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We stayed here after visiting nearby Pipestone National Monument. With the exception of noise from the adjacent road and the occasional train thundering by, this small campground was very quiet and peaceful (we could even hear the birds twittering). Sites are generous in size but with limited privacy from foliage. Electric and non but only one water spigot near the bathrooms. Bathrooms were clean as was the shower, however, in the women’s shower, it was necessary to hold the button continuously for water flow (not the case for the men’s shower). We did not need reservations in mid-May, however, only downside is there was not much to do in the shoulder season when we were there. In summer you can rent kayaks for the small lake.
Camp host greeted us upon arrival and helped put water on. We stayed 2 nights, in town for a wedding. Most of the sites were flooded with only 3 available, we were the only TT along with the camp host. Showers were clean and ADA. The beach was mere feet out the rear of the trailer. Watertown is close with plenty to do if one needs to wander.
We stayed in the lower campground. It is very opened. The campsites are medium size and close together. The bathroom was well taken care of. There are train tracks really close to the campground. The trains didn't seem long nor did they blow the horns. The swimming area looked nice, but it was too cold to use.
There are two campgrounds in this park - the upper one is on the prairie while the lower one is lower in elevation along the river. We stayed in the lower campground in site 30. The lower campground is close to the playground and swimming pond but it rained the whole time we camped so we didn't use either.
Sites in the lower campground are fairly close together and we didn't have cell service (Verizon), which wasn't a big deal.
I brought my fat bike and bike the Bluebird and Dakota Valley trails. Both are mowed paths that go through prairie and wooded areas. The actual mountain bike trail was disappointing, it was overgrown, narrow, and hugged a high ridge.
Our site, 30, sloped away from the parking pad. You wouldn't be able to set up.chairs under your awning at this site and the picnic table sat in a low spot that got muddy after 2 straight days of rain. There is a river that runs behind the sites in this loop. Our boys played on the rocks and had a great time.
There are nearby train tracks and trains ran by several times a day, though luckily they don't blow the horn so we didn't notice them much.
I’ll admit - I chose this campground because I am a HUGE Laura Ingalls Wilder nerd and it is on one of the lakes where she and Almanzo took their Sunday drives and just a few miles from the LIW Memorial Society in DeSmet. Apart from all that, this is a gem of a campground. We were fortunate to get a site right on Lake Thompson. There are clean and modern restrooms available with free showers. A hiking/biking trail goes along the lake, through the campground and to the swimming beach. Friendly staff - great facilities.
We passed through Palisades State Park earlier this year and spent some time in the day-use area so we knew it was a good place to camp as we passed through South Dakota on another trip. One main (clean) bathhouse with two showers plus two pit toilets for those camping farther away on the loop. A mix of cabins, tent, and electric sites. Lots of trees. LONG driveways and some sites (such as 34E) are very large. The website allows you to view sites, so you know in advance what to expect. Nice walking trails and picnic areas.