State Park Information
Lake Bemidji State Park
  4 Stars (1 Rating)
  3401 State Park Rd. NE
      Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
  United States
  (218) 308-2300
  Unknown
Description

This park is the perfect playground any time of year, offering visitors swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, camping, biking, picnicking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and year-round naturalist-led activities.

Hikers can explore the beauty of a tamarack bog carpeted with showy lady's slippers, pitcher plants, dragon's mouth, grass pink, and insect-eating sundews. Most flowers are blooming in the bog during late spring and early summer.

Wildlife
The diversity of vegetation in the park supports many wildlife species. Birdwatching is a favorite activity with hobbyists spotting red-eyed and warbling vireos, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and many other forest songsters. Loons, eagles, herons, even osprey can be seen on the lake. Hikers often come across deer, porcupine, squirrels, and chipmunks and even spot the occasional black bear. In the evening, visitors are treated to the sounds of gray treefrogs, spring peepers, and chorus of wood frogs. The sound of the barred owl, the flute-like song of the veery, and the hammering of a pileated woodpecker all add to the wilderness experience.

History
For hundreds of years, the ancestors to the Dakota fished and hunted around Lake Bemidji. Later, the westward-moving Anishinabe reached the area around 1750. Early trader records identify Lake Bemidji as 'Lac Traverse' which is French for diagonal. The Anishinabe knew the lake as 'Bemiji-gau-maug' meaning cutting sideways through or diagonally. This was a reference to the path of the Mississippi River through the lake.

In the late 1800s, European immigrants were drawn to this region to harvest the prime white and Norway pine. During the peak of logging around the turn of the century, the lumber mills on the south shore of Lake Bemidji were the center of logging in the nation. The foundation of one mill is still visible near Nymore Beach. Logging artifacts are occasionally found in the lake by divers. Fortunately, a few areas within the park boundaries were still in a virgin state when the land was purchased by the government, thus preserving a remnant of towering forests so common in years past. In 1923, the Minnesota Legislature established Lake Bemidji as a state park. The park serves more than 135,000 visitors each year.

Geology
The park landscape is the result of the last stage of glaciation in Minnesota. Sand, gravel, and rock material carried by the glacier as it moved south was eventually deposited as the ice receded 10,000 years ago. The park's rolling topography was created by uneven deposits of this glacial till. Meltwater from the glacier also played a role in creating the present shape of the land. Many of the swamps and bogs in the park were formed when chunks of ice separated form the receding glacier and left depressions which later filled with water. Lake Bemidji itself is the result of ice left behind by the retreating glacier.

Landscape
Located in a pine-moraine region of Minnesota, the park contains a mixture of plant communities from the mixed red and white pine uplands to jack pine barrens. The park also contains fine examples of conifer bog that includes some of Minnesota's most unusual plants and animals. A quarter mile long boardwalk leads into one of these areas so that visitors can observe pitcher plants, insect eating sundews, orchids, and other plants.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 5 Campsites: 97
Photos: 31 Reviews: 1
Views: 151 Likes: 1
   

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Jeff P.
4 Star Rating4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
Lake Bemidji is a pretty nice campground. There is a nice beach and picnic area, playground, and amphitheater.
   Lake Bemidji State Park Campground - Aspen Lane Loop
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   Lake Bemidji State Park Campground - Birch Lane Loop
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   Lake Bemidji State Park Campground - Group Loop
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   Lake Bemidji State Park Campground - Oak Lane Loop
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   Lake Bemidji State Park Campground - Pine Lane Loop
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