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Old 02-01-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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Trip to minnesota and north dakota

We are planning a trip this summer to Prior Lake, MN and then on up to the Headwaters area and across to Devils Lake in North Dakota. Anyone have any particular campgrounds to suggest and sites to see?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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In Minnesota you might want to check out:

Minnesota Airstream Park near St. Cloud:
Minnesota Airstream Park
Can't say that I've been there - but it is on my list of upcoming parks to visit - suggest it simply because it is not far off your route and they cater only to Airstreams.

Itasca State Park in the headwaters area:
Itasca State Park: Minnesota DNR
This is a great state park - lots to do - you will want to make reservations during the summer months.

Shooting Star Casino RV Park also near the headwaters area:
Shooting Star Casino Hotel Minnesota casino, hotel, and event center in Mahnomen, Minnesota
If you enjoy taking in the occasional Casino on your trips then you will like this one - it is one of our favourites.

Can't help you with North Dakota.



Jay
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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What time are you headed this direction?

I'm not sure I'd make the MN Airstream Park a destination unless some other purpose is served by staying there. I live half an hour away. It's on a river plain and nothing remarkable in terms of scenery. It's within the circle of commuter communities on the Twin Cities' fringe and surely not convenient to Prior Lake.

My most frequent camping objectives are state parks in the eastern third of the state. The north shore of Lake Superior is truly magnificent with a mix of state parks & national forest campgrounds I like -- almost all without electric hookups. Maybe Ranger Jay can recommend a circle route coming into Devils Lake from the north. Ely would give you the most authentic northwoods feel and the town is nicely set up for travelers; use either Bearhead Lake S.P. or Fall Lake; avoid the last weekend in July at Fall Lake unless you're attending the blues festival. Southeast Minnesota is prized for being mosquito free in the summer. Bugs in the rest of the state drop off a bit by mid-August.

The most popular state park campgrounds in the state are Whitewater, Itasca and Gooseberry. This state hits the roads for the weekend, so be sure to make reservations for anything involving Thurs, Fri or Sat nights. I'd probably aim for the campground right in Itasca. Itasca has nice biking roads in the park. There's probably a canoe concessionaire -- I'd think at Douglas Lodge. It's a nice sized lake for canoing if the wind is not tooting. The swimming beach is near the campground IIRC.

Walker & Bemidji both have lakes (Leech and Bemidji) too huge for canoing (hey, it's what I do!). There are some gorgeous nice clean lakes east of Park Rapids too. The terrain is expansive bog north of Bemidji and I couldn't recommend that. Detroit Lakes is about as far west as you can go from Itasca before you descend onto the prairie; it has a mix of big music festival weekends in the summer. I've stayed at Maplewood S.P. but you may not be dropping that far south -- okay but not out-of-your-way great.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:32 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, Prior Lake is near Minnesota's premier horsetrack. While I like horse racing as much as the next guy, it does tend to make any nearby campgrounds less than desireable.

Three campgrounds (Dakota Meadows, Town & Country, Shakopee Valley) are ones I would avoid.

There are very nice county campgrounds near the Twin Cities. I especially like Baker Park, part of the Three Rivers Park District. It's about 35 miles north of Prior Lake, but there are lots of things to see in between.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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CanoeStream: Jeepers - you kinda burst my bubble - we've been looking forward to trying out the Minnesota Airstream Park for a couple of years now - we get down to the Twin Cities every couple of years or so to enjoy a Twins/Blue Jays series - always a great time. We usually stay at Lake Elmo and enjoy that park a lot - but once we found out the Airstream Park was within shooting distance we made it a promise to ourselves to try it out - but so far our own schedule and the Jays schedule have conspired against that.

Bluebells: Yes - if your route takes you up the Superior shoreline and you would like to loop through Ontario and beyond then I would be glad to point you towards some great provincial park campgrounds - Quetico, in particular, has outstanding canoeing if that is your activity of choice. And - back on the Casino theme - the Superior route from Prior Lake would take you past Hinckley (nice RV Park and exceptional level of service), Black Bear (no RV Park) and Grand Portage (poor RV Park).


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Old 02-01-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Thanks Jay. BLUEBELLS, other than symbolism of the Mississippi headwaters (if early explorers had known, the Missouri flowage truly was longer), we do go back again and again to Minnesota's Arrowhead shore in NE Minnesota. The latter has proven more engaging, with rivers descending down to the basaltic shore in wonderful cascades & gorges. We'll dry camp up the shore for a night or stay in Duluth (Canal Park .. yay!), and then stay in Grand Marais' muni campground -- good restaurants, shopping, dayhike adventures (PM me). My favorite rivers to do a 1-3 hour hike up from the roadside are Temperance, Cascade & Brule (Magney S.P.). Grand Marais puts you within an hour of the Canadian border. Thunder Bay is rather oppressive IMO, but there are great wild areas to be explored just out of the city and to the north or west as Jay suggests.

Speaking personally, an often delayed Lake Superior Circle Tour is on our agenda for the fall. Any of the above or a tour of Michigan's U.P. are the gems of north country travel in my opinion.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post
CanoeStream: Jeepers - you kinda burst my bubble - we've been looking forward to trying out the Minnesota Airstream Park for a couple of years now - we get down to the Twin Cities every couple of years or so to enjoy a Twins/Blue Jays series - always a great time. We usually stay at Lake Elmo and enjoy that park a lot - but once we found out the Airstream Park was within shooting distance we made it a promise to ourselves to try it out - but so far our own schedule and the Jays schedule have conspired against that.


Jay
Jay:

Blow the bubble back up, and do come and join us "at The Park". It is 65 miles one way from Prior Lake to Clear Lake where the Park is located. No, the scenery is not as beautiful as say Minnesota's North Shore, but scenery is not the only reason for stopping by for a day or two visit. Heated pool, 9 hole executive golf course, morning coffee in the clubhouse, and over 100 like minded friendly Airstream owners are still good reasons alone. We even have a small lake or big pond (depending on how you define it), and we had a mom and pop loon calling from it last spring/early summer. If you happen to stay here on a weekend, I'd be glad to show you around, and buy you a coffee and a donut on Saturday morning; it costs one buck ($1). Drop me a PM if decide to stay; we'd be gald to have you.
Minnesota Airstream Park

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Old 02-02-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
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If you you get really bored, you can visit the Geographical Center of the North American Continent at Rugby, North Dakota. Rugby is about 60 miles northwest of Devil's Lake on U.S. 2. There is also the ever popular International Peace Garden on the North Dakota/Manitoba Border, due north of Rugby.

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Old 02-02-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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Here are three campgrounds that we have stayed at. All are more than adequate and one is rated as the best in the country.

Town and Country is located just north of Prior Lake. It is clean and well located.
Town & Country Campground

Fall Lake Campground is a semi-primitive campground. It is on a lake that is half in and half out of the BWCA. Ther local scenery is wonderful.
http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?subTabIndex=0&&contractCode=n rso&parkCode=fal

Indian Point is on the very south end of Duluth. Dulute is a great destination for sight seeing and Indian Point is right in the city.
Campground Details - FALL LAKE (MN), Mn - ReserveAmerica
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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Tim:

Thanks for the invite. We will be glad to take advantage of it - just a matter of when. The Jays are in Minnesota mid-April - we won't be into travel mode yet - and the next time they meet is during September but in Toronto - so it looks like this year is another no-go. Maybe we can look forward to 2010?

Thanks again,


Jay
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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The Twins will have their new outdoor stadium in '10, so if you can get tickets, it will be a great place to go watch a game. Tickets will be hard to come by, but maybe you'll have luck through the Jays. After many years of being indoors, we are very much looking forward to games under the sun or stars again!
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