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Perched on the shores of a sparkling lake and near the Lake Shetek State Park, the Lake Shetek Campground is an idyllic base for exploring the region’s recreational pursuits. It’s popular with anglers, birdwatchers, and boaters, as well as RVers wanting to escape from it all in the picturesque prairies of western Minnesota.
RV camping at the Lake Shetek Campground includes access to 78 RV sites, with 20/30/50 amp electrical connections available. Sewer and water connections are also provided at the mostly gravel sites, with room to accommodate big rigs, and pets welcome to stay with you.
There’s a small swimming beach where you can cool off during the summer months, and there are canoe rentals if you want to explore Lake Shetek independently. Several walking trails radiate through the surrounding prairie, and you’re just a stone’s throw from the Casey Jones cycling trail.
When you’re camping at the Lake Shetek Campground, you can enjoy all the outdoor pursuits of Lake Shetek, which is the largest lake in southwestern Minnesota. It takes its name from the Ojibwe word for “pelican,” and these large birds can often be seen on the shores of the lake during their annual migration, together with ruddy ducks, northern shovelers, and American coots. Lake Shetek is regularly stocked with walleye, northern pike, and yellow perch for anglers to lure, not to mention crappie, sunfish, and black bass. Launch a kayak to explore the islands of Valhalla, Keeley, and Loon, then just soak up the views of the surrounding wetlands and rolling hills that were created during the Wisconsin glaciation.
A short drive west of Lake Shetek near Balaton is the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, which preserves a portion of one of the last remaining tracts of northern tallgrass prairie in Minnesota. It sprawls across 1,800 acres of big bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass, with a huge variety of wildflowers igniting the landscape in the spring. The prairie also supports several grassland-dependent wildlife species, such as grasshopper sparrows, greater prairie chicken, and Dakota skipper.
Directly south of the Lake Shetek Campground is the Big Slough State Wildlife Management Area, which is located between the cities of Slayton and Avoca. In the 1940s, the wetland was drained, and the site was transformed into row crop production, only to be restored and converted back into native habitat in the 1990s. The Big Slough State Wildlife Management Area is a popular area for waterfowl hunting, with boat access to several of the wetlands where you can hunt pheasants. Alternatively, stretch your legs during a walk along the dike to spot a variety of wetland birds and maybe even catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer and small game species.
Campsites at the Lake Shetek Campground are just eight minutes' drive from Currie, where you’ll find a small supermarket stocked with basic grocery supplies. There’s also a gas station here if you need to fill up your motorhome rental and a restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking. An additional 10 minutes’ drive south will take you to Slayton, which is home to larger supermarkets and a more extensive choice of eateries.
While you’re in Slayton with the rental camper, get a dose of local history at the Murray County Historical Museum, which was established in 1934 as a way of preserving and collecting artifacts related to the county’s past. Browse the old photographs and personal objects on display, such as antique tools, farm machinery, and musical instruments, then admire the 100-year-old Wornson cabin that’s situated behind the museum. Chat with the staff about your own links to Murray County or stroll down the street to the late-19th-century Dinehard/Holt Historic House Museum that’s open to the public for guided tours.
Back in Currie, don’t miss a visit to the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum, which occupies an old railway depot. Currie once marked the end of the line for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, with original rails stamped with 1890 still visible today. Highlights of the museum include an impressive HO railroad display and a historic one-room schoolhouse, as well as a manually-operated turntable that’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum also boasts a replica of Shetek Mills and the first general store in Murray County, as well as vintage Fairmont vehicles and a Baldwin Steve locomotive dating from 1875.
Whether you want to discover the railroad history of Currie or go birdwatching in the prairies of western Minnesota, book an RV in Murray County and start planning your next vacation.