By Jim Umhoefer
St. Louis County. On County 5, about 20 miles northwest of Hibbing. Highway map index: K-7.
McCarthy Beach State Park covers 2,500 acres, but most visitors get only as far as the shoreline, picnic area and campground on the narrow isthmus between Sturgeon and Side lakes. About 18 miles of trails wind through the forested ridgetops and valleys of the park, terrain well worth exploring for its abundant wildlife. More than 175 species of birds and three dozen species of mammals live in or near the park.
The campground here can fill daily from mid-June to mid-August with visitors who come for fishing and sunny afternoons on the beach. The main campground, on Side Lake, offers 45 semi-modern sites and one loop with 14 rustic sites.