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Bisected by the Otter Tail River, Fergus Falls is located within three hours' drive of Minneapolis on gently rolling countryside where the deciduous forests of the east meet the great plains of the west. It was named after land speculator James Fergus by Joseph Whitford whom he employed to search for land.
Glacier activity left Minnesota with more than 10,000 lakes, and Otter Tail County has a tenth of them. Whether you're into canoeing, fishing, or sailing, you're bound to find the best playground in this sky-tinted corner of the Prairie Pothole Region. And don't let the huge numbers overwhelm you; search for an RV in Fergus Falls, pick a route, and take it a lake at a time.
When you rent a motorhome in Fergus Falls, you'll be at the start of the 55-mile Central Lakes Trail, a "rails to trails" paved road that meanders through scenic prairies, lakes, and rivers with opportunities to view wildlife along the way. The generally flat and level trail travels through nine other communities where you can stop for amenities, refreshments, or further exploration. At Osakis, where the Central Lakes Trail ends, you can choose to continue on to the Lake Wobegon Trail, which will take you all the way through Saint Joseph for a total journey spanning 135 miles.
A more modest but no less scenic biking and hiking experience awaits at Glendalough State Park just 40 minutes away by Fergus Falls RV rental. The park is noted for its stunning natural beauty as it marks the transition of the prairie and hardwood forest. The 335-acre Annie Battle Lake is one of the park's highlights, yielding an abundant catch of sunfish, crappie, and walleye. Pedal or walk your way through dense woods and flowering prairies as you follow the shores of several lakes. Or launch a canoe or kayak from Annie Battle Lake to explore the connecting creeks.
Fergus Falls is also one of the starting points of the Otter Trail Scenic Byway, a curving and flowing loop spanning 150 miles through Minnesota's rich tradition and most beautiful sights. Simply follow the "Otter Trail" highway signs, and you’ll soon encounter wetlands and communities rich in wildlife and history and culture. Take the counter-clockwise route, and you'll soon find yourself near Glendalough State Park, or the clockwise route for the 9,000-acre wilderness of the Maplewood State Park. Both are perfect places to stop for a while when exploring the area with a campervan rental from Fergus Falls.
Operated by the city of Fergus Falls, Delagoon Park is the only campground in town where you can stay with your camper or motorhome. Electric and water hookups are available, as are restrooms and a couple of vault toilets. Come here for a wonderful view of Pebble Lake and proximity to the Central Lakes Trail. If scenery is not high on your list, consider staying at the sole truck stop in town.
But if you’re willing to make the drive, take your camper rental from Fergus Falls to campgrounds within a 30-mile radius. There are a dozen gas stations in town so you can refuel before setting off on a campground search. A few can be found in Ashby, Battle Lake, and Pelican Rapids. Maplewood State Park also makes it worth the journey. Water and electric sites are available here along with restrooms and showers. You'll also be closer to hiking and horseback trails as well as fishing opportunities.
Or, you can always find out if parking in the Walmart lot is available. There's one in Fergus Falls along I-94. Check with the store manager if you can stay here for a night or two.
Mental health was high on the city's priorities in the 19th century, and the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center designed in the Kirkbride Plan style stands witness to this. Opened to patients in 1890, the asylum aimed to provide a moral treatment to patients, and the building's design – plenty of windows to let in light and fresh air – was part of the treatment program. Setting foot inside the hospital is not possible, but you can stroll around the grounds and admire the brick buildings' looming presences in the city.
Take your RV trailer rental from Fergus Falls to the 325-acre Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and learn about the natural history of the prairie and the importance of the wetlands. Walk the 3.5-mile trail that cuts through the area, or follow the shorter and all-accessible interpretive trail. Keep a sharp eye for birds as this rich habitat attracts a variety of them, most notably the white-shouldered bobolink, the Northern shoveler, and the chicken-like, big-footed migrant, the sora rail.
At the Otter Tail County Historical Museum, see what early life was like in Fergus Falls and the surrounding area. Step inside authentically recreated period rooms and stroll past fascinating dioramas. At the Agricultural wing, listen to real-life sounds of horse-drawn plowing and feel like you're on an 1890's farm. Browse the books on state and local history, and let your child play pretend in a 19th-century school room.
You won't go hungry in Fergus Falls if you love American comfort food and food chain fare, which dominate the city's dining scene. A few places also serve seafood and steaks. Thrown in the mix are Italian, Mexican, and Chinese staples. If you want to cook your own meals, more than a dozen convenience and grocery stores make it possible.
You may or may not see all of the county’s 1,000 lakes, but you certainly will have a wonderful time getting to one or 100. But don’t stop here. You still have thousands more to see before calling it an adventure. And don’t put it off until the next Ice Age either. Book an RV rental in Fergus Falls, MN today and just go!