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!
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.
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!
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.
I've never been to an equestrian camp before, and this was a surprise! I didn't know it was one until I arrived. But surprise or not…it was a happy accident to find the Shell City Equestrian Camp. What a beautiful little place to drop a tent, even if you didn't have a horse! And even though there was snow on the ground and a serious chill in the air, I still had the gitty up and go to make some Mountain House Beef Stew, but this time, with a twist!
Shell City Equestrian Camp (and sister Shell City Camp) are run by Itasca State Park, so any info about this campground can be found under the State Park website. When I set out for the day, I anticipated finding a campground on the river, and I did find one there, but I didn't know they had a sister camp for horses. They are both located off the same road, but the equestrian campground had two ways to get in. Both are equally good, but come from different directions. The road is gravel/dirt and not a bad drive, but being unpaved, it's a bit bumpy. Be gentle when you drive. I visited in the winter, so I had snow on top of bumps and ruts and my all wheel drive was appreciated. I don't think I'd want to drive the 1/2 mile on this road in deeper snow.
Near the entrance, there are a few campsites with picnic tables and because the road into the campground is off the beaten path, I doubt there would be much traffic to bother anyone. Just past these sites are hitching posts and more campsites around a large, open area that I assume would be for horse trailers and campers (note there are no hookups here). Around the perimeter are more picnic tables, fire rings and a scattering of horse pens set in the woods. Very quaint! There was even a three stall covered horse stable (three sided). The campground also had a pit toilet and water pump for horses and people. Even if I didn't have a horse (and I don't), this would be a lovely place to drop a tent for the night. There were even horse trails to explore. Even though I didn't stay the night here, it was a great little find in the middle of the woods!
Cost for this spot was $16/night on the honor system at a drop box near the entrance.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally have the opportunity to test amazing products from incredible companies and this time, I had the pleasure of trying out Mountain House Beef Stew, but on top of the product testing, I had a culinary challenge! I was asked to create a new dish from this freeze dried meal, and my tastebuds were rewarded!
This beef stew is a medley of tummy pleasing comfort foods wrapped into a meal that's perfect for a blustery day. Beef, potatoes, carrots and peas with a gentle sprinkle of spices. Seriously yummy by itself as long as you have enough patience to give it the time it needs to absorb the hot water. These meals are fully cooked, but since they are freeze dried, they take time to re-hydrate, so add the water, zip up the special bag that allows you to "cook in the bag" and walk away. Set up your tent. Hang your hammock. Go to the bathroom. Just wait…and stir…and wait. And then YUM! Absolutely worth having a little patience.
But then there's more…
I turned mine into East Indian Couscous Stew.
I was asked to take this meal and turn it into something else to tempt the tastebuds, and I wanted to keep it simple so that it could be done on the trail. What better way to keep the body nourished than to keep the flavors interesting so you actually want to eat it? I found a simple recipe at home to make an East Indian Spice Blend and then added in some plain couscous. Here's how I modified the prepared meal.
Indian Spice Blend: (mix all together and put in a little shaker)
2T Curry powder
2T Cumin powder
2 t Turmeric powder
2 t Coriander
1 t Ginger powder
1/2 t Cardamom powder
1/2 t Cinnamon powder
Recipe: I opened the Beef Stew package and added 1/2 cup of plain couscous and 1 T of spice blend. Then I added about 4 oz of extra water (beyond what the package called for) to compensate for the re-hydration of the couscous. Then, follow the package directions and that's it. Voila! Tummy yummy goodness! I served it with tortillas to bulk up the meal a bit.
note I had a little trouble with the zipper on this bag. I don't know if it ripped, or if the cold outside made the zipper brittle, but I couldn't get it zipped back up for the required "sitting" time. So I kept spilling the water while trying to agitate the bag. No harm, just a little frustrating.
The package says it contains 2.5 servings, but I don't know any "half" people, so I'll say two servings, and I'll say that's probably two hungry women. Especially since the couscous adds more bulk to the meal. A very hungry man could probably eat this alone, but you'll need to make sure you can divide this up in one sitting, because extra leftovers won't keep well on the trail. But I've never been hiking or camping when I couldn't find a willing guinea pig needing free food!
Great little campground, hot, filling meal on a chilly, snowy day. Perfection!
Shell City Campground is in the Huntersville State Forest. If you want to camp in the woods, you want to be in the woods. Even if you are in a city. This camp is off the beaten path, without being "out of the way". Making your way there in any season without snow is certainly going to be easier, but even if there is a little snow, you'll be fine as long as you have all wheel drive. And it was really quiet! Such a pretty view!n I didn't get a chance to stay here (it's winter right now), but with only a small amount of snow on the ground, it made it easy to get a really good feel for how it might be.
Only a short distance off the main road, this isn't hard to find as long as you follow the signs. And don't get distracted by the "horse camp" sign like I did. Yes, there is a horse camp there, but if you drive just past the horse camp, you'll find a very clearly marked path to the regular tent camping sites. They are only a hop, skip and a jump apart, though, so they are easy to get to one from another.
This campground is accessible from the road if you are driving and the river if you are canoeing (and I suppose if you happen to be hiking in the area, it's easy to get to as well). If you came off the river, it's a very easy "in" from the water. Two entrances are available. One is a dirt landing that you ease into (boat landing style with a little, tiny lot for a car to pull into) and…you're there! The other comes up to about 6 wooden stairs, but nothing hard about it at all. If by car, the road winds down a tiny path and into the campsites. Easy breezy.
There is room for RVs, the sign says, and they are the same price as tents.
Tents are $14 (or you can put a camper on the site for the same price, but no hookups), or you can rent it as a "group site" for $28 (20 people max). Now I'm not sure what that means, but $28 seems awfully cheap to rent the entire place. It's not a giant campground, but there's plenty of room. All pads are within view of the river and there are plenty of trees (mainly pine) for hammocks. And the wind in the trees is divine! Ever so often you can hear a bit of road noise, but it's incredibly minimal. Especially if the wind is blowing.
There were several pit toilets. Very unusual to have more than one in a camp of this size, but nice, nonetheless! There was also a water pump for drinking water that was very easy to pump. The sites have picnic tables and fire pits too. The view of the river was my absolute favorite because it's at a bend in the river, so you can see both ways. This time of year, the ice was forming, but the water was still moving. It made for very pretty photos!
I can't wait to pitch a tent here in the spring!
This is a typical rustic state forest campground, with basic amenities but meant for a quieter and simpler experience than a stste park. Water is available from a campground spigot, but no hookups of any kind. Outhouses are provided, but no bath houses. The setting is on a beautiful lake with a great boat landing, good for fishing and apparently also for duck hunting as the landing was packed. There is a large group picnic shelter as well as a hiking trail. Campsites are large and spacious, though primarily set back in the woods. Good info kiosks for nature watchers.
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.
When I visited, the entrance was blocked and office closed. This is in the vicinity of Walker Bay, which is a primo location on Leech Lake, but it is not on the lake itself but set in a mature forest nearby. From the looks if it, it appears to have seasonal rentals that allow overwintering in the off season, the campground currently has a minimal Facebook page but no active website that I could find. I think this is more of a long term private RV and trailer park and may not have facilities for daily or weekly camper stays. It appears to be a decent campground, but I didnt see additional amenities aside from campsites and hookups, and it isnt actually on the lake, so I only gave it 4 stars. Probably best to call for info if you think you might be interested in camping here.
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
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!
If you like boats and boating and the water, this would be a good place to be, but if you are looking for peace and quiet, I doubt it'll be all that. This is mainly an RV camping park for those that have boats. It has a waterway in the campground with slips that you can rent for your boats. There are, however, a few tent sites that are kinda cool!
Most of the RV camping is pretty cramped. But I suppose if you have a boat, you'll probably be on it most of the time. That said, it would do the job. Maybe most people stay on their boats at night? There is also firewood for sale, which is convenient, but I don't know how much it cost. They seemed to be pretty well closed for the season. They did have electric hookup and sewage drains too. And for those that were feeling a little less outdoors-y, they had a few cabins for rent on the water.
There are only a few tent sites, and they are in an obscure spot, but it'd actually be a pretty cool place to drop a tent if you wanted something unique. The tent site(s) are on a little point near the water. It's actually on the opposite side from the RV camping, and they are separated by a little waterway that is the inlet/outlet for the area where the boat slips are. So boats would be passing in and out all the time. If you are the private type, this might not be ideal. But if you were looking for something different, it might be fun. However, there is no bathroom nearby that I could find. There is a fire ring and picnic table. And the coolest part…there is a small lighthouse type structure that is simply a screened in building with a table and chairs. It's screened in and the windows can be closed. So, essentially a bug free zone in the summer. Love it! Right next to the tent area. Although it's not clear if these sites are for rent for the general public, or just for friends and family of the boat/RV people. I see conflicting information about this.
Their brochure mentions that they have a modern campground, but I can't find it.
This area has a lot of resorts, and they mainly cater to RV campers and cabin campers. This one, however, also mentions a campground, but it isn't clear where it is. This time of year, this one might be closed, but you can still drive around and look. Good reference points for next season. All the cabins were incredibly close together, not terribly well maintained (at least from the outside), and I have no idea where I would pitch a tent. I tried to call the number on the website, but it kicked to voicemail. It appears that the owners live on site.
They did have picnic tables, firewood, a playground for the kiddos and lake views. Easy access to the lake. It's down a long, gravel type road so there isn't much traffic.
This was a very strange campground. The sign by the road looks well maintained. And at the bottom it says "camping, cabins, rv sites", but they have been painted over, and perhaps that was on purpose. When I drove to the location, there wasn't anyone there. Lots of RV's parked and many covered (this is a seasonal spot). They were very squished together and the property wasn't very pretty because of the congestion. The spaces didn't seem to be marked, and while there were open field type areas where tents could have gone, I didn't see any picnic tables or fire rings. And no signs anywhere.
I can't find a website to verify anything. I wouldn't take any chances trying to stay here.
While this seems to be mainly an "RV" campground, but there were a few cabins on the lake and two gorgeous tent sites that would be the envy of many other camps. They were ideal, especially for the family that wanted the "tent" experience without having to huff it through the woods with toddlers in tow.
Sleeping Fawn is very clearly marked from the road, and although they don't say "campground" on the sign, there are a few tent sites available. It's about a 3/4 mile drive off the main road, but signage is apparent the entire way, and it's super easy to find once you get there. There is an office for check in, cabins to rent and lots of RV sites available too. Even though RV's seem to dominate here, the roadway through the woods and past them is peaceful and serene. Pine needles cover the ground and create a softness to the scenery. The posts that mark each site are wooden, tall, and are clearly numbered. Close to the entrance is a "tent parking" area, a cart for hauling your things, and 2 tent pads, just across the drive and down a little path about 20 yards. Perfect!
The tent sites are far enough apart to be "separate", but close enough that if you had family or friends, they are close by. Garbage cans are at the split in the path between #1 and #2 and each site has a fire ring, picnic table, gorgeous, flat tent pad and a view of the lake. And again, if you needed something from the car, it's a 50 yard walk. Not a 3 mile trudge through the woods.
Camping in tents May 18 - Oct 1
Camping rates were a bit steep for my liking, but I like primitive sites in the woods. So if you were a family trying to introduce wee ones to camping, it would still be worth it. $28 for a site as of 2018. Or a weekly rate of $170. Showers and laundry available, as well as free coffee in the morning. They also have a beach, nature trail, small store and other amenities.
NOTE: Pets are not allowed at this resort
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!!
It's a little deceptive, because this is called a "campground", but upon closer inspection, it appears to only be fore RV's and campers (as in trailers). I suppose you could drop a tent if you wanted to, but you'd be amongst lots of RV's. I can't find anything online about cost. They don't seem to have a website.
It's on a lake, there was a bathroom (although I didn't go inside) and the did have water and there were electrical hookups. They also had a dump station.
This is a lovely little RV park, but all the sites are close together and it doesn't appear that it's for tent campers at all. It looks like you can rent RV spaces for the season or by the night ($40/night). But they are only open May 1 to the end of September.
If you are an RV camper, they do have sewage hook up (not sure about a dump station), water and electric hookups. It's very close to town where you can get anything you need. There are gas stations, little town shopping, Walmart, etc. Just off of Highway 34, it is very easy to find.
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.
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?
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.
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.
This campground has lots of trees and shade. There is a wonderful playground for kids to get out energy and nice walking trails nearby. The bathrooms are newer and very clean, the showers are great,
The river is fun for wading and playing in. The bathrooms are older, but generally kept clean and well stocked. There are several picnic shelters, a disk golf course, and horseshoe pits, as well as a great playground and a small historic site. Groceries are available within walking distance (take the red bridge over the river into town, rather than walking along the highway). We have always enjoyed visiting this campground.
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.
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!
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.