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A new campground is set to open at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park this summer. 

The new Shipwreck Creek Campground, with 46 electric drive-in campsites, will open June 1. Campers will be able to make reservations at the new campground starting at 8 a.m. on April 5, the Minnesota DNR says

A map of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, including the location of the new Shipwreck Creek Campground. 

A map of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, including the location of the new Shipwreck Creek Campground. 

When the new campground opens northwest of the lighthouse across Highway 61, it will mark the first vehicle-accessible campsites at the popular state park. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park currently has 20 cart-in sites, four backpack sites, and one Lake Superior Water Trail kayak site in a different area of the park. 

A close-up map of the campsites at the new Shipwreck Creek Campground.

A close-up map of the campsites at the new Shipwreck Creek Campground.

The campground also has a parking lot for mountain bikers and hikers, which they can use to access the Gitchi-Game State Trail and the network of new Spilt Rock Wilds mountain bike trails, located adjacent to the state park. 

The opening of this campground comes after years of work, including two years of construction that began in 2019, according to MPR News. The idea of the Shipwreck Creek Campground was included in a 1979 master plan and an environmental assessment worksheet for the campground was posted in 2011, reports said. 

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The new campground cost $7.5 million to design and built and was paid for by the state's Parks & Trails Legacy Fund, reports said. Lake County also got a $1.6 million grant from the state of Minnesota to pay for building the access road to the campground. 

The Minnesota DNR plans to host a ribbon-cutting event in mid-June to celebrate the opening of the new campground, Rachel Hopper of the DNR told Bring Me The News.

The name of the campground was inspired by the many shipwrecks along Lake Superior's North Shore. Among them: the Madeira shipwreck, which sank at the base of Gold Rock Point in 1905, the Minnesota DNR said. Her sinking prompted the development of Split Rock Lighthouse, for which the state park is named.

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