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Camping near Minneapolis

Rapid City, South...
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Camping near Minneapolis

I'm just beginning to research this idea. Our kids live in Minneapolis, and we thought it would be easier for them if they didn't have far to drive to meet us for a weekend of tent camping. A weekend for them, 2 other long travel days for us.

We like hiking and a swim beach or canoe renting would be good.

I have found this site:

http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/parks/

Does anyone have any favorites? Or better suggestions?

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

I'm not sure how many of those parks have camping and other things you're looking for.

Have a look at this link.

www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html

I like to canoe the St. Croix in the Dalles near Taylor's Falls. There's a campground at Interstate State Park, one of the most scenic locations in MN if you ask me. Canie rental available. Not sure about beaches because it's a river and they want to avoid liability. But you can rent canoes and camp.

About 1h20 from Minneapolis (NE).

A closer option is William O'Brien.

minneapolis
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2. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

I'm not very experienced with this, but there are several regional parks in the burbs that offer camping. Here's the link, you'll have to do the research though: http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

The DNR link provided above is your best bet. You can search for parks on the map to get an idea their proximity to Minneapolis. A couple of my favorites:

Wild River State Park - along the St. Croix, about 1 hour north of the Cities.

…state.mn.us/state_parks/…index.html

Frontenac State Park - just south of Red Wing and on Lake Pepin, 2 hours south of the Cities. The cart-in sites are secluded and very nice.

…state.mn.us/state_parks/frontenac/index.html

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

You sure about 2 hours to Frontenac, LMEinMN?

I don't remember it being that far. Was thinking 90 mins at the most, probably under. Or maybe I'm just a terror on the roads who needs to be stopped!

Rapid City, South...
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5. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

Thank you for the replies, I especially appreciate hearing recommendations.

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

mntoathens - I was going by the proximity listed on the DNR website for Frontenac "65 MILES FROM TWIN CITIES, EST. TIME 2 HRS", it probably is closer to 90 minutes.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

Lorhs,

I can't believe I forgot this option.

Willow River State Park in Wisconsin, which is only about 35 minutes drive. Easy drive and a beautiful area. And it has two swimming areas and canoe rental, and nice spacious camping sites.

I was there this weekend. The hiking isn't as good as the other places i mentioned, IMO. But the gorgeous waterfall is nice. They let you swim in it too (which I am surprised about).

I think the maion draw is the beach, the waterfall swimming and the nice campgrounds. Pretty, secluded lake for canoeing as well/ Bring a fishing rod.

Rapid City, South...
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8. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

Mntoathens, that sounds really nice.

Saint Paul...
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9. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

I camped at Frontenac in May. No more than 90 minutes south of the Twin Cities. Loved the park. Great hiking.

Lake Maria is just west of the cities and is quite lovely.

I'm staying at Nerstrand Big Woods in a couple of weeks. I've heard great things about the park. It is also really close to the cities.

If you camp at a Minnesota State park, reserve the group site. They are $50 per night, but allow you so much more room and privacy. I have reserved them for groups of even just 4-6 people. I will never camp at a small site again after this discovery.

Have fun. I love our State Parks.

Everett, Washington
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10. Re: Camping near Minneapolis

Just to toss another option into the mix...

Afton State Park on the St. Croix river just south of I-90 a bit.

dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afton/index.html

Has camping and swimming. Also free GPS units to borrow for geocaching and orienteering. Lots of trails on the bluffs above the river. Adjacent to a golf course and in summer the ski hills have mountain bike trails.

About 20 miles to St. Paul and another 10 or so to Mpls.