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Bear Head Lake State Park, Ely

4.6
#5 of 8 in Parks in Ely
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.
Bear 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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Bear Head Lake State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
122 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We first visited this park on a late fall day. It snowed on us both nights we camped here. The trail shelter was the finest I’ve ever seen and was so nice to warm up in. The lakeshore and trails...  more »
  • I spent a quiet, relaxed weekend here hiking the trails of the park with my two dogs and enjoying the views of the lake from the campsite. The backpack campsites consist of a roughly 1.5 mile trek...  more »
Google
  • We've been to 20 State parks, and this is the best. Great hiking. The canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals are cheap and a lot of fun. Excellent hiking too.
  • Beautiful state park, stayed in a camper cabin & guesthouse here. Both are well maintained. Saw a bear, deer & a fawn and snapping turtles during our stay. There were way too many bugs, but we were there in July so I guess that’s expected.

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