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Oldest son and I hiked into the east side of the Sheyenne Grasslands on the NCT. We had parked at the Ekre trailhead, deciding to hike past the Ekre campsite. We set up our tent as soon as we got into the boundaries as a thunder and lightening storm began. The next morning we hiked the 3 miles into Jorgens Hallow, the actual campground on the Grassland. There we refilled our water, used the vault toilets and continued on our way on the NCT across the grasslands.
We stayed 7 nights really wish we had booked a few weeks. Our site was #16. We had electric hook up, fill with water near the dump station. Our site was big and private on Grass lake facing west so we saw great sunsets sitting in our site. Our bump out was facing the water when we backed in so sitting at the dinette in the camper we had a great view of the lake. Our table & fire pit were behind the camper with a great view of the water & sunset. The small birds were amazing, the sound of the Loons and an occasional muskrat will swim by. Every morning we had a Chipmunk warm itself up on a tree behind the camper when the sun hit that spot. The big Maple trees everywhere is nice very lush campground. When the sun set we kicked up a bonfire and took it all in.
There are several docks on grass lake and a big dock on Beers lake you can fish from. We launched the Kayak at the boat ramp on Beers lake it's a nice ramp and not busy. We didn't get on Lake Lida it's much bigger and lots of go fast boats we prefer no wake. The bigger fish are on Lida.
There are 8 lakes in the park which 3 or 4 have easy water access to launch a canoe or Kayak. Each lake has different fish in it. Our favorite was Beers lake it had some calm coves in it, we caught some Crappies, pan fish & Bass on this lake. They say it also has Walleye and Northern Pike. Lots of beavers & muskrats swimming interesting to watch. There is a hike or boat in site on Beers lake it's nice.
Grass lake has Pan fish, crappie, Northern Pike & more it's a smaller lake. Bass lake has trout, imagine that!
There is a 5 mile drive in the parks around some lakes that was nice we saw Swans with babies, Loons, and beavers. We loved this park. There are so many trails and so much to do.
There is a fish cleaning station, restrooms, boat ramps, canoe rentals, a swim beach and picnic area tat Lake Lida just a great place. We will go back & spend a few weeks next time were from Florida so it's a ways to go but will do it again.
The ranger that would drive through in the evenings was very knowledgeable about the wildlife, the area & 2 other parks he works at. Someone had 2 campers in one site he told them it wasn't allowed (I think we all know that) he made one book a spot & move. It was the only noise we heard was their dogs in that site when no one was there they barked the entire time. Glad he made the one camper move it got quiet again. We did have some people try to walk through our site we asked them not to. They had to walk between the camper & the truck I would think it was common sense.
There is an Equestrian campground there and trails around the lakes to ride your horses on, a few water access spots for them to wet their hoofs.
There is a town close by Pelican Rapids, the drive there is nice and it's a small town but a nice grocery store (Larry's), Liquor store, a drug store a few gift shops & good ice cream.
I'm so happy we found this campground we will return.
The tall grass prairie here is absolutely beautiful, and a rare place to be able to enjoy. There are two established campgrounds here, but dispersed camping is allowed anywhere on the property (with restrictions). It’s a very different kind of camping than I was used to in forests back east. It’s wide open here and cattle roam the land. It’s a great place to experience all the Great Plains has to offer for the outdoor lover.
Returned here just for a hike not to camp this time, we love it so much! Only saw 1 other group on the trail, did 5 miles out to Mirror pond, enjoyed lunch there and did the 5 miles back. Great activity for a sunny but chilly April Sunday!
This was the first MN state park we’ve been to in the “shoulder” season (weekday before Memorial Day) that was staffed and had boat rentals available. Very spacious sites; the best ones in the main campground (with electric) are along Grass Lake (7,8,15,16) but all would be decent sites. Well-marked hiking trails, however, if you take the figure 8 hike around Cataract and Grass Lakes, it IS longer than the two miles advertised! Clean restrooms and showers. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. The only warning (and we were warned upon arrival) is to watch for ticks. I found two on me.
We dispersed camped for 1 night while walking along the North Country trail. It is a quiet and safe, we parked at the trail head and intended to hike to mirror lake but didn't make it in that far and found a nice place to stop along the way.
There are cows around the prairie which leads to cattle gates along the trail, just a quick flip up of the gate and you are on your way! I recommend selecting an area where the cows are not currently in. Also, note since there area cows and these are equestrian trails keep your eyes open for any droppings along the trail :)
Overall, lovely and cost effective option for a hike and camp.
We stayed at Maplewood State Park mid-July. We actually stayed in one of the 3 camper cabins and loved it! They have electricity, heat, ceiling fans and a private dock on Beers Lake. There is a vault toilet & water spicket nearby. Each cabin has its own fire pit and picnic table area. It felt very private although the cabins are rather near to each other. We checked out the campgrounds and they had spacious sites, some more private than others. It had a family friendly feel and was obviously a favorite spot for fisherman and water recreation enthusiasts. I wish we could have spent more time in the 9200 acre park. There is a swimming beach & picnic area that allows you to have campfires, as well as a nice shower house. The ranger was helpful regarding my questions about the lake and potentially renting a cabin for ice fishing this winter. At sunset, sitting by the lake, it was beautiful- nothing but songbirds and the call of loons to listen to.