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Sawbill Lake Campground - Superior National Forest, MN

part ofSuperior National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: Sawbill Lake Campground - Superior National Forest
Status: Open through Tue Oct 27 2015   Season Dates


Sawbill Lake Campground has immediate access to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a beautiful, peaceful and wild natural feature of Minnesota's Superior National Forest. The campground acts as a convenient base camp for exploring the nearby wilderness.

Superior National Forest, located in northeastern Minnesota's Arrowhead Region, is comprised of 3 million acres. The forest spans 150 miles along the United States-Canada border. Visitors can find recreation opportunities year-round, including travel in the famed Boundary Waters.

Natural Features:

Sawbill Lake is nestled in a thick pine forest that gives campsites excellent privacy. Birds and wildlife are abundant, from moose and bear to bald eagles and loons. Wildflowers add bright colors to the landscape in warmer months.

The campground sits on a hill above Sawbill Lake. The 765-acre lake is within the Boundary Waters.


This facility draws canoe enthusiasts who seek a quiet and convenient area from which to access the surrounding wilderness. Day and overnight use of the Boundary Waters requires a permit.

The campground concessionaire, Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, provides a one-stop shop for canoeists of all levels within walking distance of the campground. Canoe rentals, permits and guided canoe trips are available.

Campers who wish to spend time relaxing at the campground can fish for northern pike and bass; hike, bike, picnic and attend educational programs.

View recreation guides and maps of hiking trails and canoe routes in the national forest.


Sawbill Lake is comprised of two loops with a total of 51 campsites, 27 of which can be reserved (others are first-come, first-served). Campsites can easily accommodate large motorhomes and RVs. Some of the sites offer a partial lake view through the forest.

The campground is equipped with picnic tables and campfire rings with grills, as well as vault toilets, a dump station, drinking water and trash and recycling bins.

Nearby Attractions:

Sawbill Canoe Outfitters maintains a store with showers, laundry, fishing licenses, bait and tackle, ice, grocery and convenience items, canoe and camping gear, rentals and a pay telephone.

Over 1 million acres in size, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness contains over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and over 2,000 designated campsites.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Additional sites of interest

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bait Shop
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boat Rentals
  • Campfire Rings
  • Camping Supplies
  • Canoe Rentals
  • Canoeing
  • Concessions
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Educational Programs
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Pier
  • Gift Shop
  • Grocery Store
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Hunting
  • Ice
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Access
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Parking Area
  • Pay Phone
  • Picnic Area
  • Recreation Programs
  • Recycling
  • Scenic Drive
  • Self Pay Station
  • Shuttle Bus Service
  • Trash Collection
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Within 10 Miles
  • Mountain Biking
Know Before You Go
  • Traveling within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness requires a permit; day use requires a self-issued permit; overnight use requires a permit from the quota system
  • Limit of two vehicles per campsite, not including trailers; $8 fee for second vehicle will be collected on-site; free public parking lot is available
  • Be bear aware; keep all food out of site in approved containers or locked inside a hard-sided vehicle and remove all food from area after eating
  • Superior National Forest website
  • Don't move firewood: To limit the spread of invasive tree-killing pests, firewood from outside the area is not permitted. Some states have quarantines and may confiscate your firewood. Please help protect our forests from invasive species by obtaining your firewood at or near your camping destination and burning it on-site. Visit dontmovefirewood.org for more information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
47.86306, -90.88528
47°51'47"N, 90°53'7"W

The campground is located north of Tofte, Minnesota. Travel to Tofte via Highway 61 along Lake Superior's north shore. In Tofte, turn north (away from Lake Superior) on Sawbill Trail (CCHS 2). Follow Sawbill Trail 24 miles until it ends at the entrance to the campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Sawbill Lake Campground - Superior National Forest
4620 Sawbill Trail
Tofte  MN  55615

Phone Number:

Project Office: (218)663-7150
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