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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!
We stayed at Gooseberry Glen Cart In Campground, on Site 1. The trail to the site was bumpy, but manageable. Site seemed a little small, but we managed to fit a 9 & 4 person tent along with two camping hammocks (6 Men; 2 Dogs). We had room to roam and chill while not feeling overly crowded. First night rained from 11p-5a. Site did not get rained out and no puddling. We were on a little cliff overlooking a small creek/stream, so perhaps there was good drainage. I totally expected mosquitoes but THERE WERE NONE!! After getting a total of 38 bites on my ankles from my previous trip it was so nice to not have to stress about it. The hike to Chimney Rock Trail is literally right across the highway with a trail leading to the parking lot once you cross over. I highly recommend getting up those stairs and having a look at the beautiful views. Wildlife didn’t bother us or our food/gear at all and we kept it onsite. There’s a bear locker on the site, but we kept everything in duct tape coolers and had absolutely no problems. Hummingbirds hit up the vegetation daily. Owls and coyotes could be heard at night so that was cool. The toilet is super close to the site and there’s a trail that cuts right into site #1 that other campsites use…At first it was pretty annoying and invasive until we set up our tents to block that path off from the site itself. We had an absolutely amazing time and was definitely a park/campground I would love to go back to!!
I found this private campsite on Hipcamp and it had great reviews, so we thought we would give it a try.
It exceeded our expectations
What a gorgeous and secluded weekend getaway. Eric sent very detailed instructions and was very helpful in his communication to make our stay and time at Bluff Hollow fabulius!
There were 2 options for camping - the upper site and lower near the river. We opted to camp and hang out down by the river. The bluff views from camp were beautiful and we spent most of our time kayaking and playing in the water. The lower space was wooded, shady and spacious enough for multiple tents and our 4 hammocks. It also had a nice fire pit. The upper site had a picnic table, fire pit and one of the cleanest outhouses I have seen.
The property was gorgeous and well kept. There were many trails you could take to do some exploring. The wildflowers were beautiful and we saw a deer. I highly recommend this campsite if you are looking for privacy, beauty and a river-side experience. Thank you, Eric!
Our site was very large, which was nice as it gave us more than enough room to set up our tent, leaving space between us and the neighboring sites.
For the families - there’s a couple small playgrounds on site, which is a good opportunity for the littles to burn some energy. There’s also a nice covered pool, but we didn’t use it because the most shallow point was 4’6”, which is great for bigger kids, but with little ones, it’s a bit more difficult. There’s a river that offers tubing. Again, our kids are a bit too little for that, but we went down to the water to check it out, and it was beautiful, quiet, and not real deep. Perfect for a relaxing float.
Beware, the office and bar/restaurant are located inside the barn. I say beware because there are barn swallows that nest on the outside of the barn. TONS of barn swallows. They’re mostly harmless, but they do swoop down and get pretty close, so you need to watch out a little bit.
All in all, it’s a pretty great place to camp. Beautiful, quiet (people seem to mostly respect the idea of “quiet time”), spacious, and relaxing. Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’re away from the bright lights of the city, so star gazing is amazing!
We were in Gooseberry Glen cart-in site 4. As other reviewers have said, it's a fairly long walk in with your gear, and the trail is challenging when pushing a cart. Once at the site, it's beautiful: right on the water, completely shaded, and spacious. However, we could clearly see our neighbors at site 3, which you don't expect at a cart-in site this far in the woods. It rained while we were there, and the site became quite muddy. Our gear and ourselves were filthy when we left. Finally, as another reviewer said, the animals in the area are not shy: mice, raccoon, squirrel, all were scampering around very close and in clear view of us throughout our stay. We kept our food in the car as there was no secure food box at the site.
We enjoyed hiking the challenging Dakota Trail during our stay. It was about a 3.5-4 hour hike with aggressive elevation changes and beautiful scenic overlooks. The majority of the trail is well shaded in the woods.
The hike up the hill to the overlook is a daunting one. We used a collapsible wagon to haul all the supplies up the hill. There are two hike in sites here at overlooks that give spectacular views. The site has a shelter for the tent as well as other places outside for it. A fire spot and picnic table. Worth the hike.