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The Sakatah Lake Campground sits on the southern shore of Sakatah Lake, just east of the town of Waterville. The nearly 900-acre state park that surrounds it is a gold mine of outdoor activity, with many visitors choosing to swim in the lake’s crystal clear waters, hike the 41-mile Sakatah Singing Hills Trail that runs through its center, or simply wander the forest looking to spot wildlife.
A dozen or so campsites are provided for motorhome camping travelers, each with electrical hookups and flush toilets (at least during the summer months). There’s also a dump station where you can empty your RV rental’s holding tanks and showers to clean yourself up. Aside from those basic amenities, the campground is fairly rustic. It is possible to buy firewood and ice on-site, but since Waterville is essentially within walking distance, it’s easier to do your shopping there.
To get out on the lake when you camp in an RV near Waterville, consider renting some kayaks from the state park’s office. There are a limited number of boats, so it’s best to inquire early on in your RV camping trip. There’s a boat launch near the eastern end of the lake, and from there, you start paddling the Cannon River State Water Trail, which runs through the lake. Hiking trails within the park range from a few minutes along the lakeshore to loop hikes around the campground. The Big Wood Loop is a favorite among autumn visitors as the mature trees lining the pathway burst with color.
Nature lovers will certainly enjoy getting an RV rental near Sakatah Lake Campground with so many activities to partake in while camping there. For something close to the campsites, check out the Waseca Water Park, a small municipal pool with a couple of slides and a pleasant picnic area. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming in Sakatah Lake, this is an excellent watersports alternative. The Aquatic Center in nearby Faribault is another option, with more amenities like a climbing wall and more numerous waterslides.
When you book an RV in Le Sueur County, you absolutely must hike the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail. Extending from Faribault to Mankato, the paved rail-trail is one of the best places to do some cycling in southeastern Minnesota. The trail passes by several lakes, making for a very scenic ride. If you need a set of wheels, rentals are available in Mankato and Elysian.
Birdwatchers will love the rolling hills and expansive wetlands of the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault. There are over ten miles of trail to explore there and an interpretive center where you can learn about the wildlife and how to spot it out on the trail. Ranger-led events are fairly common, so check their schedule to see what’s happening during your motorhome camping trip.
Sakatah Lake is right next to the town of Waterville, but aside from very basic amenities, it’s not a place you’ll likely spend much time. Instead, head 15 minutes' drive south to Waseca, where there’s considerably more activity. It’s a pleasant little community, with wide streets flanked by historic homes and shaded by 100-year-old trees. It’s not so rural that you can’t have a good night out though; Waseca has a couple of excellent breweries and down-home bars that are perfect after a day at the lake.
One of the more popular attractions in Waseca is the Minnesota Agricultural Interpretive Center, also known as the Farm America Center. Despite its rough winters, Minnesota is a farming state, with vast fields of soybeans, sugar beets, and oats, along with a smattering of apple orchards. The center covers the history of farming in the state, from the 1850s up through the present, with a historical village that includes farmlands, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and a church. A self-guided tour teaches visitors how farming has evolved and what kind of eco-friendly practices today’s farmers are using.
In spite of those snowy winters, southeastern Minnesota also has a variety of wineries that you can visit when you choose a campervan rental in the area. Each of the vineyards offers tours of the fields along with tastings of their finished product. The grapes that grow in this northern climate are a little different from those used in mass-market wines, so be prepared for some interesting (and delicious) flavors.
If Waseca is too sleepy for you, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are only an hour's drive north of the RV campground. One of the most underrated of America’s metropolises, the Twin Cities have a wealth of cultural diversity, historical sites, and activities to partake in. While many visitors go straight to nearby Bloomington’s Mall of America, the chain stores and crowds aren’t for everyone. A more peaceful and unique shopping experience can be had on Nicollet Street, sometimes referred to as “Eat Street” for its numerous restaurants. It’s primarily a walking street, with limited parking, so you’ll need to leave the Waterville rental RV somewhere else.