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Alexandria, MINNESOTA
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Beautiful but a bit crowded

I am from a suburb of Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota and we wanted to go camping with my in-laws who have horses. We needed a park that was close and had equestrian camping so we decided to go to Lake Carlos State Park.

Lake Carlos State Park is roughly 2.5hours from the Twin Cities and is a beautiful getaway for a weekend trip. You can leave after work on a Friday and still have time to make it to the park, set up and still be able to cook dinner and enjoy a s’more or two.

We booked site H3 in the equestrian campground which was a VERY open site right off the main loop in the equestrian campground. It was very sunny and barely any shade for the horses. The site were in was electric and there were only three non-electric sites in the equestrian campground. The other sites were awesome for shade but were still super open to everyone.

There were great trails for hiking and horseback riding. They also allowed mountain biking on the trails.

The staff at the office were super friendly and they talked to us for about 15 minutes. Their store in the office was pretty great and they had everything from toys for the kids to s’mores stuff and stickers specific to the park. The firewood was pretty fast burning and cost 6$ a bundle so it was pretty spendy since we cook only over the fire.

The main campground was VERY busy and jammed packed. The sites were too close together and open for my comfort.

The beach was very dirty and there were army worms everywhere crawling on everything.

We took a little bike ride to the group camp which was an amazing area with a very nice shelter with electric.

All in all, this is a good park to go to if you are looking for a park close to the twin cities metro area.

Beautiful but a bit crowded

I am from a suburb of Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota and we wanted to go camping with my in-laws who have horses. We needed a park that was close and had equestrian camping so we decided to go to Lake Carlos State Park.

Lake Carlos State Park is roughly 2.5hours from the Twin Cities and is a beautiful getaway for a weekend trip. You can leave after work on a Friday and still have time to make it to the park, set up and still be able to cook dinner and enjoy a s’more or two.

We booked site H3 in the equestrian campground which was a VERY open site right off the main loop in the equestrian campground. It was very sunny and barely any shade for the horses. The site were in was electric and there were only three non-electric sites in the equestrian campground. The other sites were awesome for shade but were still super open to everyone.

There were great trails for hiking and horseback riding. They also allowed mountain biking on the trails.

The staff at the office were super friendly and they talked to us for about 15 minutes. Their store in the office was pretty great and they had everything from toys for the kids to s’mores stuff and stickers specific to the park. The firewood was pretty fast burning and cost 6$ a bundle so it was pretty spendy since we cook only over the fire.

The main campground was VERY busy and jammed packed. The sites were too close together and open for my comfort.

The beach was very dirty and there were army worms everywhere crawling on everything.

We took a little bike ride to the group camp which was an amazing area with a very nice shelter with electric.

All in all, this is a good park to go to if you are looking for a park close to the twin cities metro area.

Relaxing & Quiet

We had a site at the Oak Ridge campground. Each site was very enclosed by trees & it made it really cozy & private. We went down to the lake to see it, but didn’t go swimming so I have no opinion of it. The Lakeside campground looked nice too so I’ll have to try to reserve a spot on that side sometime in the future. We were only there one day so we didn’t explore a whole lot.

Nice state park

Nice campground. The water in the lake is nice and clear. The swimming area isn’t awesome, but I have seen much worse.

Party Campground

We stayed here last year and it was fun although if you like quiet nights I would not recommend it. It does get loud into the night. It has a swimming beach that is ok. You can spend extra money to go horseback riding on trails. The sites are very close together not much privacy.

Nice little city park

We stayed up on the hill where they had full hookups. Lots of full season residents. Nice campground

Winter wonderland

What a beautiful park and great camping spaces. We saw the cabins and they looked amazing. The activities around the were plentiful such as snow shoes and sled hill and plenty of trails. Well kept. Beautiful area

Great for bikers and more!

This is a typical small town municipal campground that is part of the city park. The main community ball park is located here, along with several playgrounds, volleyball fields, picnic shelters, and a Veterans memorial. There are several camspites with hookups that are very suitable for RV's, and also a tenting area. While not a place to go for a camping vacation destination in and of itself, it would be a great place to stay if visiting the area, attending local events such as the Lake Woebegone Marathon or local fairs etc. However, it happens to be adjacent to an official trailhead of the SooLine spur of the Lake Woebegone Bike Trail, and as such is an awesome place to overnight if on a multi day bike or hike trek on the trail! many people do day trips on this beautiful trail, but having a really nicely set up overnight camping stop for cyclists and hikers makes longer trips possible, which is really great. There is a modern, well kept bathroom facility in the campground and another right at the trail head, and the main street in town in adjacent to the campground so cyclists can easily get to cafes, hardware store, get groceries, whatever. One of the most beautiful covered bridges in Minnesota is also on the bike path over the river adjacent to the campground. A major shout out regarding the local bike rental place in town: if you are an elder or in anyway disabled, they have bike-peddled surreys that seat 2, 4 or 6 people, and the RENTAL IS FREE to groups peddling together with a friend or family member who is disabled or can not bike on their own due to illness, handicap, or age. This is an awesome, awesome policy! So, lots of good reasons to take advantage of the camping opportunity offered in this small, pretty, friendly small town!

Crow Wing river campsite

This is the kind of location primitive campers might enjoy, and it is great that there are canoe launch sites and reasonably spaced Paddle-in campsites nearby along the river for canoe campers making a trip. So, bravo to the county for making that possible! However, though there are picnic tables and outhouses at the campground, maintanence is needed and appears to be a bit lacking. The site is remote but accessible on back roads which has pluses and minuses—and given the warning signs posted, there have been problems here with partiers and people shooting off firearms etc. So I would be a bit concerned about safety if camping alone, but a group on a canoe trip might enjoy stopping here for an overnight

Top marks for family camping

This is a nice quiet family oriented campground tucked into Wadena’s expansive and beautiful city park. There are nice wooded campsites for tenters and RVers, even some really nice camper cabins at very low prices. Beautifully maintained, with lots of trails and recreational activities spread throughout the park. This would be a great camping destination for families with young children, or folks in town for community events, or a really great base for cyclists or hikers who want to make day trips on the beautiful Leafy RIver Trail that runs right through the park

Decent wayside campground

This is a small well maintained campground in a small town community park. The camping prices are inexpensive and the facilities clean and well kept. Picnics, reunions and other community events like pig races can be held in the park, so this might be your local camping opportunity if attending local events. Other activities you could do in the area would be to trek on the local ATV trail, canoe on local streams and rivers, or visit the adjacent Amish community. A decent and inexpensive waypoint if travelling through the area. However, the campground is immediately adjacent to the main road which is a county and state highway, so the noise and traffic is a draw back.

Sweet little city park

This is a nice community campground tucked away into the city park of the small town of Clarissa. While it might not be a vacation destination for most campers, it would be a really great place to hold a family reunion or similar local camping event. As a Scout leader, I think this would be an ideal place to introduce young campers to camping. The park isnt huge, but it is very scenic, has a great playground and picnic area and ball fields, and has a scenic walkway with foot bridges on a switchback trail along a pretty meandering stream. The park is clearly a centerpiece of the community, and would be a nice waypoint for tenters or RV campers travelling through the area

Family friendly local campground

This is a quiet and fairly small but impeccably maintained campground located near the town of Long Prairie. It would be a nice family friendly destination for an easy lical get away. There are weekly, monthly and seasonal site rentals with RV hookups, plus they do have a fully furnished on-site RV available to rent for those who dont have their own. The owners clearly take pride in maintaining the campground and in building a friendly camp community for families

Forest meets prairie

This state park uniquely showcases an ecologic transition zone between hardwood forest, savannah, and prairie. There are also local history connections. As a bird watcher, I was very excited to see birds here that I dont usually see at home in northern Minnesota, and to learn a bit more about glaciation in this area and about prairie and savannah habitats. The park has self guided hikes, educational nature programs, and learning kits for birding and more that you can check out at the ranger station. The lakeshore is pretty, and the lakeside campground is green and leafy with mature trees but the campsites are very close together, and the beachfront and bath house are currently closed for renovation which puts a damper on waterfront activities. Away from the lake is another campground in the oak savanna section of the park, and this campground seems quieter with more spacious sites, although they are more open. The park’s camper cabins are located here and are in a very pretty setting tucked into a little hill, though a bit of a walk to the bathrooms and showerhouse. At both campgrounds there are nice ADA sites which are level, spacious and accessible, and also close to the bathrooms. I was at a conference in nearby Willmar, and this park is a good alternative for lodging if you need to be in the area. If you are really into learning more about prairies and local glacial geology, the nearby Prairie Environmental Learning Center is fantastic to visit, and lots of prairie pothole WMAs are also closeby for waterfowl watching

No longer a campground

This may have been a former campground, but the property has been recently sold and it appears that a new private lakehome is being built or renovated. The property is located next to the Henderson Lake public access, which has warnings that the lake is infested with invasive species so maybe this affected the campground’s popularity?

Nice family campground

This is a nicely forested family-oriented campground on the shores of Games Lake. Though not quite as nice as the nearby Sibley State Park, it has easy access to it as well as the Glacial Lakes bike trail, plus is set on a nice lake with fishing, boating, and swimming available. There is a nice community center too. The campground is owned by Kandiyohi County, and rates for tent camping or various levels of RV camping are very reasonable but only offered for weekly rentals.

Family Camping and more

This is an impeccably maintained city-campground that shows the local are proud of “Our Town” and native son Sinclair Lewis, the hometown American author. Just blocks from the original Main Street, the campground is in the west end of the beautiful lakeside city park. Not only can you camp here in safety and comfort in a family-friendly setting (neighborly camping community, great playgrounds, fishing at your doorstep while but but a close walk to Main Street for unique shops snd cafes) but there are a host of community events that happen in the park, including concerts at a beautiful historic bandstand, art fair and similar events, and an annual 4-day festival in mid-July that celebrates Sauk Centre and all things Sinclair Lewis. Campground rates are extremely reasonable ($15 a night for tent sites, $30 a night for an RV site with full hookups) plus there are weekly, monthly, and seasonal rates. This is a great place for retired local snowbirds to stay in the summer, and a nice regional camping spot for families with kids or folks who would like a home base for day trips in the area including treks on the Lake Woebegone Trail. Check out this local website for activity ideas! http://www.visitsaukcentre.org

Overall, High marks for great maintainence, convenient location, and family oriented setting; however, though the lakeshore is pretty, the lake does have a problem with zebra musells, and many of the RV sites are located pretty close together.

Limited appeal

Granted, I visited on a gray rainy day when a campground might not appear to be its best. However, having checked it out I would hesitate to camp here. Although clearly it has its fans as there are seasonal RV site renters, the campground has the appearance of a place where folks might gather to party after a day of hunting or fishing. There is a rudimentary playground, but the dominant feature is the bar which appears in rough shape, and there are signs up not about children at play, but about tipsy adults at play. It doesn’t give the best impression. There are daily tent sites and daily RV sites in addition to seasonal rentals, and the RV sites seem to have the basic hookups RVers would need, but the campground is basically open and mostly treeless which also doesnt appeal to me. The location is near a lake and lake access, but not actually on the lake though you can see it in the distance. The prices for site rental ($25 a night for tent sites, and $35 a night for RV’s) are probably lower than many area RV campgrounds, so that might appeal to some folks

Flooded!

We stayed on the Pittsburgh side and found the campground amazing! Until it flooded. We were evacuated and moved to higher ground. The spot we had first was 311 and it was great until it flooded. Camping spot was shaded with plenty of room. Nice shower house and plenty of bathrooms. Could have proved to be a nightmare week was actually a blast partially due to the wonderful park staff. All in all a great week!

Quaint and No Frills

Definitely an older campground that could use some minor updates, but the place is quiet and no one bothers you. The owners are really nice and super helpful. Really nice beach and fair water rental prices. No frills, fill your water tank before you go!

Pretty Views, No Privacy

We reserved a campsite at this park for two nights in May. As expected, the views were beautiful. The hiking trail was short and not well maintained but overall, there were pretty views over the water. Our campsite itself hadn’t been maintained and there was zero privacy. We could see everything in all campsites surrounding ours; even hear their conversations. When we arrived to the park we found out that the office did not have firewood to purchase. Instead they posted a sign that said we’d have to go to Sibley State Park down the street (about 20 minutes away) and get it there. Honestly, we probably won’t go back to this park because the staff didn’t seem to care about the presence of it. Not the best first impression.

In town camping

Walking distance to stores water and electricity

Wonderful people

In ground pool game room volleyball basketball Very new owners

Camping

Shallow lake for swimming not a lot of sites

Horseback riding and weekeend activites

Every weekend have something different going on to do

Quiet, wooded, this place is perfect!

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.

This is not a campground

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.

Nice scenery. Tight spaces

Not my favorite campground. Sites are very cramped

Our favorite MN State Park

This park has everything from bike trails, hiking trails, look out tower at the top of Mount Tom, to swimming and fishing. Close to our home so we go often!

Our local park

Nice quiet little park. Not to far from home. Sites are nice and the restrooms and showers are close.