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If you like quiet/off the beaten path sites, this one is awesome. Walk in sites as well as drive in. Great (but small) swimming beach, large lake with great fishing available. No hook ups and no dump station. Sites are spaced far enough apart to give you some privacy.
This hidden gem is on the Mississippi water trail around mile 996. It is called "Overlook Park" and owned/maintained by the city of Baxter, but is part of the DNR's state water trail. There is even signage for those on the river to inform them about their whereabouts on the trail when they pass this park.
So although this is a little private city park, there is a specific spot RIGHT on the river with a picnic table, fire ring, and nice high ground soft space for a tent. But really you could tent it anywhere in the park, but this space is set aside a bit from the rest, as it is a city park although very little traffic. There is garbage and a vaulted toilet. There are three picnic tables throughout including the tent site, and two fire rings. There is a nice canoe landing area with a few stairs to help give access up and down from the river bank. Very pretty spot on the river! The opposite land bordering this city park is part of Crow Wing State Park, so even though it's close to town, it does feel fairly remote.
Such a well maintained park! Pretty views and some rugged trails along the river for some hiking as well.
Tent camp here once and a while, but finally got around to officially doing the hiking club trail. Love doing a sunset hike, this trail is just over two miles, all along the river, with pretty much continual sunset views if you take the trail East to West. It's a loop, which is always preferred I think. Nice picnic area by the river. Historic signs describing the old town are along the beginning part of the trail near the picnic area. Kinda fun to read about and feel what old settlements were like!
Easy and pretty trail, took just half an hour, went with the kids. Just an awesome sunset walk and a bit of moonlight!
I live close so I visit frequently to use the trails for running.
This park boasts an amphitheater, trails along the river, a group center, an historic site, decent bathroom facility, and spacious camp sites.
The electric site area isn’t super awesome, as it gets crowded and is more like a huge group camp. But the rest are way more private.
One thing missing is tent pad areas- still grassy and flat enough to truly be NBD, BUT, always nice to have a designated surface.
Great access for canoeing and kayaking the Mississippi water trail. If you start at Kiwanis Park in Brainerd- you can make it to crow wing in four hours leisurely, or three fairly easily.
Nice trails, good parking, good shower facilities, and pretty trails.
The lower campground has electric sites and is situated along Lake Carlos but there is little privacy between sites (126 and 127). We camped with another family so it was nice to have the open space between our sites where the kids could play and run. The boat launch was quite busy and there seemed to be a lot of people not staying in the campground who use the park for the day. The hiking trail along the lake was busy but once we got a little farther out the trails were quiet and peaceful. The highway outside the park was loud at night, it sounded like people were drag racing the Friday and Saturday nights we stayed.
Okay so this state park is beautiful. The trails are wonderful. The campsites and campground are great. Except… I camped here in a 2006 Toyota Tacoma and mice essentially had their way with every part of my vehicle in one night!!! I have a topper and a built-out bed in the back. It was chilly and I had the truck shut—the cab as well as the tailgate and all windows. Still, when I woke the next morning (and for days and days afterward) I found mouse poop EVERYWHERE. They got into plastic bins, duffel bags, backpacks, stuff sacks, etc. Their nasty little feces were found in food, on towels, in the cab, in the bed, in ONE OF MY HIKING BOOTS!!!! Disgusting. Now, my friend who has a 2019 Tacoma said he heard them scampering around in the wheel wells of his truck and crawling all over trying to find a way in, but they did not succeed. I guess because my truck is older and has more tiny spaces they can crawl through, it got the treatment. Anyway, just beware because they knew I was coming and their diseases-infested poops I am still finding weeks later!!!!
Lots of screaming kids the weekend we were here, but we found the quiet trails. Lower campground offers no privacy, but a newer shower house and views and access to the lake. Upper campground has a handful of sites that are tucked into the woods and are really quite lovely.