William O'brien State Park
Guide

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Introduction

William O’Brien State Park is truly a place of beauty, located just an hour northeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you’re looking for some scenery that is easy on the eyes, then look no further and bring your RV here for a few days to take it all in. Enjoy magnificent views of gently sloping meadows filled with vibrant wildflowers, wild marshes with varying wildlife, and mesmerizing wooded forests filled with oak, hickory, and pine trees.

When you visit this beautiful state park in your campervan, you will be greeted with tons of outdoor recreation. If you feel like getting in the water, you can go swimming at the beach at Lake Alice. If you'd rather go on the water, you can cruise all over the St. Croix river in your boat. If you'd like to play some games you play a round of horseshoes or baseball. Fishing and hiking are other popular activities. Visiting William O’Brien State Park in the winter? Cross-country skiing, skate skiing, and snowmobiling are waiting for you. No matter what brings you to the Twin Cities, you'll love taking a quiet getaway in your rig at William O’Brien State Park.

RV Rentals in William O'brien State Park

Transportation in William O'brien State Park

Driving

Located on the St. Croix River in Minnesota, you will find that the drive to get to William O’Brien State Park is not only easy, but also enjoyable with plenty of scenery to look at along the way. This park is very accommodating to RVs and campervans of all sizes. Most of the drive-in campsites can hold vehicles up to 60 feet long, and the roads to get you there are plenty wide enough for you to ride comfortably without running into any problems.

There are also plenty of parking lots to park your vehicle around the park as well. You’ll find parking at the campgrounds, Day Use Area, Interpretive Center, and at the entrances of many of the trails. Of course, the parking spots are more likely to be filled up during the peak season. But during the off-season, you should have no problem parking your RV just about anywhere here.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in William O'brien State Park

Campsites in William O'brien State Park

Reservations camping

Riverway Campground

Here at William O’Brien State Park, you’ll find everything you need for an excellent stay in your RV. There are 114 total sites between both campgrounds where you can pull up in your big rig or campervan, and most of them can accommodate RVs up to 60 feet in length. You can also choose from cool and shaded sites, or open and spacious ones. 30-amp electric hookups are available at the Riverway Campground, but that’s not all. When you stay here, you’ll have access to flush toilets, showers, and a dump station to cover all of your needs. The toilets and showers are wheelchair accessible, and there are three ADA-accessible campsites located right by the bathrooms as well for convenience. Keep in mind though however, that this campground is only open during the peak season, from mid-April to mid-October.

First-come first-served

Savanna Campground

If you wish to bring your campervan during the off-season, this is the campground you should stay at, as it is open all year round. Another great plus is that they have 50-amp electric hookups here. Just be aware that if you’re here during the off-season, the flush toilets, showers, and the dump station will not be available. You’re welcome to use the nearby vault toilets though or even use the bathrooms at the visitor center.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in William O'brien State Park

In-Season

Canoeing and Kayaking

The St. Croix River is a great place to take your canoe or kayak out on. Nothing says relaxing like wading down a gentle river in the sunshine. If you didn’t bring your own canoe or kayak though, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. The park will let you rent one of these boats as long as it’s between mid-May and mid-October, which is the best time to go.

Picnicking

There are two picnic shelters located in the park, and these can be found at the main picnic area and near the beach area. Wherever you decide to sit down and enjoy your meal, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing park scenery around you. These shelters offer wheelchair accessibility, as well as electricity and a fireplace. You can reserve one of these picnic shelters for your party by calling the park office, and they’ll take care of the rest for you.

Hiking

Whether you’re a pro hiker or just starting out, there is a trail for everyone. 12 miles of trails give you the opportunity to experience shaded woodlands as well as marchy wetlands. You might even get to see some incredible wildlife along the way too. The Riverside Trail is a great place to start exploring, as it has informative signs along the way and is even ADA-accessible. It’s only a mile and a half long, with places for you to stop and rest along the way.

Off-Season

Interpretive Programs

If you want to learn more about the park, the environment, and the wildlife in the area, educational programs are available here all year long. This is a great way to get outdoors if you don’t know what to do first. If you get cold, you can just step inside the Visitor Center, where you will find a warming house and an interpretive exhibit.

Winter Trail Activities

Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. When the off-season rolls around, many of the trails become available for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and skate-skiing. There are 12 miles of groomed trails available for skiing of all kinds, with their difficulty ranging from easy to hard. Keep in mind though that you can only go snowshoeing on the Riverside Trail, which is located east of the Visitor Center.

Fishing

Fishing can be a very relaxing activity, but it doesn’t always have to be done during the peak season. You can fish right off the pier, which is also wheelchair accessible. If you forgot to pack your fishing pole or tackle box in your camper or trailer, don’t worry. The park will loan you some items so you don’t have to miss out. Just contact the park office and they will get you taken care of.

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