This is a review for the walk-in, canoe-in campsite #C1. It is actually located in a secluded part of the park, more than a mile from the main campground. It is meant to be a campsite for park campers who want a more private location than the regular campground and dont mind backpacking or carting their gear in, or for paddlers from the Mississippi River who access it as a Water Trail stop by paddling to it up Pike Creek. The park itself is located near the town of Little Falls, MN and there is easy access from Hwy 10, or from the River. In all honesty, I have driven past Little Falls many times en route to Minneapolis or elsewhere but never stopped; I never realized what a small hidden jewel this park is, and within it what a terrific camping opportunity exists here for secluded walk-in or paddle-in campers.
The campsite itself is gorgeous, a beautiful setting on the sandy banks of Pike Creek. My friend and I packed in our gear on the short hiking trail to get here, but I do have a friend who paddled in here not long ago and recommended it highly. Pike Creek is a clear, beautiful stream that is peaceful to camp on, and there are several hikes you can make from the site. There is a heavy duty fire ring with sturdy grill, tenting spots for several tents, picnic table, steps down to the water, swimming access nearby, and rack to store your canoe or kayak if you have one. You do need to hike about 2/10 of a mile to get to bathrooms and water source; you have to hike about a mile to the main campground if you want showers. But if you don't mind the trek for any of those, this is one sweet campsite!
While we were here, we hiked the trail along Pike Creek which was scenic, including rapids; there are many wooded trails, and a longer trail to hike into the location where Charles Lindbergh landed the "Jenny" in 1927 on what was then an open field on the family homestead. We also hiked to the Missisippi River, which is a nice trail in and of itself, but also leads to two history museums and a Living History Site, one operated by the county historicall society (http://morrisoncountyhistory.org/) , the others by the Minnesota State Historical Society ( https://www.littlefallsmn.com/things-to-do/charles-lindbergh-house-and-museum ) . The land encompassed by the park is hisotric for 2 reasons: Zebulon Pike spent the winter here with a search party who were going up river to search for the source of the Mississippi River, and probably camped right at the very campsite here on the sores of Pike Creek; and a century later it was the homestead of the Lindbergh family and where aviator Charles grew up. So, camping here is a pleasure if you are interested in history as well as nature, off the beaten path.
In addition, you can bike a bike trail to Little Falls which then connects you to maze of local trails, https://www.littlefallsmn.com/things-to-do/bike-and-hike , or while at the park you can paddle the river (rent gear locally if you didnt bring your own: http://www.shirleymaesoutfitters.com/ )
You can also drive bout 5 miles to a terrific National Wildlife Refuge at Crane Meadows, we hiked there and really enjoyed bird watching and the rare oak savannah and tall grass prairie.
This campsite is really a hidden jewel. The only reason I didnt give it 5 stars was because there is a train line that runs along the Mississippi River a few miles from the campsite, and the sound of train whistles in the evening really carries. Otherwise it is very secluded and beautiful, and a great choice if wanting to explore the area. if you are a birder, the tremendous variety of birds (kingfishers, various woodpeckers, warblers, waterfowl, and more) is great, though be forewarned that a screech owl hangs out near this campsite, and it was a bit unnerving the first time we heard it!
I would stay here again. Nice and clean facilities
We enjoyed our weekend here. The sites are nice and the trails are enjoyable.
At the end of a long day, even if it was full of fun, but especially if it wasn't, all you want to do if find a campsite, set it up and chill out. That would have been kind of hard to do at Lindbergh State Park, at least coming to the canoe sites off the river. But once we were there, it was very quiet and easy to get to. But at least I had my Matador Droplet XL Dry Bag, just in case we tipped over in our quest to find it.
We decided that this campsite was going to be our last stop on our river trip. Charles Lindbergh State Park has many campsites, but there are a few they call "cart in". They are also referred to as "canoe in", depending on which way you approach and arrive. It's a good thing we had a map, because we wouldn't have found it off the Mississippi by ourselves. In fact, even with the map, it wasn't the easiest to find. The last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is wonder if you took a wrong turn.
Yes, it's at the park. So we eventually would have found the campsite, but coming at it off the river, it seemed to be hidden. Until we saw a tiny sign, over a bridge, off to the right that said the name of the park (and no STATE PARK signs anywhere like you usually see along the river). So we took a right turn, and it led us to a swampy bog. And the bog kinda took a right turn through a weird little twist and turn of weeds and trees and abandoned buildings. I swear I heard banjos. And just when we thought we might be in the wrong spot, bingo! A campsite.
As hard as it was to find, it was incredibly easy to get into. A few little steps out of the water and that was it. We were there! This little offshoot of the Mississippi was called Pike Creek, and apparently was the place where Lindbergh used to come and play and swim. So, although difficult to find via watercraft, a little piece of history to enjoy.
The campsite was fairly small, but served it's purpose. We were at site C1 (Cart in #1? Canoe in #1? Can't find it #1?) A very flat tent pad was a great find. Fire ring, picnic table, plenty of trees and shade. Bathroom was a bit of a haul, up a hill and to the left about 1/4 mile. There was a shower house, but due to the confusing nature of the park/trail sign nearby, we ended up walking the wrong direction and spent about 20 min walking about a 1/2 mile. If we'd walked the other direction, it would have taken half the time. And the showers were so-so. They worked, they were hot, and they were private, but I'd advise to take your water shoes with you before you step into the stall.
There was a second site as well, right next to the first. And in fact, the second is right on the trail to the bathroom, so if you were staying in that site, anyone at campsite #1 would have to walk through campsite #2 to hit the trail to the toilet. Hmmm…. At least that site was empty for the night.
I rated this as three stars for the lack of signage, the close proximity of the 2 sights that are supposed to be more secluded, the confusing trail signs and the fire pit that was so deep that unless you had a raging blaze, you couldn't see the flames once the initial logs burned down if you were sitting in camp chairs. But it was pretty, it was quiet, and there wasn't anything wrong with the campsite itself. It served it's purpose well and gave us a a place to crash for the night.
Note: As usual, because it's a state park, there is a reservation fee, even though you can canoe in. Most canoe sites on the river are free, unless they are in a state park. We reserved this "the day of" and paid $15. If you reserve in advance, there is an additional reservation fee.
Oh, and one last thing…beware of the deadly falling acorns if you go in late summer. Almost all the trees are oak, and the lightest bit of breeze (or the shimmy of a playful squirrel collecting his winter stash) sends them showering down. Onto your head. Or hitting your extremities. Or plinking into your coffee.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the awesome opportunity to get incredible gear in exchange for an honest review of it. This time, I had the pleasure of trying out the Matador Droplet XL Dry Bag Wow…love this thing!.
Now, I'll first admit that I didn't have my bag bobbing in the Mississippi River. I didn't take it that far, but I know what a dry bag is supposed to do, and how it needs to be constructed to do that. This thing packs a huge punch for it's size! Here's the specs:
- It's 20L
- Made of 15D waterproof ripstop nylon
- Seam sealed
- Has a beautiful little roll down type of latch that doubles as a handle for carrying it if you roll it a few times like you are supposed to. It's huge!
- And it weighs almost nothing. Seriously…almost nothing. They claim the entire thing is about 5oz, but I weighed it and both together weigh less than 4 oz, and the bag alone is only about 1.5 oz.
It comes stuffed in this little silicone "droplet" (hence the name). The droplet has a clip on it for your backpack or whatever. Honestly, if I need the dry bag, I'm probably not taking the silicone droplet with me since it's got some weight on it, and if I'm using the bag, I don't need the storage pod, but it's a great way to package it and keep it stored when not in use. The fabric is pretty slick and slippery, so it's kind of hard to fold and keep folded without the pod to do so. So the droplet serves it's purpose well when you need it.
The real reason I wanted to try this thing out was for my backpack, because I absolutely hate pack liners and I wanted a dry bag large enough for my sleeping bag and pad. This fits them perfectly, with a little room to spare. So even though I didn't have my pack with me, this held those items and went in our canoe bag (which isn't waterproof) and kept my things nice and dry every day I packed them.
It's durable construction and lightweight fabric make it ideal for adventures on the water, near the water, or simply when water falls from the sky and all you want it to do is go away. No worries…your gear will be nice and dry!
You have to reserve a site - online or phone but you're paying a $7 reservation fee either way. The campsite is $21/$29 for non-electric/electric. When I reserved online, I didn't see any info about a vehicle entry fee; I've seen this info in plain sight for other states that charge a separate entry fee. So…two nights at a non-electric site: $42+$7+$14=$63. A bit steep! Or you can purchase a 12 month parks pass for $35 to avoid the daily vehicle fee.
This is small for a state park (only 38 sites) but it's a beautiful setting. The park was actually named after Charles A. Lindbergh Sr (lawyer and Congressman), not the Jr everyone remembers for his transatlantic flight. It was the family farm that was given to the state. There are areas you can tour for a fee, but you can hike the trails in the park and see where Lindbergh Jr landed his Jenny.
This is a campground developed before the advent of large RVs, but that didn't"t stop a camper from cramming his RV into a site and parking his pickup across the front of the site near the road. Sites 1 through 15 have electricity, and the rest are non-electric sites. Electric sites aren't any larger than non-electric sites. The park was full on a weekend in August and there were several generators in the non-electric loop.
All sites are back in/pull in with a gravel/dirt driveway; a few sites have grass in the parking area. Many sites have a buffer of trees between them, but you'll be looking right at your neighbors in many cases. They must have sprayed for mosquitoes because the campsites are not as buggy as the nearby trails.
The bathrooms are fine. Sinks and counters are fairly new. Shower facility is separate; there are 2 shower stalls for men and 2 for women. They're the aggravating push button showers that turn off about every 30 seconds.
There is a dump station along with a filling station for drinking water as you enter the two camping loops.
We usually stay at campsites that are pretty private so this may be normal but we were pretty unhappy about the site we booked. Online it is very difficult to tell what the sites are like and site 29 and 30 have nothing separating them which is kind of awkward. Also, behind site 30 is a vault toilet that people would occasionally walk directly through our campsite to get to. I’m not sure if this was a path that was intended to be taken or not but it was definitely not ideal if you would like to get away. The showers and bathrooms were fairly nice and there are many hiking trails that are close. I would probably visit this park again but camp somewhere else.
We came here for our second trip togather and was not very impressed. We were expecting more but should have looked into it more! It was still very nice and quiet park, just didnt have much stuff to do for us. Still nice to learn the history of the Lindberghs that was all pretty cool!!!
This is a small park (only 750 acres) but holds a lot of history. There are many cool things to see, although some are across the street from the main part of the park and run by the Minnesota Historical Society (which means they have a separate admission fee). The campground isn't large at only 38 sites, and although they are secluded they are definitely on the smaller side. The bathrooms/showers were average for a state park, clean but could use updating. The hiking trails are not plentiful, but the ones we tried were decent. Overall it was a good park for a short, one time trip, but I don't think it's one we would head back to.
This is one of the most beautiful campsites we have stayed at in the midwest. The canoe campsite (also accessible through cart-in) is located on a small creek just off of the Mississippi river. There is a fire ring, picnic table, and ample tent space. There is about a 500yd walk to the restrooms, and you have to go another 500yds to the main campground to find the showers. We camped in mid-September, and the water to the main campground had already been turned off for the winter, so no shower review. The bathrooms near the cart-in sites were well maintained and clean, flush toilets. There was drinking water access near the old WPA water tower (but the water came from the city, not the well and water tower). We had some rain, but the sandy soil mean things drained quickly and were nearly dry in the morning. Lots of neat hiking trails within this small park, and a Minnesota Historical Society Site across the road at the Charles A. Lindbergh historic site (his boyhood home).