Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground

Area Status: Open
Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground

Kawishiwi Lake is a lovely campground in a birch stand on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  It provides an excellent campsite for people entering or exiting the BWCAW via the Kawishiwi Lake Entry Point.  The BWCAW boundary is the shore of the lake, so motors are not allowed on the lake and if you plan on putting a canoe in the water at all, you will need a day use permit available at a kiosk at the access point.  

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Reservations: First come, first served only.
Fees: There is no fee at rustic campgrounds.
Permit Info: All of Kawishiwi Lake is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  If you plan on using the lake, you will be entering the BWCAW and you will need either a self issued day use permit available at the campground or an overnight permit (see BWCAW page).
Open Season: May 10 - October 1
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 must park on the spur.  No vehicles may park on the grass or where they impede traffic.
Closest Towns: Tofte
Water: No potable water available – lake water must be treated.
Restroom: Outhouse (vault style)
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Tofte Ranger District Email | Call | Address | Webpage

General Information


From MN 61 in Tofte:

  • Drive north on Co 2 (Sawbill Trail) about 18 miles.
  • Turn left on Co 3, which may be labeled as Co 33.
  • After 8 miles, at the county border (not labeled), Cook County 3 will become Lake County 7.  Follow Co 7 an additional 2 miles.
  • Turn right from Co 7 onto FR 354.

Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground is at the end of FR 354.

General Notes:

There is no garbage pick up at Kawishiwi Lake 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 5

RV Camping

Sites are pull-in and not specifically designed for RVs; however, all five of the sites at Kawishiwi Lake are longer than 21 feet and may accommodate an RV.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Viewing Scenery

Boating - Non-Motorized


Unlike many northcountry lakes with shores of rocks and boulders, the shore of Kawishiwi at the campground is a gradual slope which provides swimming opportunities.  There is no designated swimming area or lifeguards, and swimming is at your own risk.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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