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part ofSuperior National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sat Oct 17 2015   Season Dates


South Kawishiwi River Campground is located in Superior National Forest near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, about 10 miles from Ely, Minnesota. It offers fishing, boating and other recreational activities in a relaxing outdoor setting. The campground has sites with and without electric hookups, as well as one group day use area great for family picnics, birthday parties and other gatherings of up to 35 people.

Natural Features:

The scenic Kawishiwi River boasts clear, cold and calm waters lined with boreal forest and wetland ecosystems. Wildlife abounds in Superior National Forest, from moose and bear to bald eagles and loons. The campground lies in a mixed aspen, birch and conifer forest.

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.


Canoeing is a main attraction. The Kawishiwi River provides access to Birch Lake to the south and the Boundary Waters to the north. When traveling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildnerness, a permit is required. Canoe rentals are available from the campground concessionaire with at least one day's notice.

Closer to shore, visitors can enjoy an afternoon of swimming at the campground's grassy beach, hiking the 1-mile Kawishiwi River Forest Trail or trying their luck at fishing for northern pike, perch and walleye. A boat ramp is located on-site.

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


The campground offers individual campsites and one group picnic area that can be reserved for day use. Sites are spacious, private, well-maintained and shaded. Visitors will find vault toilets, drinking water and trash bins within the facility. Firewood is available for purchase.

Nearby Attractions:

Numerous outdoor recreation opportunities lie within Superior National Forest's 77 lake accesses, 13 fishing piers, 10 swimming beaches and 22 picnic areas. The forest is also home to three scenic byways.

Campers can also explore the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Over 1-million acres in size, the Boundary Waters extends nearly 150 miles along the United States-Canada border and 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
  • Berry Picking
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Campfire Rings
  • Canoe Rentals
  • Canoeing
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Programs
  • Electric Hookups
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Recycling
  • River Access
  • Swimming
  • Tent Pads
  • Trash Collection
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
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
  • Beach and picnic areas open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
  • $5/night fee will be collected for extra vehicles
  • Off-road and all-terrain vehicles not allowed during camping season
  • Click here to learn more about Superior National Forest
  • 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):
47.81556, -91.73139
47°48'56"N, 91°43'53"W

From Ely, Minnesota, travel about 10.3 miles south on State Highway 1 toward Lake Superior. Turn left onto the campground road.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

ELY  MN  55731

Phone Number:

Information:  (218)235-1299
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