Buffalo River State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in northwest Minnesota, Buffalo River State Park features some of the largest prairies in the state. You’ll find acre after acre of grassland with more than 250 species of plants and wildflowers, many of them local to the region.

The park is also home to over a hundred species of birds that visit the park throughout the year. Come in the spring to see birds flock back to the park after winter. Or visit in the fall to witness rare species on their way south. Listen for the calls of bobolinks, marbled godwits, and upland sandpipers as you wander along the extensive network of hiking trails.

You’ll find plenty to do on the water at the park as well. The river that runs through the park is populated with large channel catfish. Roll up your pants and wade into the river to try to reel in a trophy fish.

With an onsite campground, you’ll have easy access to all the park has to offer. Whether you’re staying for a few days or a few weeks, you’ll find plenty to explore any time you take an RV trip to Buffalo River State Park.

RV Rentals in Buffalo River State Park

Transportation in Buffalo River State Park

Driving

Buffalo River State Park is located near the border between Minnesota and North Dakota. It is a quick drive away from Fargo, North Dakota, and can also be reached driving from major cities such as Minneapolis and Winnipeg.

If you are coming from Fargo, you’ll only have to drive 15 miles to reach the park. Take US-10 out of the city and you will reach the park in a little over 20 minutes. If you are coming from Minneapolis, take I-94 and you will arrive at the park in around three and a half hours.

There is only one main road that leads through the park. Fortunately, this road easily connects you to the campground, and there are no RV restrictions.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Buffalo River State Park

Campsites in Buffalo River State Park

Reservations camping

Buffalo River State Park Campground

There are 35 sites at the campground found conveniently within the park. All of the sites offer electric hookups. There are showers and flush toilets available in the campground from July through September, although these dates sometimes vary depending on the weather. Contact the park to inquire about the current status of the facilities. The max RV length is 60 feet.

Booking is easy online. Simply put in the dates of your stay and see which sites are available. All of the campsites can be booked up to a year in advance. The campground is open from April to October.

First-come first-served

Buffalo River State Park Campground

The campground is mostly closed during the winter, with only four sites available. The showers and toilets are also shut down. The four sites that are open are first-come, first-served, so call before your visit to find out the status of the campsites.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Buffalo River State Park

In-Season

Fishing

The river that winds its way through the park is often very narrow and not very deep. However, don’t let that fool you. You can find excellent fishing, even when the temperature begins to drop.

The park is especially strong when it comes to channel catfish. And the shallow waters make it easy to wade into the stream and enjoy fishing knee deep in water.

The fishing tends to be best in the spring when water levels rise. But you’ll be able to find a wide variety of fish from April through October.

Swimming

Tired after a long hike? Bring a bathing suit with you and head to the beach area for a dive in refreshing waters.

The pond is entirely surrounded by a sand beach, giving you plenty of room to lay down and soak up the sun. And there is a filtering system, so the water always stays pristine.

There is a lifeguard on site, so you won’t have to worry about safety with your kids.

Hiking

Buffalo River State Park has more prairie land than any other park in the state. And you’ll be able to explore it all with a vast network of trails.

Explore the woodlands and enjoy the hundreds of species of local wildflowers. You’ll also find 40 species of mammals that call the park home, including red foxes, white-tailed deer, beaver, and moose.

The park is truly a nature lover’s paradise and is an excellent destination for those that enjoy wildlife photography on their hikes.

The hiking is excellent year round but really shines in the spring and fall. The prairie comes to life in April as the wildflowers bloom, making it one of the most beautiful natural sights you’ll find in the state.

Off-Season

Snowshoeing

Buffalo River State Park also offers excellent hiking for those who venture in the RV during the winter. Just make sure you are prepared for the snow by bringing a pair of snowshoes in the rig. Weave your way through the snowy forest of elm, oak, cottonwood, and ash trees.

There’s plenty of wildlife for you to spot, even during winter, so keep your eye out for deer and moose. And you’ll find dozens of species of birds living in the forest. The park doesn’t offer rentals, so make sure you bring your own pair.

Cross-Country Skiing

Come to the park in your RV during the winter to experience the prairies as they freeze over. The snowy trails become perfect for cross-country skiing. You’ll have miles of trails to take you through the wintry grasslands.

Even during winter, there’s plenty of wildlife that calls the park home. You’ll often find deer running across the open fields. And if you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a moose wandering through the park.

The trails are not groomed. If you are coming during a heavy storm, make sure you are an experienced skier.

Birding

The grasslands of the park are also home to over a hundred species of birds, making it an excellent destination for bird watchers of all experience levels.

What you see will vary greatly by season. Come in winter for a chance to see the snowy owl. Although there’s always something to see at the park, you’ll find the greatest variety of bird species if you visit in spring or fall.

Minnesota has an excellent network of bird watching societies, many of which have field guides. Pick one up before you head to the park so you can learn more about all of the bird species found in the park.

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