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Sandy Lake Recreation Area

The Sandy Lake Dam and Recreation Area is situated at the outlet of Big Sandy Lake in northern Minnesota, 13 miles north of McGregor, MN. The dam is a part of the Mississippi Headwaters Project, one of the first reservoir systems in the country, and the Sandy Lake Dam structure dates back to 1895. Today the grounds have been developed into a park and campground that is noted for its clean, family-friendly environment and access to fishing and boating on both the lake and nearby Mississippi River. It offers the only public campground and beach on Big Sandy Lake. The area is also a part of the historic canoe route that connected the Mississippi River to Lake Superior and major fur trading companies. Artifacts from the area's long history are kept in a small museum located near the dam.


Facilities

This campground offers a variety of camping sites, including 43 single family sites, five double family sites and two group sites all with electric hookups. Eight primitive walk-to tent sites (four of which have electrical hookups), a camper cabin with bunk beds and a day-use group picnic shelter are also available. Amenities include flush and vault restrooms, showers, drinking water, laundry facilities and a dump station. Day use facilities are intertwined within the campground and contain two lake boat ramps, one river boat ramp, docks, a fishing pier, beach, playgrounds and a short hiking trail.

Nearby attractions

Nearby attractions include golf courses, shopping and dining venues, Savannah Portage State Park, Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and many acres of state and county forest land.

Natural feaures

Big Sandy Lake is a reservoir that was created in the late nineteenth century from the waters of the Sandy River. A forest of mixed hardwoods and towering red and white pine covers the area. An abundance of wildlife can be found including bald eagles, white-tail deer, black bears, chipmunks, loons, mink, river otters and many others. Wild rice is harvested from the lake seasonally and wild berries are occasionally found.

Recreation

Sandy Lake offers many recreational opportunities including camping, boating, swimming, picnicking, birding and hiking. Anglers enjoy fishing the lake and river for Northern pike, walleye, small mouth bass, bluegill, crappie and even catfish. Playgrounds are located on both sides of the dam and are located near the beach and visitor museum areas. The old lock house has been converted into a free small museum containing historical artifacts from the area. Educational programs are offered seasonally and are open to the public.

Find the perfect campsite.

Driving directions to Sandy Lake Recreation Area

Take Highway 65 for 13 miles north of McGregor, Minnesota. Follow "South Entrance" signs to the campground office if assistance in finding your campsite is required.

Location and contact info

Minnesota 65, MN 55760

For campground inquires, please call:651-290-5850

Sandy Lake Recreation Area details

  • Campfire allowed
  • Checkin time: 1:00 PM
  • Checkout time: 12:00 PM
  • Max num of people: 8
  • Max num of vehicles: 2
  • Max vehicle length: 0
  • Pets allowed
  • Hike in distance to site: 125
  • Location rating: Good
  • Site rating: Basic
Camping with an RV

Camping with an RV

Have you ever wanted to sleep at the foot of a mountain or wake up to the sound of the ocean’s waves gently crashing on the shore? When on a road trip, do you like to stop at every weird and wonderful roadside attraction? Do you ever just want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get out into the great outdoors? Then renting an RV is definitely for you.

Camping in an RV allows you to adventure on your terms. Whether you’re looking to bond over an open fire with family and friends or you just want to get away for a while, there’s no better way to do it than from behind the wheel of an RV.

How Outdoorsy Works

1

Find the perfect RV

Choose your location, dates, and send the owner a request to book.

2

Delivery or Pickup

Arrange a pick up time with the owner or have it delivered to your driveway or destination.

Let us help

Most owners have the option to deliver and set up the RV right to your destination.

3

Adventure awaits!

Enjoy the freedom of the open road nd the assurance of 24/7 roadside assistance.

After your trip, return the RV to the owner on the same condition you recieved it.

Amenities at Sandy Lake Recreation Area

  • other

    Shade

  • RV Hookups

    Electricity hookup

  • supplies

    Fire pit

    Picnic table


Activities at Sandy Lake Recreation Area

Historic & cultural site

Camping

Hiking

Ranger station

Visitor center

Wildlife viewing

Boating

Fishing

Swimming site

Day use area

Interpretive programs

Canoeing


Every new RVers biggest concern? How to dump RV waste. But don’t fret! We have Outdoorsy community member, Mike Jackson, to talk you through it.
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Find the perfect RV for Sandy Lake Recreation Area

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All towables

Trailer

Trailers for all types of towing vehicles, including SUVs and pickups.

Folding Trailer

Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.

Fifth-Wheel

Larger trailers that attach to towing vehicles with a gooseneck extension in the truck bed.

Toy Hauler

Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.

Utility Trailer

All other types of towable trailers.

All drivables

Class C

Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.

Camper Van

The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.

Class B

A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.

Class A

Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.

Truck Camper

If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.

Other

All other types of drivable vehicles.

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Questions about RVs?

Q.

What type of RV should I choose?

A.

Start by determining how many people are planning to travel with you. Going on a solo-journey? Choose a camper van or a teardrop trailer. Bringing the whole family along for the ride? Consider a spacious Class A or five-wheel.

You’ll also want to consider amenities. For example, if you’re planning to cook on the road, you’ll want a kitchenette. If your campground doesn’t have public restrooms, you’ll want to search RVs with bathrooms. Check out full descriptions of our models to help you decide here.


Q.

Do the RVs have bathrooms?

A.

Yes. Class A’s, Class B’s, and Class C’s and five-Wheels typically have bathrooms. Depending on where you plan on camping, you’ll want to double-check the availability of restrooms if selecting a rig without a bathroom. Nervous about renting an RV with a bathroom? Owners can help show you how to clean the tank or will offer to do it for you for a fee.


Q.

How does check-in work?

A.

Once an Owner approves your RV reservation, you can coordinate a time to pick up your rig or have it delivered to your doorstep or campsite. At that point, the owner will do a key exchange with you and walk you through the RV and answer any questions you might have.