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Everyone knows Minnesota is all about the lakes – its motto is the “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes” after all. But until you’ve traveled through it, "ten thousand" is just a number, and it’s hard to believe there are really that many. Fortunately, you don’t need to go RV camping in the state’s rural north to find them; many are just outside its largest city, Minneapolis. Just south of the city, the Mississippi River splits into multiple channels and forms dozens of these small lakes that are perfect for watersports loving travelers.
One of the best places to base yourself for such an adventure is the Cannon Falls Campground. Less an hour's drive from south Minneapolis, Cannon Falls Campground makes for a comfortable spot to camp with an RV near Cannon Falls. The sites have full hookups or just water and electrical with 30/50 amp capacity. The Cannon Falls Campground is also one of the most pet-friendly campgrounds near Minneapolis and is the ideal place to stay with your four-legged companion.
The RV campground is set up for family fun, with lots of organized activities to participate in, like volleyball, foam parties, bean bag tosses, and games of horseshoes. There’s also a social hall with weekly Bingo games and live music. If you’re itching to get your morning swim in when you choose an RV rental near Cannon Falls Campground, there’s an excellent swimming pool on the premises, and it even has a small slide for the kids. There’s also a small game room with pinball machines, a merry-go-round, and classic arcade games.
You won’t need to look far for outdoor adventure when you book an RV in Goodhue County, Minnesota. The Cannon Valley Trail departs from Cannon Falls and stretches for 22 miles to the town of Red Wing on the Mississippi River. It’s all paved and only slightly uphill on the way to Red Wing, so this would be an easy cycling route. There are multiple trailheads along the way, so you don’t need to go the whole distance if you don’t want to. There’s also a good chance you’ll see some of the area’s native wildlife, like deer, turkeys, and loads of birds. If you need a set of wheels, there are a couple of shops in Cannon Falls that can hook you up.
If you were looking for a good picnicking spot in the area, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than Lake Byllesby Park. The park sits near the mouth of the 1,400-acre Lake Byllesby and offers numerous boat ramps for accessing the lake. Several good hiking trails meander through the green space and are excellent for dog walks during your motorhome camping trip. All manner of fish make their home in the lake too, including largemouth bass, northern pike, and bluegill; be sure to pick up a Minnesota fishing license to do some angling while you’re here. The park is also right off the Cannon Valley Trail, making it a good place to relax after a long day in the saddle.
The Minneapolis area also has several good golf courses if you’re hoping to hit the links during your camping trip. Many of them are close to the city, but a few are located along near the Mississippi River, near Red Wing, and have incredibly scenic views from the fairway.
Cannon Falls is a small town, but it’s got a lot to offer its visitors. The Cannon Falls Military Museum is a delightful little detour if you’re a fan of history and wartime memorabilia. Put together by a single Marine, it contains items from the Spanish American War up through Operation Desert Storm, including uniforms, decommissioned weapons, and photography from the front lines. It’s a fairly small exhibit, but if nothing else, the museum is a beautiful example of one man’s commitment to his country and his desire to preserve the memory of fallen servicemen and women.
Another small museum worth checking out is the Cannon Falls Area Historical Museum, just north of the downtown. It’s primarily a local’s museum, with exhibits depicting the events that area families have talked about for generations. Most of the displays are old newspaper clippings and photographs, but even as an outsider, it’s enjoyable to get a glimpse at the inner life of the small towns you visit while motorhome camping.
Being so close to Minneapolis, it’d be a shame to not check out some of the great attractions in the Twin Cities. The Mall of America in Bloomington is undoubtedly the most famous of them, being the largest shopping center in the U.S. with over 500 stores, 50 restaurants, and a full-sized theme park underneath its expansive roof. The city also has some world-class art museums that are must-visits, like the Weisman Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. That last one has a 50-foot-long spoon sculpture cradling an equally massive cherry – truly a sight to see.