At the University of Minnesota Duluth, six campsites are available for overnight stays and bonfires under the stars.
We pulled in late to the Bagley Nature Area on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, not exactly sure where to find the campsite. I began hiking, searching for a spot to pitch our tent.
Signs posted every few hundred feet glinted in my headlamp beam. At a clearing, the tent sites appeared. Welcome to camping on a college campus.
The sites opened this month. The UMD’s six tent-ready sites were built within campus borders. Benches, fire pits, running water, an outhouse, and firewood for purchase are among amenities.
Up for a weekend of trail running, climbing, and camping, we had to check it out.
Camping On Campus: The University Of Minnesota Duluth
The city of Duluth positions itself as a focal point for outdoors adventure. From the city, you can access the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail, climb Ely’s Peak overlooking Lake Superior, or head into town for the best smoked fish sandwich of your life (I’m not kidding, order the cajun salmon sandwich).
Just one block from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s sign, the sites are extremely convenient for outdoorsy students or travelers alike.
Specifically, there are six sites for camping. Four are reservable, and two are walk-in only, great for thru-hikers on the nearby Superior Hiking Trail.
There’s parking close, and the sites cost $25 per night.
For first-timers and students, the college has complete camping packages for rent, with tents, cooking kits, sleeping bags, and a stove. The $55 price ($95 for two people) includes the cost of a campsite.
Parking and walk-in sites are available from May 29 – August 27, with backpacker thru-hiking access year-round.
University Of Minnesota Duluth Camping Experience
After we pitched our tent and set a campfire, the evening lulled into a familiar camping experience. There weren’t cars roaring in the distance. Trails dotted the nearby landscape.
The site is completely enveloped by woods, although just 100 yards away lies a field for the University’s sports teams.
While sure to be more active when school is in session, now it feels like a sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of urban Duluth.