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This park is great for hiking and winter snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The 2 camp sites are a good little hike in and you have to backpack everything you need in. Of course if you are on the river it's a nice little stop between Faribault and Northfield. Not sure about camping in the parking lot overnight. Love the park, just not for camping.
Lake Auburn Campground part of the Carver Park Reserve was an awesome primitive style campground. We stayed here in late September and into October. There are 57 sites with an unguarded beach, playground, volleyball court and tons of miles of trails to shred on foot or bike. All of the campsites are very clean along with all of the other facilities and amenities they offered. The playground is awesome for all ages as it accommodates something for all ages and size groups from a traditional playground set for the younger ones, volleyball net and concrete bag toss boards(which you would need to bring your own bags, but possibly could rent if the office was open). I think there are more things that you can rent when the office is open as well(only during prime season). We would highly recommend staying at this campground and look forward to checking it out in the summertime!
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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!
Three campgrounds, first come first serve. $10/day entry $40/daily for electric hook up (non-resident); no full hook-ups, no water, only 1 vault toilet open per campground. Year round availability, however- tough to find! Very hard to get a cellular connection (T-mobile). Beautiful views of the river, right along the edge if you tent camp. Multiple playgrounds, hiking trails and loads of nature, large beach and waterfalls.
This is a state park on the Wisconsin side of the St Croix River, which is mirrored by a comparable but smaller state park in Minnesota on the wrst side of the river, both being part of the wild and scenic St Croix National Waterway. Although the campsites themselves are pretty run of the mill, the setting is spectacular in terms of breathtaking scenery, and myriad outdoor activities from rock climbing in the river gorge, paddling the river, hiking miles of trails, and learning geology at the Ice Age geology visitors center. If you are tenting camping, the south loop is great, and if you pick campsite 65 or 67 you will have direct access to the river which is peaceful and good for paddle opportunities. There are picnic areas with swimming along the river which is nice for group gatherings, and one is designated for folks with pets. Some of the rugged hiking trails along the bluffs and cliffs go right along the edge with minimal guard rails or walls, so keep a close eye on kids and pets because going over the edge is a possibility so utmost caution is advised.
I’ve already done a review for this park but they have recently renovated it I feel the need to redo it. Spots 1-17 have remained the same and are awesome. Spots 18-46 are second best. Even numbered sites on the lake are better than the odd numbered sites but both have a few of the lake. The rest of the sites ‘unfinished’ - no grass, weeds, and just need more attention. The photos are from site 33
Washington County, which manages campgrounds at both the Lake Elmo Park Reserve and St Croix Bluffs Regional Park, does a great job of maintaining campgrounds, trails, and bathroom facilities at both parks. St Croix Bluffs is right along the St. Croix river - in the summer you can hang out at the sandy beach on the river and in the fall there are many trails to enjoy fall color.
There are multiple areas in the modern campground - one section is for larger rigs that has 50 amp service and water at each site, most sites in the other loops have 20 or 30 amp electric service, and there are a few non-electric tent-only sites as well. The park prohibits both pets and alcohol! There is both a volleyball court and nice play structure in the modern campground.
We camped over MEA break (mid October) at site #4 this year and liked how close it was to the bathroom building. There is a lot of open space behind the parking/tent pad on this site, which made it a perfect spot for the kids to run and play without running close to other camper's sites. Sites 1, 2, 4, and 6 have similar amounts of open space behind the campsites.
In the past we've stayed here as part of a group in the group campsite. The group campsites at this park are some of the best I've stayed in - they include sand volleyball courts, a covered picnic shelter with electricity, a primitive toilet, and access to a large play structure nearby.