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“Shhh, don't tell anyone” 5 of 5 stars
Review of McCarthy Beach State Park

McCarthy Beach State Park
7622 McCarthy Beach Rd., Side Lake, MN 55781
218-254-7979
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Side Lake
Attraction details
Minnesota
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Shhh, don't tell anyone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

This is seriously a hidden gem in northern Minnesota. For years we spent time near Hibbing without going here and I can't believe it!
Those in the know (mostly those from Hibbing or other nearby towns) book the campground up (mostly the electric sites) well in advance. Non-electric and rustic sites down the rode at Beatrice Lake or almost always available.
The campground is on Side Lake while the BEST BEACH EVER in MN is across the road on Sturgeon Lake. The beach area has a large picnic area with a nice shelter building. More picnic tables stretch along the lake and beach area for quite a ways. There is a bathroom building and changing area near the beach. A small area of the beach is roped off but the swimmable area is much larger and you can find a spot to hang near or not so near other people. The water is clear, the sand is sandy, the water gets deeper very gradually (that's both good and bad - little ones can be pretty far out and still not be very deep but then you have to yell for them to hear you).
It's pretty much heaven. You have the Red Pines right near the shore. You can sit under them for shade, or depending on the height of the water there will be some amount of sandy beach to sit on or play on.
After a day in the lake, you HAVE to go to Bimbos for pizza. If you are staying here, you HAVE to go to the CCC campground convenience store and get ice cream.
You can bring your boats, toys - whatever you need to enjoy a day at the lake.
The only drawback? This is northern MN. This summer is an example - 56 degrees was the high last Saturday in July. When the weather is good, the place is heaven. We watch the forecast during the summer. Hot in Hibbing? We'll be going up north!
You must at least have a day pass to be at the park.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
McIntosh, Minnesota
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great facility!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We headed up to Beatrice Lake and stayed in the campground up there, it was AWESOME! We will most likely make this an annual trip as it offered nearly everything we like about rustic camping!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnsville, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Perfect beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Great place to camp..and the beach is beautiful..they just added a bathrooms and changing rooms to the beach...

camping the sites are roomy most private. RV area for those that like that is super and easy access to the lake

beautiful red pines and white pines.the loons will sing at dusk and early morning. And just down from the park you can get treats of ice cream cones from two different gas stations..

over all a lovely park

Visited July 2013
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1 review
“Excellent, had the time of my life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

We camped for 2 nights and had a wonderful time.. So much intact that as I type this my sweetheart is calling to reserve us a spot for this weekend...

Visited July 2013
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great beach!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

We didn't have the time to stay in the park, though we'd have liked to. But we did the Minnesota Hiking Club trail. We had time to wade in the water and the beach was great! We plan to return someday when we have more time.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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