Beth D.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 30, 2021

Huge park, very family friendly campground for Memorial Day

We chose this campground out of the three in the state park here for it's quiet and privacy.  Site 210 (non electric) in Old Logging Trail was quite private and shaded, although we were not able to get our squaredrop camper or truck very far off the road due to placement of the gravel pad. Tenters might love this site, as there is room for at least three distanced tents, all of which are fairly invisible from other sites and the road. The water pump was right nearby, pit toilets a short distance away (bring your extra TP on busy weekends!)  There were a ton of fams and kids for the holiday weekend, so that was quite rowdy, but it always calmed down at 10pm each night.

*Site Notes* for next time:  we might return to the first loop of OLT which does have some electric sites - 141e looked most appealing, and is near shower house.  We also thought 211, 213, 215 further on the last loop could be good, but they were smaller and not as deep as 210--but the back half of that last loop was probably more quiet, as it's on the edge.

The Park:  We didn't bring bikes, which was a mistake for us.  We assumed that bringing our kayaks was better, but both the St. Croix and Kettle Rivers have a bit too strong a current in this area to make it upstream very far before floating back to the launches.  In hindsight, Matt and I would have skipped our personal kayaks in favor of bikes, and just signed up one day for the paid float service available on site--rent a kayak/canoe to do a downriver float, and get shuttled back.  Unless you have a dedicated driver doing drop/pickup (or have 2 cars in your party to leave at either end), it might be too hard as a solo mission.  As it turned out, we had some luck dropping in at Head of the Rapids and going upstream a little, then back - a 1 mile / 1 hour paddle.  I wish more of those little streams were paddleable, but they are not, and it kind of felt like a bust.

There are tons of hiking trails, bring your deet!  Final tick count was 4.  Mosquitos were abundant.  We didn't hike much, but could have done way more.  Exploring by car was fun, especially on the somewhat overcast rainy day.  I wimped out on the fire tower, but Matt did not.

All around score 4/5.  We left a day early as we ran out of thing we wanted to do.  For as far from the cities as this place felt on a short 3-day holiday weekend, it was not our jam.  But - it is a lovely place to see with many miles to explore.

  • Lodge Visitor Center was open for main room and plumbed restrooms, but the interpretive center is still closed this spring as Of May 30th (2021) for construction.
  • site 210 from the far site towards the gravel pad.  Orange tent is neighbor.
  • Rivers Edge Trail
  • Plenty of hiking / biking / horseback riding / exploring all this by car!
  • Fishing off the launch at Head of the Rapids point at the farthest Southwest point of the road.  Snoozy backwater channel was a perfect launch point for kayaks that day--all the other launches are right onto the riverways
  • Very scenic waters upriver on St. Croix from Head of the Rapids launch point.  Just remember to paddle up stream so when you get tired you can float back to your car!
  • We saw quite a few of these in the park. Butterfly or moth?  Do you know this one?
  • lower trail named Rivers Edge Trail has had some reconstruction management due to bluff erosion.  Worth the walk to see it all, hidden beaches, magical trees.  Easy walk from campground.
  • lower trail named Rivers Edge Trail has had some reconstruction management due to bluff erosion.  Worth the walk to see it all, hidden beaches, magical trees.  Easy walk from campground.
  • How many tents could you fit on site 210!?  This would be a great site for keeping kids hemmed into a site in separate tents, or for getting "back in the woods" off the last OLT campsite loop.  If you knew your neighbors at site 191, you could have dueling homesteads in the backwoods.
  • Fire tower.  Matt was brave, as was a visiting family reunion with about 20 adults and 20 kids between 4 and 10.  No thank you.--I will stay on the ground and take pics.
  • 100 feet into the air with views above the canopy of the river valley.  Take your time, and hold your phone tight!
  • Packing up.  This was a great site, though we didn't use most of the dancing room we had.  Wish we had a few more friends on this trip to use all the space!

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