Friday, July 28, 2017

Myre-Big Island State Park

Myre-Big Island State Park
July 28-30

32 Electrical sites
16 miles of Hiking Trails
Dump in White Fox Campground

Site 15e is 120 feet long, but the power is near the front of the site.  If you had  a pop up camper too with your camper, this site would be ideal for a large party.  Lots of space for tents too.  The end of the site has a 30x30 cement slab, prefect for a group to gather on.
 It has a fire pit.

 Water is on the far side of the site.  Not close to hooping it up to your rig, but close to refill your tanks by pails of water.
 Lots of room still in front of the truck.
 You can see the power pole near the tree to the right.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Jay Cook State Park - July 6-9

Jay Cook State Park                  
     July 6-9


21 electrical sites
50 miles of hiking trails
dump station in park

The first site on the left was the one we picked for this trip.  1e, which is 49 feet long.  Because of where it is your left side faces the woods.  The fire pit and table is mostly hidden.  This site also has a tent square space for each area.  Behind site 1e is a nice area to sit before the edge of the site, which is more woods.  Other than the main road which everyone walk, rides bikes, drives down and yells to family, it was a nice location.   

The dump station is down the main road to the very end.  This is were you can get clean water.  But after filling the tank you must exit the camp ground and go across the road and pass the ranger station to head back in the right direction to enter sites 1, 2 and 3.  

There are 50 miles of trails to hike, 8 miles of paved trails to bike, 13 miles of mountain bike trails and 6 miles for horse back riding.  We hiked part of the CCC trail and the Forbay trail along the Forbay Lake to see where the flood damaged the park back in 2015.  You could see where the dykes were repair by bring in lots of rock and a cement drainage area to control the spill over.  The Superior Hiking trail runs through the park.  We visited swinging bridge which was rebuilt four times in it's lifespan.  Pictures of the bridges can be found near the bridge.

The camp ground and range station is located on 210 which end at why 13 due to the flood in 2015.  They are still working the road when we were there.   

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sibley State Park - June 22-25

Sibley State Park 
June 22-25

53 Lakeview and 34 Oakridge electrical sites
18 miles of hiking trails
dump station in Lakeview campground

For this trip we stayed in site 17e which is down the main road entering in Lakeview campground.  
The dump station with the clean water is on the far right side of the park.  Which is also along the last loop of sites, a road with one line.  Our site was a little are to back into.  At one point we pointed going the wrong way just so we could back into the site.  

Lakeview Campground
The Lakeview campground is a huge mostly open campground.  You can see everything going on with your campers.  Like a huge long fifth wheel backing into a tree because no one cared to get out of the truck and guide it in.  Yes! we saw that.  

The Veteran's Conservation Corp VCC built a number of the builds in the park which are still being used to this day.  The VCC worked with the direction of the National Park Services from 1935 to 1938.  These building can be found in the Lakeview campground and the Cedar Hill Picnic Area.  
Water Tower and Campground Shelter
Campground Shower House
campground shelter
Water and Storage Building
Beach concessions
Cedar hill bathrooms
Cedar hill picnic shelter
fish cleaning house

We hiked a couple of trails in the park.  One was around the Oak Ridge Campground and Woodland Wildlife Interpretive Center.  The second day we hike the Oak ridge cut over to the Mt Tom Trail, which was unkept.  It got worst from the road to the trail.  So instead of traveling back it, we walked on the road back to the trail.    We also drive and hiked to the Mount Tom Tower to see the great views.   


The Oak Ridge Campground is much quieter and spread out in between sites.  Site 123e or 131e were nice sites.  Lakeview is the old way campground look, open with minimal trees vs the new style of campgrounds like Oak Ridge, trees opens to each site.

123e camp site



Monday, June 19, 2017

Camden State park - June 19-22

Camden's 30e
Camden State park
June 19-22
47 Electrical sites
15.8 miles of Hiking Trails
Dump Station in park
Lower Campground
Camden has two campgrounds in the park.  Lower campground sites are open for all to see, where the  Upper campground has trees openings for each site.  Both have electrical sites available. We stated at the Lower campground at site 30e, which is at the end on the outside of the loop.  Small walk to the shower house from our site.  
Lower Campground

The Lower campground is right from the main entrance and up over the train tracks.  And yes, you are close to the train going by during the night.  I slept through the night even with all the noise.  While our stay there wasn't many campers.  
North Picnic Area Restrooms 

Dump station is on the road exiting the park.  This is were the clean water is too.  

Restrooms South Picnic Area
A number of the building in the park were created by the Veterans' Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.  In Marshall MN 205 men arrived in 1934 to set up camp and build permanent camp.  These men worked with National Park Service staff in develop the building that still stand today through the park.  
Swimming Beach

The swimming area was excavated by hand and creating cascading feed from a spring creek for water.  
cascading rocks

Company 2713 left Camden in 1936 to work at Fort Ridgely State Park.  
North Picnic Shelter

Hiking trails
We took a couple of hikes in the park.  One along the blue bird trail.  About a 3 mile loop from the south picnic area.  Second trail was to the north panic area and then to the Redwood Lodge Guest House.
Redwood Lodge
 This is the oldest building in the park.  The Third trail we took was the Jones Mill Ruins, which was not well marked.  And there wasn't much left of the ruins either.  The trail was very buggy.  

Jones Mill Historic Site
Brawner Lake, which is a man made lake is closed due to the dam structure leaks.  The lake has dried up.  We hiked the trail to see the lake and what was left of it.  
Brawner Lake
The funnest thing we saw was a raccoon in the fire pit.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lac Qui Parie State Park - June 16-19

Lac Qui Parie State Park                
June 16-19

37 Upper and 21 Lower - Electrical
7 miles of Hiking Trails

We stayed at the Lower Campground, 16e.  I WOULD NOT SUGGEST STAYING AT THIS LOCATION.  Look at the open field at the Upper campground.  The mosquitoes are so bad at the lower campground you will be kept hostage in your camper.  

Our camp site was 55 feet long with lot of room on both sides.
  Each site has a table and fire pit but I would not use them with that many very hungry mosquitoes.  

We visited the state park office to get a year pass and saw the exhibits.  A number of stuffed animals and capibliers in the process of becoming butterflies.  We also saw the Fort Renville site and Lac Qui Parle Mission with all of it's history.   

The upper camping is an old farm's field so there are only a couple of small trees.  The back loop overlook the Lac qui Parle Lake.  There are a couple of double spot if you are traveling with family or friends and have to campers.  There are a couple of sites with full hook up.  The best site we like was site U39e.
 We decided to dump at the Upper campground rather than get eaten up alive.  The upper campground dump station is much nicer.  The funny thing was the lower campers either didn't stay around or asked to be moved to the upper campground.  We never thought that was an option.