The best EQUESTRIAN camping near
Mendota , MINNESOTA

199 Reviews17 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Mendota Camping Reviews
So Much to Do!

This is such a great campground for families! So many activities including a water recreation area, petting zoo, shuffleboard, mini golf, pool, toddler water park, multiple playgrounds, basketball and more. The only drawback is they REALLY pack you on like sardines and the roads are really narrow so unless you get there early your camping tip is going to start with the “backing in argument.”

Lots to Explore/Learn

I’ll say, one of the best parts of this park is all the interpretative kiosks. Love learning about the forestry and history of state parks!  Also many options for trails which is great. A lot of wildlife here, I heard a ton of coyotes and geese, a woodpecker, and a beaver under the bridge in the evening chomping away at peeling logs… totally scared me at first but he was just doing his job and I tried not to bother him! 

I stayed at the backpacking site: SPRING. It’s just a short hike (bout 400 meters)  from the river access where there is a vaulted toilet snd water year-round. The site had a bench overlooking the river and a rugged stair for water access. Also had a little personal rustic toilet just a trail behind the site. Nice and wooded campsite, soft dirt, and fairly spacious! In wet months, I bet it's pretty muddy. The only drawback is that the trail it’s situated on is the hiking club trail and heavily trafficked. I stayed in winter, where you could see through the trees and all that tho. Maybe in summer, it’s more secluded? But still, something to keep in mind.

Took a peek at the campground- some of the most spaced out and wooded sites I’ve seen yet. I like that they made it in separated loops, to avoid through traffic distracting your stay. Love the visitors center, great overlook, and interesting information. By the trail center, which is also very cozy and rents, skis and snowshoes and has a great inside fireplace, there is an interpretative walk about white pines- great for kids to imagine those huge trees! They do a great job aiding the imagination as you walk along the short trail.

Camper cabins here are up on a bluff- didn’t stay there but totes want to! Nicely situated.

Everything that I checked out here was very well managed and they clearly put a lot of time and care into making this park functional, interesting, and accessible. I loved my little backpack site but can’t wait to come back to camp in the summer or rent a cabin! The river is gorgeous, even as it was frozen in winter!

Great campground

Nice campground with amenities, pool and water play area for kids. Nice on-site store for any needs. I have a small travel trailer that is self contained so I could reserve spots down by the river. Ability to go tubing down the river. You can even get pizza delivered by the local Chanticlear Pizza!

I give it a 4 star only because twice I ran into the same group of people that thought it was ok to open up their vehicle doors and blast music well into the night. Owner warned them the first time but quiet time isn’t until 11 pm. 2nd trip, I just packed up and left.

High end State Park, but better

Top of the line campground. Surprisingly well spaced sites, facilities modern and clean. Trees galore. Clearly the locals use this park a lot. Strongly recommend

A Nice Secluded Overnight Trip

Great state park with lots of amenities. This was only my second camping trip, my first being the superior trail with an 8 mile hike in and no amenities. More fun in my opinion to search for your own firewood and really rough it, but it was to have water and wood available close to the site we were at (site 22) because we got in later and lost some daylight. The hike in was shorter and far less strenuous than my first trip, but note that it is uphill. If you’re carrying a heavy pack, expect to sweat a bit. Paved sidewalks into the park, wide dirt and rocky paths into the camp site which was nice given the amount of other day hikers (space to spread out). My boyfriend and I loved that our site was so secluded. There is also a lot of variety to the sites. The sites 1 through about 10 (if my memory doesn’t fail me) are fairly wooded. Our site had a nice balance of wooded area and open terrain/sky. We were lucky to get to see some beautiful fall colors.

A few notes: the wood provided is THICK. They must haul the logs in with a truck. Saws are provided at the wood site, but be prepared to take some time on it. We had a hand saw so we were able to pack our packs with some large pieces and do some sawing at our campsite as the sawing station was busy with families and other campers. Lots of bark available to get a good fire started. The wood is not covered so if it rains the night before you come in, be ready to deal with some damp wood.

Water station takes about 30 seconds to start up. There are also two bathrooms within the camp site that are what you expect them to be. Hand sanitizer and TP stocked.

Never saw a ranger while we were there. We loved the privacy. Lots of spiders. Comes with the terrain.

The site was perfect for our hammocks. They are super kind if you want to call ahead to get an idea of what your site looks like. It was also great to be able to see what other sites were occupied on the day we decided to make a reservation. There is a grill top on your fire pit (we packed our own grill top, could’ve left it at home).

Overall it was a great overnight trip. Close to our home so I’m sure we’ll be back for a quick trip next year.

Tucked away in the middle of the Cities

I love this park and use it frequently for our "test runs". We have a new puppy and a new teardrop, so this was the perfect place for us to have our maiden voyage within 20min of our home. But besides just being close, it's also a really nice campground. It's very wooded and feels private. The RV section has sites that are a bit close together and open, but the tent sites (where we stayed) are much more secluded. The facilities are clean and well-kept.

The park itself is also really nice. There are lots of hiking trails, mountain biking, lake access for kayaking/paddle boarding… In the winter we love coming here for day trips to take advantage of the cross country skiing and snow shoe rentals.

Nice, but not amazing

We arrived at 2pm on a mid-October Friday afternoon and were shocked to find just two open spots. Our spot was along the side road that cuts through the campground so not on the main loop which I think led to there being fewer cars. Overall, there weren't too many spots that I thought looked amazing, but none of them looked bad either. It felt a little rundown, even by state forest standards, but for us that was fine. The road into the park and within the campground is awful, so especially if you're in an RV or towing a trailer, be prepared to move very slowly. But we had a nice two days, went to the lake/beach area which was maybe a 15-30 minute hike away, and also hiked on the other trails a bit. We have a 3 and 1 year old, so didn't make it far :) I don't know that I feel a need to return to this place, but I was happy with our experience.

Really one of the best places for small families

Lovely back in lots, beautiful in fall. 2 playgrounds, one massive! Lots of trails, wildlife and close to the drive in movie theater. Quiet and peaceful with amenities we will be back to enjoy in the summer.

Best kids park

This has an amazing beach. Great Trails. Sweet single track for mountain biking. The best kids park at any campground I’ve been to.

New groomed backpack trails

Site 27. This is a river landscape. Spiders and snakes..oh my. The parking lot is paved and has a dumpster. This is also where the nature center is. There are often music festivals and family events here. It is also next to Afton Ski resort. This park has a lot of beautiful prairie landscape with some temperate forest features. Wildflowers, shrubs, fungi, evergreens, and deciduous trees. Backpacking to the top hill sites has gotten easier as the park has curved the new wide groomed and wood chipped trail to spiral around the hill instead of a straight climb. There is a solar panel generated drinking water pump at the top and a honor system fire wood station. There is a bathroom, but not super close to this site. This site has a fire pit with grate and table but no bear box. This site does have a clear view to the trail and the site next to it, but it is set back a little bit. I can hear the joggers along the trail that wraps around the site. The sites are mapped out on a wide open prairie ground with some sites tucked back in the trees along the trail. There is not a water front view, but there is plenty of wildlife. The dear and flowers are beautiful. There is partial tree covering but we did bring a tarp for the rain.