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

Park is open daily  8am – 10pm; buy a vehicle permit online, record your confirmation number and place it on your car’s dashboard.

Be prepared. Bring your own water, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, towels and toilet paper.

Backpack-in campsites are open. All campsites need to be registered and paid for ahead of time by calling: 1-866-857-2757

Parks are getting extremely busy every day and it may not be possible to practice good social distancing. Be extra careful in parking areas, around signs and toilets, and on narrow trails, fishing piers and bridges where people tend to cluster. If you see a lot of cars in the parking lot or at the trailhead, turn around and find someplace else for outdoor recreation.

Vault toilets are available at the trailhead and picnic area.

Water is available from a hand pump just past the entrance kiosk and up the steps on the right.

  • 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