Lili R.
Minneapolis, MN
Joined July 2019
I’d rather be outside with my dog!
Gorgeous Park near the cities

We camped here last minute when the rain held off and we could only find this campground with availability. We haven’t done much camping at Regional Parks but this park did not disappoint! Our “hike in” spot was very close to the car but hidden in a forest. Gorgeous spot. We walked around and looked at all the other sites and each was unique and pretty. I would have liked staying at any of the sites. Cleary Lake is a good size and a kayakers delight! The park also has a golf course and is very well kept! We really want to use one of the large group camp sites for a weekend party!

Waterfalls, prairies and bison oh my!

Such a beautiful park with so much to offer, located practically downtown Mankato in a river valley, you get the delight of being 10 minutes from a great brewery!

The waterfalls are an easy walk from your car but the real treat is the bison range! When we visited the bison herd was right near the front gate so we didn’t even have to drive very far to have bison surrounding our car. But stay in your car! These bad boys can easily crush you so drive cautiously and respectfully!

Our campsite was very wooded but beautiful!

Do Not Camp In June

We had a terrible experience last year trying to camp here, BUT it’s not the campgrounds fault!

Unfortunately we chose the peak of mosquitos season and camping next to slow moving water is a recipe for disaster. It was also a very hot weekend. We showed up and set up camp and within the first hour our dog was clearly stressed by all the bugs. He ended up hiding in the car and soon after his face swelled up and he got very sick. Within 3 hours of showing up we had to pack up and head home to get him safe and comfortable. Do not fret, our boy was okay and thankfully the family across from us (in an RV) has Benadryl for their dog they gave to us. We don’t travel or camp without proper bug spray and meds for our dog now so lessons were learned.

Long story short we would love to come back when the bugs aren’t as bad!

Weekend Getaway

Take the ferry to Madeline island and spend a weekend away from it all! Rent scooters to cover the whole island in a fun way!

Remember to use bear safety! It’s their home, not ours!

I Could Live Here

Truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever camped. The stars are out of this world, the Milky Way spans the entire sky.

We stayed 2 nights but could have stayed many more. We did have raccoon visitors each night but as long as you keep your belongings secure it’s no issue.

We went night bathing at the Esalen Institute which was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Highly recommend trying to coincide your trip with their night bathing they open to the public every so often. It’s from 1-3am and is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s clothing optional. We saw a constant stream of shooting stars.

Crowded but worth it.

Even tho you are practically on top of each other at this campground it’s totally worth it in my opinion just to sleep in Yosemite valley. I could have and wish we had spent a whole week here.

FYI, they are not joking about wildlife here, bear lockers are there for a reason and the animals are so comfortable and used to people they get close to camp. We were sitting at our picnic table around 9pm while there were plenty of other sites with people awake and outside and a coyote was right behind me, a few feet, searching for food. He was not threatening but it’s still worth noting their confidence.

Another note, when we road tripped thru California in October there were fire bans at every campground so bring your stoves!

Second Best.

Booking a site in Yosemite valley can be difficult because it’s so busy and popular. Wawona is a great way to stay in the park and get the Yosemite experience. We set up camp and then drove about 40 minutes to Glacier point for sunset. The drive is amazing so its no bother leaving the site for such a breath taking view.

Amazing even in the rain!

We stayed here in October after the yurts had been taken down which was no bother to us when you’re surrounded by the most magnificent trees in the world! This also meant there were no crowds and we had practically the entire campground to ourselves. Highly recommend going later in the year. The trail of 100 Giants is right across the street!

A Landmark

Great during every season!

Gorgeous!

A beautiful fall camping trip!

One of our Favorites!

We have camped here more than any other park! The chain of waterfalls are unlike any other park in the area because you can swim in almost all of them, the snake pit is a thrill for jumping off into the iron rich water (don’t be put off by the water color it’s natural and safe!)

Beautiful!

Tallest waterfall in Wisconsin! We’ve camped here many times, a good place to try and snag a first come first serve site if you’re camping last minute. The fall colors are AMAZING to witness at this park!

Interesting Topography

Very cool exploring the rock cliffs along the river, including the glacially created “potholes”, otherworldly! Nice campground close to the water! We camped early in the season before the mosquitoes.

Amazing Waterfall

Fun to play in the water, go behind the waterfall and a good hike up 200 steps to view the falls from above! Beware in winter the hike down to the falls is a grueling one when icy and covered in snow.

Always Great

We’ve camped multiple times at gooseberry falls at different times of the year and it never disappoints. We also love hiking the park in winter. This is one of my favorite places to camp and spend time outside. The water is fun to walk thru and the hike is easy and enjoyable.