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I was up in the Oak Woods Campground. This was pretty much an open field with people crammed together. One of my neighbors sat and watched a certain cable news channel on a giant outdoor TV hooked up to their bus from 8am until 10p. I can tell you that a TV host named Tucker was very angry that night. Another "camper" had set up a giant playground, penned in areas for their multiple dogs, and had a bouncy castle set up for their daughter…that was running off of a very loud generator all day. The whole thing was lit up with string lights like it was an airport runway and gave the entire campground a carnival feel. WTF? Unfortunately for your enjoyment, I deleted the video I took of the scene. Lucky for you, I still have a photograph of it.
I had reserved 2 nights. I left at 6am after one pathetic night and went and stayed at a Harvest Host instead.
Leave no trace (and set up no carnivals).
We stayed in the Upper Campground in the site closest to the equestrian campground. The kids loved being able to meet & visit with the horses.
The sites were a good size, but not much privacy or tree coverage in the area we stayed. There were a lot of trails to hike and a river/stream that they said you could wade/swim in, but we didn't go into it.
There were a lot of playgrounds, and one really huge one the kids wanted to play on, but with COVID-19 still going strong, we didn't use it.
We had a cart-in site. One of the few state parks in Minnesota that had sites open the weekend we went. It was a long drive for my sons and I but we enjoyed it. Our site was closer to the bathrooms than I’d prefer (pit toilets in a nice building) but it wasn’t too bothersome. There were plenty of trees in our sites and though we could see some of the other cart-in sites it was pretty quiet and relaxing.
A bit of good hiking in the park. But most is shade-less prairie hiking, so on summer days it can be quite hot. The bison are neat to see. There is a dammed up part of the creek, but it didn’t look like water you’d want to wade or swim in. We drove into Luverne to “The Lake” to swim and cool off.
I find writing a review for this state park and campground to be quite difficult. The park itself is great. It’s very beautiful, very serene, and not crowded. There’s a little more action around the rock climbing area, and the play area can get quite rowdy with local children as well as campers.
My problem totally lies with the campsite. First and foremost all of the campsites are extremely cramped and extremely open. Even the ones that look like they are hidden in trees and bush, are actually mere feet away from the next campsite. And therefore there really is no privacy or feeling like you’re out in the country.
This campsite, as a whole, from what I could tell on my visit, is used by people whose primary objective is to sit outside with their friends and drink. This is not a campsite to serve people who are coming primarily to enjoy the park. This means that there are a lot of screaming children, rowdy late night conversations, and more than a few misbehaved pooches (the dog in the site next to me —to my right by 20 ft—was territorial and growled at everyone who walked past).
I would come here again to enjoy the park, but I definitely would not camp here again. It felt more like a Boy Scout jamboree, but with adults and alcohol.
6/12/20-6/14/20 cart in 3
Lake Shetek State Park is located in the SW corner is Minnesota and on Lake Shetek. They have 4 campgrounds. We always up for the more private sites and stayed in the cart-in campground. There are carts available to haul your gear if you choose. The cart in sits sit up on a ridge and had some views of Lake Shetek. Our campsite (3) was spacious with a tent pad large enough to hold 2 tents and had a spot for a hammock. It had a fire ring and picnic table. The vault toilet was right across from our campsite, so we had a lot of foot traffic. It was not the most private site of the bunch, we liked 5 and 7 better.
Lake Shetek allows motor boats and there was a lot of boat traffic. There are other resorts on this lake so it’s very active. We brought our kayaks and enjoyed kayaking the lake, though there was always a pretty big wake and we stayed near the shoreline. We kayaked (a short Portage) to 2 smaller lakes that had no one on them. We were able to tie our boats to a tree below our campsite and scaled up the embankment, there was a path already there. There are a few hiking trails in the state park (roughly 4 miles of hiking tidal) but I wouldn’t say it’s known for its hiking. We enjoyed the causeway that led to the 1-mile Loon Island Trail. We saw turtles, deer, waterfowl and eagles during our stay. There is a “beach” locates near the Oak Wood campground however it was underwater, people still enjoyed swimming as it was shallow and warm in June. We did find another beach within the state park that was a longer walk to reach, but MANY boats were docked and “partying” here. There is a nice fishing pier and a dock within the park.
Due to all the boat traffic, I would say this is a much less private and serene state park.
Really beautiful landscape with a late check out time so we could explore the park for a while in the morning. Bathrooms could have been a bit tidier but they weren’t terrible. Pick spots deeper in the loops of the campground for a bit more privacy. You pay for the site as well as per car, but it is a very reasonable price.