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Hugging the shores of Serpent Lake, the Crosby Memorial Park Campground is a convenient base for exploring the natural and cultural wonders of central Minnesota. It’s within walking distance of the restaurants and services of Crosby while being just a stone’s throw from the lakeside trails of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
RV camping at the Crosby Memorial Park Campground includes access to 20 back-in or drive-in sites with full hookups. Each site is equipped with electric (20/30/50 amp connections), sewer and water, as well as a picnic table and fire ring. In addition, there are six tent-only sites on the shores of Serpent Lake and plenty of parking near the boat landing.
Dogs are welcome to stay with you at this pet-friendly Crosby RV park, and there are clean bathrooms and showers for guests to utilize. There’s a children’s playground, basketball court, and skate park to keep youngsters entertained, not to mention a softball field and a swimming beach where you can cool off during the summer months. If you’re planning a celebration, both the Band Shell and the Cook Shack are available for rent, with the latter offering two ranges, a microwave, a refrigerator, and several picnic tables.
A highlight of camping at the Crosby Memorial Park Campground is its accessibility to the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, which sprawls to the northwest of the city center. It’s been transformed from an open-pit mine for iron ore into a recreational destination, with its former pits now filled with water. These lakes include the Portsmouth Mine Pit Lake, which is considered the deepest lake in Minnesota and is regularly stocked with brook and rainbow trout. Explore the area along the six-mile Cuyuna Lakes State Trail or take advantage of the well-maintained single track trails within the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Park.
The Crosby Memorial Park Campground is also a good base for visiting the Chippewa National Forest, which lies around 90 minutes’ drive to the north. Highlights include the Lost Forty area that boasts some of the oldest trees in Minnesota and the beautifully preserved Civilian Conservation Corps buildings of Camp Rabideau. You can get active along the miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through the national forest or enjoy a leisurely drive along one of the four scenic byways that include the Great River Road and the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway.
En route to the Chippewa National Forest is the Foot Hills State Forest, which is dotted with hundreds of small lakes that were formed during the Wisconsin glaciation. It’s covered with red oaks, aspen, and sugar maples that flourished in the area after the old-growth pine forests were logged during the early 20th century. Today, the forest is a popular destination for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as hiking and mountain biking on a series of designated trails. There are also around 40 miles of ATV and dirt biking trails to explore, not to mention cross-country skiing routes if you’re visiting during the winter months. Birders can keep their eyes peeled for rookeries of the great blue heron while wildlife enthusiasts may be lucky enough to spot North American beavers.
The campsites at the Crosby Memorial Park Campground are within walking distance of the supermarkets in Crosby, which is also home to numerous gas stations if you need to fill up your RV rental. There’s a good selection of cafes and restaurants if you don’t feel like cooking, as well as a couple of fast-food eateries.
If you’re interested in the mining history of the region, don’t miss a visit to the Cuyuna Range Museum. It occupies the 1910 Soo Line Depot that was constructed as part of the rail line between Superior, Wisconsin and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. It houses a range of old photographs and artifacts that tell the story of everyday life on the Cuyuna Iron Range, such as vintage wedding dresses, 100-year-old tools, and high school yearbooks. Learn about the Milford Mine Disaster and climb into a life-size replica of the capsule that Dr. David Simons rode to the stratosphere.
Are you traveling with kids? Make the 20-minute drive south to Paul Bunyan Land, an amusement park that’s named after one of Minnesota’s best-loved folk heroes. A 26-foot-tall animated (and talking) statue of the lumberjack greets you by name as you enter the park where there are more than 25 rides for children to enjoy. Say “hello” to the immense statue of Babe the Blue Ox and explore the historic buildings that cluster in the Pioneer Village where late-19th century and early 20th century artifacts are displayed. Paul Bunyan Land is also home to a small petting zoo where you can get up close to friendly domestic animals.
Whether you want to discover the mining history of the Cuyuna Range or hit the trails of Chippewa National Forest, book an RV in Crow Wing County and start planning your trip.