South Kawishiwi River

Forest 183 Road

Overview

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.

Recreation

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 by contacting the host.

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.

Facilities

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.

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.

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

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to Kawishiwi Falls

    The trail to Kawishiwi Falls begins at the parking lot and winds through a wooded trail with minimal elevation gain. There are several different vantage points of the falls that are accessible from the trail (above, below, and from the side). The ...

    1.5 miles

  • Hike the Bass and Dry Lake Loop

    This is a moderate trail, that gets a bit steep at times.  Great views of the lake and has lots of spots to stop for a quick snack.  Trail is well maintained, and there is a fun waterfall, which is great to splash around in.   The trailhead is sup...

    6.3 miles 518 ft gain

  • Camp on BWCA's Lake 2

    A trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area requires some planning ahead. First, you'll need acquire a permit/reservation via recreation.gov . Specify how many people are in your group, the number of watercraft you plan to use and how many days you'l...