I visited this location as I was at Sibley State Park nearby, and this site was unreviewed. There is no campground or campsite here, actually, this is just a “four corners” at the edge of a residential area of regular houses and lake homes outside Willmar.
We arrived hours before the office was supposed to close, but the firewood was locked up. After a long hike we got setup in the dark, nearly getting lost on the poorly marked trail. Went back to get some safe move certified firewood. (No good way to transport more than a few bundles on that terrain. Recommend fake logs for longer burning and easy transport.) By the time we got back and setup with a fire and food, we were exhausted. During the day though, it was pretty and tranquil. Didn't hear much from the neighboring sites. If we knew what to expect, it would've been a better start to the trip. We would possibly go again.
Reserved the group campsite and had no regrets about the weekend. My only wish was easier water access. To get to the beach was a decent trek but nothing that's impossible. Fairly worn path that winds through the woods. Had a few hikers wander through our campsite but nothing that was extremely annoying. Would definitely reserve again for a large group of campers again.
This is a well kept and well run campground tucked in between the Mississippi River and the outlet of the Platte River. The emphasis is on RV camping, and a large percentage of the sites are for full season May to October rentals. However there are nightly and weekly rates with both full and partial hookups, and some basic tent sites in a nice location right on the river. Daily and weekly campsite rentals are a bit expensive, however the campground offers many resort amenities that arent part of usual campgrounds such as a full service lodge, large beautiful pool as well as a beach on the river, mini golf, canoes and kayaks, and their specialty: river tubing. The pluses at this location include nice river setting, great amenties, secure family-friendly grounds, and a variety of on site services. The monthly RV site rental is about $800 a month for a bluff side site which might be a nice retreat for families or retirees. The minuses are primarily that the nightly rental is not cheap, especially if you want to tent camp, but fir some folks the amenities might be worthwhile. Summer is peak season if course, it is quieter and cheaper in the fall and spring.
We stayed at the Oak Ridge campground in early fall. Campground was clean and quiet. Bathrooms were clean but cold (as to be expected when not heated.) Felt very secluded with many trail options for hiking. Hiking to Mt Tom was a nice easy hike to do with kids and a dog. The view was a nice bonus in the end.
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!!
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.
Pros: Wonderful State Park. Great beach access, easy to find. Multiple group sites. Lots of trees great for hammock camping. Neighbors were quiet. Great biking around the grounds for youth.
Cons: We arrived after sundown and in the morning, we realized we wouldnt have picked the site if we would have seen all the problems with it. Broken glass under picnic table, grill on fire pit was broken, one half of the bench is about to give way. Also, toilets were yucky. Bring baby wipes and hand sanitizer!
That being said, I would assume not all sites are like that. Just give it a good look before you setup! We were at Site 30.
At the end of a long day, even if it was full of fun, but especially if it wasn't, all you want to do if find a campsite, set it up and chill out. That would have been kind of hard to do at Lindbergh State Park, at least coming to the canoe sites off the river. But once we were there, it was very quiet and easy to get to. But at least I had my Matador Droplet XL Dry Bag, just in case we tipped over in our quest to find it.
We decided that this campsite was going to be our last stop on our river trip. Charles Lindbergh State Park has many campsites, but there are a few they call "cart in". They are also referred to as "canoe in", depending on which way you approach and arrive. It's a good thing we had a map, because we wouldn't have found it off the Mississippi by ourselves. In fact, even with the map, it wasn't the easiest to find. The last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is wonder if you took a wrong turn.
Yes, it's at the park. So we eventually would have found the campsite, but coming at it off the river, it seemed to be hidden. Until we saw a tiny sign, over a bridge, off to the right that said the name of the park (and no STATE PARK signs anywhere like you usually see along the river). So we took a right turn, and it led us to a swampy bog. And the bog kinda took a right turn through a weird little twist and turn of weeds and trees and abandoned buildings. I swear I heard banjos. And just when we thought we might be in the wrong spot, bingo! A campsite.
As hard as it was to find, it was incredibly easy to get into. A few little steps out of the water and that was it. We were there! This little offshoot of the Mississippi was called Pike Creek, and apparently was the place where Lindbergh used to come and play and swim. So, although difficult to find via watercraft, a little piece of history to enjoy.
The campsite was fairly small, but served it's purpose. We were at site C1 (Cart in #1? Canoe in #1? Can't find it #1?) A very flat tent pad was a great find. Fire ring, picnic table, plenty of trees and shade. Bathroom was a bit of a haul, up a hill and to the left about 1/4 mile. There was a shower house, but due to the confusing nature of the park/trail sign nearby, we ended up walking the wrong direction and spent about 20 min walking about a 1/2 mile. If we'd walked the other direction, it would have taken half the time. And the showers were so-so. They worked, they were hot, and they were private, but I'd advise to take your water shoes with you before you step into the stall.
There was a second site as well, right next to the first. And in fact, the second is right on the trail to the bathroom, so if you were staying in that site, anyone at campsite #1 would have to walk through campsite #2 to hit the trail to the toilet. Hmmm…. At least that site was empty for the night.
I rated this as three stars for the lack of signage, the close proximity of the 2 sights that are supposed to be more secluded, the confusing trail signs and the fire pit that was so deep that unless you had a raging blaze, you couldn't see the flames once the initial logs burned down if you were sitting in camp chairs. But it was pretty, it was quiet, and there wasn't anything wrong with the campsite itself. It served it's purpose well and gave us a a place to crash for the night.
Note: As usual, because it's a state park, there is a reservation fee, even though you can canoe in. Most canoe sites on the river are free, unless they are in a state park. We reserved this "the day of" and paid $15. If you reserve in advance, there is an additional reservation fee.
Oh, and one last thing…beware of the deadly falling acorns if you go in late summer. Almost all the trees are oak, and the lightest bit of breeze (or the shimmy of a playful squirrel collecting his winter stash) sends them showering down. Onto your head. Or hitting your extremities. Or plinking into your coffee.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the awesome opportunity to get incredible gear in exchange for an honest review of it. This time, I had the pleasure of trying out the Matador Droplet XL Dry Bag Wow…love this thing!.
Now, I'll first admit that I didn't have my bag bobbing in the Mississippi River. I didn't take it that far, but I know what a dry bag is supposed to do, and how it needs to be constructed to do that. This thing packs a huge punch for it's size! Here's the specs:
- It's 20L
- Made of 15D waterproof ripstop nylon
- Seam sealed
- Has a beautiful little roll down type of latch that doubles as a handle for carrying it if you roll it a few times like you are supposed to. It's huge!
- And it weighs almost nothing. Seriously…almost nothing. They claim the entire thing is about 5oz, but I weighed it and both together weigh less than 4 oz, and the bag alone is only about 1.5 oz.
It comes stuffed in this little silicone "droplet" (hence the name). The droplet has a clip on it for your backpack or whatever. Honestly, if I need the dry bag, I'm probably not taking the silicone droplet with me since it's got some weight on it, and if I'm using the bag, I don't need the storage pod, but it's a great way to package it and keep it stored when not in use. The fabric is pretty slick and slippery, so it's kind of hard to fold and keep folded without the pod to do so. So the droplet serves it's purpose well when you need it.
The real reason I wanted to try this thing out was for my backpack, because I absolutely hate pack liners and I wanted a dry bag large enough for my sleeping bag and pad. This fits them perfectly, with a little room to spare. So even though I didn't have my pack with me, this held those items and went in our canoe bag (which isn't waterproof) and kept my things nice and dry every day I packed them.
It's durable construction and lightweight fabric make it ideal for adventures on the water, near the water, or simply when water falls from the sky and all you want it to do is go away. No worries…your gear will be nice and dry!
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?
For being so close to the twin cities, this park boasts some really great camp sites.
Ive camped here several times and enjoyed all the sites I’ve had. 1-4 are pretty objectively the best ones but there’s no bad sites IMO
If you’re lucky you’ll see a Blandings Turtle, wow! State turtle of MN dontchaknow
Lots of other great stuff to see too. Lots of bugs but like, deal with it, you’re in the wetlands of the big woods
This is a nice city campground with lovely views of the Rum River. There is a nice playground with a small climbing wall, benches to sit looking over the river. Picnic tables and a shelter are great for eating at. There is a dog park just across the river, within easy walking distance.
This campsite has been up and running for quite some time! It isn’t just a campground either! You can have events or family get togethers here, or just go for the day and hang out on the well maintained beach! With a playground for the kids, BBQS, and picnic tables it’s the perfect spot to hang with the family!
Have stayed at this campground numerous times and will stay again. Love that it's only an hour from the metro area! Very rustic campground, clean facilities, and water spigots throughout. Really enjoy how quiet it is!
The owners were very personable and helpful. Nice grassy sites beautiful trees. Full hookups, Very clean restrooms and shower. (ADA accessible) A nice quiet campground. We’ll be back! And it’s less than 1/8 mile from the Long Drive in. A great family experience and one of the few left in the state. We went to the Scott co fair during the day and the drive in that night. A great time!
This is one of my favorite parks to spend a night in when I don’t have time for an extended trip farther from home, living in Maple Grove this is only a 40 minute drive but you feel like you have really gotten away! I’ve found it’s also easier to snag a campsite at the last minute unlike most of the other parks around this area of the state, and especially during the week when you will likely have the park to yourself.
The hikes to the campsites are easy, wide trails without much up and down and most are about a mile hike in. The spots that I have stayed at have good places to set up a hammock, and all sites have a fire ring, picnic table and food locker.
Walking in on the trails can be a little buggy in late summer but clears up around the campsite, just make sure to bring some bug spray. The variety of birds in the park are fun to observe, the owls were hooting loudly all through the evening and there were a few woodpeckers hanging around our site. These sites in specific also had an outhouse really close, just remember to bring your own toilet paper. Sites 1 and 3 are on a little lake, but the water is more swampy so don’t plan on swimming and it’s probably not ideal for cooking or being purified for drinking water. There is a water pump in the parking lot where you can restock. You also shouldn’t have any trouble finding downed wood for fire around either of these sites. It’s secluded and you don’t see any other campers here but easy enough to get to! The view of the water from site 1 is beautiful and the sunset over the lake in October with the fall colors is a must see.
You have to reserve a site - online or phone but you're paying a $7 reservation fee either way. The campsite is $21/$29 for non-electric/electric. When I reserved online, I didn't see any info about a vehicle entry fee; I've seen this info in plain sight for other states that charge a separate entry fee. So…two nights at a non-electric site: $42+$7+$14=$63. A bit steep! Or you can purchase a 12 month parks pass for $35 to avoid the daily vehicle fee.
This is small for a state park (only 38 sites) but it's a beautiful setting. The park was actually named after Charles A. Lindbergh Sr (lawyer and Congressman), not the Jr everyone remembers for his transatlantic flight. It was the family farm that was given to the state. There are areas you can tour for a fee, but you can hike the trails in the park and see where Lindbergh Jr landed his Jenny.
This is a campground developed before the advent of large RVs, but that didn't"t stop a camper from cramming his RV into a site and parking his pickup across the front of the site near the road. Sites 1 through 15 have electricity, and the rest are non-electric sites. Electric sites aren't any larger than non-electric sites. The park was full on a weekend in August and there were several generators in the non-electric loop.
All sites are back in/pull in with a gravel/dirt driveway; a few sites have grass in the parking area. Many sites have a buffer of trees between them, but you'll be looking right at your neighbors in many cases. They must have sprayed for mosquitoes because the campsites are not as buggy as the nearby trails.
The bathrooms are fine. Sinks and counters are fairly new. Shower facility is separate; there are 2 shower stalls for men and 2 for women. They're the aggravating push button showers that turn off about every 30 seconds.
There is a dump station along with a filling station for drinking water as you enter the two camping loops.
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.
This is a great little rustic campground within an hour's drive of the Twin Cities! It has several potable water sources throughout the campground, but no running water for toilets or showers. There are several vault toilets. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring. You can buy firewood & ice at the Sand Dunes Stop gas station, just a 10 minutes drive away.
This is a first-come, first-served campground, so no reservations required. This does mean that there is a chance you won't be able to get a site, but I've only had that happen one time when I got there at 6pm on a Saturday. There are usually sites available.
I love going to this campground - it's family friendly, and there is a swimming beach a quick 3 minute drive away! The hiking trails aren't half bad, either! I love coming here to relax for a weekend, spend some time at the beach, and just enjoy nature. If you go in the early to mid summer, you'll also hear local whip-poor-wills serenade you to sleep.
Overall, 4 stars. The only downsides are no running water and no ice & firewood at the campground itself.
Lake Maria State Park has great hiking trails for the whole family, the camper cabins are spread throughout and are hike in only. Each cabin is pretty secluded and on a body of water. The cabins themselves are very basic, but the setting is awesome.
I haven’t stayed in the backpack tent sites, but I bet they’re fantastic.
This campground is on a first come, first serve basis. There are no reservations for the regular sites (although I do think they might take reservations for the equestrian and group sites).
I highly recommend the walk-in-sites for the most private tent camping experience. The walk from the car isn’t far, but the sites are off the road and in the pines. If you like to have your car at your site, you’ll find some sites with nice long driveways that can accommodate multiple cars, or even a truck with a boat/trailer. The beach is nice and private, but it’s a bit of a hike from the campsites. I’d recommend just hopping in the car and driving over if you’ve got young kids with you.
There is no store or firewood sold at the campground, so you’ll have to haul your own in from an approved vendor.
One of our families favorite spots! make sure to get the lower campground my the water, it’s magical.. the only downfall is that the rangers take all rules very very very seriously. no hammocks on trees (hurts them), no picking up stray firewood, no clothes lines, on and on. with that said - we still come back year after year, just read all the fine print so you don’t expect one thing and the bust you for that tree killing hammock.