Marc G.

Pro

Salt Lake City, UT

Joined May 2020

Life is nothing but a Grand Adventure! Travel with us via YouTube.com/GrandAdventure

Quiet midweek, lots of kids on weekends

The main campground itself at Wylie Park is rather attractive with mature trees and reasonable site spacing (there's a secondary North Campground that's newer with less mature vegetation). Pricing is a little high at $36+/night for FHU, but the reason folks come here is for the park's other amenities including Storybook Land, Wylie Lake, go-carts, bumper boats, mini-golf, etc. This place is a kids' paradise.

Which leads to the situation on weekends: this place is positively overrun with kids. Kids crying, kids riding their bikes through your campsite (and ill-informed adults, too). The geese in the waterfowl pond adjacent to the campground made quite the racket, too, but that didn't bother us. The kids did. Fine if that's your thing, but to a couple of 50-somethings without kids anymore, this was annoying.

Midweek, though, the place was terrific, maybe 50% occupied. Staff was friendly and welcoming.

Tiny and QUIET!

Cottonwood Cove Park was the fifth campsite we rolled into in this tri-state area looking for a spot that we actually liked, and boy did we score! This is a little municipal park with only 12 sites, water/electric/cable TV for $22/night. Be aware that there is no dump station here. There's a small bath house that's presently closed for COVID-19 precautions.

Driveways and the road through the campground are crushed white gravel, but there are small concrete pads at each site for the rig and patio area. Large cottonwood trees tower throughout the campground. There are tiny campers and large fifth-wheels here, both. There's a campground host occupying one site, and you pay the host. Spacing between sites is very, very generous -- kudos to Dakota City for not cramming people into this place just to double the revenue.

The campground buts up right against a pretty natural stretch of the west bank of the Missouri River, with a boat launch and interpretive platform discussing Lewis & Clark's expedition that passed through here. The campground itself is tucked right into the middle of a neat, tidy residential neighborhood, such that it almost feels like you're part of the neighborhood.

It's been amazingly quiet during our stay. We've barely seen our neighbors, much less heard them even though the campground is mostly occupied. There are several rigs here that are long-term, presumably they're working at the massive Tyson Foods plant just up the road.

Cell service on Verizon is an impressive 4 bars, 42ms ping/65.6 Mbps down/24.8 Mbps up/3ms jitter.

We'd stay here again in a heartbeat.

Stunningly gorgeous

While we're staying in the Aberdeen area we took time out today to scope out the campground at Mina Lake State Recreation Area, and it is absolutely beautiful. Well-spaced sites, nice grassy lawns, and most sites back up right to the water. As the facilities list says, sites are electric only but there are water hydrants spaced throughout the campground. They were unfortunately booked when we tried to reserve, for that would've been a stellar stay.

Five stars and dirt cheap

The full name of this place is Fischers Lilly Park, operated by the city of Fort Pierre. To correct the previous review, these sites are water/electric (20/30/50A) only, although there is a free dump station on site. These sites are right on the river, and contrary to the previous reviewer we found some of them near the entrance to be exceedingly spacious, including ours #12. There are 12 sites total, and ours was immaculate. Cell signal on Verizon was a solid 3 bars.

The location right on the banks of the Missouri River can't be beat, and it's the perfect location for exploring all that the Pierre area has to offer: the state capitol complex, the museums, even walleye fishing in the river or nearby Lake Oahe. We spent Memorial Day weekend here and loved it -- my wife was wishing that we could stay longer. Even on the holiday weekend the campground was wonderfully quiet and serene.

Many thanks to the City of Fort Pierre for making this location available.

Great donation-only town park

We stopped for the night at Lewis Park en route from Utah to Nebraska, and we're very happy that we did. It's barely a mile off I-25 in Wheatland.

This town park campground includes six gravel pad 20/30/50A electric sites for RVs and numerous sites for tents only. Potable water is available at several hydrants, including one right adjacent to the first site, where we stayed. There's also an RV dump available, and best of all it's all free! (But donations at the park's iron ranger are encouraged.) Maximum stay is 3 nights. Sites are reasonably level side to side, but far less so front to back.

The park itself is in immaculate condition with well-manicured grass. The town itself is neat, tidy and clean. Cell signal was solid on Verizon 4G LTE, but throughput rates were spotty.

As the other reviewer said, there are a few Union Pacific freight trains that pass right by the campground per day, but we didn't find that to be as bothersome as we expected even though we deducted one star for that "feature." The park also includes wonderful amenities for kids, including a playground, disc golf course, and one of the most elaborate and well-kept mini-golf courses that we've ever seen. There's also a municipal swimming pool immediately adjacent. But the campground is well separated from all the other activity, and we enjoyed a quiet stay before getting back on the road in the morning.

Regrettably, as we were in and out for a quick overnight we didn't snap any photos.

Gorgeous northwest Nebraska boondocking with a view

We're in the midst of a week in our 26' travel trailer along this beautiful 1.5 mile-long dirt Forest Service road 714-A, directly above Chadron State Park. We're guessing that most folks who stay in the State Park campground below are unaware that dispersed camping is indeed permitted within 300 feet of the center line of this road, for even though the popular State Park campground remains closed for another day due to a delayed COVID-19 opening, and is booked solid thereafter, there's absolutely no one else camping up here!

You actually have to drive through the State Park to access FR-714-A, and the park does not lock their gate overnight so access remains unrestricted. The road is in excellent shape and negotiable by any trailer or motorhome, but is only a single lane wide. We're 700 feet of elevation above the plains below, with stunning views stretching off to the horizon. Much of this area has burned in the past, but the area where we're camping is lush and grassy with some stately pines around. This isn't the Nebraska that you know!

Cell service on Verizon is a solid 3+ bars - 54ms ping, 13.6 Mbps down, 3.5 Mbps up. The Verizon tower is visible about 5 miles to the south of our campsite.

There are numerous hiking trails that depart from either end of FR-714-A, including some in the State Park. Fresh water, an RV dump and a camp store are all located within the park, along with an archery range, sledding hill, fishing pond, playgrounds, picnic areas and more.

One star is deducted only because:

  • There are only a couple of sites that would work with a vehicle, for there's a well-hidden drainage ditch dug on each side of the road; and
  • There's a bit of daytime traffic due to people accessing the hiking trailhead at the end of the road. Vehicles are forced to camp right along the road, as any side spurs visible on satellite imagery have been marked "No motor vehicles" by the Forest Service. For tent campers, though, it's a short walk right to the rim of Pine Ridge for even more spectacular views.

The phone number provided is for the Nebraska National Forest Pine Hill Ranger District in Chadron, in whose jurisdiction this road resides.