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This is a great campground for Fall camping. The color's are amazing. Nice hiking trails. Little area to get wet but not swimming. Sites are good and some can handle bigger RV's. Some Electric sites. Nice dump station. Closed all 2020 camping season for Covid. Great for a weekend getaway.
We stayed at this KOA on the first night of our trip. Definitely the best KOA experience we've had so far. Check in was quick, spots were easy to pull into, the bathrooms were really clean, and it was surprisingly quiet despite the proximity to the highway. They even had some huge Halloween decorations and gave us some awesome free flannel coozies at check-in.
This is my experience at Shades. We were seasonal campers for 4 years. We should've listened to the warnings and read the reviews beforehand. Pros:(before covid) The activities for the kids, Tubbing, The pond. Some of the the fellow campers are amazing and became a sort of family. It has as very beautiful scenery. And it's not too far from the cities. Cons: Owner does not take care of the place like he should. He did not fix anything around the campground besides getting new signs the whole time we were there. The bathrooms are falling apart, there are huge holes in the ceilings, they are often dirty and not well stocked. Many of the port-a-pottys have huge cracks in the walls to where you are seen by everyone on the outside and the doors do not close properly. They are also often times not well cleaned or well stocked. The campground had several campers contract Crypto 2 years ago due to how the campground and facilities are kept. The showers cost$0.25 for 7 minutes. The mini golf course was in terrible condition and falling apart, they said they were fixing it but never did the entire 2020 season. It just sat there in shambles. They Charge and over charge for everything you do. Each activity has a cost. Or you can buy wrist bands for everything. On holiday weekends expect to pay more than$500 on camping and bands for a family of 4. More than half of the staff was very rude and unprofessional.(we did have some positive experience with other staff members) last year a drunk male staff member was inappropriately touching a female weekend camper in front of everyone thinking it was funny. They did NOT comply with covid guidelines.(We stayed at our own site most of the time due to that) The pool and pound were always full of people. Masks were not always worn inside the store. The barn still held dances and Bingo with people NOT required to wear masks. Minors are constantly driving golf carts around. One of them almost hit my 3 year old daughter. The parks were not well taken care of and leaning. My 4year old son was stung by several bee's that had created a nest at one of them. Many campers drive their golf carts recklessly, drunk and speeding through the campground. Two golf carts ended up having an accident and running into each other because of that.(it happened close to our site where we have small kids that played) and Several campsites would constantly blare their music, sing and yell until 2-3am. So please take from this review what you will, but this was not the"Happy Place" we envisioned.
We stayed at Minneiska campground since Cedar Hills is under construction this year. It's a newer campground so the vegetation hasn't grown in fully yet - your neighbors are visible but there's good distance between sites so it wasn't a problem at all. The grounds themselves are really well-kept with nice bathroom facilities and hot showers, which was perfect for the cooler fall days. It's a busy park so you'll need to reserve early or plan on visiting during the week.
The hiking itself was awesome. We did the Dakota trail, which was a tough up and down hike with really incredible views of the fall colors. There's also a nice park/picnic area with beach access. I'm hoping to come back next summer to enjoy the swimming. All in all it was a great stay!
Stopped for an overnight, very friendly and helpful! Close to interstate but very peaceful. Owner saw us to our site and lined us up for hookups, saw a lot of families and couples enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings. Good Sam discount. Cat, who hadn't travelled before, was fascinated by everything going on. Stay was September 12.