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Tucked away in the lesser-visited Leaf Hills area of western Minnesota is Glacial Lakes State Park. Its location just off Highway 29 provides easy access to the closest big towns of Starbuck and Benson, while I-94 provides great access to Minneapolis and Fargo, ND, respectfully two hours to each.
Glacial Lakes State Park was originally established in 1963 in a bid to preserve some of the last remaining prairie habitats in Minneapolis. Glaciers that receded thousands of years ago carved these diverse landscapes, and, as a result, the state park has become a site of historical and geological significance.
With the park encompassing nearly 2,500 acres of land, there are plenty of rolling hills, lakes and marshes to be explored when you rent an RV in Pope County
Signalness Lake is one of the main features in the park and boasts plenty of opportunities for recreational activities. Swim, fish, or boat your way around this 56-acre freshwater lake for a truly memorable experience. For those that are motorhome camping with their own boat, remember to get a boating license to make use of the boat ramps scattered around the lake. Alternatively, those without their own vessel can rent boats and canoes from the park’s office.
While out on the lake, why not try your hand at catching one of the resident walleye, northern pike or bass that inhabit these waters. During the winter, Signalness Lake becomes a popular place to indulge in a spot of ice fishing. Be aware, however, that the ice is not monitored here so be careful to practice ice safety precautions at all times including measuring ice thickness and dispersing weight across the ice!
Camper rental in Glacial Lake State Park is popular amongst hikers thanks to the 16-miles of well-maintained trails that venture into every corner of the park. The five-mile Hiking Club Trail is by far the most popular in the park and provides visitors with a great introduction to the varied landscapes that it is possible to find here. Follow the path that stretches along ridges, high above the lake and across boardwalks that sit above marshy lands. The highest point in the park marks the midpoint of the trail before looping back around to the campsite. Return to the southern shores of Signalness Lake for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters after your hike.
Glacial Lakes State Park camping is made possible thanks to several different campgrounds scattered throughout the park. Out of these sites, three of them can accommodate those camping with an RV, all with varying levels of facilities.
Consider staying at Lower Campground if you are looking for a pet-friendly campground. Here, there is a choice between 19 sites, the majority of which are equipped with electrical hookups. Although there are no water hookups here, there are a number of amenities on-site, including flush toilets, hot showers and, a dump station. Be aware that the largest sites on this campground can accommodate rental RV’s of up to 45 feet long.
For a more primitive experience, opt for the Oakridge Campground that sees 18 sites organized under a canopy of trees, none of which have hookup facilities. Whereas potable water is available nearby, the nearest shower and washroom facilities can be found at the main campground only. If you are looking for a weekend to simply enjoy the serenity of nature, park up your RV rental away from the crowds at Oakridge Campground.
Why not take a day trip to nearby Alexandria and explore some of the city attractions. The Runestone Museum is a must-visit for any history buff renting an RV in the area. The museum itself has been operating since 1958 and now houses a wide range of exhibitions about local history and the area’s heritage. Between the fascinating historical artifacts and the Children’s Discovery Room, there is something for the whole family at The Runestone Museum.
Once you’ve had your fill, head round the corner to the Legacy of The Lakes Museum and Gardens. Celebrating the traditions and legacies of the lake, this is an eye-opening experience for those that are interested in maritime history. Among the impressively renovated classical boats and fishing memorabilia, are exhibits showcasing the area’s history as a resort destination. During your time there, make it a point to wander around the impressive gardens complete with water features, vibrant formal gardens, and peaceful benches.
Camp in an RV near Alexandria and take the family to Casey’s Amusement Park. This independent, family-run park has been compared to a smaller Disneyland thanks to the extensive activities on offer, fun atmosphere and well-maintained grounds. Choose between go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper boats, or have a go on them all for a day of family fun!