Knutson Dam Campground

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Knutson Dam Campground is nestled six miles east of Cass Lake on U.S. Highway 2 and five miles north on County Road 10.  Located on the northeast shore of Cass Lake, this campground is known for its canoe access to the Mississippi River. Constructed by the Corps of Engineers, Knutson Dam was transferred to the Forest Service in 1926.  Campground facilities include accessible toilets, a well, 14 campsites, picnic area a fishing platform and boat ramps providing access to Cass Lake and the Mississippi River.  |  Site Map

The Dam...

Knutson Dam, was originally built in the early 1900’s as a logging dam by the J. Neils Logging Company.  In 1926, the Forest Service purchased the dam under Public Law 270.  The dam was rebuilt in 1928 and reconstructed in 1964.  It was the second in a series of eight dams on the Mississippi Headwaters lakes.  Ottertail Power Company owns the dam upstream that controls the water level of Lake Bemidji.  Six dams downstream are operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE). 

In 2015, the Chippewa National Forest successfully implemented the Knutson Dam Improvement Project. The project removed the failing Knutson Dam and reconnected the Mississippi River at the outlet of Cass Lake through construction of an innovative rock arch rapids.  The project restored spawning habitat for a variety of warm water species such as walleye and white sucker.  It enhanced aquatic organism passage to over 30 miles of river and more than 72,000 acres of lakes such as Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish, which are world-class walleye fisheries.  The project also improved recreational fishing access through the addition of a modern fishing pier, reduced the potential for lakeshore erosion on Cass Lake, and reduced the safety hazard of the former logging dam.

At a Glance

Fees Use Fee/ $16 Night
Open Season: 5/10 - 9/9
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns: Cass Lake, Pennington, Blackduck
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Operated by the Forest Service

General Information

Directions: Go six miles east of Cass Lake on U.S. Highway 2 and five miles north on County Road 10.

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