The Sandy Lake Recreation Area is situated at the outlet of Big Sandy Lake in northern Minnesota, 13 miles north of McGregor, MN. It is the only public campground and beach on Big Sandy Lake. The site is part of the historic canoe route that connected the Mississippi River to Lake Superior and major fur trading companies.
Big Sandy Lake is a reservoir that was created in the late nineteenth century from the waters of the Sandy River. The original wood dam was built in 1895 and included a lock that allowed steamboat to travel through to the Mississippi River. The original wood structure was replaced with concrete in 1912, and the lock was last cycled in 1956. Today, the lock house has been converted into a small museum containing historical artifacts of the area. Educational programs are also offered seasonally and are open to the public free of charge.
This campground offers a variety of sites for all kinds of campers, including 43 single family sites, five double family sites and two group sites, all with electric hookups. Eight primitive walk-to tent sites (four of which have electric hookups), a camper cabin with bunk beds and a day-use group picnic shelter are also available. Amenities include flush and vault restrooms, showers, drinking water, laundry facilities and a dump station. Also within the site are two lake boat ramps, one river boat ramp, docks, a fishing pier, beach, playgrounds, and a hiking trail.