2016 Keystone Passport
2016 Keystone Passport
Bustling with diverse art and culture, and offering plenty of opportunities to pursue various recreation interests, Elkhart is a city held dearly by many outdoor enthusiasts. This unique community is home to a host of attractions that will keep you actively engaged as you move from one corner of the city to another.
As a food lover, you’ll have more than enough places to excite your taste buds. Wine lovers never miss a trip to The Vine or the Iechyd Da Brewing Company. Nature lovers fancy visiting Wellfield Botanical Gardens to explore its scenic gardens and sculptures sitting in a tranquil setting. Even more fun opportunities are offered at the Lerner Theatre and the Gateway Mile’s RiverWalk Culture Trail, to mention a few.
As you prepare to embark on the week-long RV road trip from this lively town to Billings in Montana, get ready for a very different dose of excitement. As you gradually make your way through the 1,357-mile journey, ensure you keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful sights and sounds that you’ll experience as you drive through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
Billings will immediately demonstrate to you that it’s just the place for you to do what interests you whether you’re a foodie, outdoor enthusiast, road tripper, or art and culture aficionado.
Your first stop on this adventure is a beautiful dune setting that lies on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. The 23 square mile Indiana Dunes National Park offers so much for different kinds of visitors, from land-based opportunities to exciting water recreation activities.
Lovers of birds spend their time scouting rare species as they soar over the beach in the park, while hikers choose from any of the trails that pass through and over wetlands, rugged dunes, rivers, and prairies, as well as scenic forests. Sitting by the lakeshore is a favorite pastime for sightseers as the sunset view is hard to forget. Enjoying a picnic with family and friends while watching these vibrant rays surely makes the visit absolutely worth it.
With 67 campsites that accommodate tents and RVs and a few that support wheelchairs, the campground in the park is a nice place to stay overnight. Additional camping and recreation options are provided at the nearby Indiana Dunes State Park.
Welcome to Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve in Rockford, Illinois, where you’ll knock yourself out exploring one of the largest and most heavily wooded forest settings in Winnebago County.
Fishing and hiking are two of the most popular activities here. That’s not to say that you won’t have all the room you want if what you need is just a place to enjoy some peace and quiet and make the best of your time alone. The solitude here is pristine. The trails are easy to moderate to hike so you won’t have any problems navigating to the flower-filled prairies, Kishwaukee River, shaded woodlands, and natural spring here. These trails add up to about 10 miles.
Within the preserve, facilities such as restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, playground, and a shelter house are provided. Just a few miles southwest of this Preserve is a private campground that offers the ideal opportunity for a good night's rest.
This artificial lake in Wisconsin was created in the late 1940s for hydroelectric purposes but has since become a top recreation destination for residents and tourists. If you’re visiting the 36 square mile Petenwell Lake, then prepare to have amazing angling and golfing opportunities. So fascinating is the lake fishing that several fishing tournaments are held here annually.
If you have your fishing gear and tackle, rest assured you’ll catch various fish species like walleye, muskellunge, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, and channel catfish. Other things you can do here include boating, sailing, skiing, and swimming. Besides, you could just sit by the wooded shoreline and take in the beautiful view of the lake. Bald eagles are often sighted here too.
Several parks are located on the shore of the lake and so is Moonlite Trails Campground, so you have nothing to worry about if you’re still here by nightfall.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is the perfect place to spend some time watching different animals living in a controlled setting where you can get up close and even touch some. This zoo’s primary aim is conservation and the promotion of awareness about the beautiful flora and fauna that thrive in their respective habitats.
When you arrive here, you can make use of any of the on-site parking lots before entering the facility to view the wide variety of animals available. You’ll see animals such as anaconda, bison, giraffe, flamingo, and gorilla here. Activities for young and old are also on offer – children can enjoy the Cafesjian’s Carousel and Leonard Wilkening Children’s Gallery, and Como Town. A Giraffe feeding station is open to everyone.
When you leave this zoo and arrive in the heart of Minneapolis, you’ll find several campgrounds to spend the night, one of which is Minneapolis Northwest KOA.
Excite your taste buds at Alexandria by visiting Carlos Creek Winery. You could either choose to taste the wines available in the facility or just purchase one you'd like to have when relaxing during your road trip. More than 20 wine samples are offered in the winery and you get to keep a souvenir after tasting.
What’s more, a family-friendly tour is offered to visitors, in which guests explore the wine cave in the winery and learn about the history of the company as well as the Minnesota wine industry. The grapes that are grown, the winemaking process, and many more are things you’ll learn while on this tour.
A visit to MN Nice Deli or Valkyrie Wood-Fired Pizza Grill is just perfect after leaving the winery as you’ll get good munchies to go with the wine. You can rest for the night in your RV or tent at Lake Carlos State Park.
As you drive through Valley City in North Dakota, come and learn about Barnes County and surrounding areas at this museum in the city. This 28 square mile facility features various exhibits and hosts a number of events and lectures year-round for visitors’ learning experience. One of the most popular items on display in the museum is Gundy the Triceratops, a paleontological find which is estimated to be about 65 million years old and was discovered in 1992. Some other features here include a 1901 Oldsmobile - the oldest registered car in the state, Christian Paetow’s shoes, and many other items that hold significant historical meaning in the region. This visit will definitely help you appreciate a different culture.
Tent and RV camping opportunities are provided at Moon Lake campground with restrooms and picnic tables several miles southwest of the museum.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, named in honor of the 26th US President, lies in Medora, North Dakota, and consists of three separate units that offer unique opportunities for recreation. If you’re looking for the chance to view wildlife, hike, participate in ranger-led programs, enjoy scenic drives, etc., then you should visit the North and South Units. The third unit – the Elkhorn Ranch Unit – is an undeveloped site where the home ranch of Roosevelt lies.
Your hiking adventure here will take you from easy paths to strenuous wilderness routes that will definitely test your endurance. So, it’s up to you to choose what’s best for you as you explore the park. Wildlife in the park range from bison to deer, elk, horses, and badgers. Birds such as golden eagles, great-horned owls, wild turkeys, and sparrows are commonly sighted in the park too.
Primitive campgrounds that accommodate tents and RVs are available for use by visitors in the park.
Just before you arrive at Billings, you should explore the town of Forsyth to have exciting experiences before concluding your RV road adventure. This town offers something for history lovers, railroad fans, nature enthusiasts, and art devotees.
Begin your city exploration by visiting the Rosebud County Courthouse, a historic building that’s been in the town since 1914. From there, you can easily access the Rosebud County Pioneer Museum which tells stories about the life of pioneers in the area. You can find good vantage points around the city from where to watch lots of BNSF trains as they pass through Forsyth.
If you’re ready for some more outdoor activity, visit the Yellowstone River for opportunities to fish, boat, hunt agate, and relax. You’ll also see wildlife too, so keep your camera handy. A good place to call it a day is the Wagon Wheel RV Resort & Campground.
2012 Jayco Greyhawk 31FS with Bunk Beds, sleeps 8
Welcome to Billings, a city that is not only surrounded by beautiful mountains that offer exciting hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities but also serves as a hub for commercial activities. Rest assured you’ll have plenty to do here, starting with visits to beautiful attractions such as the Western Heritage Center, Yellowstone County Museum, and the Tippet Art Rise Center. The Magic City Blues Festival is one you don’t want to miss if you’re in town when it’s on.
For the outdoor enthusiast that desires more in the city, fishing, mountain climbing, horseback riding, and golfing are just some of the numerous things to do here. Visit any of the parks and recreation areas for enhanced fun opportunities.