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Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.
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Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.
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Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.
The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.
A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.
Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.
If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.
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Situated on the northern shores of Lake Zumbro, the Ponderosa Campground is a seasonal campground in a park-like setting near Mazeppa. It offers excellent fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, and sunnies, as well as being a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking.
RV camping at the Ponderosa Campground includes access to 98 RV sites, with electric, water, and sewer connections available. There are flush toilets, hot showers, and a sanitary dump station accessible to campers, with pets welcome to stay with you if they remain on a leash.
Mazeppa campers are just 20 minutes’ drive from the Zumbro Falls Woods Scientific and Natural Area, which straddles the Lower Zumbro River as it meanders towards its confluence with the Mississippi River. It’s renowned for the landmark Wall Rock, a sheer cliff that rises 200 feet above a bend in the river, with a forest of silver maple, green ash, cottonwood, and elm blanketing the surrounding terrace. If you’re visiting in the spring, bluebells, wild ginger, and hepatica ignite the landscape while jeweled shooting star plants can be seen along the cliffs.
If you continue along the Zumbro River, you’ll arrive at the Zumbro Bottoms State Park, which forms part of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest. It’s traversed by hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails, with the park at its most picturesque in the early spring when the wildflowers are in bloom and during the fall when the leaves are changing colors.
Just over an hour’s drive northeast of the Ponderosa Campground is the Five-Mile Bluff Prairie State Natural Area, which overlooks the meeting of the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers. It encompasses 300-foot-high river bluffs and forests of aspen, chokecherry, and staghorn sumac that attract a variety of migratory bird species. The Five-Mile Bluff Prairie State Natural Area lies adjacent to the Nelson-Trevino Bottoms State Natural Area. This is one of the most extensive delta floodplain forests remaining in the upper Midwest and a popular birdwatching destination, with pileated woodpeckers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and broad-winged hawks all recorded here.
The campsites at the Ponderosa Campground are just 15 minutes' drive from the center of Mazeppa, where you’ll find a small supermarket for stocking up on grocery supplies. There’s also a gas station here if you need to fill up your motorhome rental and a sports bar for those wanting a night out.
The Ponderosa Campground is around 25 minutes’ drive from the heart of Rochester, which is renowned as the birthplace of the Mayo Clinic healthcare organization. The campus is dominated by the iconic Plummer Building, which was constructed in 1928, while the former estate of co-founder Dr. Charles Mayo is open to the public for guided tours. Another architectural landmark not to miss is the Tudor-style Plummer House, once owned by Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer, another co-founder of the Mayo Clinic. Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Rochester Art Center, which regularly exhibits contemporary works, accompanied by views overlooking the Zumbro River.
Camping at the Ponderosa Campground is also a good base for visiting Minneapolis, which is home to picturesque parks and world-class cultural institutions. Contemporary works are a feature of the Walker Art Center (with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden exhibiting Claes Oldenburg’s famous "Spoonbridge and Cherry”) while more than 90,000 works representing 5,000 years of world history are showcased at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Learn about the city’s industrial past at the Mill City Museum and stroll along the landmark Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge or get your retail fix in the more than 500 stores at the sprawling Mall of America.
Adjacent to Minneapolis is its “twin city” of St. Paul, home to the Minnesota State Capitol building. Admire its Italian Renaissance-Beaux Arts style architecture designed by Cass Gilbert and the murals depicting scenes from the Civil War or get hands-on at the Science Museum of Minnesota and Minnesota History Center. If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to spend an afternoon at the Como Park Zoo, where species from around the globe are on show. Como Regional Park also includes the iconic Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, which is divided into various themed gardens. Alternatively, head to the Minnesota Children's Museum; here, permanent exhibit areas include a four-story climber, a maker space, and a gallery dedicated to toddlers.
Whether you want to explore the museums of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester or explore the riverine parks of southeast Minnesota, book an RV in Wabasha County and start planning your next vacation.