True North Base Camp is an adventure lovers dream. This camp located in North Central Minnesota and has everything you need for an amazing family (or adults only) vacation. There is so much to do and such a fun variety of activities to explore right on the property. You could stay here and keep busy for weeks! My family and I had an excellent stay at True North Base Camp. We stayed in one of the Cabin Tents, and we loved it. The kids are already asking to go back. In this post I will tell you everything you need to know about True North Base Camp. They have a variety of camping and lodging options, and there really is something for everyone here!
True North Base Camp is located at 825 1st Street SW in Crosby, Minnesota. They are very conveniently located basically in between Crosby and Ironton, MN. Very close to both. Also, a quick drive from the Brainerd Lakes area. The camp is in an gorgeous location, lakeside to a beautiful mine pit lake, and connected by trail to the vast Cuyuna Country mountain bike trail system. Right when you drive into the camp you can feel the adventurous vibe. I was immediately excited for what I knew would be a fun week!
Choosing the right lodging option for you:
One of the first things you will want to figure out when staying at True North Base Camp is what type of lodging you are interested in. They have a variety of options, and within each option there are certain things to know when booking.
There are 23 scenic campsites to choose from when booking. Pop-up and teardrop campers are allowed up to 17′ long. They do not have hook ups, pull through sites or allow generators. I personally love this about the camp. Staying more true to nature and the roughing it spirit. Sites 1, 12, 25 and 27 work well for campers. Site one looks like a gem for a camper. Not a ton of grass space, but it is close to the lake and secluded away from other sites. In each site you are allowed two tents, and pets are able to stay with you for a small fee. The sites have plenty of trees, and offer picnic tables and fire pits. There is also drinking water available and access to shower’s and a bike washing station. See map above to look more at the location of the sites. They are mostly located up a pretty steep hill from the lake. Biking down would only take a minute or so, and because of the hill you have beautiful views of the area.
We had the opportunity to stay in one of the seven cabin tents. We really loved this experience. The cabin tents come furnished with cots, a bedside table and a lantern. This made everything so easy. Being able to show up to camp with all this already set was a great start to the week! The cots were comfortable and we slept well each night. The tents were easy to open during the day, and at night we could keep the windows open for a great summer breeze. Most of the cabin tents are located in one area, and then there is cabin tent seven. This is the one we stayed in and we LOVED the privacy. However the other ones looked fun too. They would be great as a group, or a great way to meet some like minded adventurers. All of them looked perfect. Again, these campsites all offer a picnic table, fire pit, and access to drinking water, showers, and bike washing station.
The cabins here look awesome. I love the look. They are all located lakeside and offer beautiful views right out your front door. There are six beautifully crafted cabins to choose from. The design of the cabins is modeled after the taconite mining industry buildings of the early 1900s. While they may be inspired by the past, you will find all the modern touches you need for a great stay. Every cabin is equipped with heating and air conditioning, and they all have access to high speed Wi-Fi. They have numerous USB charging ports to keep your phones and cameras charged and ready for adventure. In each cabin you will find one full bed and three twin beds. You will also have a bike rack. Like all other lodging in the park you have a picnic table, fit pit, and access to showers, drinking water, and a bike wash. Pets can stay for a small fee. The cabins do not offer kitchens (which I love). Take the cooking over a campfire or bring a camp stove. I recommend cooking in a cast iron pan over the fire, it’s the best. =) From these cabins it is an easy walk down to the beach to watch the sunset, swim, paddle or play. The bike trails literally start outside your front door. The cabins are located next to each other, but still seemed to have plenty of space. If you are looking for a more private option, I would choose one of the cabins on either end, then you get a little extra side space to hangout.
The bathrooms and showers are available to all guests and accessible by key code. They were very clean, and you could tell extra precautions were being taken for cleanliness. Including hand sanitizer both inside and outside the bathrooms. The shower house and flush toilets are located right behind the cabins. The shower house offers year round climate control, heated floors and is connected to conditioned city water. They are a very easy walk from the cabins. If you are in the cabin tents or your own camper or tent, you will likely want to bike or drive to the shower house. There are however clean vault toilets near the campsites and camper tents that are also accessed by key code.
Firewood can be delivered to your site by texting a number, you will receive this into when you arrive. Its DNR certified and super convenient. Also, before your stay you will receive an email asking if you would like to pre-order the firewood. This way you can set it all up ahead of time. This worked great for us as we never had to worry about picking up firewood before dark.
Activities to be ready for:
Biking is a huge draw to the Cuyuna Area. Basically the most popular activity. This is super apparent at True North Base Camp. There are bikes and bikers everywhere. Its awesome. You also have direct access to the trail system right from camp, so it doesn’t get better. Definitely bring your bikes. If you don’t have bikes there are a few area stores you can rent from. We rented bikes for our kids from Cykel, which is located super close to True North Base Camp, and we had an excellent experience. Other options are Cycle Path and Paddle and Red Raven in Crosby.
We LOVED paddling around Armour Mine #2 Lake located right at True North Base Camp. We parked out car near the cabins with our canoe and paddle board and then carried them down to the lake. It is a bit of a hill, but my husband and I easily managed this. The lake was beautiful, even though it was a windy day. The lake is set down so we had hardy any wind. The kids loved it! You can also check out Cycle Path & Paddle for rentals.
We didn’t do a lot of fishing this trip, but Cuyuna is known for trout fishing. Trout fishing is known to be excellent in this unique area. Some of the mine pit lakes are stocked with trout. Here you can angle for rainbow, brown, brook, and even lake trout. Just be sure to get your trout stamp first!
Our kids had so much fun swimming right on the shores of Armour Mine #2 at True North Base Camp. The water felt great on a hot day and the beach is nice and sandy. The lake does drop off if kids wade out too far, so I definitely urge you to keep your kids in a life jacket at all times. The kids also loved wandering around in Serpent Creek right on the property. It was really beautiful and really fun. A perfect beach to explore and unwind after days filled with adventure. The sunsets were beautiful as well. Really a great, private beach. We loved it.
Booking your stay:
Please check the True North Base Camp website for current rates and availability. They have a great reservation system that helps you see exactly what is available for your chosen dates.
I hope this post gave you all the information you need to book your stay at True North Base Camp. It really is an excellent place and I cannot wait to go back. Soon, I will be posting a “Families Guide to Adventuring in Cuyuna Country” and that will give you more info on what local restaurants, shops, and parks to check out during your stay! Stay Tuned! Please, as always, feel free to send me any questions or leave them in the comments. 😉
Much Love & Happy Travels,
Disclaimer: My family stayed for free, but I promise all opinions are my truthful and my own! =)
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