MN Itasca state park for October trip

ak_nd

Member
Aug 2, 2010
99
Hi there,

We are planning a trip out there just before they switch off the water and to avoid crowds. Any recommendations for which of the campsites to camp in at Itasca? We have heard the sites are small.

Thanks

Anne
 

Camping Fever

Active Member
Mar 5, 2011
176
I realize this is an old old post. However, I hated to see no response. Itaska is a beautiful park and I am hoping that you ended up going there, especially in October with the changing of the season. Nothing like the color of the leaves changing and a brisk morning walk.

There are two campgrounds, Pine Ridge and Bear Paw. Pine Ridge is pretty open and not much privacy and yes the sites are pretty small. However, at Bear Paw they are a little more private and a little larger. I would stay at Bear Paw given the choice.

October is a good time to go to this park. Less crowds. So you really shouldn't have to worry too much about the size of the sites.

Seeing the headwaters is one of my favorites at this park.
 

ak_nd

Member
Aug 2, 2010
99
Hi there,

Thanks for the response. The state park had closed the one camp ground so we stayed in Bear Paw in site 26 and loved it! It was really chilly in the mornings but the park was not crazy busy and the bike trail is right next to the camp so that we did not use the car at all and biked to all the sites. A raccoon tried to break into our garbage which was exciting. A great time of the year to go and we booked again for this fall!

Thanks again!

Anne
 

Camping Fever

Active Member
Mar 5, 2011
176
Glad to hear that. I love Itaska. The racoons - fun to watch - not so fun to clean up after. We never leave our garbage out for that very reason.
 

Unstable_Tripod

Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
14,278
Seattle, Washington
If I'm ever back that way I want to camp at Itaska again. We used to go up there at least once a year and usually twice when I was a kid (from St. Paul). I think the last time I was there was in the mid-'60s. Things have probably changed a LOT.
 

Ken1967

Can't wait to Camp!
Apr 9, 2010
1,067
Our family used to camp the third weekend in September there and always enjoyed it. However, finding another park closer to Bemidji that had larger sites and less rules and fees we haven't been back to Itasca in five years. We enjoyed the bike trails, visitor center, hiking trails, etc. Just wish the sites weren't on top of each other. As for fall crowds...if the weather looks to be fair, we found the park would still fill up in late Sept. Never tried Oct.
 
We've been in both Bear Paw and Pine Ridge. Now both campgrounds have internet on the bathroom/shower house (we need, self-employed). First we were in Pine Ridge, Maple Loop, at #199e, very open but trees have grown since then. Next 2 times in Bear Paw, 37e, again, close to showers for WiFi connection. Had good view of lake off the back of site. Rented a boat, had a warm breakfast in the Lodge restaurant, went hiking, Alan climbed to top of fire tower (no way for moi!), and of course, we teetered across the Headwaters rocks, and walked the dog across too.
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Site 37e the year before we got the pup!
DSC01442.JPG
 

dwwscran

Member
Sep 17, 2015
54
i've been to Itasca for 3 week long stays. By far it is my families favorite park. We prefer the sites in pine ridge. havent felt the sites were small at all. as stated there is plenty to do for all.
 

Apache05

Member
Sep 26, 2020
57
Glad to hear that. I love Itaska. The racoons - fun to watch - not so fun to clean up after. We never leave our garbage out for that very reason.
I woke up to some rattling one morning, thought it was the kids across the road, nope 2 raccoons came to visit my garbage bag on side of camper..it was empty, but Im guessing it had some smell from the previous garbage I had dumped out..lol We love Itasca, our site was of good size near bathrooms. We are planning to go there again. We stayed in the spruce loops, not to far from bathrooms, it was a good sized spot.
 




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