Big Bog State Recreation Area has been called Minnesota's last true wilderness. This two-part recreation area includes a northern unit and a southern unit. The 500-square-mile peat bog, the largest in the lower 48 states, is located in the northern unit. A mile-long boardwalk, completed in 2005, enables visitors to get a first-hand look at the unique plant and animal life of this rare resource. The bog, which has long been a source of medicinal plants for the Ojibwe Indians, represented a barrier to European settlers who tried in vain to drain it. Today, many of the native plants, including yellow-eyed grass, bog rush and two kinds of sundews, are on Minnesota's endangered or threatened species list. From orchids to carnivorous plants to rare birds, visitors will see a mixture of fascinating and rare resources.
The southern unit includes a campground with 31 campsites (26 electric sites) winterized camper cabins, a sandy beach, picnic grounds, and great fishing.
Drive-in Sites 31 campsites
The campground is located along the Tamarac River, just a short distance from Upper Red Lake. There are many docks located in the campground area and are available on a first-come / first-serve basis.
Pull-Through Sites 1 site
Electric Sites 26 sites
All sites are within 100 yards of the Tamarac River.
RV Length Limit 60 Feet
Length is measured from front of tow vehicle to rear of vehicle being towed.
Wheelchair Accessible Sites 2 Sites
These are electric sites.
Hiking 4.5 Miles
Trails begin in the picnic areas in both units of the park.
Boardwalk 1 mile; Located in Northern Unit
Hike the longest boardwalk in America! This mile-long walk is wheelchair accessible.
Snowmobile 10 miles
Trails are groomed. Part of the state grant-in-aid trail system.
Snowshoeing is permitted anywhere in the park and along the Big Bog Boardwalk.
Picnic Area Located at the beach on Upper Red Lake
Picnic tables and fire rings available.
Picnic Shelter 2 Shelters - Enclosed
Shelters are wheelchair accessible. One shelter is located in picnic area on Upper Red Lake just a few hundred yards from the campground. The other shelter is in the Northern Unit near the Big Bog Boardwalk.
Warming House Located in Visitor Center
Water Source Lake and River
Tamarac River and Upper Red Lake
Fishing Upper Red Lake
Fishing is excellent year-round, but especially good in the spring. Walleye and trophy northern pike are plentiful on Upper Red Lake and the Tamarac River. Shorefishing for panfish is also available at Ludlow Pond in the North Unit. A wheelchair accessible fish cleaning house is located in the campground.
Swimming Beach Within the park
Sandy, shallow beach is located west of the campground on Upper Red Lake. Ideal for children.
Boat Access Drive-in access
Located in the campground on the Tamarac River.
Boat Docks Docks are on the Tamarac River
Multiple docks are located in the campground area and available on a first-come / first-serve basis.
Canoe Access 7 access points
Located on the Tamarac River. Great canoeing on the Tamarac River. Lots of wildlife can bee seen along the river.