Cuyuna Lakes

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – Portsmouth Campground Review


Review of Portsmouth Campground at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Ironton, Minnesota

June 2015 – 3 Nights


Cuyuna Area itself is a beautiful area near the two small towns of Crosby and Ironton, Minnesota.  The park is fantastic and water is crystal clear in the lakes that were once big mines.  The Portsmouth campground is a bit unmaintained itself, but it is hard to beat camping near one of the lakes and right along the mountain bike trail system.

Campsite Spacing

There is no barrier between campsites, but they have ample spacing.  We had the site all the way to the end and had a huge area for the kids to play in.

Campsite Quality

Our site was really nice with lots of space.  Each site appeared to have a fire pit with cooking grate and a picnic table.  The trailer sites appeared as if they had gravel pads at one point, but are fairly overgrown now.  We also had electricity with 30 Amp hook up.  Our site was also fairly level.



There are miles of mountain bike trails that can be hiked, although mountain bikes do have the right of way.  Some of the mountain bike trails are one way traffic and those should be hiked in the opposite direction of the marked mountain bike traffic.

Mountain Biking

There are miles of mountain bike trails with some top notch riding.  It is actually some of the best mountain bike riding in the midwest and the trail system is designated as an IMBA Ride Center.  There are trails for everybody.  My 5 and 7 year old rode 22 miles of single track over the 4 days we were there.  They do have actual shifter mountain bikes though.

Road Cycling

There is a nice paved rail trail style path that runs from one end of the park to the other that is great for some recreational riding and family riding.


There is access for kayaks, canoes and fishing boats on many of the lakes.  I believe the lakes are all no wake zones, though.  It is a great place for canoes and kayaks.  We took the canoe out as a family a couple of times


The fishing is great.  Some of the lakes are stocked with rainbow trout and both of my kids each caught a nice little rainbow that they got to eat for dinner.  We also caught a ton of pan fish.  You will catch fish if you go fishing here.  The kids had a blast.


There is no playground equipment at the campground, but if your kids are in to fishing, riding bikes, playing in the water and just love the outdoors then this is a great place for a family vacation.

Overall Comments

Although the campground itself seems fairly run down and the bathroom facilities very old, the rest of the Cuyuna Recreation Area is top notch and very well taken care of.  There is also a brand new parking and picnic area specifically for mountain bikers, with picnic tables, bike racks, tools and bike wash station.  The campground itself does not have a dump station for trailers and the only water fill area is a spout behind the bathrooms, so make sure you fill up before you come in or have a long hose to run behind the bathroom house to fill up.  All that being said, this is a great place to go spend some time.  We are fanatics about mountain biking and the kids love fishing, so this place is hard to beat.  We would stay again at the campground for sure.  It is so convenient, being right by the lake and right off the trail.  Cuyuna is a beautiful place as well.

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area - Portsmouth Campground
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