You don't end up in Side Lake by accident. The tiny town (consisting primarily of a general store) is about 30 miles north of Chisholm and not on the way to anywhere. So this gem of a state park is used primarily by folks from Hibbing, Chisholm, and the rest of the Iron Range. I only knew about it because I spent a summer near Side Lake, and now I keep coming back.McCarthy Beach Park is nestled between two crystal clear sand-bottom lakes. The huge swimming beach (on Sturgeon Lake) has acres of soft white sand, a shallow sloping entry, and full facilities. There are also public boat launches and trails for mountain biking and hiking. The primitive campsites are nestled among towering red pine. No cabins or lodges here, but it's less than an hour back to Chisholm and Hibbing if you'd rather stay in a hotel.