McCarthy Beach State Park






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Minnesota DNR




















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Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates




2,356 acres statutory, 2,048 owned




7622 McCarthy Beach Road
Side Lake, MN 55781

N47 40.174, W93 1.823




Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.




Daily park permit: $7

Annual park permit: $35


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          St. Louis County  
          Northeast Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


18 miles




No hunting


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

Northern Minnesota & Ontario Peatlands

Northern Superior Uplands

  Ecological Subsection    

Littlefork-Vermillion Uplands

Nashwauk Uplands

  Land Type Association    

Nashwauk Moraine

Rauch Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Cattail - Sedge Marsh (Northern)

Graminoid Poor Fen (Basin)

Low Shrub Poor Fen

Northern Dry-Mesic Mixed Woodland

Northern Wet Meadow / Carr

Poor Black Spruce Swamp

Poor Tamarack - Black Spruce Swamp

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype

Red Pine Woodland (Sand)

Sand Beach (Inland Lake)

Sedge Meadow

Sedge Meadow, Lake Sedge Subtype

Sedge Meadow: Bluejoint Subtype

  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features










Visitor Photos

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Wander Without Wifi

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Park Entrance

    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Sturgeon Lake

    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Pickerel Lake Road (County Road 915)

Pickerel Lake Road is a minimum maintenance road but can be used by vehicles without high suspension.

  McCarthy Beach State Park  
    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Parking: Pickerel Lake Road

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Pickerel Spur

    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Pickerel Lake

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  
    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Ski Trail Road (County Road 501)

County Road 501 is very narrow. Brush and branches on the side of the road will add texture to any vehicle’s exterior.

  McCarthy Beach State Park  
    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Parking: Ski Trail Road

    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Big Hole Trail

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Red Top Trail

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  

Ridge Trail

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  
    McCarthy Beach State Park      

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype

    McCarthy Beach State Park   McCarthy Beach State Park  



  McCarthy Beach State Park
Richard Sanders
  McCarthy Beach State Park  

McCarthy Beach State Park

  McCarthy Beach State Park
Lars Hammar
  McCarthy Beach State Park  

McCarthy Beach State Park is one of Minnesota's real gems. It was created as a park in the 1950's because it still had a large stand of unlogged virgin pines. And though a tornado in the 1960's took down most of the largest trees, the area is still preserved and the forest is rebuilding.

  Side Lake Campground, McCarthy Beach State Park, Minnesota

Published on Oct 29, 2013

Favorite Sites: 1, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 29, 31, 34, 38, 42, 49, 51

  Beatrice Lake Campground, McCarthy Beach State Park, Minnesota

Published on Oct 29, 2013

Favorite Sites: 3, 4, 6, 8, 21, 26




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Other Videos
Sunset from McCarthy Beach State Park

Published on Nov 11, 2013

No description available.




Visitor Sightings

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Scott Bemman


Insects and Arachnids


American pelecinid wasp (Pelecinus polyturator)

green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris)

pale green assassin bug (Zelus luridus)

white-cheeked jumping spider (Pelegrina spp.)

  green stink bug  


  western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)   western poison ivy  

Wander Without Wifi



  western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)   western poison ivy  





  green frog (Rana clamitans)   green frog  



Two bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:


Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)


Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)


Black-capped Chickadee

Blue Jay




Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens


American cartilage lichen (Ramalina americana)

American Yellow Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria var. guessowii)

Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Birch Polypore (Fomitopsis betulina)

Bitter Bolete (Tylopilus felleus)

Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax)

Bottlebrush Shield Lichen (Parmelia squarrosa)

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)

Golden Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

Hintapink (Russula paludosa)

Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

Jellied False Coral Fungus (Sebacina schweinitzii)

Lilac Bonnet (Mycena pura)

Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

Ochre Brittlegill (Russula ochroleuca)

Painted Suillus (Suillus spraguei)

Pebbled Pixie Cup (Cladonia pyxidata)

Thick-Walled Maze Polypore (Daedalea quercina)

Violet-pored Bracket Fungus (Trichaptum abietinum)

White Chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus)


Black Trumpet

Common Greenshield Lichen

Golden Chanterelle

Hoof Fungus

Jellied False Coral Fungus

Lobster Mushroom


Insects and Arachnids


mustard white (Pieris oleracea)

spotted-wing drosophila - SWD - (Drosophila suzukii)

  spotted-wing drosophila  



American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

  American red squirrel  



One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

Special Concern

small green wood orchid (Gymnadeniopsis clavellata)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Cattail - Sedge Marsh (Northern) MRn83a

Graminoid Poor Fen (Basin) APn91b

Low Shrub Poor Fen APn91a

Northern Dry-Mesic Mixed Woodland FDn33

Northern Wet Meadow / Carr WMn82

Poor Black Spruce Swamp APn91

Poor Tamarack - Black Spruce Swamp APn81b

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn33a1

Red Pine Woodland (Sand) FDn12b

Sand Beach (Inland Lake) LKi32a

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

Sedge Meadow, Lake Sedge Subtype WMn82b4

Sedge Meadow: Bluejoint Subtype WMn82b1



alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American spurred gentian (Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

black spruce (Picea mariana)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bluntleaf sandwort (Moehringia lateriflora)

bog Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common plantain (Plantago major)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

cream pea (Lathyrus ochroleucus)

creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)

dark green bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

fringed brome (Bromus ciliatus)

golden clover (Trifolium aureum)

goldthread (Coptis trifolia)

greater bladder sedge (Carex intumescens)

green alder (Alnus alnobetula ssp. crispa)

green carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata)

hairy goldenrod (Solidago hispida)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Indianpipe (Monotropa uniflora)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

marsh vetchling (Lathyrus palustris)

mountain maple (Acer spicatum)

narrow-leaved hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum)

narrow-leaved meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. alba)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern groundcedar (Diphasiastrum complanatum)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)

prairie onion (Allium stellatum)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

prickly tree clubmoss (Dendrolycopodium dendroideum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rabbit’s foot clover (Trifolium arvense)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

rough hawkweed (Hieracium scabrum)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

roundleaf serviceberry (Amelanchier sanguinea)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

shining clubmoss (Huperzia lucidula)

smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

soft-stem bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani)

speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa)

stiff clubmoss (Spinulum annotinum)

tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris var. acris)

velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)

watershield (Brasenia schreberi)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

wild calla (Calla palustris)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow avens (Geum aleppicum)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer spicatum (mountain maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Allium stellatum (prairie onion)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Alnus incana ssp. rugosa (speckled alder)

Alnus alnobetula ssp. crispa (green alder)

Amelanchier sanguinea (roundleaf serviceberry)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arceuthobium pusillum (eastern dwarf mistletoe)

Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum (northern lady fern)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Brasenia schreberi (watershield)

Bromus ciliatus (fringed brome)

Calla palustris (wild calla)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Carex intumescens (greater bladder sedge)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Chamaenerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium (fireweed)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Coptis trifolia (goldthread)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Corylus cornuta var. cornuta (beaked hazelnut)

Dendrolycopodium dendroideum (prickly tree clubmoss)

Diphasiastrum complanatum (northern groundcedar)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry)

Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)

Geum aleppicum (yellow avens)

Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa (American spurred gentian)

Hieracium scabrum (rough hawkweed)

Hieracium umbellatum (narrow-leaved hawkweed)

Huperzia lucidula (shining clubmoss)

Lathyrus ochroleucus (cream pea)

Lathyrus palustris (marsh vetchling)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Matricaria discoidea (pineapple-weed)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Moehringia lateriflora (bluntleaf sandwort)

Mollugo verticillata (green carpetweed)

Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Picea mariana (black spruce)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago major (common plantain)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ranunculus acris var. acris (tall buttercup)

Rhododendron groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stem bulrush)

Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Solidago hispida (hairy goldenrod)

Spinulum annotinum (stiff clubmoss)

Spiraea alba var. alba (narrow-leaved meadowsweet)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Trifolium arvense (rabbit’s foot clover)

Trifolium aureum (golden clover)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaf blueberry)


alsike clover

blue cohosh

bluebead lily


Canada anemone

common strawberry

common tansy

common yarrow

early meadow-rue


hairy goldenrod


interrupted fern

lowbush blueberry

northern pin oak

northern groundcedar

northern starflower

oxeye daisy

pearly everlasting

prairie onion

red clover

rough cinquefoil

smooth sumac

tall buttercup

white rattlesnake root

wild columbine

woodland strawberry

yellow marsh marigold







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