True North Basecamp

825 1st St SW, Crosby, MN 56441

True North is Cuyuna’s premier camping destination. Just two hours from Duluth or the Twin Cities.

Amazing lakefront cabins. Private campsites tucked in the woods.

A true ride-in, ride-out location for Cuyuna mountain bike trails—all cabins and campsites are connected to the trails. The six cabins are nestled along Armour Mine Lake #2 and there are also 23 private, wooded campsites.

The upscale lakefront cabins are made of corrugated steel and exposed wood beams—styled after mining sheds. Each has its own theme (such as Twin Six or Surly Brewing) and all have one full bed and three twin beds. Amenities include heating and air conditioning, USB charging ports, access to high-speed Wi-Fi, picnic table, bike rack, and a bike wash. The year-round shower house has heated floors, city water, changing areas, and bathrooms. Vault toilets are also onsite.

The well-maintained campground has 23 campsites (4 are suitable for pop-ups or pull-behinds) and views of Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and downtown Crosby. Campsites include fire ring, picnic table, bike wash access, on-property Wi-Fi access, and drinking water. No hook-ups, pull-through sites, or generators. Pets are permitted for a fee (two-pet maximum).

For more information, including photos of the unique cabins, which were modeled after the taconite mining industry buildings of the early 1900s, visit

Open in the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

Crosby Memorial Park has 20 RV sites and 6 lakeside tent sites.

Showers are available at Crosby Memorial Park, but only for registered campers. Instead of showering, just go jump in Serpent Lake! Click here to check out the playground and amenities! The kids (and you!) will love the best-ever playground and even a skateboard park.

This is community-style camping. The park is right in town and doesn’t have much privacy, but if you want to be on the water of Serpent Lake and close to the food and beverages of Crosby, then look no further. The park often hosts events, so depending on when you choose to camp, the park could be extremely busy (such as July 4th) or not so busy—be advised!

These are ride-in, ride-out sites, but you’ll ride on city streets instead of dirt trails to get to the mountain bike trails. (True North Basecamp and Portsmouth campgrounds are true ride-in, ride-out.) There is even an indoor Cook Shack with both indoor and outdoor amenities, including stove, microwave, and refrigerator, which can be reserved and rented by groups. To reserve the Cook Shack, visit:

The park’s public areas are closed after dark. For more about the park’s amenities, Click here

To reserve a campsite, visit:

(Click “I want to” then “Reserve” and “Camping.”)

Open in the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

Cuyuna Mountain Bike Park and Campground has six RV sites with electrical hookups and six tenting sites. Restrooms, water, and dump station are all on-site. There is a pavilion, a small playground, and a mountain bike pump track.

This campground is not ride-in, ride-out. You’ll need to cycle into town or drive to town and park. Campsites do not have much tree cover and little privacy. When the Cuyuna Connector trail opens (ideally in late 2019) this campground will be connected to the Yawkey Unit of trails.

Portsmouth Campground

GPS: N46 29.036′ W93 59.563′

The Portsmouth Campground is on the northwest shore of Portsmouth Mine Lake. (Portsmouth is Minnesota’s deepest inland lake at 450 feet deep.)

Open in the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

It has 18 electric sites and 15 non-electric sites, plus a group camp. Portsmouth is not open in the winter.

This is ride-in, ride-out, but not private, except for a few campsites. This is the only place you can reserve a group campsite, which is unique. Book online for all Portsmouth Campground sites via the DNR website (link below) or there will be no vacancies when you arrive.

And as a bit of local knowledge, there is a waste-water treatment plant north of the campground, so if the wind blows to the south, it’s not the best experience. We’d recommend booking at True North Basecamp first, but if that is full, then Portsmouth is a great choice. Keep in mind, Portsmouth is not a state-park experience (it won’t have Itasca State Park’s amenities, for example). This is a recreation-area experience. It’s why the CCSRA is designated as a recreation area and not a state park.

For more info or to reserve: