Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lake Bemidji State Park opens first-of-its-kind group camp for tents and RVs

Up to 50 people can soon stay at the new Lavinia Group Camp at Lake Bemidji State Park. With five 50-amp electric hookups for RVs and a large tenting area, the facility is the first of its kind in Minnesota state parks, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The location is private and has its own water supply. There are two vault toilets on site, with showers and flush toilets a short walk away at the park campground building. A screened picnic shelter offers four picnic tables, counter space and electric outlets. Two pedestal grills and a custom-made “council” fire ring are just outside. The site includes parking for vehicles, trailers and boats. One of the RV sites is ADA-accessible.

This project was made possible with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

“The Lavinia Group Camp is a premier example of a Legacy-funded development project that will better meet the needs of today’s park visitors,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails. “It gives people another great reason to visit Lake Bemidji State Park, which is already a popular vacation destination with a swimming beach, a bog walk, great fishing and year-round naturalist programs.”
The new group camp is located off of the Pine Lane loop of the main campground and just west of the old Lavinia Road. A drawing of the site can be found on the park’s website.
“The Lavinia Group Camp is perfect for family reunions and other outdoor get-togethers,” said Pete Harrison, Lake Bemidji State Park manager.  “Many campers have told us this is exactly what they are looking for. Currently, larger groups must rent multiple campsites for friends and family, which tends to scatter them throughout the campground.”

The Lavinia Group Camp will be available for $200/night and will rent as a complete unit only, meaning it will not be possible to rent a single RV site or building at a lesser rate.
Reservations can be made starting at 8 a.m. Friday, April 10, for groups arriving May 21 or later. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 866-857-2757.

Customers who already have a reservation elsewhere at Lake Bemidji State Park may upgrade to the Lavinia Group Camp for a fee ($5 if modified online and $7 if done by phone, plus the difference in nightly site fees).

The Lavinia Group Camp may be available on a first-come, first-served basis before May 21, depending on conditions. For more information, call Lake Bemidji State Park at 218-308-2300, or visit the park website at