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Bear Head Lake State Park, Ely

(85+ reviews on the web)
State Park
Bear Head Lake State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, providing ready access to outdoor recreation in the Boundary Waters region. It boasts scenery similar to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with the added conveniences of road access, modern facilities, and motorboating. The most popular visitor activities are boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking. The park entirely surrounds 670acre Bear Head Lake and three other fishing lakes. It was established in 1961 in Saint Louis County near Ely, Minnesota. The park also contains the woodlands surrounding the lakes, which gives an entire total of about 5,540 acres. The park also shares a large border with Bear Island State Forest.In September 2010, Bear Head Lake State Park was voted "America's Favorite Park" in a major online poll. The little-known park, not even among Minnesota's most popular, won in a surprise landslide, capturing 28% of the more than 5.7 million votes. The strong showing was credited to the online fan community of mother and cub black bears, featured on a popular webcam, whose territory included the park.GeographyBear Head Lake State Park is located in Saint Louis County, 19mi southwest of Ely; and 18mi east of Tower. The park is located 6 miles south of the junction of State Highway 169 (MN 169) and County Road 128 in Eagles Nest Township. The park entrance is located on County Road 128. Elevation ranges from 1450to. The Laurentian Divide crosses the southern end of the park.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We arrived on a Saturday afternoon. Park staff were friendly and knowledgeable! Weather was gorgeous, about 70 degrees and sunny. We were in campsite #2. Campsite was full - lots of families, groups o...  more »
  • Would give the place 5 stars but the place was very busy with campers. This is what to expect though at peak tourist season. Very beautiful park!!  more »
  • We visited the park in October and there were not many people. Very good sites. Easy to rent a boat and a trolling motor. You can change battery if needed during your rent period. Mature pine trees an...  more »
Google
  • Great State park. Trail center was a day saver when we encountered a random afternoon storm. Rangers, especially at check-in, are too notch. Highest of recommendations!
  • Great affordable getaway in Northern mn. Lots of hiking and sights to see. If you're up in the winter, definitely check out Chilly Dogs Sled Dogs.
  • Absolutely loved this place! It's beautiful and wooded. Will be going back!
  • Absolutely beautiful. This park is truly stunning and I'd really love to go back soon. There are a few things that I would ding the park on though: We chose a backpacking campsite. The trails are not well really marked, and the distances on the map seem way off. The information on the DNR website said there wouldn't be a bear box at the backpacking campsites, and there was. It also said there were primitive/vault toilets by the camp sites and we never saw any. This park is SO worth the visit and the long, long, long hike over more stones than you can possibly imagine, but be advised: this is an intermediate backpacking site. Arrive early, know your campsite number and make sure to ask which forks in the road to take.
  • Beautiful park. One of my favorites. Great sites, still maintaining plenty of wilderness. The lake is beautiful, hiking trails varied and worthwhile. Definitely one of the best state parks I've been to.