7.9 Good
     
Carlton, Minnesota

Jay Cooke State Park

Carlton, Minnesota


780 MN-210
Carlton, Minnesota 55718
Phone: Click to view

Sites: 82
Recent Rate: $$$$

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Latitude: 46.657860976233
Longitude: -92.370901107788

Elevation: 999' (approximate)
Campground Overview
  • Pull-thru Sites Pull-thru Sites yes
  • Big Rig Access Big Rig Access yes
  • Tent Camping Tent Camping yes
  • Restrooms (Plumbed) Restrooms (Plumbed) yes
  • Pit Toilets Pit Toilets yes
  • Showers Showers yes
  • $0.00 Shower Fee Shower Fee 0.00
  • Laundry Facilities Laundry Facilities ?
  • $0.00 Laundry Fee Laundry Fee 0.00
  • Dump Station Dump Station yes
  • $0.00 Dump Station Fee Dump Station Fee 0.00
  • Propane Available Propane Available ?
  • Firewood Available Firewood Available yes
  • Cabins / Cottages / Yurts Cabins / Cottages / Yurts yes
  • Water Spigot Water Spigot yes
  • Picnic Shelter Picnic Shelter ?
  • RV Wash RV Wash ?
  • $0.00 RV Wash Fee RV Wash Fee 0.00
  • Corral Corral ?
  • Landing Strip Landing Strip ?
  • Overflow Parking Overflow Parking ?
Hookups & Connectivity
  • Electric (30 AMP) Electric (30 AMP) yes
  • Electric (50 AMP) Electric (50 AMP) yes
  • Water Water no
  • Sewer Sewer no
  • WiFi WiFi no
  • Free WiFi Free WiFi ?
  • Cellular Phone Service Cellular Phone Service ?
  • Cellular Phone Providers Cellular Phone Providers
  • Cable or Satellite TV Hookup Cable or Satellite TV Hookup no
  • Phone Phone no
  • Central Modem Central Modem no
Amenities
  • Pets Allowed Pets Allowed yes
  • 0 Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) 0
  • Pool Access Pool Access no
  • Family Friendly Family Friendly yes
  • Playground Playground ?
  • Pet Area Pet Area ?
  • Waterfront Waterfront no
  • Clubhouse Clubhouse ?
  • Camp Store Camp Store yes
  • Cafe / Snack Bar Cafe / Snack Bar ?
  • Business Center Business Center ?
  • Group Camping Group Camping ?
  • Meeting Rooms Meeting Rooms yes
  • Group Kitchen Group Kitchen ?
  • Banquet Facilities Banquet Facilities ?
  • Concierge Services Concierge Services ?
Recreation
  • Walking Trail(s) Walking Trail(s) yes
  • Recreation Room Recreation Room ?
  • Gym/Workout Facilities Gym/Workout Facilities ?
  • Beach Access Beach Access ?
  • Boat Ramp Boat Ramp ?
  • Marina Marina ?
  • Boat Rentals Boat Rentals ?
  • Fishing Fishing ?
  • Golfing Golfing ?
  • Bike Path(s) Bike Path(s) ?
  • Bike Rentals Bike Rentals ?
  • Hiking Hiking ?
  • Spa Spa ?
  • Horseshoe Pit Horseshoe Pit ?
  • Volley Ball Volley Ball ?
  • Sports Field Sports Field ?
  • Arcade Games Arcade Games ?
  • Live Entertainment Live Entertainment ?
  • Amphitheatre Amphitheatre ?
  • Putt Putt Mini-Golf Putt Putt Mini-Golf ?
  • Billiards Billiards ?
  • Ping Pong Ping Pong ?
  • Lake Lake ?
  • Pond Pond ?
  • River River ?
  • Creek Creek ?
  • Ocean Ocean ?
  • Water Park Water Park ?
  • Casino Casino ?

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Review Details

Ratings overview

9 Reviews

These reviews are the opinion of an RVParkReviews' member and not the views of RVParkReviews.com

Review Count: 11
States Visited: 6
Helpful Reviews: 4

Date of Stay: July, 2017 - $31.00
Overall Rating:      

I'd be hard pressed to ever give a state park a poor rating. For Jay Cooke, this is despite the fairly dreadful bath building (noted in other reviews). However, I wouldn't be surprised to see it replaced in the next year or two. We had received notification that the campground might be closed for updates this year, but later that was canceled. Hopefully it means it's coming soon as those bathrooms are beyond redemption. The park makes up for that, though. The campground has some sites that are scenic in and of themselves with many white pines. The park also offers a multitude of activities to keep you busy. The willard munger bike trail access is one of them (the spur trail to ride up the bike trail will have you panting, but it's a thrill to ride back down when you return! Just don't accidentally take out a hiker in your enthusiasm!). There are many hiking trails through the park. Don't just go to the swinging bridge - keep going!! The Carlton Trail is really fun one that keeps you close to the river for quite a ways. Although it's not recommended, there is an area where people like to get in the river closer to Carlton but still in the park. There are limited campsites for larger trailers or RVs. Especially ones with electric hookup. You have to really plan in advance to get one of those if you need the space. With that said, site #1 is both easy and on the larger side. We enjoyed that site a lot. There are some non-electric sites that will fit larger setups but beware that some loops offer tight turns and might not be navigable. There are signs about this and it may be noted when making reservations. The dump station hose to use for rinsing out the gray/black water leaked at the top and didn't work at all. Very frustrating in the moment. So, yes, the campground definitely needs work, but the location and activities still make this an awesome destination. (Some ticks and mosquitoes - deet effective) We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
1
Site Surface
Gravel
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Long enough for my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
No

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Interior Roads
Tight Turns
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Check site details carefully to ensure you will be able to easily get into your site and have enough space. Some loops have tight turns. Our site was easy, but others had to park sideways to try to fit their tow vehicle.

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Review Count: 32
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: August, 2016 - $31.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
59
Site Surface
Gravel, Sand, Grass
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Not big enough for my travel trailer
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
No

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Mostly Shady
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

There is a Walmart in Cloquet about 15-20 minutes away.

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Review Count: 32
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: July, 2015 - $30.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Tent Trailer.

Clean Restrooms
Clean Showers

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
2
Site Surface
Gravel, Sand
Campsite Features
Fire Ring, Picnic Table

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tips for other Campers:

We like to go into Duluth for lunch and shopping.

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Review Count: 3
States Visited: 1
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: May, 2012 - $38.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Motorhome.

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Review Count: 2
States Visited: 1
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: July, 2009 - $23.00
Overall Rating:      

Even though I was close to other campers, the trees between the sites gave some privacy. Easy wheelchair access, and the showers / bathrooms were spotless. Quiet at night, with only the breezes sounding. Amazing that so many people could be so close together, and yet feel like you are camping miles away from anyone else. EXCELLENT campground, you will not be disappointed. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Travel Trailer.

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Review Count: 13
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: May, 2008 - $24.00
Overall Rating:      

Overall this is a good place for the most part. Since there was rain earlier that Sunday the camp sides were a little muddy, but they were not too bad. If you require the use of a wheelchair like my friend, you better have free carpet in your vehicle to catch the heavy wet gravel/sand that the wheels bring in. The restroom doors are hard to open because of the heavy load springs on them. But they were clean. If you like technology you might want to keep going as myself (sprint) and my friend (verizon) had no cell coverage in the campground, and of course my sprint aircard also was a no worky. A few miles down the road and magic happens they all work. A few sites had a workable southern view for a portable dish and not a roof mounted unit. The pay phone in the campground had no slot for quarters and you needed to use a credit card to use it and if you are unfamiliar with that routine forget trying cause you can make local and 1-800 calls and no charge at the ranger station. I didn't walk the miles of trails but what little I did see of them it is worth staying for that unless you are restricted to the use of a wheel chair and then you need to stick to the paved path . The roads have been redone both ways so it by no means is a rough road anymore. Now we stayed here in a van and not motor home. Fire wood was being sold for $4 a bag. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Motorhome.

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Review Count: 5
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: September, 2006 - $18.00
Overall Rating:      

Excellent park. The scenery in and around the park is very good. We only camped one night so didn't get to see as much of the park as we would have liked. The campground is nice. We stayed in site 39e. It's a smaller site, but worked fine for our class C motorhome. I would have preferred to stay in a more secluded site, but some of those have pretty tight curves and turns to navigate. We will come back to this park in the future. The road into the park on the east side is pretty rough for several miles. I believe they are repairing it this year. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Motorhome.

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Review Count: 63
States Visited: 13
Helpful Reviews: 13

Date of Stay: August, 2006 - $22.00
Overall Rating:      

Highway 210 from Carlton to the park entrance is in bad need of repair. However, it is in better shape (and not as long) than the portion from the park entrance to the East. Excellent parking at the Ranger Station, good exhibits and naturalist programs. Behind the Ranger Station is the Swinging Bridge that is a "must see". In fact, photographs of the St Louis River crashing over the falls are breath-taking. We didn't do too much hiking on the South side of the river as it was pretty rocky & more climbing would be involved than we wanted to do. Hiking along the North side was fine. In my opinion, sites 39, 40, 41, 42 & 43 would be a bit snug for larger Class A. 44, 45, 46 (the pull-through) and 47 would work. 57, 61 and 64 would also be fine. Park was well maintained, facilities were clean and in good repair, and the roads in the campground were in fine shape. The poor cell phone signal surprised me since the campground was on a hill. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Motorhome.

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Review Count: 3
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: July, 2006 - $22.00
Overall Rating:      

Scheduled my family for a 2 day stay as a step around Lake Superior. I will go back here for a longer period next year to do some more exploration of the miles of trails. We camped at Jay Cooke State Park in a Tent Trailer.

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