The staff were very friendly on arrival. Allowed us to pick a preferred spot which is nice. They had a small pool that was to chilly for me but my kids still gave it a shot!!
The restrooms were very clean and the property was well maintained. I would definitely stop here for the evening again if I was driving through.
Very nice area, camped in a tent at the end of September. Firewood had very easy access. The campground was a pretty large layout, but still easy to navigate. Nice hiking spots with amazing views. Bugs weren't too terrible, I maybe had two mosquito bites the whole 4 days, and that was before I put bug spray on.
Rentals for canoes and kayaks are available. Unfortunately, when I went the current was too strong. We could still rent one but they warned us that if we weren't able to make it through the current, that we wouldn't be able to get our money refunded.
There were signs posted that the drinking water cannot be boiled, nor can it be given to babies or elderly due to high nitrates. But we brought our own water anyways.
This is a nice park with a lot of activities for kids including a pool and jumping pad. The main park of the campground has people packed in pretty close. There a some spots that are more expensive with more space. I thought this place was a little high priced in general.
We got there right after a major thunderstorm that took out a lot of trees so the place looked ragged but it was a nice place.
The Internet was good. It was a typical KOA and everything was kept up and clean.
They did have a $1 Sunday when we got there which was fun Ice Cream and topping for $1. Then that night they had movies which was nice. A great pool and play area for the kids.
Since we drove through the horrible storm we really did not want to get out and explore the area any more so even though it seemed to be great place to stay I don't know what is around the area.
I do know the people were friendly and nice and even after a major storm like that they were cleaning up and getting everything back to normal.
We will be coming back here as we cross MN again.
The campsite we stayed at was OK. Very close to neighbors and they were loud. Not much privacy but I am used to hike-in sites so that may be wear my feelings are steming from. MN Hiking Club Trail was very nice. Get ready to have wet feet though! There are two water bridge crossings and the waters were high when we were there.
If you are a tent camper, I would suggest going to local nearby state parks vs. this campground. Nice for a quick weekend away in an RV. On the Mississippi River and close to town. Across the street from a dog park so if you bring your fur-friend with, there is a nice enclosed area for them to run while being supervised.
Campsites are beautiful, each one seems to have unique qualities. We stayed in site 42, it didn’t seem to have very much privacy. I was also hoping for a view of the river but I couldn’t see it from the site. We found a dream catcher in the trees, so we made another one to leave. The tent sites along the river are amazing! Each one has a path down to the river. Site 69 has a private beach and it’s deep enough to swim in. For being a stocked river, we didn’t get a single bite all weekend. I only saw 1 person actually catch a single fish. We did a couple trails while we were there. It says Chimney Rock has “over 100 step” I think it’s 199 each way! We tried using the campground’s GPS units but couldn’t figure them out. Others said the same thing. We drove through the newer campground Minneiska, the pictures online made it look bare, but it was beautiful! It was a prairie full of wild flowers! The trees were newer but old enough to still create shade. There was an abundance of staff always driving around yet there was a bathhouse that had clogged up toilets all weekend long. There is also ZERO cell phone reception. Whether that is a plus or a minus, that’s up to you.
We have a 30ft travel trailer and we had a tight fit into our campsite. But shady trees overhead and a nice fire pit. Best part about the campground are the trails! We had some stellar hikes, and there's kayaking nearby. Well maintained trails of increasing difficulty. Bring water!! We also saw lots of interesting wildlife, including a rattle snake at the top shelter. Trempaleau is a cute little town with great food at the Hotel and a bike trail for some distance. Like all state parks they are electric only. It took forever to fill out tank, so my only complaint was it took about 30 min per camper to get about 1/2 full with water. We used the pit and flush facilities. Skipped the showers and just went swimming instead.
Stayed at site 31. All campsites are pretty close to each other but they are nice. Bathroom was nice and close to our site, but not too close. Train traffic overnight was a touch annoying.
Hiking trails were well maintained and accessible throughout the campgrounds.
Great views of the river and another trail that we drove to get to- sand point. Worth the drive and hike, bring big spray for this one though- not terrible but noticed bugs here vs at the campground trails.
This campground has two sections, north and south. The southern portion has been closed all summer because of flooding. We stayed in the north section in site 12, which has a small grassy overflow parking lot across from it. The campground is clean and very open. The campsites are arranged on both sides of a circle drive with trees surrounding the circle and some in the middle.
There is a play ground for the kids, but you need to drive or walk about half mile to 3/4 of a mile to it. It is located at the nature center. During our stay, they had a presentation on birds and our boys really enjoyed it. The park also offers a boat landing, which was clean and easily accessible. You could also bring your boat up to a walk-able landing near the north campground, but this is inaccessible by car. This landing did offer a sand beach, but I don't know that I would recommend swimming here because of algae. During our stay we were also plagued by little black flies, but the mosquitoes weren't bad.
The campground offered very clean restroom facilities with both bathrooms and showers at one end, near where we stayed, and at the other end there was a bathroom that offered pit toilets. You are able to tent camp or bring in a pop up camper or larger pull behind. I'm not sure that a large RV would fit in any of the sites, but a small one definitely would. There are specific sites that are reserved only for tents and some sites do offer electrical access. There are no sites with water access, but there are two water access points within the North Campground, one on each end. Roads in the park/campground are paved. The campsites themselves are not paved. They are grassy. There are no additional amenities at this campground.
While the campground itself is quiet and all campers were respectable, the frequency of trains and the loudness of their horns at night was enough to drive me nuts. Every time I was almost asleep another one would go past. I finally moved from our popup camper to our car, which blocked out enough noise to allow me to fall asleep. Because of the trains, we will not be returning to camp here. If you are not able to fall asleep right away or are a light sleeper, I would definitely not recommend staying here.
The rest of the park was quiet and did not have much car traffic. I am not sure if this was due to the fact that the south campground was flooded or if it always has few cars. I was able to run the length of the park without encountering many cars (3.8 miles round trip including running through parking lots in the park). I did not, but you are able to walk through the flooded section of the park. They are just prohibiting people from driving there. Close to fishing, boating, and unique shopping opportunities.
Chimney Rock Campground was exactly what this Family needed for our first camping trip! We stayed in the upper C campground, every spot is spread far apart for privacy. Yes there was music and people partying I have read people complain in other reviews, but it was done at a decent time and what do you expect? we have all been there and done that and they were done before midnight and silence the rest of the night! We rented canoes and went on a four hour trip but next time we will Deff go on a longer canoe trip and leave earlier. The scenery and the clear water on the river and we went fishing and caught one after the other. We cannot complain about one single thing from our weekend getaway close to home and will be back very very soon.
The winter was a long one last year and we were itching to take our new 30foot Jayco Eagle bunkhouse travel trailer out for its maiden voyage! We decided that my birthday weekend was the perfect opportunity to do just that. To be on the safe side, incase we had issues, we decided to stay close to home so we decided to hit up a new park, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park just outside Northfield, Minnesota. This park is only an hour from the twin cities and very convenient for a weekend getaway after work on friday.
We stayed In campsite 27 which was an electric campsite that was pretty open to all the other campsites. Most of the campsites there were really open and you could see and other peoples campsites so if that’s not your style of camping I wouldn’t go to Nerstrand big Woods. There is also water hook up at the park in that site and some of the other sites but that wasn’t listed when we booked the site.
The park office was just a short walk or a bike ride from the campsites and had a very nice gift shop and bathrooms there. There is also a really nice shower and bathroom building right next to the campground host site. Just off the campground was a really nice playground for the kids that utilized tree stumps and tree branches as the playground. There was a really large picnic area and picnic shelter also.
Along with electric sites there’s also just tent sites without electric if that’s your style camping.
Nerstrand Big Woods Is very well known for its beautiful waterfall that you can walk on and the trail leading to the waterfall was also a great hike.
All in all I think Nerstrand Big Woods was a good choice for a weekend getaway for a little family of four. And it gave us a lot to do because in The little city of Northfield there was a lot of little shops and cute little restaurants to eat at the shop at. Northfield is also home to the Malt-o-meal Museum and production. My husband and I are big craft brewery fans And we’re pretty stoked to find out that there were three breweries around the park. We visited Tanzenwald and Chapel brewery and tried flights at each one. Out of the two we thought Tanzenwald was the best for staff friendliness and prices. Each flight we got a 4 5ounce pours were only 4$. There was also a restaurant at that brewery with really good cheese curds.
We decided that Nerstrand Isn’t our favorite park but it’s a good option for us to be able to get away in short notice close to home with a lot of activities around for us to do.
We didn’t camp at this campground but we visited for the lazy river tubing. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We arrived just before the last lazy river trip started, the staff was clear that we would only get one trip down the river and we were fine with that. The tubes were in great shape, river was a little high but clear of fallen limbs ( for the most part) the woman who drove the bus to pick us up was amazingly friendly, you could tell she loved her job and it made you feel happy to be around her! Everyone had a blast, we will definitely go back!
This park has a lot to offer in terms of hiking! Many, many miles of trials from flat prairies, to rocky bluffs, to dirt wooded. And some excellent views from the blufftops! We plan on going in the fall again to take in the colors! Beautiful trout fishing river running through the park, even has a swimming beach!
Overall a wonderful park to day-hike, fish, and camp in!
This campground has a TON of sites! There are close to 60 sites in all, about a third to half of those are electric sites. If you like open spaces, this is a wonderful place to camp.
Beautiful, clean, and recently updated bathrooms and showers!
So much wildlife to see at this park. Seeing large groups of deer was a daily/nightly thing!
The park has 20+ miles of hiking trails through prairies, woodlands, and along the lake too! PLus the park offers geocashing (and free GPS rental), as well as canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and a small fishing that can be rented!
A lot to offer here!
My partner and the pup and I hopped down to Nerstrand for the weekend and had a lovely time!
Campsite: We reserved WI2… and it was no different than a car camping site- not sure what the deal is there, but we didn’t mind. There are four “walk in” sites, and you can see one another from all of them. Sites 1 and 3 require a walk about three car lengths to the tent pad, and 4 is not much farther. We would call all of it car camping. It was a nice site, but after a rain, some of the neighbors pads were totally flooded. Eek! One more positive and remarkable thing was the birdsong at dawn and dusk… so beautiful and unique - sounded like a jungle. Expect to see fireflies at night too!! Ps: The regular campground is so tightly packed and everyone’s out in the open… definitely not ideal for us. The showers are private and way nicer than I expected though!
Hiking: due to weather we just took one small trail to the waterfall- a winding stream makes an appearance through the trees and ferns, then you get to the waterfall!! I wish we could have gone on the other trails- there’s always next time!
Waterfall: this is so amazing to have right close to the cities. It’s shallow enough to (carefully) walk in from the top of the falls for a while- and then down at the bottom too! The most approachable falls ever. A few deep pockets so you can really swim, and a gorgeous, totally tree surrounded area. Just a lovely playground. Cute and weird all black winged dragonflies fluttered all around the falls, and they have shiny turquoise bodies. It was unbelievably beautiful.
Town of Faribault: Bernie’s has so so food and super slow service - last resort kind of place. The Faribault Woolen Mill is there and I’d suggest a tour there if you’re interested in that kind of thing!
Pay close attention to times for activities here. Things start late and end early. Lots to do, and good overall. Some tlc is needed (mowing, weeds). Overall we would come back during the week for another fun time.