The Top 4 Camping Destinations Near Rochester Mn
The area surrounding Rochester, MN is blessed with an abundance of fabulous campgrounds where you can get away for a weekend under the stars. Whether you prefer the comfort and convenience of an RV or the rugged simplicity of a tent, youll be sure to find the perfect spot for you at one of these brilliant campgrounds.
Woodenfrog Campground Kabetogama State Forest
Minnesota is home to a remarkable 58 different state forests. Many state forests offer campgrounds, like Woodenfrog, that are more affordable than what you’ll find in adjacent state parks and often provide less crowded conditions.
All state forest campgrounds in Minnesota are considered primitive, containing established camping spots designated by picnic tables and fire rings, with pit toilets and freshwater spigots throughout.
While all state forest campgrounds can save you a little money on your Minnesota vacation, in terms of scenery and access to nearby attractions, they all deliver.
In the far northern part of the state, Woodenfrog Campground within Kabetogama State Forest is a great example of a state forest campground. Containing 61 non-electrical campsites, it not only offers easy access to adventure in the surrounding Kabetogama State Forest, but it sits at the front door of Voyageurs National Park and offers a launching point into a whole new world.
Serving as one of the few drive-in campgrounds with access to the water-fed Voyageurs National Park, this primitive campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The sites are known to fill up quickly.
Address: Co Rd. 122, Ray, Minnesota
Cedar Hill Campground Whitewater State Park
There are many factors that make Whitewater State Park one of the best state parks in Minnesota. Between the bluff-lined hiking trails and churning waters of the Whitewater River, what really ties everything together at Whitewater State Park are its spacious and scenic campsites.
More than 100 campsites are available, and the most abundant and most popular sites fall within the Cedar Hill Campground. The reservable campsites at Cedar Hill abut the Whitewater River and provide immediate access to activities like tubing, wading, and fishing.
Two communal sanitation buildings are located within Cedar Hill Campground, and another can be found in the neighboring Gooseberry Glen Campground. All three provide toilets, showers, and clean water throughout the camping season.
Every campsite at Whitewater State Park provides a picnic table and fire ring, and they vary from pull-in to pull-through, with a few requiring a short walk from a parked car.
For those looking for more solitude, on the other side of the river from the Cedar Hill and Gooseberry Glen Campgrounds, Whitewater State Park also offers six walk-in sites averaging 500 yards from the parking area. These quiet campsites allow for a little more space and just as many views.
Whitewater State Park also features winter-ready camper cabins for cross-country and snowshoe enthusiasts to enjoy in the off season.
Address: 19041 MN-74, Altura, Minnesota
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Great River Bluffs State Park
43605 Kipp Dr, Winona, MN 55987
This park is located in what is known as bluff-country. The bluffs gradually slope on one side and riverside the sheer rock drops sharply. Hike the Kings Bluff Trail to experience the spectacular views of the Mississippi River Valley, and leave knowing you have gained an appreciation for the vastness of the natural world. In moments like this, the world quiets and the weight of your problems become momentarily insignificant. Search the skyline for our national bird, the bald eagle. Camping and hiking are highlights of this park. It possesses a sliding hill, groomed cross-country trails and snowshoeing on ungroomed trails is allowed.
Kamp Dels Campground Cabin Rentals And Rv Park
We are a family owned and operated Minnesota Resort located in the small town of Waterville, MN. Now in its third generation, Kamp Dels has been owned by the same family since its inception in 1955. Accommodations include overnight tent camping, RV camping, seasonal campsites, and cabin rentals.
Looking for a resort in Minnesota with a pool? Does a water park with 32 foot tall water slides and a 23 foot Aqua Climb climbing wall sound better? How about water volleyball or basketball? Maybe diving boards or an Aqua Playland interest you. All of this and so much more await you at this southern MN Resort!
Kamp Dels is located on Lake Sakatah near Waterville, MN. This MN campground, RV park, and cabin rental site is the ultimate Minnesota camping destination. Our MN campground is built around family fun. Recreational opportunities include large playgrounds, petting zoo, mini-golf, tennis, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, boating and so much more. Come see why so any families make Kamp Dels their top Minnesota camping destination year after year.
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More Free Rv Camping On Minnesota Public Lands
Dispersed camping is permitted throughout Minnesota’s state forests however, it is rarely RV camping-friendly, as you must use existing sites, you can’t camp in parking lots, and this type of camping typically comes in the form of hiking back into the woods a bit. It is perfect for tent camping.
One exception to this is Cedar Bay Campground in the Cloquet Valley State Forest, where several waterfront sites are provided by the State of Minnesota, free of charge. Toilets, a swimming beach, boat ramp, and great fishing can be had here, but you should bring everything else you needincluding drinking waterand pack it all back out with you again when you leave.
Other free campgrounds come in the form of a county park by the name of Old Crossing Treaty Park, near Red Falls, MN. Between this and the Chippewa National Forest, several casinos offer parking lot camping as well. It’s always a good idea to call ahead when planning on camping in casino lots, as various conditions may apply, and the rules can change at a moment’s notice.
Rochester / Marion Koa Mn
Situated in southern Minnesota, the RV campgrounds of Rochester/Marion KOA give guests the opportunity to easily explore several states in the Midwest region including Iowa and Wisconsin. This prime location allows visitors to the area to get a true sense of the beauty and majesty of the Midwest. And to make you stay even more comfortable, you can enjoy RV camping at Rochester/Marion KOA thanks to their many amenities. No matter which kind of RV rental you choose, you will be able to accommodate it with the campgrounds 30 and 20 amp electrical service full hook-up sites as well as the 50, 30, and 20 amp electrical service full hook-up sites.
After your days of exploring the rivers, lakes, and
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Best Free Camping Inminnesota
Minnesota goes by the name “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and rightfully so, the state actually holds over 11,000 bodies of water and the largest portion of Lake Superior as well. That all means plenty of waterfront camping, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Thanks to state and national forests, free camping areas are never far away.
While you’ll find the typical Walmart camping in the southern section of the state, free, primitive camping along the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway can be found about an hour and a half north of Minneapolis. Opportunities to find free RV camping increase as you venture further north, as does the natural beauty, thanks to Minnesota’s extensive state forests.
See a map of all free camping in Minnesota.
Lake Byllesby Campground Mn
In the scenic Cannon River Valley, the Lake Byllesby Campground lies along the northeast shores of the Lake Byllesby Reservoir. Its the largest lake in southern Dakota County while being on the doorstep of Minneapolis.
RV camping at the Lake Byllesby Campground includes access to 35 RV sites and 22 tent-only sites, with many offering lakeside views. There are accessible restrooms with showers and a sanitary dump station, as well as picnic tables and fire rings where you can congregate in the evenings.
Kids can enjoy a run around in the childrens playground while boaters can take advantage of the boat launch to get out on Lake Byllesby.
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Leave No Trace And Dispose Of Waste
All campers must “leave no trace” no matter where you camp. Pack out what you pack in, do not damage trees, water, habitat, or anything else. Do not burn litter or garbage. Always observe posted signs.
Your visit could have a big impact. Seeds and mud on gear and clothing can spread harmful invasive plants. Before leaving home, make sure your gear, footwear, and clothing is free of seeds and soilespecially tents, tarps, and hammocks. Clean and dispose of anything before leaving home.
Take extra care when disposing of human waste to avoid contaminating nearby water. Dig a hole six inches deep and at least 100 feet away from any water source. When you are done, fill the hole with soil. Never defecate or leave toilet paper on top of the ground.
Stony Point Campground Chippewa National Forest
Easily accessed from the city of Walker, three hours north of Minneapolis, the Stony Point Campground places visitors onto the shores of Leech Lake. The campground is a great launching point into the surrounding Chippewa National Forest. The campground features 44 reservable sites all sharing access to the lake, as well as flush toilets, shower stations, and clean drinking-water spigots.
RVs are welcome at Stony Point, and campers are encouraged to use the boat ramp and two different harbors. The campground also provides easy access to a swimming beach and picnic area. The campground doesn’t just entice anglers, however. With hiking and biking trails like the North Country Trail and Paul Bunyan State Trail surrounding the area, the campground is also popular for those that like to explore on foot.
Address: 5510 US-2, Cass Lake, Minnesota
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Top 10 Campgrounds And Rv Parksrochester Minnesota
Found on the gorgeous Zumbro River within deciduous forests and the rugged, deeply carved valleys of the Paleozoic Plateau, or Driftless Area, Rochester is a wonderful city filled with art, culture, and education. Primarily known as the birthplace of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester has always focused on education and features many universities specializing in the arts, technical innovation, and medicine. The city also has a lively arts community and hosts events such as First on Thursdays, where local restaurants and artists set up booths all along First Avenue.
There are extensive biking and walking paths that run throughout the city as well as state forests throughout the area that offer hiking opportunities. Minnesota has the largest collection of state forests and parks in the country and a bevy of rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. For those looking to come to this area for a visit, there are a bunch of top-notch campgrounds in Rochester, Minnesota that are perfect for RVs.
- Discounts: military members
Lakeview Campground Father Hennepin State Park
Situated on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake, Father Hennepin State Park is named after a 17th-century priest who first wrote about the area. Mille Lacs Lake is one of the largest inland lakes in Minnesota, and the Lakeview campground within Father Hennepin State Park gives overnight users a front row seat to it all. Split between non-electrical and electrical, the 60 campsites at Lakeview all share access to flushing toilets, showers, and water spigots.
The campground also provides easy access to Mille Lacs Lake in the form of a fishing pier and places to moor a boat. Tents, pop-up campers, and RVs up to 60 feet long are welcome at Father Hennepin. If the Lakeview Campground is full when you go to reserve a spot, the Maple Grove Campground hosts another 40 campsites nearby.
Camping reservations at Father Hennepin State park, and all state parks in Minnesota, can be made one year in advance.
Address: 41296 Father Hennepin Park Road, Isle, Minnesota
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Shades Of Sherwood Campground Mn
When you park your RV rental at the Shades of Sherwood Campground, you’ll be close to the stunning Mississippi River and Minnesota’s premier city, Minneapolis. This RV park is located near the quaint city of Zumbrota and features two playgrounds for kids to enjoy, as well as outdoor sports facilities, including volleyball and basketball courts. Dogs are welcome at this pet-friendly Zumbrota campground, so you can have your pup by your side while you explore the Minnesota countryside. Did you forget to pack some essential supplies for your trip? Shades of Sherwood Campground has you covered with a camping store where you can stock up on firewood, propane, groceries, and more.
When you book an RV in Goodhue County,
Forestville/mystery Cave State Park
21071 County Rd 118, Preston, MN 55965
Meander south through the gently sloping land of Amish country until you reach the south bend of the Root River. Hike or rent snowshoes from the park office to explore either the tall prairie grasses where grouse and monarch butterflies may be spotted, or amble where maple, basswood, and oak tower above sweeping the sky. Picnic grounds, year-round camping, trout fishing, and a warming house in the winter are some of the highlights. This park features two very unique experiences worth the day trip.
In the summer, reenactors hosted by the Minnesota Historical Society tell the story of the historic town of Forestville located in the park. Step back in time with a visit to the general store, walk through the front parlor and learn about churning butter and baking in the kitchen of the Thomas Meighan family. Enjoy the outdoor gardens and farm buildings.
Park naturalists give guided tours of Mystery Cave from late spring to late fall. Descend within the earth and learn about naturally formed limestone structures. Squeeze through the narrow passageway, and gaze on the natural beauty of smooth walls that have been formed over a millennium from rainwater and underground rivers.
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Free Campsites Near Rochester You Should Check Out
There’s nothing better than free!
Who doesn’t love to camp in the summer? Why not take advantage of a free campsite? I know I will!
According to the DNR, Minnesota state parks have 4,239 campsites available with plenty of visitors and campers taking advantage of them. They explain, “In 2012, state parks hosted 7,989,720 visitors. Day use accounts for most of the visits. Nearly 16 percent of park visitors come from other states and countries.” Those numbers have grown since.
If you like to camp as much as I do, here are some free site you can take advantage all near Rochester.
- Zumbro Bottoms: It’s in Wabasha and you’ll have to be sneaky when you’re looking for the spots that are specifically free, but they do exist. A website states, “Camping fees are required at the campground, however, there is an obscure parking lot on top of the bluff with a trailhead that takes you to two bluff view points with idle campsites that require no payment.”
- Buckman Coulee Wayside Park: It’s pretty much a gravel lot next to the Zumbro River, but you can take advantage of the water nearby!
- Gibbons Creek: It’s not far from Lanesboro. You’re really roughing it here too – there’s no water or other amenities, just nature!
Would you camp at any of these locations? All of them are within two hours driving distance of Rochester.
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Rochester Mn Guide To Nearby State Parks
Within a short drive of Rochester MN, there are multiple opportunities to make lasting memories at Minnesota state parks. Watch dragonflies zip over a bubbling stream or catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer lithely jumping through a hardwoods forest. March with them through tall grasses, listen for the croaking of toads and gaze at the infinite night sky full of twinkling stars. There are many diverse ecosystems available to us to explore in southern Minnesota.
Tips for enjoying your State Park Experience:
Fill up your car with gas prior to going. Bring a water bottle. Pack a lunch or snacks. Picnics are not just for summer either. Fill up soup thermos for winter outings. Have coffee in the woods. Bring travel mugs and a thermos of your favorite hot beverage. Wear weather appropriate clothing and shoes. In the summer, never forget mosquito and tick repellant . Stop at the park station for maps and advice for must-sees. Most have geocaching, bird-kits, and even fishing poles for free usage. Dont forget to pay for your day or year-round pass. Follow my fathers number one rule: leave the woods how you found it.
Below are Ten State Parks within 1/2 hour to 1 hour and a 1/2 driving distance from downtown Rochester.
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Lake Pepin Campground Mn
The Lake Pepin Campground and Motel is located in the small town of Pepin, Wisconsin right along Lake Pepin on the Minnesota border. It’s a charming area where you can enjoy the beauty of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, with rock-faced bluffs plunging into the winding river bed below. The nearest large metropolitan area is La Crosse.
This serene campground is located right along the lake with stunning scenery. Due to the area’s harsh winters, the campground is open from April 15th to October 15th. However, you can opt to stay in
Six Of The Best Campgrounds In Southeastern Minnesota
Camping season has arrived and I’m super excited to get out and explore the great outdoors with my family. There are some amazing camping spots right here in Southeastern Minnesota that everyone should check out!
Below you’ll see six of the top camping opportunities in our area, from Cannon Falls to Preston, and the Rochester area to the Winona area. Got a favorite in the area that’s not on the list? Let us know by chatting with us on our app. All are worth considering as you plan your spring or summer camping adventures. Special thanks to Explore Minnesota for their assistance and expertise!
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