Robinson Park This is a county park located on the south border of Banning State Park, and it includes a hiking trail that is contiguous with a state park trail that leads to the scenic Wolf Falls. In terms of recreation, Robinson Park encompasses much of what was once a sandstone quarry and is now a primo rock climbing destination for folks from throughout the Midwest.(See climbers review here: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105812719/robinson-park)) The park also has picnic area, boat launch, canoe launch and portage around nearby rapids, and the end of a white water rafting route. The park offers camping too, but the campground is in need of an upgrade(which is in the works) and, because demand for camping here far exceeds the availability, previous campers have created a lot of unofficial campsites that aren’t allowed and not maintained as such, but heavily used anyway. There are three official primitive tent campsites which are nice if you can get them, but are first come first served. There are two group campsites that are very nice, very well maintained, and very conveniently located to both rock climbing areas and water access, and are reasonably priced at$30 a night, but although it is possible to reserve them they are snapped up pretty quickly. There are basic bathrooms and water available here, but not too much else in the way of amenities. I see that a previous camper mentioned feeling like the campground was a bit unkempt and spooky. I am guessing, as she arrived at twilight, that she may have entered the park and followed the road directly to the area along the river where the“unofficial” and unkempt campsites are. Unfortunately, as you enter the park, the signage is not real clear with regard to where the campsites are located. As you enter, coming down the hill into the park towards the picnic and boat launch area, you actually have to make a U-turn and go to the far east end of the parking lot to see the campsite sign and access road into the official camping area. It’s a little hard to figure out if you haven’t been there before. There is payment required for camping here, but it is on the honor system and has to be delivered to an office in the village of Sandstone nearby. I think the group campsites look like a pretty nice option, but as no park officials are on duty on the premises I could see that it might be a lonely spot for camping if no one else is there. Probably, If I were there for rock climbing or boating, I would either camp with a group, or camp in the nearby Banning state park or private Banning RV Campground nearby.
As mentioned, improvements to this site are in the works, and will make this site vastly better when complete. You can see the master plan here: http://sandstone.govoffice.com/vertical/sites/%7BE367B94F-BFCA-40F7-864E-7F13B6756254%7D/uploads/03006-000_Robinson_Report_March_2016(1).pdf
Got here after dark, so maybe that’s why the campground seems so spooky. Not a single other group of campers and the road back to the sites was a small two track with giant pot holes and lots of overgrowth. Got so spooked I left.
I enjoyed this little spot in early April. I wanted to be close to Banning State Park without the reservations. Early spring in Minnesota left us little cover between sites, but we were the only ones there. It would be difficult to see fellow campers in full blown summer. We camped at spot 4 right along the river. Picnic tables, fire rings, and a tent pad at every spot. Realistically, each site was only big enough for one tent. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't get my peace and quiet with the campground being so close to town but it did not disappoint!
This campground is really great, the main downside is that in order to pay the fee you have to drive to City Hall which is about 2 miles away.
There are both group campsites and individual campsites here. From the entrance road, once you see the camping rules sign you will take a right down a dirt road to the individual sites. Otherwise if you keep driving straight past the portage, then you will find the group sites.
When we arrived there was no one else occupying campsites, so you might have the whole place to yourself!
Things to do around the park:
Hiking trails to Wolf Creek Falls
Boating and fishing
Read about the history of this former sandstone quarry site (there's a collection of interesting info boards near the portage)
Rock climbing including the state's best 12a/b!!! Sigma lives up to the hype. More info on the rock climbing in this area: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105812719/robinson-park
Ice climbing in winter months (but you'd be crazy to camp in MN winters, in my opinion)
Paddle past the Robinson Ice Cave known to be a popular bat habitat
whitewater rapid rafting