We had a really great weekend exploring Glendalough, in the Ottertail Lakes region where the northwoods transitions out to prairie. Lots of lakes, a mosaic of habitats from pine and aspen forest to maple and ash woodlands, to oak savannah, to fens and marshes and lakes and streams and prairie. The camping opportunities here are really unique, it is one of the few state parks in our state where there are no RV's or car camping,, you have to hike in with your tent and gear on trails into the campground, or paddle across the lake to some of the more remote campsites, or backpack or bike around to the other side of the lake on trails to more dispersed sites. It is awesome. The lakes are ranked among the most pristine in the state and are designated"Heritage Lakes" because of the water qulity and the diverse habitats around them. They also have a few camper cabins or yurts that you can rent which you can cart in to or hike to with your gear. It makes for a very quiet, very secluded and very peaceful retreat with quiet outdoorsy like-minded neighbors. In the summer they have all kinds of environmental education programs, and you can learn on your own with their field guides and good interpetive trails explaining the activity of the glaciers through here, how the landscape formed and how different microclimates and habitiats evolved after the glaciers retreated. They are open year round, in the winter you can cross-country ski or snowshoe in for winter camping. Pretty cool!
This park is a little gem. The campgrounds are on Annie Battle Lake, a peaceful little lake. A prairie walk away is Molly Stark Lake, which, though it allows motorized boats, is quite peaceful, and great for an afternoon of swimming and play and fishing.
Galloping Goose rentals is on the park, and rents out canoes, kayaks, and SUPs. Be sure to spend some time paddling around Annie Battle Lake.
Nearby Battle Lake has several grocery stores and restaurants and ice cream options.
We stayed at site 22, which is one of a few sites with lake views and access (I believe 24 might, as well). The sites are spaced out enough that it still feels private even though you can see other campers’ tents.
What a wonderful park for families and first time campers. All sites (except one handicapped site) are tent only and cart-in sites. That being said, the trip from the (assigned) parking spot to your site is very short and very flat. The loop of campsites are in a grove of hardwood trees that offered great shade and and a contrast to the surrounding prairies. The campsites were filled with families and things were very quiet by 9 pm each night. With the opportunity to spend time on a non-motorized boating lake, two streams, plenty of fishing, lots of trails and family picnic spots along a swim beach, it's perfect for every level of camper. We saw many deer, caught many pan fish and observed an eagle in it's nest… We can't wait to go back. It's more of a "domestic park" than wilderness, but it is great for an easy, relaxing camping trip.
My friend & I stayed in their Osprey yurt, and it was perfect for our first camping trip together. I recommend yurts if you’re not 100% comfortable with/ enjoy staying in a tent.
Small park but still a great place to get outdoors for the day. No motors allowed on the lakes, so canoeing, kayaking and fishing are great.
The tent sites are all cart in, making the scenery the main focus. You don't have to stare at vehicles while you are enjoying a fire, which I love. They also have sites that you can canoe in to as well as cabins and yurts. The trails are well kept, the river clean and the lakes are motor free. You would never know that you are as close to the town as you are. And they have plenty of activities to do on the water like canoeing, paddle boarding, paddle boating, kayaking or just swimming.
walk in campground on a non-motorized lake, great for canoe or paddle board, paved bike trail around the park, rentals for bikes and watercraft available, sand beaches
We decided to try camping in one of Glendalough’s yurts. There is carts available to haul your gear. The views along the bike path are stunning. There is so much to do here. Biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boards, and so much more. Truly something for everyone. We had a blast and can’t wait to go on our next adventure there!
I stayed in the group site here and it was wonderful, we were along the water and there was good spots to put up tents, very clean and a neat area in general!
Only Tents Allowed--this is the most serene place! They don't allow motor boats on one of the lakes so there is always calm water to canoe, kayak, swim, or paddleboard in.