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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.
Camped here due to my son having a swim meet in Fargo and we were going to tack on camping in Glacier National Park after this. So decided to camp in Fargo. This camp is in a public park next to the river. The park is big and appears to be well utilized by the public. We stayed in the B loop which is by the river. The A loop is basically a parking lot next to the bath house, and it seems like there was very little room between campers/ really packed them in there- would suffice for a night passing through. The B loop sites were also small with little room between neighbors and nothing in between sites, no trees. On the weekend there were people cutting through our site to fish the river which made us a bit nervous since we had our two kids with us and also worried about theft. There was significant noise from the nearby interstate (trucks, cars, and frequent sirens from police) and bright lights shining which made it hard for us to sleep.
The bathrooms and showers were adequate and fairly clean. Saw the occasional local homeless person come utilize the facility which also made us nervous. Nothing ever happened but could be safety issue with children.
There was rental bikes and canoes which was fun for the kids, as well as fishing- only caught one catfish but was fun anyway. There was firewood for sale and snacks available for purchase if needed.
Cost was a bit steep at $30 - we use a tent. Most people were in campers. Each site had water and electric though which was convenient. Not high in our list to return to but met our needs and we had a good time overall.
- This was my first time seeing a prairie. It was a really neat experience.
- This Minnesota state park is just outside of Fargo,ND, so it makes for a great get away in nature just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.
- I recommend camping in one of the sites beside the Prairie.
- Extremely clean bath houses.
- Beware of mosquitos!
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.
I have camped at Buffalo River State Park at different times. Summer is a very nice time to be there as the park is far enough from city lights to be able to see all the stars in the ski. The trails are well kept. I prefer a camp site with an electric outlet so I can brew my favorite coffee in the morning. That is my one habit. By October the weather is cooler and very nice for camping. Building a fire feels better too after a day of hiking. Cooking a plate of pasta tastes great after a long day.