Hogback Lake Rustic Campground & Backcountry Sites

Hogback Campsite Superior National Forest

The Hogback Lake Area has a rustic campground with 3 sites, a 5 mile trail system passing 6 lakes with several different loops, and 5 backcountry campsites along the trail.  There is also a boat launch and an accessible fishing pier.  

For a map of the Hogback Lake Area and driving instructions, click here.

At a Glance

Reservations: This campground does not accept reservations.
Fees: There is no fee at rustic campgrounds.
Restrictions: Maximum of nine people per site at both campground and backcountry sites.  At the campground, there is space for one vehicle and one towed vehicle (such as a boat trailer).  Additional vehicles on the site must park on the spur.  No vehicles may park on the grass or where they impede traffic.
Closest Towns: Isabella
Water: No potable water available – lake water must be treated.
Restroom: Outhouse (vault style) at campground, wilderness latrines at backcountry sites
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Tofte Ranger District Email | Call | Address | Webpage

General Information


Barrier free accessible fishing pier at campground.


From Tofte on MN 61:

  • At Temperance River State Park, just south of the river, take FR 343 (Temperance River Rd) inland.
  • Drive 4.5 miles to a T intersection with FR 166 (The '600' Road).
  • Turn left on FR 166 and drive 5 miles to Co 7.  Turn right on Co 7.
  • Drive approx 5 miles to FR 172 (Wanless Rd).  Turn left.

Hogback Lake is a very short distance from Co 7 on FR 172 on the left.  Access to the hiking trails and backcountry sites is also located off Co 7 before reaching FR 172 at a sign reading 'Steer Lake'.

Alternatively, get onto Co 7 at MN 1 in Finland.

General Notes:

There is no garbage pick up at Hogback Rustic Campground.  Plan to pack out all your garbage, including fish remains from cleaning fish.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

  • Please use facilities provided such as fire rings, tent pads, and latrines.
  • Pack out all waste, do not burn paper or other garbage.
  • Water from lakes must be treated, boiled, or filtered before use.
  • Noise limits enforced, respect your fellow campers. 
No. of Sites 3

RV Camping

Sites are pull-in and not specifically designed for RVs.  Three of three sites are longer than 21 feet and may accommodate an RV.

Dispersed Camping

Access to the 5 backcountry sites in the Hogback Lake area varies.  One is directly on Hogback Lake and is accessible by boat from the boat launch, and two more are accessible by canoe from Hogback Lake by portaging to adjacent lakes.  The remaining two are only accessible by foot via a hiking trail.  The hiking trail can also be used to access all the sites.  Please do not use or create additional non-designated campsites.  Use a Forest Map to locate campsites and accesses. (You can purchase a map on line or at any of the District offices or by mail.)  For information on backcountry campsites, see the Dispersed Camping page.

Fees: None required.
Reservation info: First-come, first-served. 
Usage: A few reminders:  Use areas provided for tents and fires, hang food packs, put your fire out each time you leave your campsite, treat or boil all water, wash yourself and dishes at least 150ft from any body of water, pack out all garbage and Leave No Trace.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Three of the lakes accessed by the Hogback Trail System are designated trout lakes stocked with rainbow trout.  People fishing must have a trout stamp in addition to their fishing license.

General Info:


An accessible fishing pier is located on Hogback Lake near the campground.  

Day Hiking

A six mile trail system provides several loops and access to five lakes.  The trail runs along a narrow hogback ridge which offers scenic views over the lakes.  One portion of the trail connects to a separate trailhead if you want to avoid retracing your steps.


The six mile Hogback Lake Trail System with established backcountry campsites provides the chance for short duration backpacking adventures.  It is ideal for families and groups just starting to backpack, or for people who want be away from it all, but not too far away.  Backpackers should use only developed campsites, and make optional plans if the sites are occupied.

Boating - Motorized

A boat ramp on Hogback Lake provides easy access for motorboats.  Canal Lake is connected to Hogback by a small channel which is passable in high water, and is short enough to paddle across with your motor up in lower water.  The passage between Canal and Scarp is not navigable.

Boating - Non-Motorized

The lakes in the Hogback area are perfect for lazy paddling and exploring.  On a day when winds might make a big lake a challenge, these small jewels make an excellent choice.  There are not maintained portages between lakes, but the connections between Hogback, Canal, and Scarp are either navigable or portageable most of the time.  

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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