Taking a trip to the north country doesn't have to be difficult, or expensive. Research is definitely the key. I'm going to share how I plan a trip to Northern Minnesota's great wilderness.
First off, determine how much time you plan on spending on your trip. The more time, the more options and you'll be able to travel farther north. I generally base the average trip off of 2 1/2 days. Leaving work midday on Friday. It's amazing what a few hours makes.
I look for state forest campgrounds in appealing areas. Thesecampgrounds are pretty basic, but have just about everything. From toilets to wells. State forest campgrounds cost only $14 a night. You're not going to find that anywhere else for a campground stay. Staying in a tent and camping is half the fun of a great northern trip. Not to mention fire food is fantastic! I generally look for lakes I want to explore then look for a nearby campground.
Another huge tool to picking a successful destination is using Lakefinder.com. It is a part of the MN DNR and loaded with lake info. If you want to target a particular species look for a lake with good numbers of larger fish. Lakefinder will literally tell you everything you want to know about any lake. Again, research is key.
The most expensive part of your trip will be fuel. Picking cheap fantastic meals is a blast. You can cook just about anything on an open fire! I can't say it enough how important doing your homework is to having an inexpensive successful trip. The more research you do at home, the less you have to do on your trip. This leaves more time to fish! Happy camping and tight lines!