Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

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Friday, July 4, 2008


Our Opinion: Rave. This huge park is lush and green, with wetlands, wildlife and close proximity to an interesting small city (Grand Forks) for shopping, dining, and browsing.

Date of Stay: July 2 through July 6, 2008

Weather During Stay: Changeable summer weather with highs from the low 70’s to low 90’s and lows in the upper 40’s to upper 50’s.

Site Description: We had a pull-out site on the outside of a narrow loop, with a very private “front yard” area. The campground has two sections, one with reservable sites, the other first-come, first-served. Both areas have 30 amp electricity at (or close to) the sites, with a limited number of water faucets scattered through the sites.

Choose your site carefully to make certain your power cord(s) and water hose are long enough. Most sites are level and long enough for big rigs (watch the trees as you drive the loops, however). Streets are paved; site parking is on dirt. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Each section has a large, clean bathhouse, a dumpster, and a bin for recycling cans.

Rate: RV campsites (which have electricity) are $15/night. Campers must also have a day-use pass, another $5/day, or $25 for an annual pass - so RV camping is $20/night unless you purchase the annual pass, which is cost effective after 5 days of camping.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones and aircard have a strong signal. Our TV satellite was blocked by tall trees, which would be a challenge in most campsites. Our TV antenna picks up two stations from Grand Forks. Local NPR is available on 91.9. A pay phone is located in the visitor center as you enter the park.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: The camping loops and tenting areas take up a small fraction of this very large, slightly hilly state park located at 1000’. Heavy deciduous forest in some areas; other parts are open meadow or mowed lawns. Turtle River runs through the park (flooding has done damage in the past). CCC shelters and rock work give the park a stately heritage. Cabins are available for rent, as is Woodland Lodge, an appealing venue for special events. Weddings are frequently held here.

Lighting/Noise: Totally and completely dark at night. No road noise at all. Wonderful.

Favorite Sites: We were in site 25, where we appreciated the privacy afforded on the outside of the campground loop, but many sites are nice and are large enough for our rig.

Hiking/Walking: Wonderful. Several miles of paved road throughout the park and several more miles of mowed trail.

Comments: Beautiful terrain, a (small) river, stately stone-and-timber CCC-built shelters, excellent trails, and electricity at campsites make this a great stay. Grand Forks, ND, 25 miles east, was destroyed in 2000 by flooding on the Red River. The downtown is now restored with a wide greenbelt and flood walls on both sides of the river. All the usual chain stores are there, along with restaurants, pubs, bakeries, and independent, interesting downtown shopping. Check out the downtown farmer’s market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.

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