McCarthy Beach State Park
Come to McCarthy Beach State Park and youll remember the lakes. The sandy beach on Sturgeon Lake was rated one of the top 17 beaches in North America by Highways Magazine. Walk along the half-mile of shoreline, or venture out into the shallow water that extends hundreds of feet into the lake.
Launch a boat on Side Lake or Sturgeon Lake to explore the five connected lakes of the Sturgeon chain. Hikers, mountain bikers, and skiers enjoy scenic trails that wind along pine-covered ridges and through stands of birch. Snowmobilers and horseback riders take advantage of the Taconite State Trail to access miles of trails outside the park. Located near many tourist attractions, McCarthy Beach State Park offers opportunities for both relaxation and exploration.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
McCarthy Beach no longer offers winter camping.
The Beatrice Lake Campground will reopen on April 1st or whenever the snow melts. The Side Lake Campground reopening date will depend on how much site work remains for the new shower building after the snow melts. Camping reservations are available starting May 20th
Caution for snowmobilers:
The construction contractor will be plowing the campground road to gain access to the shower building construction site. The road will still be open to snowmobilers wishing to use it as a safety portage between Side and Sturgeon lakes, but operators should watch for vehicle traffic and use extreme caution.
Trail planning public meetings
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting three public meetings to begin the process of updating the Taconite State Trail master plan. The open house meetings are scheduled:
To find out more visit the Taconite State Trail Planning website.
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Narrow Roads (RVers, take note!): The Side Lake Campground has narrow roads with sharp turns and may not be suitable for some large RVs. The road leading to sites 46 - 59 is especially narrow, so even though some of these campsites are long, they may be unsuitable for large rigs.
Group Camp: The camp is typically open mid-spring to fall, but water may not be available at the group camp outside of the Memorial Day to Labor Day period.
State Forest Campgrounds: McCarthy Beach State Park manages four state forest campgrounds and day-use areas: Button Box Lake, Thistledew Lake, Togo Horse Camp, and Stony Brook Horse Camp. These campgrounds are located in the George Washington State Forest. Camping is first-come, first-served at these areas. The cost is $14/night for a regular campsite and $16/night at the horse sites. For more information, call the park at 218-254-7979.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for McCarthy Beach State Park.
Bird Checklist at McCarthy Beach State Park.
There are no regular office hours in the winter, but the office will be open when staff is available. If you leave a message at 218-254-7979 we can arrange a time to meet you. Mornings are the best time to reach us by phone.
7622 McCarthy Beach Road
Side Lake, MN 55781
From the town of Hibbing, take U.S. Highway 169 north to County Road 5, then 16 miles to the park.