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Date of Stay:
August, 2016 -
A rustic campground accessed by driving through (REALLY!) a trout stream. Vegetation screens most of electric sites from each other; hillsides and/or intermittent water are behind all sites so very private in that direction. Variety of hiking trails (flat and steep) are accessed from campground road. Park is in midst of hills and valleys. Coldwater stream environment means virtually no mosquitoes, but gnats, yes. No cellphone reception in park. Birding and kids discovery kits available for free from park office. Probably great birding in Spring. Picnic and playground area is down the road from the campground, making it quieter at the campground. On printed and online campsite maps, tick marks on map are not indicative of pad length; ask park office for this info. Park brochure cites potential for flash flooding after heavy rain. It rained 3 inches when we were there; water and debris on road in low spots, but not a big problem. We camped at Beaver Creek Valley State Park in a Travel Trailer.
MN State Parks reservation phone line is staffed 8-5/7 days a week. Reservation fee for reservations made by phone is $10 and online is $8.50. Inquire about pad length. Ask about distance from parking blocks (at the ends of the pads) to the edge of the road through the campground.
Date of Stay:
July, 2016 -
Wooded campsites with great screening (trees and other vegetation) between sites, especially on outer ring of electric sites. All sites reservable despite older maps online and at park that say otherwise. No self-registration at park kiosk, and no cell phone reception in park, so best to reserve ahead (online or by phone) before arrival. Vehicle permit can be bought at park office or self-registered at kiosk. Bathroom facility with lockable doors opening to outside of shower house, thus very safe and private. Hilly topography, many winding hiking trails mostly through woods, great birding, trout streams (some shallow and good for wading or dog swimming), no mosquitoes. Horses also camp at park and use some but not all of trails. Activities include tours of restored 1899 village with costumed actors, as well as varied tours of cave just outside of park. Firewood for sale at park office; unused bundles can be sold back to office. We camped at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park in a Travel Trailer.
Tour of historic Forestville was surprisingly interesting and educational. Great opportunity to ask questions about items in general store, kitchen, and barns.
Date of Stay:
June, 2016 -
Small quiet campground with only 7 reservable electric sites. These wooded sites are at edge of a pine forest (surprising trees for Iowa). We camped midweek, with only other camper for one day at these reservable sites. Tent campers (mostly arriving early to set up for weekend) on other parts of campground. Very nice interpretative nature center at park. Many paved hiking trails with fishing access points on reservoir (great for dog swimming). Black raspberries ripe and abundant at end of June. Firewood consists only of a few huge logs - virtually unburnable. We camped at Fontana Park in a Travel Trailer.