Camden State Park can be found along the stretch of Route 23 that runs between Marshall and Pipestone, MN. Located just a ninety-minute drive from Sioux Falls, SD and less than three hours from Minneapolis, Camden State Park is the perfect city break.
Before the state park was established in 1935, the area was home to a small village named Camden. Camden thrived as an agricultural community and steadily grew to encompass a blacksmith, several gristmills and many general stores. Unfortunately, Camden was not chosen to be part of the railroad route in the mid-19th century. As a result, its population began to decline, until it was nothing more than a picnic area in the forest.
Realizing its potential to serve the people as a thriving recreational space, the state decided to turn the area into the great Camden State Park that we see today. Abundant with dense forests, grassy hills and winding rivers, rent an RV in Lyon County today to begin your adventure!
Camping at Camden State Park is great fun all year round, thanks to a wide range of recreational opportunities available here! During summer, much of the action takes place on the Redwood River that runs through the park from north to south. Fishing is one of the most popular activities on the river, which has a healthy population of brown trout. For those renting an RV and left their fishing gear at home, the park rents out a full-fledged fishing kit for no fee at all! The rental shop also rents kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards for those who want to spend the day floating down the peaceful waterways and discovering all the hidden corners. Paddle your way down to Brawner’s Lake where you will find a quaint spring-fed swimming beach for a refreshing dip.
Both spring and fall are the perfect months to rent a camper rental in Camden State Park and explore the network of trails here; whilst springs sees an abundance of vibrant wildflowers appear, autumn envelops the park with a golden haze. There are nearly 16 miles of multi-use trails that wind through the wooded valleys, along the river, and across open prairie land. All hikes are considered to be of easy to moderate difficulty level and are a great way to explore all corners of the park. Choose a trail that passes by the Jones Mill Historic Site, the original settlement of Camden, for a quick insight into the area’s history.
During winter, four miles of these trails transform into groomed cross-country skiing trails. With a mixture of beginner trails that cut through the valley, as well as some intermediate-difficult trails that loop through the hillside forest, the whole family can enjoy a winter vacation here. For those that aren’t a fan of skiing, grab a pair of snowshoes and tackle one of the walking trails to see the whole park blanketed in white snow and the mighty Redwood River bought to an icy halt.
Camping at Camden State Park
Nestled into the remote countryside of Minnesota, there are very few places to park up your RV rental near to Camden State Park. Luckily, Camden State Park camping is possible, thanks to the two campgrounds located within the boundaries of the park.
Campers will have the choice between the Upper and Lower campgrounds, both of which offer similar facilities. Between them, the campsites boast over 80 sites, 47 of which have electrical hookups for your rental RV. Although located at different ends of the park, both sites boast well-maintained washroom facilities and a dump station that is available from May to October.
Consider parking up at the Lower Campground for easy access to trails and the public swimming beach. Although facilities here are a little more worn, the atmosphere is somewhat more peaceful compared to the Upper Campground. Those motorhome camping with bigger rigs should consider setting up camp at the Upper Campground where there are seven pull-through sites that can accommodate rigs of up to 50 foot.
Exploring the Area
Motorhome camping in Lyon County is not just about exploring the diverse landscapes, but also the selection of city attractions. These are especially abundant in the town of Marshall, which is under a fifteen-minute drive away.
The Lyon County Historical Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the area’s history. This museum stretches across three floors housing a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions, a research center, gift shop, and a 1950’s ice creamery! Take a tour around the museum to understand the crucial role of this small town, among others, played in the development of the USA. Alternatively, book onto their historical walking tour around town for a truly interactive experience.
Visit the Marshall Aquatic Center for a day of family-friendly activities. With a 190-foot Aqua Trail water slide, three heated pools and a shallow play area for younger kids as well as an ADA-accessible pool, there truly is something for the whole family here. Once you’re finished in the water, take advantage of the adjoining tennis courts, basketball field or softball field that can be booked in advance.
Just a six-minute drive north of Camden State Park, along route 23 is the small but beautiful Savannah Oaks Golf Course. With just nine-holes to play with, this may not suit the most experienced golfers, but it sure is a fun day out. It’s undulating fairways, forest laden with mature oak trees and river flowing through the grounds certainly does provide the most picturesque backdrop for a game of golf. Watch out for the deer, otters, and eagles that live in the habitats nearby - they might just make for an interesting game!