Michael W.
Reviewed May. 16, 2021

Great little hidden Gem

Let me start by saying that the Rangers who run this place are top notch folks. The head Ranger stopped in a couple times every day to ask if we needed anything and to inquire about our opinion of the new site (more on this later). The facilities were well maintained, and a pleasant surprise for such a small state park.

So, we stayed on site #3. According to the head Ranger, we were the first to camp on this site since its renovation. Previously it had been a tent pad, but was now a concrete pad with a new 50A post and new water hydrant. Online, it lists the site as being 40’ long and 15’ wide. What they don’t tell you is that only the pad is this size. I had another 30’+ of gravel to park on in front of the pad. It was large enough for the biggest of fifth wheels with slides on both sides. There are now 11 total sites like this in the park thanks to recent renovations. All seemed very level. Site #3 and it’s neighbor #2 seemed perfectly level laterally, but required dropping the nose quite a bit to get level longitudinally. I still believe any length RV could pull it off easily. Each concrete site had a charcoal grill with adjustable height grates, a lantern pole, a fire pit with grill grate, and a picnic table that is bolted down (this might be my only nitpick complaint, as I like to move my picnic tables under the awning and on top of my mat... but I understand why it’s done.). The two bath houses are basically single occupancy Men and Women side facilities, but are almost brand new and heated for winter use. The Ranger said they added to accompanying porta potties for extra toilets until they can add an extra stall on each side to the buildings.

There is no playground in the campground, but a short drive into the park gets you to a very nice picnic area with a playground that looks as new as the bath houses and RV pads. Drive a bit further and you can visit the museum dedicated to the Fort after which the park is named and the men who died there. Get a map and hike the well marked trail to see a recreated portion of the fort (yes, it well marked with colored flashes and signs). Along the drive you will also find a scenic overlook of the Mississippi River and a small lake you can fish in. Canoe, Kayak, and Paddle Boat rentals are available at the museum.

For those wishing for a more rustic camping experience, the primitive sites here are among the best I have ever seen. Ever site is level, and graveled with smooth pea gravel. They all have the same fire pit, grill, and table as the RV sites. Some Require a bit of a walk from your parking spot, but you will well rewarded with some isolation. The only down side for some is that these sites have no on site water and only a few offer an electric post. There are community hydrants around the park for filling up bottle or tanks.

My personal favorite spot for primitive tent camping would have been site number 27. It is accessed via a short gravel road off the main paved road and past site 26. While it is a haul to get water, it is almost completely isolated from the rest of the campground and you can drive rite up to it with no walking. It has low ground on three sides. One side is the road leading into the park, but traffic here is light and it shouldnt be an issue.

Speaking of roads, this place is kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and the roads in can be narrow when meeting oncoming traffic. It’s not terrible but can make you a bit nervous when you meet another RV heading the other way.

All in all, I would say this park is a gem of a find since the remodeling of the RV sites and a solid 7/10 for those primitive tent campers. My only knock is the lack of a playground for those with kids. If you are empty nesters or young adults or just generally travel without kids, this is a solid 10/10 kind of place.

  • no check in station so here are the camp rules
  • Museum Cannon

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