Norway Beach Redesign Project

Project Goals

Wooden map of Norway BeachThe Norway Beach Redesign Project will redevelop the area so it can be maintained within current and future reduced fiscal realities, enabling the forest to adequately maintain the campground character and connections for generational visitors and campers.

Implementation of the Norway Beach Redesign Project is currently being phased-in over multiple years as funding becomes available.


  • Norway Beach Recreation Area (NWB) is situated on 440-acres of national forest land on the east shore of Cass Lake. The campground consists of four loops, each with a proposed action for redevelopment. The campground is operated seasonally from mid-May through Labor Day weekend. 
  • In 2014 and 2015, the Chippewa National Forest contracted with the Forest Service Enterprise Technical Team to complete design studies for Norway Beach Recreation Area. The proposed actions would reduce the density of campsites while providing improvements and amenities at specific campground loops as well as removal of the deteriorating waste water treatment plant to be replaced with individual septic systems.
  • Current issues at Norway Beach:  Aging water and waste system needing repairs, building and other facility deferred maintenance, visitor use, and staffing issues. Water lines have needed to be repaired; valves, water heaters, fixtures need repairs or replacement; roofs need replacing, septic lift station and septic plant pumps needing repairs, changing visitor use and expectations; and improve efficiency of staff time. Improve volunteer safety and ability to provide quality facilities to the public.
  • Some of the proposed improvements include adding electricity to the Norway loop, and creating a group camp section in the loop for larger groups and families. In addition, upgrades to all bath houses, increased parking at the boat landing and improved septic and water systems throughout the complex.
  • The Chippewa National Forest completed the environmental analysis on November 1, 2017 to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations at the Norway Beach Recreation Area. Public comments were received in 2016 regarding the project, and the District Ranger signed the plan on December 5, 2017.


Vault toilet remodels.New vault toilets – Completed  

Some of the first steps in the Norway Beach Redesign Project have been completed:

  • 2017 - Four new vault toilets were installed at each campground loop.

  • 2018 - The old bathroom building near the boat landing was removed and a new vault toilet was installed, with new gravel path.

Future Project Implementation

Upgrades – Fall 2019

  • The outdoor shower previously located at the Norway Beach day use bathroom will be reconditioned and re-installed in a new location near the shelter for the beach-goers.

  • An overflow area for trailers and event parking will be created at the old dump station site.

  • The Cass Lake loop redesign begins changing from a drive-in campground loop with 23 sites to a walk-in campground loop with 11 sites. The project includes removing the shower/bathroom building and paved roads, removal of back sites and creating a parking area near the pay station.

  • Converting the existing road to the old Wanaki boat launch to an extension of the Mi Gi Zi bicycle trail.  The road will narrowed to bike path width by cutting and removing the asphalt where necessary. Vegetation planted to naturalize the site.

  • Expanded parking at the boat access area to allow easier use and more parking sites.

Why the changes?

Numbers at Cass Lake loop show low use in the back sites. This change keeps the high-use lake-side sites and offers a different camping experience. The other campground loops can accommodate RV campers.

Norway Beach Recreation Area is known as an important cultural heritage site, with Cass Loop one of the more culturally sensitive. This redesign protects cultural sites in the loop.

Brightening up Norway Beach - 2020 and Beyond

  • Campground at Norway Beach CampgroundNorway loop will be open for the full 2020 season. It is currently only open for the month of July.

  • Electricity to be added to each site in the Norway loop. 

  • In the Norway loop a number of group camping areas will be designed. The camping sites will accommodate up to four RVs.

  • From 2020-2022, upgrades to shower buildings in Norway, Chippewa and Wanaki loops.

  • New septic systems will be installed at the VIC, Norway, Chippewa, and Wanaki loops by 2023. The old wastewater treatment plant could be decommissioned by 2025.

  • A new entrance fee station kiosk constructed at the campground entrance.  All the rest of the fee stations will be removed for a self-service fee service location.

  • Wanaki loop will have low use sites on the back side of the loop removed and restored to natural vegetation.


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