Poplar River Rustic Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Poplar River Rustic Campground is unusual in that it is located on the edge of a river rather than a lake.  Several of the sites have access directly to the river, so stream fishing for trout can be done right from your campsite!  Trout and salmon fishing does require a trout/salmon stamp in addition to a valid Minnesota fishing license.  This campground is also right on one of the roads included in our Fall Color Tours, so it is good spot to stay during the fall color season.  The Poplar River is either named after the quaking aspen tree, locally referred to as popple or poplar, or the balsam poplar.  Balsam poplar has a distinctive and wonderful smell most noticible during leaf out in the spring.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Campground is open.
Reservations: This campground does not accept reservations.
Fees There is no fee at rustic campgrounds.
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 218-663-8060

General Information


Poplar River Rustic Campground is located on the Honeymoon Trail, midway between Co 2 (Sawbill Trail) and Co 4 (Caribou Trail).  Due to the angle of MN 61 and the paving of the roads, even if you are coming from the south, the route via Lutsen is shorter both in time and distance even though it backtracks.

From MN 61 in Tofte:

  • Turn north on Co 2, drive approx 11 miles to FR 164 (Honeymoon Trail)
  • Turn right and drive 5.5 miles.
  • The campground is on the left, just past the bridge over the Poplar River.

From MN 61 in Lutsen:

  • Turn north on Co 4, drive approx 6 miles to FR 164 (Honeymoon Trail).
  • Turn right and drive approx 4 miles.
  • The campground is on the right, just before the bridge over the Poplar River.

General Notes:

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

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