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Split Rock adding 'Drive-in' campground

The Shipwreck Creek campground is tentatively planned to open in the fall, with 46 sites with electric service and a modern shower and bathroom facility.
Credit: Chad Nelson, KARE
Split Rock Lighthouse stands tall before Lake Superior

BEAVER BAY, Minn. — One of Minnesota’s most popular state parks is getting a new campground.

Work continues this year on a project to add Split Rock’s first drive-in camping option. The Shipwreck Creek campground is tentatively planned to open in the fall, with 46 sites with electric service and a modern shower and bathroom facility.

The park near Beaver Bay currently has only walk-in and cart-in campsites.

Park manager Katie Foshay tells Minnesota Public Radio News that lots of people are looking for drive-in sites, and that the new campground has been in long-range plans for the park for decades.

"We don't have any drive-in sites at the moment. And there's a lot of people that are looking for that," Foshay told MPR News. "So it'll bring about a lot more camping opportunities, show some people some different aspects of the park that they didn't know existed."

The project also includes a parking lot for hikers and mountain bikers, to access both the Gitchi-Gami State Trail and a network of new mountain bike trails being constructed by Lake County adjacent to the park.

Foshay tells MPR that the new campground will be on the inland side of Minnesota Highway 61. Access will be provided by Split Rock's existing main entrance, with a new park road crossing under Highway 61 and up to the new campground. It's a setup similar to the one at Tettegouche State Park.  

Work on the campground started in 2019. As the site has been developed, Foshay said, "they left a lot of the ledge rock that's already up there and incorporated that into all of the campsites. So each campsite is very unique. ... You get a little bit more of a buffer between each site, but then there's a lot of really interesting rock features that come out in the different campsites."