Big Bog State Recreation Area

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From Explore MN Tourism

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Big Bog State Recreation Area

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.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert

Wetlands of Distinction

The Big Bog State Recreation Area, and the Red Lake Peatland Scientific and Natural Area was recently nominated as a wetland of distinction by the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Visitor Center and Fire Tower hours are:

Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:00pm; Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm; closed Sunday

(Updated November 16, 2017)

Park Notes

Fire Tower Webcam

Can't make the trip in person? Check out the view of Upper Red Lake from the top of the fire tower on this real-time webcam.

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the recreation area!
Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Year-Round Camper Cabins

Six camper cabins located in the southern unit have electricity and are heated for use year-round. These are rustic cabins with no indoor plumbing. A family-style modern shower/restroom is available year-round at the Visitor Center. Vault toilets next to the cabins are available in winter as well as summer season. A shower building is available for use in the campground on a seasonal basis.

Gift Cards

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Only use approved firewood!

Help prevent the spread of tree-killing insects by burning only approved firewood, available at all Minnesota State Parks.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Big Bog State Recreation Area.

Park Highlights

tree Fishing

tree Camping

tree Birdwatching

tree Bog Boardwalk

tree Swimming

tree Picnicking


Best time to contact the park:

Daily, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.


P.O. Box 428
Waskish, MN 56685

tel: 218-647-8592

fax: 218-647-8730


Getting There

Located on Highway 72, just north of the town of Waskish.