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Ranger Review of OOFOS shoes at Father Hennepin State Park in MN

While I have seen parks and campsites with more privacy, there are so many trees (and many sites with a lake view) that it's worth a stay at Father Hennepin State Park in MN. Especially if you are rocking out with a pair of OOFOS flipflops!

CAMPGROUND REVIEW:

We've stayed at this campground a few times before, and it should seem obvious that since we keep coming back, it's not too shabby. Yes, I've seen campgrounds that have more privacy between spaces, but I don't think this place is every terribly crowded (at least not when we visit, in May). The leaves are just beginning to bud on the trees, so there is less coverage from your neighbors than in the heat of the summer, but since there are less campers, you can spread out a little bit. My only complaint, and this is the same of previous years here, is that the electric sites are so close to the tent sites that you can generally hear the generators and/or those that think that the wilderness is for loud music dance parties. Fortunately, this time, we were in our new teardrop camper and could shut out the tunes!

We were at site 7, which was the last one in this campground that sits and faces the lake. And while we've been to this site before, it's the first time we've been in our Teardrop Trailer at this park. Lucky for us, the ice was gone and the wind was pretty calm, so the icy chill wasn't too bad. Each site has a fire ring with a grate that swings back and forth, depending on if you want to chill by the flames, or grill off some burgers. The site we had was fairly level. and provided ample space to park our teardrop and our car without hanging out into the road. A picnic table rounded out the scene to provide a full on camping experience. And lovely night sounds of frogs that sang us to sleep!

There are well over a hundred sites, about 100 of them tent pads (no electric), and about 50 with electric. A few group campsites as well as 4 handicapped sites.There are 2 shower houses, 2 flush toilet buildings, vault toilets scattered around and water (in season, when it's turned on).

In Minnesota, reservations are required. We've found that if you make them in advance, and then decide to cancel the day of the reservation, there are cancellation fees and first night fees and blah blah blah. If, however, you decide to take your chances and book it the "day of", there are no online reservation fees and you can cancel without penalty if you decide to go elsewhere.

Drive in sites are approximately $23/night. Electric are about $34/night.

PRODUCT REVIEW:

Now, I have to admit, I'm an OOFOS junkie. Ever since I won a pair in my very firsts campground contest. That said, I'll never pass up the chance to review another pair! This time, I had the OOFOS Women's OOriginal Sandal. The last pair I had was a light color, and I loved the shoes, but they got dirty so quickly. Since these shoes are a type of foam, they scuff and dirty a little easier than other shoes, but the comfiness of them is off the chart, so they are totally worth having in other colors! This time, I chose black, to combat and dirt issues I might have while camping. If you can't see the dirt, it's not there, right?

OOFOS are recovery shoes, and I didn't know what that meant at first, but just wait until you put them on at the end of a hard day on your feet (long work day, long hike, etc). They literally massage the sole of your foot. I'm not joking. I can't believe how my feet feel when I change shoes. If I listen veeeeeery carefully, I can hear my feet smiling! They are sort of spongy and squishy, but not in a strange way. Like walking on marshmallows! (but not sticky). Seriously, they cushioning, higher arch and wide fashion of the shoe (yes, it's a little chunkier, not a huge fashion statement) make it stable and comfy. They hug your feet and don't slip off the way some other "slippy" flipflops can. And so lightweight! The price is a little more than I normally pay for shoes, but I'd absolutely invest in another pair if this one wears out. The bottom has some fun grippy texture that looks as if it might channel away water if you stepped in a puddle.

Quite frankly, as long as I have my OOFOS, I don't care what campground I'm staying at, but this one is good enough that I enjoy staying a little while, to look at the lake and enjoy the singing frogs!

Great campground in Cuyuna country

Super convenient to excellent restaurants and Cuyuna Brewery in downtown Crosby. Very clean bathrooms/showerhouse. Connected by trail to Cuyuna Rec Area world class mountain bike trails. Owners are very responsive.

Great campground

Great campground for kids,

Great camping in Gull Lake

This is an impressively well run campground nestled on both sides of the Gull River and on the shores of Gull Lake. The campsites are very large and impeccably maintained, there are several bathhouses, and many of the sites have electric hook-ups for those who want them. There is a picnic area, playground, and fishing pier on the river, and another playground at the beach on the lake. There is a full boat launch with double docks, also hiking trails, access right in to the Paul Bunyan state bike trail, and close proximity to several nationally ranked golf courses.It is a pretty great location for a family vacation at the lake without being too rustic and remote, for those who like to be outdoors but have a variety of tourist and outdoor activities to do. I would also mention that the campground really is nicely handicapped accessible, with broad open campsites, accessible bathrooms, and paved trails, so this would be a good place for folks in wheelchairs or scooters. Overall I really wish I could give the campground a 5 star rating as the facilities and setting really deserve it; however, the lake has been recently found to have invasive zebra mussels, which is a serious problem. Fortunately I didnt see evidence of them at the beach, but they are everywhere at the boat landing.

Hidden gem for rustic camping!

This campground is really a hidden gem that i never knew about even though it is within an hour drive of my home. It is a rustic state forest campground with great campsites located in a gorgeous oak-birch-pine forest and right on a pretty lake. Although the campsites are karge enough to accomodate RVs, there are no hookups and no amenities like a bath house, so the campground favors tent campers. Many of the sites are right on the lake, including oarking space, tent pad, fire ring and picnic table, and each of these have a small lake access for swimming or launching a canoe or kayak. There is also a day use area with beach and boat launch, plus a nice nature trail. You can enjoy a quiet family weekend in the deep woods here, but still pop into the town of Pillager which is only 10 miles away. Well kept, quiet and peaceful

Upscale marina living for RVers

I am not an RV camper, but thought I would visit as I was passing by and this campground had no reviews yet. For RV camping, this spot is very nice, very upscale for an RV park, and rental of a camp site not only comes with full electric water and sewage hookups but also a slip at the marina. The grounds are immaculate, and the setting on Gull Lake and near Love Lake is very pretty and will appeal to fishermen and boaters fir sure. The only downside is that there is no daily or weekly rental possibility, only monthly or seasonal. The monthly rate is 2500$ for one month, but the seasonal rate for five months (May to October) is 5500$ inclusive. If you hsve you own RV and boat and want to park them for the summer season and go back and forth between home and “The Lake”, this seems like a reasonable option as the price is right and the campground is nice. I am giving it a 4 star rating rather than 5 because of the lack of short term camping options, and also it doesnt seem family friendly in terms of amenities like playgrounds, but I think adults would really enjoy it!

Really awesome trail heads-moderate to difficult

Secluded campsites, electrical hookups, friendly staff. Beautiful sights and amazing trail heads. Some were challenging but worth it! Bathrooms/showers were really clean as well.

Group camp

We loved the group camp site except for the fact the people would walk through it. There was a main hiking trail and lots of people came through. Our dogs did not care for that surprise. Otherwise fairly clean. They come and freshen up the outhouse daily and empty the trash cans. For the group site there is tons of space and very secluded which was great. Also right on the river!!

Easy access to a great park

Banning is located just off I35 but you would never know it; unlike other parks close to highways, we didn’t hear any road noise at all. Small campground (34 sites including one cabin, about a third with electric). Some sites (18-34 especially) offer great privacy. Clean bathrooms. Great hiking trails (although the Wolf Creek Trail between the split from High Bluff and the falls is not marked and can get a little confusing to navigate). The Quarry Loop Trail is also interesting and you can pick up an interpretive map.

Great Getaway

Amazing, Family-owned campground, just far enough from “the cities” to get away for the weekend, without spending too much time in the car. Clean bathrooms, nice sized park for kids, pool (not open in Sept), lake with ample docks for fishing or you can rent boats. The “general store” has everything you need from souvenirs to wood, to marshmallows for s’mores, and all at reasonable prices. Each campsite has electrical hookup, picnic table and fire pit. Pets welcome.

Excellent

this campground is quiet and one of the cleanest locations we have camped at. Park rangers and staff are great to deal with

Relax at Sand Lake in Warba

This is a well maintained community campground and community park sponsored by the local Warba American Legion, which actually has its building on the premises. They take good care of the park, which includes playground and picnic shelter for day use, a campground with hookups and large grassy drive-in campsites , and an area of walk-in tent sites right by the shores of Sand Lake. There is a small beach area too, and a really nice DNR fishing pier out into the lake. The lake is really pretty and quiet, and seems to have great fishing. It would be a good place to stop if passing through, or visiting in the area. My two main concerns are 1) proximity to Hwy 2, which generates a fair amount of traffic noise, plus the bathrooms are basic pit toilets which arent in great shape

Floodwood camping on the St Louis River

Like many small town in the area, Floodwood has its own municipal campground, part of which seems to be staked out by a few long-term RV campers. This is a small campground in a really pretty location right on the banks of the wild St Louis River. There are mature trees, lots of shade, electric hookups for thise who want them, and canoe access to the river ( there is a regular boat landing in town to the west, near where the Floodwood River flows into the St Louis). Although it is a pretty spot, and Floodwood is a nice tidy quaint little town to be in, I have a couple of concerns: the check-in is completely self-check-in, with no apparent monitoring or security in the campground, and the bathrooms and showerhouse looked like they needed a bit of cleaning. If you were wanting to stay here, you might actually want to use the really nice restrooms at the Floodwood tourist rest stop in the old historic depot a few blocks away. This would be a good place to stay if you wanted to make day trip paddles on the St Louis or Floodwood Rivers. There are a few nice restaurants nearby, including the Savannah Portage Inn. There are stores for supplies nearby too.

Wake up to babbling water with a view of the Mississippi River

Hands down, one of the all time best campsites I've ever been to. Not many places you can camp and wake up to the sound of water babbling on the Mississippi River. This site was not only easy to get in and out of, but had more amenities that most campgrounds I've paid to stay in.

Baxter Canoe Camp is certainly accessible by canoe, and possibly by foot/car, but I'm not certain about the latter. There is a trail for maintenance workers to drive in (they come by regularly to empty the trash cans!), but I don't know if it's for drive in traffic as well. We were on a canoe trip down the Mississippi, which led us to this gem on the water.

note: this camp is not located exactly where it shows on the map. I'm not certain if the camp was moved after the map was printed, or if it was just printed in the wrong spot on the map, but it was about a 1/2 mile to a mile farther south of Brainerd than we were expecting

There are two spots off the water where you can get out of a canoe and hit dry land. The first has some stairs, but they are VERY steep. Not easy to ascend when you have heavy bags and sea legs (hey…that rhymed!). After trying that once or twice, I discovered a landing (better for canoes anyhow) about 20 yards farther down shore that was a better spot for docking as well as entering the campsite we chose. Although it was a steep step up a nook in the hillside, it was still easier that teetering on the wooden steps previously mentioned.

Immediately, we were stunned at the size, cleanliness and location of everything this site had to offer. There were trashcans. There was an outhouse style building with a pit toilet and…guys are going to love this…a urinal! (my husband said he has NEVER seen this before in any pit toilet style set up). And…drumroll…there was a giant, huge, monstrous sized pile of firewood. The DNR had left it there. All you had to do was chop it and you were toasty for the night! We had a huge picnic table, and the tent pad was level! No joke…flat as a pancake and right on the river. There was another official site with a fire ring and picnic table, and there were also plenty of unofficial spaces (open area) to drop a tent or hang a hammock. There were tons of hammock trees! Not to mention that some larger rocks just off shore made the water sing a bit when the water sloshed over them, so we had some lovely nighttime tunes.

We did have a nighttime visitor in the form of something big and black and furry. We didn't see him (her?), but heard the sounds of a bear. There was a trail behind the tent that led into the woods, and I think it belonged to this creature of habit. It never approached the tent, we never had to yell, and it never threatened. Simply grunted and "barked" a few times, and then wandered away. Fortunately, we had properly hung our food in a tree and left all the Snickers in the bear bag.

Bottom line, if you have a canoe and don't mind paddling a few miles, this is absolutely worth a day trip. Quiet, peaceful and serene. Except for the bear. But that's just part of the fun, right?

NOT for RV’s, great for tents!

This a rustic campground with no showers and vault toilets. some sites are open and next to each other. there are RV people who think that because it’s rustic that they can run their generators all day long. That sucks for us tenters who go camping for peace and quiet. some sites have lake access and there is a nice swimming beach with a boat launch. no reservations. first come first served.

Very quiet...

This would be a great place for anyone wanting seclusion and to disconnect. No wi fi signal. I was stopped here overnight in site #29 during a 4 day cache "-"! It simply fit my timeline for this excursion. However, next year it will not be a destination. Marsh areas and mosquitoes are prevalent.

Wooded Sites with great hiking and river swimming

This park seems to be a missed gem as people head farther north towards Superior. This park has decent facilities and fun hiking along the bluffs of the Kettle River. There is a self guided tour of a historic granite quarry, and a great swimming place with a waterfall.

We will definitely be visiting again!

Just a quick overnight

Camped here #7 for an overnight while heading to the North Shore. camp site was nice and adequate for what I needed. Next morning I captured the geocache I was looking for and back on the road. I loved how the park had clean pit toilets and recycling bins!!

Savanna Portage campground at Shumway Lake

Nice wooded sites, with fairly flat tent pads. Good camping community feel with centrally located, water, bathrooms, and showers. Great fishing dock within walking distance. Beach within driving or biking distance. Nice hiking but park is in a wetland so it’s very buggy.

Weekend getaway.

We had a great weekend here. There were a few trails that we walked and got to see several deer in the woods. This is a great lake for fishing and boating.

Kid Friendly Camping

A very cool place for the kids! Swimming beach on Serpent lake is nice for the whole family. When they’re tired of swimming, the skate park is always a good time. The playground is modern and very nice. And during summer months, there’s music in the park Thursday evening! Sewer, electric, and water are available. There are tent sites too. it’s a nice laid back municipal park. Walking distance to downtown. And if you’re into mountain biking, there are world class trails just a mile away at Cuyuna mountain bike trails. Well worth a stay!

pretty area and easy to get to

Plenty of trails to hike, pretty waterfall and some interesting history. Easy to get to just off of I-35

beautiful campground

This is a great campground in the Brainerd lakes area of Minnesota.it is right in the middle of the town of Crosslake but when you’re in the campground you feel like you’re out in the woods. The sites are nice, there are lots of trees for shade. Campers have access to Cross Lake and the Whitefish chain. This is a good family campground too, with play areas and a beach for swimming. You can easily walk into Crosslake to shop or get ice cream, or just stay in the campground and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. It’s also a good place to bring your bikes.

Fabtastic family campground

This campground is perfect for families with the heated pool, swimming beach, super playground and activities like horseshoes, shuffleboard, basketball, ladder golf, disc golf, and more. They have paddleboards and funyaks to rent, youcan bring your boat to fish or fish off the dock. The grounds and bathrooms were clean. Every RV site had a cement pad to use for lawn chairs or a camp picnic table. The campground had nice big trees for shade. The owners were very pleasant. We had a great time there with our grandkids. I highly recommend it.

Great hiking trails!

We stayed in a camper cabin that was just perfect. Lots of hiking to be done and the fire towers are one of my favorite!

Scenic Campground

This is for the Ogechie campground.

Very scenic park along Mille Lacs Lake. Very quiet campground, rustic (no running-water toilets or showers, but you can go to the campground over to use those if you want to). A great place to relax and go hiking - tons of trails!

Beautiful Group Campsite for Many to Enjoy at One Time!

True North Basecamp is a more recent development in the Cuyuba area. Since I’ve only stayed at the Group campsite I shall reflect on that. When you enter into the camp it is clearly marked. While driving to the group campsite the road is dirt and very rutted. Be mindful if you have a car. We had many people and cars and usually parking would be a nightmare but we all fit, bike racks and all! The bathrooms were clean and well stocked with toilet paper which is always a plus. Sleeping here with our 16 month old was great, she slept through the night since the tents were far away from each other and we heard the loons calling all night. I would recommend this group campsite!

Clean, quiet. Friendly staff.

Nice bathrooms and showers! Cool agate museum! Close to Duluth

Comfort camping on the Mississippi

The Pokegama Dam & Recreation Area is a small but comfortable campground just minutes from Grand Rapids, Minnesota. There are 19 extra large campsites that can accommodate a large RV, boat & trailer, and vehIcle wIth room to spare, and also two gorgeous campsItes rIght along the bank of the MIssIssIppI RIver. We had a girls getaway camping trip here during the Tall Timber Days Festival so the campground was at full capacity.

There are so many activities to do while staying at the campground!! We toured the dam area that offers a great history lesson about the dam, we spent time in the boat fishing on Lake Pokegama, there are gorgeous and well maintained trails to hike (bring bug spray!!) and a great breeze coming off the dam/river to sit and enjoy the spectacular view of mighty pines and oak trees. The only drawbacks for us(hence the 4 star rating) are that you are just feet off the 4 lane highway, so there is a lot of traffic noise, and the cost per nIght Is $26.00.

All campsites (save the 2 tent areas) offer 30 amp electric service, and there is a roomy area for dump/fresh water/drinking water fill. There’s a great playground for kids, and a big picnic shelter that’s reservable. The bathrooms were very clean, and they have 1 shower stall in both the men’s and women’s bathroom. Plus they have 1 family/handicap accessible bathroom. The fish cleaning shack is clean, and has a beautiful flower garden surrounding it:)

Next time we visit we will bring our kayaks to paddle down the Mississippi. To make a reservatIon (up to 6 months In advance) by goIng onlIne to www.recreatIon.gov or callIng 1-877-444-6777. Check out is at Noon. And while you’re in Grand Rapids, we recommend taking the tour of the Forest History Center-great for adults and kids!!

Savannah Portage for a trek through time

This state park is definitely off the beaten path, with the Savannah Portage itself almost as it 200 years ago when Americans explorers came trekking through. It is worth a visit to the park to experience and learn about 1) the physical geography of the important continental divide that occurs here, dividing the Great Lakes watershed from the Mississippi watershed, and 2) to hike the Savannah Portage to experience and learn about expedition history along this old historic fur trade route. The opportunities for hiking and nature study are really good here.For canoers, there are a couple small lakes within the park, but you can also easily get out to the very large Big Sandy Lake just to the west, and even on to the Mississippi River nearby. As for the camping experience, I would agree that the campsites are a bit small and crowded in, which is a bit on the down side. You might like one if the hike in sites or canoe in site if you want ti be more secluded. On my most recent trip in very early June it was surprisingly bug-free, but it is often really buggy later in summer due to the myriad swamps and marshes in the vicinity. If it is available, you might want to consider the camper cabin! Also, autumn is a spectacular time to visit, lots of color and no bugs, and I have friends who come here in winter, the camper cabin and guesthouse are open year round, I havent stayed with them overnight but did visit for the day one weekend in February, and being in the park in winter for snowshoeing was beautiful and amazing!