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“Super Fun for the Children, Not so Great on Amenities”

Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds
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Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds
Chanhassen
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Super Fun for the Children, Not so Great on Amenities”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

My family and I stopped here for two nights during our trip around Lake Superior in late August 2013; 4 children ages 2-10. This campground is right off the main road that runs through Thunder bay, very close to amenities, stores, etc. The falls were, by far, the highlight of the campground for us, the children loved playing in the eddies, pools and the falls themselves. The water appeared clean, albeit a few leaches here and there that you might need to pull off!
There appeared to be lots of campsites at the campground, but I had read on Tripadvisor that a site near the falls is nice. boy am I glad we did that...sort of. With the lovely sounds of the falls and being so close to the water and the action, that is alos a downside. We had lots of people trying to cut through our campsite to get to the falls and we were camped next to a rather permanent-looking encampment. The people there didn't seem to bother anybody, but the first night (a Sunday) they were up and down, getting on their ATVs to go somewhere and back. Maybe the bathroom?!?! Dunno. Also the first night, at about 3, a group of people cam right through our campsite on their way somewhere. Not the best feeling in general, especially when you have 4 young children in tow.
Our campsite was dirty when we got there, and we had to do a lot of cleaning. Literally as we arrived to our site, we caught someone walking off with our picnic table. When we talked to them about it, they said that their had been taken. So, even though the guys at the gate were nice enough, they didn't do a whole lot at all to police things; there were LOTS of people there just to swim parking in empty campsites, etc., to enjoy the Falls.
When I read what I wrote, I guess I have to say the reason why I gave it 3 stars is because we are a hardy bunch and loved the Falls! the campsite, just a pass.

Room Tip: If you don't mind the commotion of other people wanting to see the falls, the sites by the rive...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 reviews from our community

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English first
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

In my opinion, this was my favorite campground my family and I stayed at while we went on the Lake Superior Circle Tour. We were camped on the Current River (ask for a spot there) and the rushing water of the accessible waterfalls lulled me to sleep each night. Clean, and quiet. The bridge going across the river was closed, but someone had cut a hole in each side of the fence they had up on the bridge, so I snuck through it. While I was on the bridge, I wished I had my camera. Great place. :)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Our friends had been here 5 years earlier and wanted to go back there with us. We stayed from a Sunday night to Tuesday morning in mid-June. We didn't make reservations but the friendly guy at the check in said there were only 11 campsites being used so it wasn't a problem. We stayed in section D near the waterfall. The campground was well shaded, clean, easy to park your car and had a wonderful sound to fall asleep to with the waterfall in the background. There were quite a few mosquitoes so I would recommend bug spray. We stayed in a tent and had a campground with no services- but were able to get water from a nearby hookup area not being used. We paid $56 for 2 nights and they accepted our American credit card with no problems.

We were most impressed by the bathroom areas in the park. We stopped by 3 of them that we found and all of them were clean, well-lit and seemingly safe. We did notice that the park truck came by the first morning we were there and gathered the trash, swept, replenished and straightened the bathrooms- and that seemed to happen fairly often. The first bathroom into the park had an adjoining covered picnic table area with coin-operated washers and dryers available. There are plug-ins in the bathroom and my friend was able to charge stuff there while we showered. The showers we used (the second one into the park) had 1 shower with a nice changing area to leave your things on so they didn't get wet. The shower was a timed-push-button set up that you had to keep pressing, but lasted a decent amount of time in between. The water was also quite warm, which was wonderful to this Southerner who had only packed shorts for what she thought was "camping in the summer". The high was only in the 60s and it got to the low 40s at night. Also, the sun didn't set until 10PM and it was still a little light around 11PM- which took some getting used to.

The camp is about 5 miles from a grocery store (we went to Metro off of Balsam Street) and about 10-15 minutes from downtown Thunder Bay (just go toward Highway 11 and continue straight until you get there). The check in office also had some food for sale- hotdogs for $2.50 a pack if I remember correctly and a pack of firewood for $6. We found enough wood around in the park so we didn't bother.

There was a campsite near us that seemed to have a guy living in it- but he wasn't too rowdy and kept to himself mostly. Also, there were a lot of RVs coming through but didn't bother us. We met some really nice people as we wandered around the campsite- and even played on the 2 playground areas they have there for the kids.

The waterfall/river area was fun to wade around in and perhaps if you are from there/it gets warmer later in the year I think it would be great to swim in. One disappointment we had was the bridge over the river to the hiking trails was closed and it was too deep to wade across. We visited Kekabeka Falls about 20 minutes away and it was great to see and hike. You have to pay to park at the Falls- but it was $5.25 for 2 hours and their machine excepted coins (American and Canadian) and credit cards.

We were actually sad to leave such a beautiful place. And now I have fallen in love with camping. Hope we can get back there some time in the future.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Berry_chick_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I'm not sure why there are such bad reviews, we had a beautiful visit, the campground was clean and big, showers were clean, never had any harassment like others mentioned and just found the nature and wildlife there just fantastic! I heard it's under new management and had also had a year to make
Many improvements since it was closed last season since the highway construction was being done, no complaints!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Carwar74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2011

Campgrounds are interesting societal microcosms, and 'Trowbridge' is a great example.

The losers stand out, -with their rudeness/ intrusiveness/ disregard for others. The good folks don't get noticed- 'cause good folks tend to lay low and mind their own business, ...until they snap on the losers. (My advice on this is to approach the good folks early, before trouble starts, -and stand up to the morons together, as a large group. Shame them. -It usually works; if it doesn't, call the police EARLY. Don't give 'em twenty-two chances.)
The folks running the show- (owners/city) -put in minimal effort and expect praise, profit, and claps-on-the-back in return. And yes, as many have said- the showers are often a horror show.

Overall, a great place for a social experiment, -not always the best place to peacefully chill out. Perhaps that will change with the rumored "new owners" arriving in 2012. We'll see.

The main bridge has been out of service (for loosely explained reasons) for over a year (as I write this). The city has expressed plans to "examine options" in 2012. (Keep in mind that the entire park is "closed" throughout the summer of 2011...wouldn't that be a good time for construction and repair? ...Guess not. More proof, in my view, that the city doesn't really give much of a damn about the place.

In all honesty, I've had good and peaceful moments at Trowbridge, and it's quite possible that you will too (if you choose to go); at the same time however, with SO many shortcomings, -it doesn't deserve a good review at all.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank JayArdia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geraldton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2010

Nice BIG sized camp sites in the D section. Lots of partying, had to call police to come out at 4:20am in the morning to calm down the fighting. Quads and trucks coming in from the back road and driving through your site...at high speeds... The bathrooms need a major cleaning and upgrading.....There was dog poo every where....There was some drinking and driving and people walking around the park with alcohol. There is lots of garbage laying in the bush...and in empty camp sites...The two ladies that are at the front office were very polite and could not take care of this campground by themselves... This City of Thunder Bay owned Campground needs more staff to keep it maintained! This Park should be inspected by the Police and Health Inspectors! Keep your stuff in your trailers, LOCKED UP! I will not recommend this Park! CLEAN UP THUNDER BAY!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Wienerbago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaministiquia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2010

Arrived in the early afternoon on a rainy day, went to the office to get our site (that was prebooked for our 27 foot travel trailer, with hydro and water, by the owner of the camp site) The lady that was working was NOT the owner and was very nice. She had warned us about teenagers stealing things when you slept, and to make sure that ALL your belongings are put away.

We found our site and tried to set up our trailer, no luck, the site that was booked for us was to small for our size of trailer and on a BIG hill. We gave up and went to the office to get a refund and were told "no refunds" but we could have another site. The lady that was working accomodated us with a big rig site, and that the owner would be around to talk to us about the situation later. No one ever came to talk to us.

The next day our family members from out of town went to take a shower and noticed that the shower area was not clean and had mold and mildew EVERYWHERE. There was no place to hang your stuff up, so everything that you needed to shower with had to get wet. We never saw anyone go and clean the washrooms or shower area in the 3 days that we were there.

If you do stay there just keep in mind that it is a CITY OWNED AND OPERATED campground and it is very poorly mainntained and the site are dirty and have many branches of trees that hang over most of the sites.

I would recommend that you not stay at this campground and drive the extra 2-3 kms east and stay at the KOA, it is a little bit more money but is WELL WORTH IT.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DakotaMax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds

Property: Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds
Address: Hwy. 11-17 on Copenhagen Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Thunder Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Thunder Bay
Number of rooms: 64
Also Known As:
Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds Hotel Thunder Bay
Trowbridge Falls Campgrounds Thunder Bay, Ontario

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