This campground is geared to families with children. They looked like they were having a great time with lots of activities during our overnight stay. It was trick or treat weekend so the park was overflowing. Sites were close without concrete or asphat pads although they are relatively level. If we had known it was trick or treat weekend we would have picked a different park just to avoid congestion. Roads in park were rough with puddles.
This state park in eastern SD is a great t place to camp, there are two modern camping areas, a swimming beach several boat launches, handicap accessible fishing dock. There is a a horse trail and trail campsites.
Or at least on the day I was there. Stayed overnight on a trip toward Minneapolis. I made this a stop so that I could collect a couple of geocaches in the State's Aquatic Challenge. I cached here and one other SP in the vicinity. I was in this park a year ago but, did not camp. It is a beautiful park, near water and generally quiet during the week. Electric sites, water and dump station available at entrance/exit.
This is a beautful state park campground. The sites are large and wooded without feeling closed in. There is biking and hiking. I believe you can also fish in the river, but we didn’t try it. The only downside is that their water is contaminated. They provide directions to a city site where you can fill your camper tank, and they give out a gallon of drinking/cooking eater when you check in. At Blue Mounds you can experience the prairie and what it must have been like for early settlers.
What an amazing place! First time here and will definitely be back! So much stuff to do, especially for kids. Nice shady spots. Very gamy friendly. We took a late checkout just to experience more!
We stayed here in a travel trailer. The site was level with lots of shade and grass. Spacious sites,not too close. Our site was along the river but it wasn't easy to access the water from our site. The biking, walking trail was great! Lots of bugs and mosquitoes. It was very quiet here, and the rangers were really nice. We had electricity and could access water close by. Only a long drop toilet nearby, but there were bath houses. There was firewood for sale at the entrance.
This campground is located on the Big Sioux River near the ball diamonds. A train runs often nearby and the quarry does blasting. It’s not especially peaceful with all that going on! They do have a nice bike route along the river though.
This is a pretty little campground next to a river. Tent sites have a loop in the back and rv sites are along the road. This campground is never full so if you need a spot for a night, this would be a good one to check. Lots of green grass and a nice playground. Many people do some fishing here too.
The bathrooms are very nice compared to a lot of KOA’s. A/C in buildings, clean, large laundry facility ($2 for 30 minute washer, $0.25 for 10 minutes of dryer), game room, indoor pavilion/storm shelter in case of rain, large dishwashing sink, and lots of available water spigots. There’s lots of RV sites, and a large grassy area for tents randomly spread out. It is right next to I-90 so it’s a bit noisy from that but it’s super easy to get to off the highway!!
Last August we headed to Blue Mounds to investigate out the SW corner of our state for the first time. We swung through New Ulm on the way there to check out the Schell's brewing company and we also stopped at Laura Ingalls Wilder's Plum Creek to break up the drive from the twin cities. The drive itself got pretty boring on the last half- lots of flat fields and cows. As you get closer to Luverne things start to become more interesting and the town of Luverne itself was an unexpected delight.
Yes, the water currently has e.coli in it. There is a huge alert on the park's page explaining how you can go about accessing water and showers nearby. The $17 rate is the discounted price to reflect the e. coli discount. The main campground is pretty open, some sites have shade, it is a prairie after all. The cart-in campsite offers much more privacy with the grove of trees there. The bathroom facility at the drive-in campground is much nicer than the one for the tipis and cart-in sites.
We spent one night in the tipi (cool experience for $30-$35 a night) and two nights at a cart-in site w-09. Some of the paths to the cart-in sites are not flat and rather long, but ours wasn't bad at all. I would definitely consider staying at that campsite again. I don't think I would necessarily stay in a tipi again unless I could book it on short notice if I knew that the weather was going to be dry and cool. The day before we got there it had rained quit a bit and when we arrived it was HOT. This meant that we got to enjoy our tipi experience with the aroma of hot wet tipi. The tipi floor is a platform made out of manufactured deck boards that keep you off the ground. The tipi itself isn't nearly as critter-proof as a tent. We wound up packing up our belongings and putting them in our car between leaving the tipi and moving into our campsite since we wanted to go check out the local area before we could check into our next site and somehow a garter snake got transported out of the tipi in our belongings and into our car- awesome haha.
The park was flooded a few years back which washed out a quite a bit- the lake that used to be there is now gone and just overgrown with plants. Most of the park is dedicated to the bison, so hiking opportunities are kind of limited. There are a ton of bison, but you either get to see them or you don't unless you go on one of their bison tours. They were present by the fence twice while we were there. There is pretty much a large trail loop with another large loop that swings off of that. Bring a wide-brimmed hat and tons of sun screen, not much tree cover on the trails. The one visitor center located in the southern portion of the park appeared to be permanently closed.
Luverne was cool. There are tons of historic houses and next time I'm out there I'll spend some time driving through neighborhoods to check them out. There is a basic grocery store off of Main Street for anything that you may need to pick up. I kind of wish that we had gone out to eat in town more because of how great the food was. Sterling's was delicious and much more upscale than anything I expected to find out there, the local Buffalo Sweat beer was great enough that I tried to find it at the local liquor store before I left. Showers are available at the Luverne aquatic center for free.
Overall I really enjoyed my experience and I look forward to my next trip out there, whenever that may be. If you are coming from the Twin Cities make sure to hit up Schells and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Plum Creek homestead like I mentioned above. Nearby side trips are Pipestone, Touch the Sky prairie, and Jeffers Petroglyphs
This is a truly magical place, and if you’ve ever read any of the Little House on the Prairie books and are anywhere near De Smet South Dakota, do yourself a favor and swing by.
The Ingalls Homestead consists of two main parts. First is the "campground," which is a basically a large grassy slope where you can set up your tent for just $10. It includes hot showers, flush toilets, and a few picnic tables and fire-pits throughout the field. There's also fairly basic RV parking for $30 with electric and water hookups and a dump site as well as some basic but cool covered wagons for $60. We arrived just as the sun was setting, found a lovely spot for our tent, and then paid in the shop the next morning. The bathrooms were clean, the showers were a little strange but also clean and hot (basically a large room cordoned off by several shower curtains).
De Smet is where the Ingalls family lived during the "Long Winter" of 1880-1881, and the Ingalls Homestead is a "family run business" that brings to life many activities from the 1880s such as visiting a one-room schoolhouse, making a corn on the cob doll, going on a covered wagon ride, etc. It's truly hands-on and some of our favorite time was spent hanging out in "Pa's" lean-to barn with the barn kitties and riding horses and ponies. My oldest son also learned how to drive the covered wagon to the schoolhouse down the road (another treat). Each station on the self-guided tour has an activity with incredibly nice and informed hosts. Most of the buildings are based on the original plans and descriptions from the Ingalls family, though no original buildings remain on the site. Visiting the homestead is an additional $15 per person over the age of five, and while you could camp without visiting the homestead, it was definitely worth a half or full-day visit.
Large spots maintained very well. RV spots have electric. Many spots have shade, some are near the lake, and some with lake views. They have small cabins for rent, as well as paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes. There is a lower park that’s great for families, with activities on the weekends , a large playground, and easy lake access. The other park is mainly spaces, with a large grassy area in the center. They spray regularly for bugs, which is extremely important to me! The area has many geocaches as well!
This campground is still charging $17 for a camp site, $7 transaction fee and $7/day entrance fee despite the fact they have no running water. The toilets still flush. In the morning our car filled up with flies that bit us for hours before we were able to eliminate all of them. It is a 5 mile drive back to Luverne if you need supplies, and I was unable to locate a grocery store.
Two good things; they have a Free Little Library and at night the lawn was covered with fireflies
The campground was so miserable that the campground host had abandoned their trailer and was never present. We did have several locals drive through the campground to spy on us, presumably to see who was stupid enough to camp there. You are entirely responsible for knowing what site you reserved because there was no attempt to label reserves sites.
There is no privacy between sites. This is just a big lawn with driveways, picnic tables and fire pits. The landscaping is nicely done with blackberries popping out of some hedges and providing eye-level interest at the base of trees.
We recently spent a long weekend in May camping here with family! This campground is a great example of what camping really is. the owners are attentive, the facility is clean, neighbors are friendly, and it’s located close to restaurants, shopping, and anything else you could need or want! We’ll definitely be back!