4. Camp Rabideau

Directions

Camp Rabideau is located six miles south of Blackduck, Minn. just off County Road 39. 


Winter access: The road in to Camp Rabideau is not plowed in the winter. Visitors can drive to the gate just past the Benjamin Lake fishing pier, within sight of the Rabideau buildings. Check with District prior to visiting to ensure road has been plowed.

 

General Description

Camp Rabideau National Historic Landmark is a restored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, originally built in 1936. President Franklin Roosevelt established the New Deal in 1933 to relieve unemployment during the Great Depression by providing national conservation work primarily for young unmarried men.


In the Chippewa National Forest, Roosevelt’s “Tree Army” built fire towers and roads, planted trees, fought fires, and created incredible log and stone structures that remain today.* 


Camp Rabideau housed over 200 CCC enrollees along with Army staff when the camp was in operation. At one time, Camp Rabideau had 25 buildings on site including six barracks, a mess hall, recreation hall, infirmary, education building, and officer’s quarters.


Camp Rabideau is one of three relatively-intact CCC camps in the country and is considered in the best condition of the three sites. When the CCC program ended with the start of WWII, Camp Rabideau was leased to the University of Illinois.The work of those engineering and forestry students at the camp was a critical factor in the preservation of the camp. 


Summer visitors can take a guided tour of this historic camp from late May through September. Seven of the original 25 buildings remain with CCC displays in the education building and recreation hall. The Camp is open throughout the year, but visitors travelling to the site after October may find the road open to foot travel only.  


Events:

 Summer guided tours are available. Large groups are asked to contact the Blackduck Ranger District prior to visit to set up the guided tour.


Watch for naturalist led car-caravans from Norway Beach to Camp Rabideau in the summer 2019.


*Related Sites

Many visitors to Camp Rabideau extend their tour other historic CCC on the Chippewa National Forest. Plan a trip to the Forest Supervisor's Office, Norway Beach Visitor Center and the Cut Foot Sioux CCC camp off Highway 46. (Only the foundations and other remants remain of this camp, but it is also interpreted and is just one hour from Rabideau.)