Located just outside Ely, Minnesota’s Bear Head Lake State Park feels like an urban Boundary Waters. Once you dip your paddle in the clear, crisp waters, you quickly forget how close you are to civilization.
The park has several access points to its main feature—water. By the campgrounds, boaters can put into Bear Head Lake; the popular Eagles Nest Lake is closer to the park entrance. The area is known for great walleye and bass fishing. In addition to the water features, there are plenty of wooded trails to explore, just be sure to take precautions against biting bugs during the summer months. Wildlife encounters are common in this North Woods destination: Deer, bear and chipmunks wander through the area, and eagles are often spotted soaring overhead. The park is pretty basic, with lots of woods and water, making it a logical destination for those looking to make the most of the great outdoors.
Camping options include standard and rustic sites (from $12), camper cabins ($45, $50 with electricity) and a three-bedroom guesthouse that sleeps 10 ($160).