By Jim Umhoefer
Lake County. On County 7, 8 miles northeast Finland Highway map index: 0-8.
Trails are arduous and camping is for backpackers only at George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park. Minnesota's most primitive park flanks the untamed Manitou River in one of the deepest gorges on the North Shore.
Of the park's 21 backpack sites, 16 are stretched along the length of the Manitou River, while the rest are spaced around Bensen Lake. Not all of the sites are on the water; two at Bensen Lake are a short distance into the forest, and several are uphill from the Manitou River. One of the latter has a hilltop view of Lake Superior and the Wisconsin shore (on clear days). Campers work harder at these sites, however, having to tote water from the river or lake. Drinking water is available only at the park office, so campers must boil or treat the water they draw from Bensen Lake or the river. Read more: