such natural things happen and this was not a disaster, much of the campground came through in great condition. In the State Park, I would have accepted it as part of camping. But when paying premium prices, one expects infrastructure that works, and a bit of an attempt to moderate the displacement of their customers. - Flapper
Jun 2016 - $40.00
We came in during the storms - tornado warnings, hail and the whole bit. Overall our stay was uneventful - no major issues with the site except it was a few feet away from the neighbors and open - but during the tornado warnings the staff had everyone and their dogs come in to the main building. They worked to accommodate everyone, and that was rather pleasant!
That said, they didn't enforce things like pool rules (children were diving and being reckless) or the hot tub rules (children as young as 6 were in the hot tub!).
The grounds were well kept, clean and the bathrooms were amazing. The showers were clean, the water hot and private and the bathrooms were clean.
We were really close to our neighbors, literally feet away, and there was no dog park - you had a path next to the railroad tracks to walk dogs! There were trains that came by - we counted over 10 last night - but we're used to living near trains so it wasn't a bother for us. But if you aren't used to them, it's something to consider. Overall it was a positive experience with a few detractors that kept it from being excellent. Overall a good site, and a pleasant stop on our way. - NewYorkCountryGirl
Aug 2016 - $27.00
Our site was gravel/grass but spacious. We had a back in site with W&E 50A.
Although there is no sewer connection at the sites, the park offers free of charge, a sewer truck to empty your tanks.
Campground is built along St Louis River with access to Knife Island.
Staff was very friendly and often asked if there were anything they could do for us.
Would stay here again. - Calibrateguy
Sep 2010 - $30.00
Neat place to stay in RV, the sites are shaded and mostly level gravel. Nice folks run the place. Only electric and water sites but they have free weekly pumping service. There are only portable toilets and no showers. Stayed here many nights. There are some nice tent sites also. Many trees and neat geologic features. - ttankie
Jul 2010 - $29.00
We only spent one night at this very small little campground on the St Louis River. It was the site of a slate mine. Owner was a nice, friendly lady. Not much to do here, but a passable place for a pass through. - shovelguy
Sep 2015 - $25.00
This small municipally owned campground was a pleasure to stay at. The park is on a small island on the St. Louis River. There are only 21 sites and all have electric and water plus at least one other site has sewer as well. On-site hosts were very accommodating and are there around the clock. Sites are well-spaced (except for 11 and 12 which are too close) and offer some shade during the day. Some sites have asphalt parking areas and the others are gravel. Big rigs appear to have no trouble getting into most sites. Biking and walking trails are available from the campground. One drawback is the large factory immediately next to the campground that had constant operational noise. The little railroad that serves local industries also ran nearby but it wasn't a bother inside the motorhome. There is no campground wi-fi, but our Verizon card worked well for internet and our over-the-air TV antenna brought in plenty of stations. This was our second time at this campground and would definitely stay here again when coming through. - Jay Rutherford
Aug 2015 - $20.00
The park hosts were extremely kind and helpful. We just stayed one night en route. It is on the St. Louis River. Nice setting. The campground was full so they put us in overflow. They charged us less because of that. There was some industrial nearby which created some noise but nothing bad. Would definitely stay here again. - JulieDR
Aug 2015 - $25.00
Very Nice City Park, LOTS of GRASS. Dog friendly. Water and Elect only. 13 Local TV Channels. Host friendly and helpful. First come first serve. Close to shopping and food. Will stay again. - silverado
Jul 2007 - $30.00
Un-remarkable. Mostly permanent residents. Just fine for an overnighter and not a vacation stop. - socaljj
Apr 2007 - $30.00
I guess there are no previous remarks because this place is so unremarkable. Sites are gravel on mud (with leaky taps) in a field behind a CW bar. Don't pay for the sewer connection unless your pipe is at the extreme aft end of your rig: with my mid-mounted pipe I had to use the dump station, which is slanted the wrong way. The new restrooms are huge, modern and spotless. Overall an OK place for a night. - ebdavis
Jun 2012 - $30.00
I arrived late on a Friday evening. It was quite difficult to find, but this was due to road construction and detours, a common Minnesota phenomenon. Upon arrival, I find this is primarily a seasonal campground with many dilapidated trailers and unkempt sites. Bent Trout Lake was small, but beautiful. I had site #3 which was a back-in site. My backing into the site made more difficult by three sheriffs breaking up a drunken domestic disturbance. Again, this wasn't a situation the park could help. The bathrooms were filthy and old, with spiders everywhere. I knew if my wife and daughters joined me the next day our family camping days would be over, so I only stayed one night of my stay and thankfully found a site at another campground. This points up a common problem with seasonal campgrounds - they don't try as hard anymore, and that was definitely what I found here. This campground desperately needs to step into the 21st Century then maybe it won't look like a set from Friday the 13th. - User2584
Aug 2008 - $30.00
Very nice campground for families. The bathrooms need to be updated but they were clean. There were golf carts riding around and they do not watch for people or cars. Other then that nice place. - mnme
Jul 2014 - $22.00
This is a seasonal campground with about 8 sites available for short term campers. 6 are pull-through and other 2 are back-in sites. The interior road and all of the sites were on packed dirt and gravel. All sites have full hookup with 20/30 amp service. The electrical voltage is OK, hovering around 120. All of the utilities were up front so you might need a long electrical cord to reach the utility box. The sites were relatively level but the trees need trimming. You might have to maneuver around the trees to get into your site. There was one washer ($1.25) and one dryer ($1.00). The one bathroom and shower was located within the laundry room. The campground did not have Wi-Fi or cable. Verizon air card and cell phone worked well here. The seasonal residents and campground host were extremely friendly. It was very quiet at night. The road from I-35 to the campground (Commonwealth Road) is extremely pot-holed. There are few amenities on Commonwealth Road. Follow the signs to Boy Scout Landing station, and then turn left from the boat launch area to the campground. We would return to this campground if we were in the area. Our rig is 32' long. - adsaxs
Jul 2013 - $25.00
What this c/g lacks in amenities, it makes up for in hospitality. We were the only transients there and were made to feel like family. The site was large, but only had 30amps. There is a boat launch and a small laundry - one machine each. Coffee and baked goods every morning. Good fishing. - dotr
Aug 2012 - $25.00
This campground has a lot of seasonal/permanent rigs. Probably about 50%. At first glance we weren't sure about it, but it turned out to be an okay place. It was very quiet, and the people were friendly. The river ambiance was nice, and our site was level. The rate for full hook-ups can't be beat. Cash or check as they do not take credit cards. Some kids were here, so kids are welcome, but no playground or pool. Most of the people were older. We would stay here again. - Gayle E.
Sep 2014 - $35.00
We called about availability and got their "after hours - (4:30)" recording stating there was lots of availabilities. Being new to this area and unfamiliar w/the park, we did not realize the closeness of things! Trying to get the big rig in with a tow was a bit tricky and we had no idea of where if any there were any 50 amp sites so we just used a 30 amp converter. The site was not level - our front tires way off ground so decided not to even put slides out or level. We would not try and get in there again with a big rig. The park would be great for smaller size campers though! - Foxes
Jul 2009 - $27.00
While we thoroghly enjoyed the park itself we were horrified to discover ticks on us and our dog. From merely walking through the campground, on the road, we all found ticks when we returned to our trailer. The park is beautiful and serene but I can never stay there again because of the ticks. It was unbelievable. - TravellinTam
Jul 2008 - $28.00
The best thing this place has going for it is its location and natural setting in the woods. Beyond that, it needs some work. We enjoyed having a quick drive to Duluth and other area attractions. We also enjoyed sitting at our site among the trees and usually only hearing wildlife, although occasionally you could hear the distant hum of I-35. The facilities themselves are in need of upgrades and care. First, the utilities for most sites are on the wrong side of the camper, forcing you to run your electric and water across the site and underneath the camper. Several sites are unlevel and in some cases too close to their neighbors (while others enjoyed a lot of separation.) Be sure to know the layout of your site before booking as some are so close together that they are really only meant for group camping with one camper backed in, one pulled in. Even more sites were so small that only a tent would fit, let alone your car- and I'm not referring to the walk-in sites either! It's almost as though the sites were put anywhere space could be found and without the needs of campers in mind. There are bright streetlights that are left on 24-7 (so much for being "green") and are annoying at night when you're trying to watch the stars. Some of the lights are burned out (lack of maintenance) which was fortunate for us since one was right at the front of our site. The front office was hardly ever open so if you need firewood or other basic supplies, expect to go in town. The dump station was difficult to use because the road was lower than the drain; I had to constantly raise my sewer hose up and down in order to empty the tanks. Our biggest disappointment was with the bathrooms. They were clearly NOT cleaned on a regular basis as we observed the same trash (whiskers, toothpaste, hair) in the sinks and showers for several days before they were cleaned. The shower curtains themselves were stained with black mold. There was no hand soap or any way to dry your hands. We watched the cleaning lady one day sweep out the restrooms (not mop) while her car was running, so that shows you how much attention was paid to maintaining the bathrooms. Overall we were disappointed. This place could be so much more if it was maintained better and some of the sites were reworked. It's really a shame because if they did make the improvements, it would be one of the nicest places around in a beautiful part of our country. Too bad. - Fdwt994
May 2016 - $30.00
This is a small town campground that is easily accessible without a lot of amenities. The camp was mowed, convenient and has lots of shade but not so much we couldn't access satellite tv. Verizon was spotty. There are lots of long term people set up. The only negative was that one long term camper had a large white tent set up that was unsightly. The owner was very friendly and even refunded an overcharge without any issues. Cash or checks only, they do not take credit cards. There are train tracks and highway noise but it is wasn't anything that bothered us. We will definitely stay again when in the area. - Advice
Jun 2015 - $29.00
Not many 50 amp sites, had to move to back, undeveloped area for 50 amps. Great owner though, lead to new site as roads not clear. Near train tracks, trains loud at night, didn't hear them in day. Where we were was no highway traffic. Great utility set up, had FHUs. Wi-fi close to office, owner says he's putting in new tower so entire campground will have wi-fi later this year. Our Verizon hotspot barely worked and our Verizon cell roamed. Easy to find, outside Duluth, lots to do there. Walmart down hwy 33 about 10 miles. Seasonal people extremely friendly and helpful. Most sites were pull thrus. - Too Tide
Jul 2010 - $27.00
Many seasonal sites in this campground. Has easy access from the highway. Lady who checked us in, gave glowing remarks on the restaurant/bar across road. Took over an hour to get our food and we were two of the very few that ordered kitchen items. Would we stay here again? Maybe, there are few campgrounds in the area can handle a 40' motorhome that is towing. - Teacher's Pet
Jul 2016 - $41.00
This park can use a good cleaning around the showers, rest rooms, and office. All the buildings are covered with spider webs and bugs and the showers did not look clean at all. Our site had a view of a bunch of junk sitting alongside and the back of the office. We had site #8A and the electric was in the front of the campsite on the opposite side of the RV electric connection, so be sure to bring an extension to reach it. We were right next to the Internet transmitter but could not get on the Internet. We were told it was an old system and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, it never worked for us. The lady that checked us in was very polite and accommodating. This campground is way overpriced for what you get here and the quality of the campsites. - jhav
Jun 2016 - $46.00
Stayed in this park for 2 nights. The staff was very friendly and helpful getting into our pull through site. The sites are all gravel very level and had no problems hooking up to all the services, we were in a full hook up site. There are many trees in the campground and the sites are large enoug h so you are not on top of each other. The campground was easy to get into and had no problem maneuvering within the campground with our 39' fifth wheel. - Jim Moyer
Oct 2013 - $40.00
The campground itself was very pretty and had trails that hooked up to local hiking trails where we geocached a couple times. It was poorly run, however. The office was closed when we arrived so the only assistance we had checking in was from the wife of the camp host that really had no idea what was going on. The site we were given was basically a giant mud puddle so we asked to move to one of the many empty sites available, which she begrudgingly allowed us to do. Because the campground was mostly empty Canada geese had overrun the place and therefore so did their droppings so we really didn't hang out outside much. My husband used the restrooms once and then forbid me from even entering the building because they were so gross - and coming from my unsqueamish hubby - that's saying a lot. Thankfully we were just passing through so we only stayed here one night. Probably wouldn't go back. - LoveShack