We had a terrible experience last year trying to camp here, BUT it’s not the campgrounds fault!
Unfortunately we chose the peak of mosquitos season and camping next to slow moving water is a recipe for disaster. It was also a very hot weekend. We showed up and set up camp and within the first hour our dog was clearly stressed by all the bugs. He ended up hiding in the car and soon after his face swelled up and he got very sick. Within 3 hours of showing up we had to pack up and head home to get him safe and comfortable. Do not fret, our boy was okay and thankfully the family across from us (in an RV) has Benadryl for their dog they gave to us. We don’t travel or camp without proper bug spray and meds for our dog now so lessons were learned.
Long story short we would love to come back when the bugs aren’t as bad!
Very cool exploring the rock cliffs along the river, including the glacially created “potholes”, otherworldly! Nice campground close to the water! We camped early in the season before the mosquitoes.
Wild River was a great campground, and only about an hour drive from the Twin Cities. The sites were nicely shaded and roomy for our tent and screen tent.
There is ample hiking, however due to early spring rains, many of the trails near the St. Croix were flooded, which is pretty typical for the river in the spring. We would have liked a swimming beach for the kids, but they enjoyed exploring the trails, especially the trail with a lookout over the river.
The great thing about June is that the bugs weren't bad at all. We escaped early in the morning due to impending rain, but found a lovely brunch spot on the way back to the cities.
We had a river front site (63) and the river sites are AMAZING! The tubing is obviously fun and this campground has tree cover unlike anything I’ve ever seen!
When we first arrived Friday, our site didn’t happen to have any campers around us but Saturday night we did have some directly next to us and they played music inconsiderably loud.
The management and staff were nice but they also had little patience it seemed. Also the clubhouse and surrounding structures are falling apart and make the site look old and unkept. It needs to be cleaner is my only complaint.
Great park, beautiful views, nice sites
Adorable family campground on a farm that has nice large campsites. The campground revolves around children. A huge playground, pony rides, animal parades and mini golf are only a few things that happen at Red Barn. The 126 year old barn on the premises holds barn dances, and indoor movies. 5 min to the nearest beach and cute downtown Shell Lake.
Campground Review: Nestle yourself in a copse of trees with a yurt as you enjoy this camping opportunity.
Danielle and Dan, the hosts, greeted me right away spending time to talk and walk us around their place. A farm with many elements awaits. A well-tended garden and large yard lead to a mowed walkway. The first turn-off is to their bubble camp. You can stay in a clear bubble and watch all the stars- no dogs allowed in this one. Someone was even using it this weekend. Our yurt was further down. Slip through the opening in the trees and you find a hidden oasis. Wooden chairs, a lounger and picnic table surround the fire pit. A barbecue grill was off to the side. On a large wooden platform sits the tent style yurt. A composting toilet is around the corner. Water is available via their hose that is closer to where you park. There is a bit of a walk (it’s 1/4 mile) to the copse but once you witness the beauty you quickly forget the distance. They provide a cart for you to carry your gear. Note: the open cart could be an issue in rainy weather. The yurt floor is just a tent material on the wooden platform so don’t forget your sleeping pad. Inside there is plenty of room for you and your gear. Once we settled in, my dog hopped up on the lounger with me as we ate dinner to the sounds of the birds. Bug spray kept most of the mosquitoes from eating us for dinner but they certainly tried. Waking up was also a treat. A wolf was howling and a few different coyote packs yipped back and forth. Once they settled down the roosters sounded their call.
Talking with Dan and Danielle is certainly a highlight. Their warm friendly demeanor make you comfortable right away. They gave us a welcome bag- s’more fixings! We were pointed to the Interstate State Park and told the Wisconsin Side was nicer. We hiked the pothole trail which lead to echo canyon and then around a lake to a beach before ending back at our car. We had fun climbing on rock formations and viewing the river. Driving through St. Croix we found a laundromat to wash our clothes. Just down the street was a park along the river- perfect to lunch at or maybe stop over at the vegan restaurant in town. The small towns on each side of the river have their charm and are worth checking out.
The one drawback we found was that this is on a farm and work was being done. The tractor and mower were driving around until 10 pm. Once it stopped, quiet sounds of nature arise but the noise kept us distracted and prevented an early bedtime.
Overall we had a wonderful stay. You should really consider checking out this spectacular location.
Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger I sometimes get some cool products to review. This trip I am so happy to be trying out AfterShokz Trekz Air Headphones. This is interesting technology. These Bluetooth headphones go around your ear and transmit the sound through your bones.
I’ve been looking for a solution to listening to music/podcasts while still being aware of the surroundings as I walk my dog. Dakota and I hike all over and I need to be aware on trails. She is a reactive dog so I need to see distractions an soon as I can to pull her in. With these headphones I am able to keep myself occupied while still hear what’s happening around us. Dakota gets longer walks and I stay connected to the world.
The fit is good and the headphones did not fall off. I found them bumping into my hat(the connecting piece goes behind your head instead of over it) but I eventually found a sweet spot for them to sit. Sound is great too. Podcasts come through clear and music is crisp.
I highly recommend the AfterShokz Trekz Air Headphones
Wild River State Park is my go-to campground since it is within an hour of my home. I make it my first place to camp every season. Love the scenic trails and all the park has to offer. Hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, exploring, informational programs, and the wooded campsites.
What a pivotal moment - to invite strangers into your home - and yet this is what you become part of at Yurt in the Pines. First Bob and Roxanne sit down with you to lessen the distance of unknowing. Their commitment to an ethical lifestyle permeates their conversation and continues as you tour their property. Reclaimed and/or locally sourced building material went into creating the elements that make this off grid home. From a solar powered dehydrator to the solar panels powering the house, a commitment to living with a small carbon footprint is evident. The mowed paths guide you around - past the impeccable garden and the building they’re preparing as another guest house. You’ll want to stop at the outhouse. A brilliant rope catch holds the door closed. A repurposed solar shower provides running water. To top it off, local students built it to help fuel their college dreams. The path meanders through the property. We saw deer and beaver tracks along with a variety of wildflowers. Watch your step as you explore this former Christmas tree farm.
Eventually the path leads to the yurt. It’s in a large grassy opening with plenty of room for additional tents. A picnic table is near the fire pit. Bob and Roxanne even started a fire so I would have warm coals as a base for my own fire. Plenty of wood and some kindling was nearby. Open the glass door (with another fascinating closure system) and enter the wood floored yurt. A table holds fresh water. They gave me a mat that folds into a couch to use. After a comfortable nights sleep, I woke to sun rays outlining the pine tree framed by the glass door. Bob and Roxanne thought of all the details to make this a perfect place.
If the yurt and beautiful setting don’t entice you to come back, the friendliest hosts around will beckon your return.
I booked this campsite last minute for the weekend because my other campsite was booked. The park had great reviews and looked like a nice area of the state to visit. As you drive to the campground area, you pass signs that state Snake Research Area. I have a fear of snakes, but never thought this would impact my visit. I came across two very large snakes (apx. 4ft long and maybe longer) in the road, having to wait for them to slither across the road. Once I got to my campsite, I was walking with my dog along the perimeter of the campsite and came across multiple snakes of this same size right on the edge of my site! I have been camping many times in many different areas, but this was something that I have never experienced before. I think there should be some sort of disclosure on the state parks' website that snakes of this size are around the campgrounds.
Pulled our new camper here for the weekend. Loved every minute it. Beautiful park and nice campground.
Love this place your site is of the road with a campfire ring n ok water or power in the woods lots of wildlife you can camp for free for 21 days at a time if your a rock hound great place for it got stuck in a ditch last year for the whole weekend not one person came by all weekend lol that's how private it is there
The tent area in William O'Brien State Park has access to water and bathrooms. Canoe rentals are available for the family or bring your own!
The trail on the lower section of the park follows the river and Lake Alice. Along the way you’ll pass a huge boulder that looks very out of place, it was actually left from the ice age. It is a relatively flat trail that is about 2 miles. If it hot, stay on the lower end of the park as it is mostly shady. The stop section of the park also has many hiking options and is very hilly and sunny.
This this is an amazing Campground with two heated pools one up top and one down below they're also campsites located right alongside the river the campground offers tubing disc golf and many other activities when tubing they bring you to the entrance of the river and you float down the river for two and a half to three hours and climb out write at the campground even your own campsite if parked along the river no waiting for a bus after you climb out of the water friendly staff with all utilities at site except for sewage they have a dump station at the entrance of the campground very conveniently located great sights in a very nice location highly recommended for families
There is about 6 miles of dirt road back to this campground, but it is a decent dirt road and my trailer was in good shape inside when we arrived. There are two loops (we only discovered the second one on our second day lol) with about 25 campsites total. No electric, water is available from pump and there are pit toilets. The campsites are private and quiet, especially in the first loop, which you enter through. We enjoyed the sense of camping 'away from it all' although it is a bit shady for solar panels to charge up the batteries. There are ATV trails along the dirt road on your way in, if that is your thing. We saw the ranger 1x, but the campground appears to be watched over, although not super closely. We enjoyed our stay here and would return. Also: Verizon Wireless signal 2 bars in many places.
This site 37, is in a great park but really lacks the details that make for a great campsite. It is completely open, has no privacy as it’s between the entrance and the showers. It is great if you like having that closeness to the bathroom but it feels like it’s just a spot of land they needed to make use of. You also have the RV dumpsite on the other side of you and the garbage dumpsters. Smelled fine while we were there but in the heat of Summer, who knows.
This group site #3 has the most beautiful tall pines on it. It has a soft pine floor great for sleeping but you could also hang your hammocks in this majestic site. Nearby are vault toilets or a little bit farther and there are showers. A water spigot is also close by. The river is near and you can see it but another group camp site is in the way. The sites are close so there is no privacy from the other groups. A risk if you’re doing family camp and your neighbors are on a weekend bender…
There are several campsites on and off the river but this one, campsite 21, has a lovely location that is directly on the river. Easy to access it even has a little beach to launch a kayak or fish from. This site has a raised tent pad but also space for another tent off the pad or your RV. This park is great for families as it has lots of rocks to climb and explore and the potholes are a wonder all ages enjoy.