mm 60.0 + George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park

The quiet park; off the beaten path of Highway 61, Manitou is more primitive, offering fewer amenities but more-secluded camping and picnic sites. From its inception in 1955, Manitou was designated as a park with limited development, and the camping areas remain backpack-only. Several trails approach the river, offering campers a choice of sites. An easy walk-in picnic area is available for day-hikers, too. Wildlife sightings are frequent. Parklands encompass the area around the river down near the shores of Lake Superior, but do not include access to the mouth of the river.

Manitou State Park is 14 miles from Highway 61, about 7 miles north on either MN Hwy 1 or Lake Co Rd 6, then east on Co Rd 7.


COVID-19 Update

State parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, and other public lands remain open to the public for people to enjoy; however, visitors will experience some changes in services available. State park visitor centers, contact stations, and other ancillary buildings will be closed. With contact stations closed, visitors will pay through self-pay and informational kiosks located at each facility. Visitors are also encouraged to purchase daily and annual park passes through the online portal before they visit.

For the time being, state parks naturalist programs are canceled. We are working to determine which of these programs are compatible with social distancing and will resume naturalist programing to the extent possible. State park bathrooms, vault toilets and shower buildings that are currently open will remain open, with increased cleaning protocols.

details from the MN DNR

  • Visitor Center

    None; the park is managed by Tettegouche State Park, which is 14 miles away

    Directions to park

    • From Hwy 61 MM 59.8, drive north on MN Hwy 1 6.2 miles, east / right on County Road 7 for 7.6 miles
  • Camping

    Open late spring to late October

    • 21 backpack sites 1/2 to 4-1/2 miles from parking
    • Many are along the Manitou River and 4 are near Benson Lake
    • Vault toilets at trailhead & field latrines near campsites
  • Maps
  • Waterfalls

    Several cascades along the Manitou River

  • Picnic Areas

    A nice little picnic area is on Benson Lake, .25 mile walk from parking area

  • Hiking

    24 miles: best back-country hiking, rugged, beautiful, old-growth forests, rivers edge with views of waterfalls and cascades

    • About 5 miles of Superior Hiking Trail
    • Snowshoeing trails
  • Fishing

    Manitou River and Benson Lake, with 100-yard carry-in boat access; no motors allowed including trolling motors or ice augers

  • Snowshoeing

    Anywhere in the park