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Everybody’s heard of the Mississippi River. But did you know that the stretch of the river that runs between Minneapolis and St Paul is protected by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area?
This iconic river has been integral to local communities since time began: from the Native Americans who relied on the waterways for food, transport, and water, to the Europeans who used it for trading, and eventually the present-day community who come to its riverbanks to find relief from the busy streets of the city, it’s always remained a focal point.
Stretching for 72-miles, it’s not difficult to find your own section of Mississippi River to enjoy, whether it be for boating, fishing, wildlife spotting, hiking, or a night of motorhome camping. Folks who decide to book an RV in Ramsey County will have prime access to these waters and the chance to explore everything on offer. So, what are you waiting for?
It’s not hard to get out and about on the water when you’re camping near the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Canoeing and kayaking are some of the best ways to explore the waters. These smaller vessels give you the chance to head down the little tributaries and disembark on some of the river’s islands. Plenty of boat ramps and conveniently sloping banks, mean you’ll never be too far from a place to launch your boat into the water. It’s worth heading to the parks office, or having a search online, for the river’s water trail maps. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about trails like Crow River to Coon Rapids and Lion’s Leeve Park to Grey Cloud Island, just two of the main trails in the park.
You won’t regret taking your best fishing rod with you out onto the water. The Mississippi River is known as an excellent smallmouth bass and walleye fishery in the area, for both shore and boat fishing. Apart from the river, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is home to several floodplain lakes where trout, northern pike, and largemouth bass thrive. Cenaiko Lake, Snelling Lake, and Lake Rebecca are all home to handy fishing piers, but you’ll want to arrive early to snag a prime position at these hot spots!
RV camping at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area isn’t just about the water, though. Back on dry land, there are opportunities for hiking, biking, and even geocaching. While none of the trails will prove too challenging, they offer an excellent introduction for visitors to explore the native flora and fauna and breathe in some lovely fresh air. One of the most challenging trails in the area is the Winchell Trail, a five-mile loop along unpaved grounds, that undulates through the forests, and into the Mississippi Gorge.
Geocaching is a great way to encourage the kids to get outdoors when you have an RV rental near the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. It involves using GPS receivers to hunt out hidden caches, normally filed with trinkets and a logbook for hunters to fill in. Just remember to replace anything you take with something you’ve brought with you! Geocaching areas can be found near the Visitor Center, Mills Ruins Park District, and Minnehaha Regional Park.
Sitting in such an urban setting, you won’t find a camping spot for your RV rental within the realms of the Twin Cities. Instead, consider broadening your search to outer-city towns such as Burnsville, MN, Prescott, WI, or Somerset, WI.
Somerset is home to the most extensive selection of campgrounds and just a twenty-minute drive away from St Paul. Apple River Family Campground is just one of the places you can call home for a few nights during your Mississippi National River and Recreation Area camping trip. Comprising of more than 100 river-side sites with partial hookups, as well as WiFi, a swimming pool, and dump station, campers can rest assured they’ll be well catered for here.
Alternatively, one may park up at River’s Edge Campground. With more than 400 sites on offer, this is a much larger campground, with excellent facilities to match. Full hookup sites are available, though these will be in short supply during peak season, so don’t forget to book ahead. Entertainment options for the whole family here are rife too, with minigolf, a children’s playground, volleyball court, and even a swimming pool available. Those traveling without a self-contained rental RV can also make use of the communal washrooms, drinking water taps, and a laundry room.
Between Minnesota and St Paul, there are hundreds of attractions to keep you occupied when you rent a camper near the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
Still keen to stay outdoors, but fancy a bit more cultural enrichment? Then head to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St Paul. Encompassing more than 800 acres, this free-to-enter park contains a zoo, conservatory, amusement park, golf course, and pool. The zoo, in particular, is a favorite amongst families and includes well-designed animal houses for tortoise, giraffes, gorillas, and more!
For something a little more educational, pop into the Science Museum of Minnesota. Permanent exhibitions in the museum including Dinosaurs and Fossils, The Human Body Gallery, We Move & We Stay, and The Mississippi River Gallery. Visitors can also experience a movie screening in the IMAX cinema, where animals come to life in 4D experience. Past movie showings have including Living Planet, Tropical Rainforest, and Darwin on the Galapagos.
Campers with a creative edge might want to consider popping into the Minneapolis Institute of Art. On a mission to showcase 5,000 years of history through 90,000 pieces of artwork, your visit will be inspiring as well as educational. Prepare to be amazed by paintings, photographs, prints, and textiles from all over the world, including Africa and Asia, and North America.