This place has truly an amazing view.
Very nice facilities for group camping and picnics.
We bike toured here from mpls in a day which is a nice trip if you go along the river.
Id recommend this place for any amount of people in any vehicle(s) for a short stay. There’s great views but it’s a pretty small park so don’t plan a 4 day hiking stay or anything. If you’re there a night or two there will be plenty to see and it really is a great park!
I like that it's split into 4 small loops (1-11, 12-28, 29-38 and 39-59). There shouldn't be much traffic in any one loop. It's a very shady campground - lots of trees so it's quite dark at night with no stargazing from your site.
Our site #42 was right next to #40 and there's not much privacy between the 2 sites. There's a lot more distance and privacy between #42 and #44. In general, sites are fairly close together but there are some trees in between.
I thought we might be closer to the Mississippi River, but the campground is located above the river (called Pepin Lake at this wide point). You can hike down to the river; the steep descent makes the short hike more interesting. There are Lower and Upper Bluff trails as well as other short, connected trails throughout the park. (See photo of trail map.)
There are 6 'cart in' sites, but they are about 1/2 mile away from the main campground and on the other side of the road. Park, put your gear in a cart, and walk about 1/4 mile to your site (C1 through C6).
Special rule for these sites: You have to pay $2 to use the showers at the main campground! Your camping rate is $15 instead of $23 for a non-electric site. If a cart in site doesn't appeal to you, the regular sites are good for tents; many have tent pads. There are also a couple backpacker sites.
Picnic table and fire ring on each site. Some sites have a tent pad. The 'rule of 3' says you can have 3 'units' on a site - 2 tents + vehicle, RV + rent +vehicle,… - One restroom with flush toilets, sinks and showers (old but no temperature control) located near the road in front of the loop with sites 12-28. We were in the last loop on site 42, and there was a pit toilet that smelled okay but had lots of flies.
Some electric sites ($31) in the first 2 loops; the map (see photo) has an 'e' next to the site number and so does the post at the site.
Dump station that includes a potable water filling station. There are water spigots in the camping areas.
Trash dumpsters and recycle bins.
There's a $7 reservation fee for online or phone reservations, and the site posts indicate you need to 'reserve' the site before you set up camp. You avoid that fee by showing up without a reservation when the office is open, but I wouldn't do that on a Friday or Saturday in the summer. You can always get a sense of whether showing up without a reservation is feasible by checking availability online. It also looks like you avoid the fee if you reserve online on the day you stay.
$7 entry fee per day is standard in MN parks. A $35 pass is good for 12 months.
Intimate campsites, good tree coverage for privacy, our sites had easy access to indoor toilets and showers. The highlight of our scout trip was hiking along the river bluffs.
Camping spots are pretty spread out, try to avoid going on the trails before, during or after all the snow melts otherwise it can get a little messy. Beautiful views and adventurous trails.
Frontenac is a quiet campground right outside of Redwing. Great hiking trails but very steep along the river. Can also take part in birding walks. Also, love the drive around Lake Pepin!
The walk in sites were really nice - secluded and peaceful. The facilities were well kept up and the views from the bluffs were just incredible - you could see all of Lake Pepin! The trails on the shore were really cool and a nice challenge. Would go back again in a heartbeat!
We spent a single night here at site 37. The site was great, the privacy was okay, and the campground itself was slightly above average.
Our site was huge. It could have easily accommodated an RV and a tent. There was a campfire ring and picnic table there like each site, but ours also had a tent pad and a very long parking spot. We were tent camping. This was the first tent pad I have ever been able to stake down without bending or breaking stakes and needing a mallet. The site was also close to a few of the trailheads. See pictures. Would recommend site 37 any day.
The privacy was nonexistent because there were no leaves on the trees yet. In the summer, that might change. There are trees between sites.
The campground itself was okay. The ranger and lady in the office when we stopped in were a little strange, but helpful. They were out of wood, but there is a DNR certified seller not a mile down the road- you can get more wood for cheaper there anyway. In MN, you need to get your firewood from the state park you are at or a certified seller in the same county to prevent the spread of tree pests and disease. The ranger can and will stop at your site and ask to see your seller card from the wood. The rest of the campground was nice. Many water spigots were still frozen, but there isn't much to be done about that. Overall, I would definitely recommend this campground!
Fun park, large private campsites. Fun hiking with some challenging trails!
We decided to make a spontaneous camping trip one weekend and found ourselves at Frontenac. The cart-in site we were at was very spacious but wasn't as secluded as we would have hoped. We didn't feel claustrophobic by any means but we could see several other sites from ours. We went early in the year and maybe the summer growth solves that problem. Bathrooms nearby but no water available. It was also windy enough in the evening that we called it an early night but I think that was just a front movingly through and had less to do with the hill we were on.
We went on a hike that showed off the wonderful bluffs along the Mississippi. As far as camping in Minnesota goes we prefer the options on the North Shore, but really enjoyed Frontenac and will be back to continue exploring.
This is one of the more picturesque MN state parks with incredible views of the Mississippi and Lake Pepin. We stayed at the cart-in sites that were about 1/4 mile from the parking lot. They have big carts so its easy to get your things to your campsite. I do have one very big issue with the cart-in sites in that you don't have access to the park's showers at the main campground. I'm sorry but that sucks. Other than that I'd highly recommend the park.