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Afton, MINNESOTA

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Best Campground by the cities!

Excellent customer service and friendly hosts. Clean and we'll kept shower facilities. Camground is clean and safe. Nice spots for either shade, partial shade or full sun.

First to Review
Nice

Great place to go

Very nice park

Large sites. Great tubing and canoeing.

Very nice

Quiet nice spots

Gorgeous Park near the cities

We camped here last minute when the rain held off and we could only find this campground with availability. We haven’t done much camping at Regional Parks but this park did not disappoint! Our “hike in” spot was very close to the car but hidden in a forest. Gorgeous spot. We walked around and looked at all the other sites and each was unique and pretty. I would have liked staying at any of the sites. Cleary Lake is a good size and a kayakers delight! The park also has a golf course and is very well kept! We really want to use one of the large group camp sites for a weekend party!

No pets allowed unfortunately

We called for an RV site but they don't allow pets.

Really pleasant

Really nice campground with activities and a BAR/Restaurant. Pool is also there and is nice. We had a great weekend went to bed a little early on Saturday night because of rain and woke up to snow!!!

Great spot near the twin cities

Great park. We camped with our two kids on just an overnight on Labor Day weekend. Lots of kids at this park, sites were big (we are tent people) and shaded. Only 4 stars because there is no trail from the upper campground. We would definitely go back. No question.

Secluded, River Front Buck Hill Site

Backpack site Buck Hill is right on the river, beautiful view to the east. Circled by flowers (goldenrod in the late summer), brush and trees. End of the path so zero foot traffic / passersby. Fine size for us but if you had two tents maybe tight. Fire ring and picnic table of course. No drinking water (we brought a bladder). It’s a great place to star gaze. There’s a teeny somewhat treacherous path to the river- no beach or anything (water was super low when we went) - Just can get your feet wet.

Down the path a little bit is an unenclosed toilet - not the best. The other direction down the path (only about 20 ft) is a smallish bear box.

You can harvest your own wood (at this time) and that was really great - bring a backpacking saw!

Only downside to the site— you can hear cars on both sides (river and opposite side of forest).

It was a 2.37 mile walk from the parking lot, mostly shaded.

Side note: we checked out Deer Creek site which is much closer to the car. It is a hike in / canoe site. It’s wayyy more spacious, and even has two separate clearings. Also has cool stairs down the to water, and a much more expansive view of the river. We will be staying there next time! We want to take a few days to canoe the whole length of the park, camping along the different sites. Next year! :)

Winter Hike-In Experience

Beautiful site in the winter for a winter camp-out. The ski hill help light our way to the campsite in the winter. The trail and sites were marked well for winter campers so for our night hike-in after a 2.5 hour drive north was a bit frustrating but that didn't take away from the experience. Nice site overall. The lights from the ski hill took away from the experience of being further out from the standard camp site but the hiking was beautiful, nice views along the trail and we hiked. I would recommend for someone who has gone winter camping before.

Awesome place to camp!

Used the walk in sites. Very quiet and private. Took my 4 year old son and he loved it. Truly felt like you where going off into the middle of no where, but was close to everything Incase something happened or my son had to tap out. Ended up being a great trip.

Great get away near the cities

Stayed at site 31. All campsites are pretty close to each other but they are nice. Bathroom was nice and close to our site, but not too close. Train traffic overnight was a touch annoying.

Hiking trails were well maintained and accessible throughout the campgrounds.

Great views of the river and another trail that we drove to get to- sand point. Worth the drive and hike, bring big spray for this one though- not terrible but noticed bugs here vs at the campground trails.

Beautiful views

Loved this campsite and the views. Very friendly staff.

Very Nice!

Very nice water front sites, clean, clean restrooms and showers, dump station. Plan on coming back. They’re adding a bunch new sites. Should be ready for next season.

Hidden gem near the metro

It’s rustic with charm. Friendly management that will surprise you with their willingness to make your experience the best it can be. Taylor’s Falls and St Croix Falls nearby. Great hiking in the hardwoods in the campground or along the scenic St Croix river.

Ditto other reviews

I can't add much more to the other reviews. The toilets were nice (no water). The sites are a little close together. I had a group in 3 campsites across from me with kids and noisy adults so couldn't find peace in my own campsite. But the Eady walk to the lake, sitting on the dock or the grass and swimming III m the water are a great way to destress. I would recommend it but am not sure you will find silence here unless you can pre-select your site away from others.

State park status .

Must have state park sticker. Located at the merger of the Sunrise River and the St Croix rivers. Great picnic area.

Where is it?

Never found this campground. No reviews

Beautiful Park

Spent a portion of the day at the park as the campground was closed. Right near the St Croix river and the park offers a great swimming beach and hiking trails. There is a golf course and ski hill as additional opportunities. Looking forward to the campground opening.

Game lake camping

A good short drive into the north metro outskirts.  Nice car camping location with a small fished out lake.  Usually pretty crowded place.  Has a boat launch and bathrooms.  One of the better quick drive locations from the metro.

Bunker hills

A small campground located in the northern suburbs of the twin cities.  Allows for horseback riding and a wave pool and water slides within the park.  Golfing as well.  This is as basic as they come with little to no travel for many.  One of my least liked campgrounds.

Beautiful Campground

This is a really nice campground with cement parking pads with full hookups. The grass around the lots is very green, lush and well maintained. Campground is right next to the hotel/casino and very much within walking distance. There is a RV wash bay available for a fee and the campground even has gasoline available 24 hours a day using a credit card. I would not hesitate to stay here again.

Enjoyment for every age!

The winter was a long one last year and we were itching to take our new 30foot Jayco Eagle bunkhouse travel trailer out for its maiden voyage! We decided that my birthday weekend was the perfect opportunity to do just that. To be on the safe side, incase we had issues, we decided to stay close to home so we decided to hit up a new park, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park just outside Northfield, Minnesota. This park is only an hour from the twin cities and very convenient for a weekend getaway after work on friday.

We stayed In campsite 27 which was an electric campsite that was pretty open to all the other campsites. Most of the campsites there were really open and you could see and other peoples campsites so if that’s not your style of camping I wouldn’t go to Nerstrand big Woods. There is also water hook up at the park in that site and some of the other sites but that wasn’t listed when we booked the site.

The park office was just a short walk or a bike ride from the campsites and had a very nice gift shop and bathrooms there. There is also a really nice shower and bathroom building right next to the campground host site. Just off the campground was a really nice playground for the kids that utilized tree stumps and tree branches as the playground. There was a really large picnic area and picnic shelter also.

Along with electric sites there’s also just tent sites without electric if that’s your style camping.

Nerstrand Big Woods Is very well known for its beautiful waterfall that you can walk on and the trail leading to the waterfall was also a great hike.

All in all I think Nerstrand Big Woods was a good choice for a weekend getaway for a little family of four. And it gave us a lot to do because in The little city of Northfield there was a lot of little shops and cute little restaurants to eat at the shop at. Northfield is also home to the Malt-o-meal Museum and production. My husband and I are big craft brewery fans And we’re pretty stoked to find out that there were three breweries around the park. We visited Tanzenwald and Chapel brewery and tried flights at each one. Out of the two we thought Tanzenwald was the best for staff friendliness and prices. Each flight we got a 4 5ounce pours were only 4$. There was also a restaurant at that brewery with really good cheese curds.

We decided that Nerstrand Isn’t our favorite park but it’s a good option for us to be able to get away in short notice close to home with a lot of activities around for us to do.

So peaceful

We had electric hookups. They had a dump and water up by the office. The showers were decent and there was a dish washing station at the back of the shower house. Our whole giant site was shaded with trees. We stayed 2 nights and left for alcohol and gas, that's it. We didn't even go to the lake, we were just too relaxed! We had a fire but had to buy their wood.

Nice park, close to cities

Really enjoyed staying here. Was our first camping adventure with kids. Bathrooms were nice along with an indoor area which was a nice diversion in a little rain.

Hiked from the campgrounds to Taylor’s falls area.

Great escape but still in the twin cities!

We love coming here as once you are inside the park it feels like you are out far but so close to home! We can come here for a quick hike or run or spend more time with the kids enjoying the trails. Never camped here but I’ve seen many people here!

Great sites, affordable and not too crowded

Great campground, sites are spacious and spread out, electric hookups at all sites, swim pond is great for kids, and other amenities like an archery range and hiking trails are fantastic for kids.

Super fun waterfall; “walk in” sites not much of a walk

My partner and the pup and I hopped down to Nerstrand for the weekend and had a lovely time!

Campsite: We reserved WI2… and it was no different than a car camping site- not sure what the deal is there, but we didn’t mind. There are four “walk in” sites, and you can see one another from all of them. Sites 1 and 3 require a walk about three car lengths to the tent pad, and 4 is not much farther. We would call all of it car camping. It was a nice site, but after a rain, some of the neighbors pads were totally flooded. Eek! One more positive and remarkable thing was the birdsong at dawn and dusk… so beautiful and unique - sounded like a jungle. Expect to see fireflies at night too!! Ps: The regular campground is so tightly packed and everyone’s out in the open… definitely not ideal for us. The showers are private and way nicer than I expected though!

Hiking: due to weather we just took one small trail to the waterfall- a winding stream makes an appearance through the trees and ferns, then you get to the waterfall!! I wish we could have gone on the other trails- there’s always next time!

Waterfall: this is so amazing to have right close to the cities. It’s shallow enough to (carefully) walk in from the top of the falls for a while- and then down at the bottom too! The most approachable falls ever. A few deep pockets so you can really swim, and a gorgeous, totally tree surrounded area. Just a lovely playground. Cute and weird all black winged dragonflies fluttered all around the falls, and they have shiny turquoise bodies. It was unbelievably beautiful.

Town of Faribault: Bernie’s has so so food and super slow service - last resort kind of place. The Faribault Woolen Mill is there and I’d suggest a tour there if you’re interested in that kind of thing!

Nice getaway not too far from the Twin Cities

I’ve camped here on several occasions and have not been disappointed. The group sites are walk ins only. No drive ins/pull through. They are spaced out enough for privacy. The individual sites are decent & drive in. The space between sites are far enough apart. There are a couple of double sites that will accommodate more than 6 people but less than 13. We’ve rented canoes in the past and have enjoyed it primary because of the sandbars, but have not done it recently so I’m not sure if that has changed or not. The mosquitos were bad in late June! Even with bug spray, candles thermacell, etc…we were still under massive attacked. I’ve always enjoyed coming here year after year, not so much because of the park (although it’s nice overall), but because this place holds lots of memories for me.

One of the good ones

We love staying here. All sites on grass, pool, and really nice campers & workers. Cannon Falls is such a nice town especially when the wine festival is going on. A little speedy, but we still go at least once a year