Sawbill Lake Campground

Area Status: Open
Sawbill Lake Campground

Sawbill Lake Campground is located in a majestic stand of mature red and white pine with dispersed birch on the shore of Sawbill Lake.  This is a highly visited campground and a popular entry point for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Located at the campground are a variety of commercial services including canoe rental, trip outfitting, showers, and sales of some groceries and gear.  There is long term and day use parking for people entering the BWCAW.  Day use and overnight permits are also available.


Downloadable information and map.

At a Glance

Reservations: Some sites are reservable through National Recreation Reservation Service.
Fees: See Campground Fee Table.
Permit Info: Portions of Sawbill Lake extend into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  If you plan to enter the BWCAW, you will need either a self issued day use permit available at the campground or an overnight permit (see BWCAW page).
Restrictions: Maximum of nine people per site.  There is space for one vehicle and one towed vehicle (such as a boat trailer).  Additional vehicles on the site require additional half fee and must park on the spur.  No vehicles may park on the grass or where they impede traffic.
Closest Towns: Tofte
Water: Solar powered faucet
Restroom: Outhouse (vault style)
Operated By: Concessionaire 218-663-7150
Information Center: Tofte Ranger District 218-663-8060

General Information

General Notes:

Sawbill Campground has commercial services available including outfitting, some food items, gift shop, showers, etc (no gas).  There is long term parking for canoeists and a carry down boat access to Sawbill Lake.  There are Forest Service naturalist programs at the campfire ring in the picnic area on Saturday evenings at 7:30 in the summer.  These are part of the North Shore Resort Naturalist Program, cooperatively funded with the Cook County Visitor Bureau.  This campground also has a barrier free fishing pier, short hiking trail, boat storage area for canoes and small boats, a short hiking trail, and a campground host during the peak season.


There is a barrier free accessible fishing pier located near the accessible campsites at Sawbill Lake.  Access is from a spur road on the left just before you enter the campground.


There are 2 accessible campsites.


Sawbill Lake Campground is located on County Road 2 (the Sawbill Trail), 23 miles north of Tofte.

  • From MN 61, turn north on County Road 2 (Sawbill Trail) at the north end of Tofte.
  • Follow Co 2 about 23 miles to its end at a stop sign at the Sawbill Lake Campground.
  • Please STOP and watch for pedestrians and people carrying canoes crossing the road.  They have the right of way and limited ability to see cross traffic.
  • At the stop sign, parking for day use is on the right, the campground entrance and the canoe access are to the left.  Straight will bypass most of the campground and leads to a no access area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

  • Please use facilities provided such as fire rings, tent pads, and latrines.
  • Dispose of waste in containers provided.
  • Water faucets are for drinking water only, do not use as wash areas.
  • Noise limits enforced, respect your fellow campers.
No. of Sites 52

RV Camping

Sites are pull-in and not specifically designed for RVs. Most can accommodate a moderately sized vehicle, some may not be suitable for an RV.  There is an RV dump station available.

Lake and Pond Fishing

General Info:


There is a barrier free accessible fishing pier located near the accessible campsites at Sawbill Lake.  Access is from a spur road on the left just before you enter the campground.

Viewing Scenery

Boating - Non-Motorized


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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