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Lagoon Park Campground lies on the western edge of the small town of Montevideo, Minnesota, near where the Chippewa River flows into the larger Minnesota River. This little farming community is about two hours' drive west of Minneapolis, near the North Dakota border. The nearest interstate highway is over an hour's drive away, making it a very peaceful place to get an RV rental if you’re proficient at entertaining yourself.
The RV campground is quite small, with just several sites that include water and electrical (50-amp capacity) hookups. There’s no dump station at the campground, and your closest option will be one of the trucks stops located on Highway 212. There's a set of flush toilet bathrooms that offer shower facilities for guests of the campground. It’s also one of the most pet-friendly campgrounds in western Minnesota, so feel free to bring your four-legged pals along for the trip.
One of the best things about getting a campsite at Lagoon Park Campground is its proximity to outdoor recreation and urban amenities. The Chippewa River flows right through the park and offers some excellent swimming holes. Boat rental shops are few and far between in this part of the state, though, so you’ll need to bring your own equipment if you’re going to paddle the Chippewa. A couple of hiking trails branch off from the campsites to explore the campground and a nearby municipal park.
Just as important, though, is that most of Montevideo's restaurants and attractions are within walking distance of the campground. In less than 15 minutes, you can walk from your campervan rental through the town’s central commercial district on 1st Street. This is almost unheard of and makes Montevideo one of the most convenient locations for motorhome camping.
There’s plenty of nature to enjoy just outside your campsite at Lagoon Park Campground, though, if you’re looking for a bigger adventure while renting an RV in the area, there are a few more options within a short drive. Lac qui Parle State Park is about 15 minutes' drive to the north on Highway 59 and is an excellent place for a short hike if you’re hoping to spot some wildflowers. There’s also a small lake for swimming, but the stagnant water can get a little scummy during the hotter months. Lac qui Parle is close by, though, and a much better option for watersports and swimming.
Another idea is to head towards the center of the state, where most of its famous 10,000 lakes are located. Monson Lake State Park is relatively accessible; it's only an hour's drive away, and there are hundreds of lakes to choose from in the nearby area. To really get out the water, look for a boat rental in Paynesville.
While Minnesota has an abundance of lakes and rivers to choose from, finding a good hiking trail can be a little more complicated. The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to start, though, with beautiful green tallgrass prairie lands that are packed with native fauna. During the spring and summer, this is a popular location for enjoying the state’s wildflowers.
Montevideo has all the essentials you’ll need for a great RV camping trip with gas stations, several bars and diners, a brewery, and a couple of shops along 1st Street. However, it’s not a place where you’ll be overwhelmed with things to do and see.
Most of Montevideo’s sights are of a historical nature and one of the biggest attractions is the Historic Chippewa City, a collection of several buildings dating back to Minnesota’s pioneer days. Interesting exhibits include an authentic dugout canoe, a 19th-century schoolhouse, and a blacksmith’s shop. If you’re interested in Native American history, this should be your first stop.
Just down the street is the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center, a small railroading museum dedicated to the Milwaukee Road rail line that extended from Chicago to the Pacific coast. You can take a self-guided tour through the main building (which has a model railroad that is sure to delight the kids) before stepping outside to explore the historic railcars sitting on a disused set of tracks.
If you want to experience some of the town’s history for yourself, head down to Heritage Hill when you book an RV in Chippewa County. It’s a great place to take the family, with threshing shows, steam engine demonstrations, and exciting tractor pulls. The kids will love all the interactive exhibits, and they’ll definitely learn a lot in the process.