Parks and Recreation

Mississippi High Banks

Mississippi High Banks is a primitive camp-site with spectacular views of the “Wild” Mississippi River system, approximately 8 miles southeast of Solway MN.

The classification of "Wild" as defined by the Mississippi Headwaters Board are those areas of the Mississippi River corridor that are generally inaccessible, except by trail, and which include unique and significant natural, cultural, historic, scientific, and recreational values. They are generally considered remote and represent the region's appearance before organized European settlement. The protection area for a river-corridor with this classification is 1000-feet from the ordinary high-water mark (OHWM).

In promoting a remote and primitive camping experience the NRM Department has placed a locked gate along the forest access road to this site. Those interested in utilizing this facility must fill out a Mississippi High-Banks Primitive Campground Use Permit and receive approval form the NRM Department beforehand. If successful, you will be given the combination to the lock on the gate which provides access for highway vehicles only. Due to the sensitive nature of this area, OHV’s are not allowed.

Recreation access to Rice Lake (Lake Manomin) can be obtained from the network of forest roads in this area as well. The path leading from the parking area to the lake is for non-motorized use only. Boats, ice-fishing houses, and the like are not to be stored on site. A wooden boardwalk through the wetland vegetation provides access to the water’s edge.

Mississippi High Banks is a primitive campsite adjacent the headwaters of the “Wild and Scenic” Mississippi River. Listed below are “Recreational Rules” that apply to this area:
1. It is unlawful to operate motor vehicles or snowmobiles beyond the rock barricade designed to restrict motorized access to Rice Lake.

2. It is unlawful to operate a highway vehicle beyond the locked gate at Mississippi High Banks primitive campground without proper written authorization from the NRM Department. OHV’s and snowmobiles are not allowed. 

3. It is unlawful to camp at the Mississippi High Banks primitive campground without proper written authorization from the NRM Department.

4. Campsite occupancy is limited to one camping group of eight people or less, and two vehicles.

5. It is unlawful to build or maintain a fire except in a fire ring provided for that purpose. However, portable-gas or liquid-fueled camp stoves or charcoal burners may be used provided they do not create a hazard or danger to the area or to others.
Although fire rings are provided for the purpose of building campfires, firewood is not provided and should be brought by campers for personal use. Because firewood can harbor invasive insect species that can harm live trees in Beltrami County we ask that you:
· Do not bring any ash firewood as the emerald ash borer is a nonnative insect that destroys ash trees.
· If you bring firewood with you, please burn it all or take it with you when you leave. Do not leave firewood for the next visitor.
· If you would like to purchase firewood from an approved DNR vender, please visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood_vendors/vendors/list.html and select the name of a State Park near Mississippi High Banks in the “Facility” window. Selecting “Itasca State Park” or “Beltrami Island State Forest” will provide vendors located in Bemidji. 
6. Only wood that is dead and lying on the ground may be used to build fires.

7. It is unlawful to dig or trench around tents or other camping shelters.

8. It is unlawful to place wood, nails, screws, or other fasteners in a living tree at the campsite.

9. Along Rice Lake, boats, ice fishing houses, and the like are not to be stored on site.

Mississippi High Banks Camping Waste Disposal:
Camping area must be kept in a neat, clean, and sanitary condition. All litter must be removed from the site and disposed of properly.
Disposal of human wastes shall be accomplished by burying in the ground at least 150 feet from the Mississippi River, in a manner that does not endanger the water supply, pollute a surface water, create a nuisance, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public health and safety.
No person shall discharge sewage on the ground from a camping vehicle or trailer. Holding tanks or other containers must be properly emptied at a trailer sanitation station or other suitable facility. Liquid wastes from cooking and washing may be disposed of on the surface of the ground in a manner that does not endanger a water supply, pollute surface water, create a nuisance, or otherwise constitute a hazard to public health and safety.