We stayed at site 21 in late August of 2019. It’s obvious that the park had some heavy flooding earlier in the year. A lot of the waterfront sites became sandy. The sites are close together and not very many mature trees between sites. There isn’t any cell phone coverage at the campground but there is service around the historical site. Only restrooms are single stall vault toilets. No showers. However I think the horse campground has upgraded restrooms and showers but I never checked it out because it was so far away. Mosquitoes were bad, everyone came home covered in bites. Kids had a blast playing in the creek. There was also people out on their horses offering rides to kids and educating about horse ownership.
This park is only about 1 1/2 hours from shakopee. It’s a wonderful surprise to find this beautiful wooded river valley on the middle of farm fields. The non electric sites are very wooded and private. The electric sites are very open and offer little privacy. The shower facility is located in the chalet near the main office. Unlike most state parks, there is a $2 fee to shower. The trails are mostly wooded and offer a variety of difficulty. The historical fort site has lots of great information and signage around the excavations. There is a fee to enter the museum.
Decided last minute to try a State Park campground I’d never been to and picked Fort Ridgley. Glad I did. Based on the previous reviews I was a little nervous… not really a big RV kind of girl, myself.
But I stayed in the little non-electric loop and couldn’t have been happier with the site. The sites were large enough to fit two tents and had plenty of trees to hook up the hammocks. The sites were clean and well maintained and the staff at the park were really nice!
Unlike other state park campgrounds I have been to, this one does not have a bathroom/shower house. No flush toilets here. But the vault toilets were cleaned daily. But if you are the kind of camper Thant needs a shower or a flush toilet, this isn’t the park for you.
’One day a ranger came around an offered a wildlife edible “class” which I decided to go to - that was interesting! I learned a lot (thanks Scot) and it was fun to meet some of the other campers. I also learned that this is one of the oldest State Parks in MN.
I did venture over to the RV loop and yes, very big sites that accomodate very big RVs, but if that’ is your kind of camping then make sure you get a site along the creek! They looked amazing.
The hiking was easy - which was good for me on this trip. Nothing too high of a climb or rocky. Just a beautiful stroll in the woods.
All in all I say this is a great campground!
I was here on August 20, 2017. It is the anniversary date of the Sioux Uprising (155 years)@ the Fort. I arrived close to evening and drove through the site. There was not another soul in site. The building on the hill was closed so, I figured I better just find my campsite for the night. Found a campsite and realized once again, no cell phone reception so as I headed back to pay my fee I notice a sign on the building stating cell service could be obtained up on the hill where I had stopped earlier. So, I paid my fee and went up on the hill made contact with people before I settled in for the night. The campground was nearly empty and very quiet. In the morning I went back up on the hill to the fort to see if maybe the building would be open. After all, this was an anniversary date of a significant event on the site. I spent a good hour to an hour and a half walking around the fort shooting pics and reading the storyboards. No one came to open the building, no sign of any activity. Then it dawned on me…we don't really want to remember how the Indians tried to rise up against the establishment and what are ancestors did to beat them back down and steal everything they valued.
We stayed at Ft. Ridgley horse camp. Very nice horse camp, with electric hookups, and water at every site. Bathrooms and showers right in horse camp, and a nice little creek about 50 ft behind our site, that our boys loved playing in!! Nice trails, I wish there were a few more miles, but over all very decent. We had a great time.
The hiking here is actually challenging and the open fields in lavender bloom are beautiful. There is also some nice history to the park so a great lesson for kids especially.
The camping however is very exposed and close to each spot. Also when I went through the grounds it was crammed full of RVs. It honestly seems to have tons of access for RVs so if that is your flavor I would suggest this park.
It's a great park in an area of Minnesota that is not well traveled. There's also a lot of history here with an interesting museum on the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.