Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area
Art S.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2020

Road and river side camping with no frills

We had the entire campground to ourselves on a cold weekend stay. There isn’t much area to explore- just the campground and the river shoreline within it. However we witnessed the most spectacular sunset over the river. It was well worth the night’s adventures. 

We stayed in the non-electric loop. A bunch of sites with divisions obscured by crunchy, fallen leaves. We had a picnic table and fire pit. A pit toilet and water pump are located at the building used to clean up your fishing/hunting catches. The electric sites are on the opposite side and have a couple sites that look more long term campers. The host is over there but we never saw them. Once it was dark half a dozen bright lights came on in the parking area between the two camping loops. It was close to us so our teardrop camper was well lit up inside. I covered the window to block some of the light but I would suggest camping further down away from the building and those lights. 

A main road runs right behind the campsites. They have a wood fence on the electric side but not on our side. It obscures some of the headlights. Sound died off pretty early even with a few locals pulling in to meet up with friends in the parking lot. We walked to the river and found a short trail. We stood out by the boat ramps for a nice view across the river. 

A sign shows a hiking route that you can drive to. We planned to hike it in the morning but unexpected events changed our minds. At 5 AM diesel pickup trucks pulling boats began to pull into the parking area. It was cold and dark so we stayed inside. Eventually we heard the boats heading out along with gun shots- some were nearby. We started packing up and in the process saw that they were hunting birds from the boats along the river. We chose to skip the hiking trail with the onset of hunting season. 

A 30 minute drive got us to the Hennepin Canal Trail and we hiked along it for a few miles before returning to our car and heading home. We did make one more stop at the Flour House Bakery in Princeton and highly recommend it. 

The spectacular sunset made this worth a weekend getaway but it doesn’t seem like a nice spot for an extended stay unless you plan to make more use of the river access.

Month of VisitNovember
  • Spectacular sunsets across the lake made our stay worth it
  • We were the only ones on the non-electric side but the main road is just beyond that green grass
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  • This loop is like one extended site but it was empty so we had plenty of room
  • Basic pit toilets
  • We woke up to hunting season so we decided not to try the trail. You need to drive to get to it from the campground
  • Boat ramps got plenty of use around 5-6 in the morning for hunters to go out in search of birds
  • A farm is right across the road. We heard dogs over there but saw nobody.
  • Just beyond the boat ramps is a bit of a spot to sit out and enjoy the river view
  • The electric side has a host (never seen) and a few other campers