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Sibley State Park is located in Minnesota and was named after the first state governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, when it was established in 1919. The area surrounding the park is mainly rolling hills, prairie, and farmland, interspersed with lakes and woodlands. A great spot to take in the views is from Mount Tom in the center of the park.
The state park offers a huge range of activities, such as hiking, biking, along with swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Andrew. There are four other lakes, but they are not connected, so boats and canoes will need to be carried short distances to explore them all.
Parking is available when you rent a camper near Sibley State Park, making access to the park facilities very easy. With four marked hiking routes, from short to medium length, the park caters for families and experienced hikers. The short 0.7-mile Pondview Trail loop circles a small pond and description signs are provided along the route. This trail is also fully wheelchair accessible. Twice the distance is the Parker-Fremberg Trail, a two-mile loop through wooded hills where you may catch a glimpse of a deer if you’re lucky.
For a more strenuous hike, take the 3.3-mile Mt. Tom Trail loop that brings you to the top of Mt. Tom and offers some of the best views in the county. There is a 200 feet elevation change, so this may not be suitable for all, but worth the effort if you can manage it. For horse riding, there are designated horse trails, that all begin at the Horse Trail Center.
During the winter months, the trails are marked and groomed for cross-country skiing, with around eight miles at intermediate or higher level, and plenty of climbs and descents. Snow-shoeing is also available, and equipment can be hired in the park. The only rule for snow-shoeing in the park is that you must keep off groomed trails.
Lake Andrew offers fishing throughout the year and is well-stocked with crappie but also has walleyes and northern pike. Swimming and boating is also allowed on the lake, and a canoe route can be followed that takes you into Henschien Lake and Swan Lake, although you will have to portage your canoes. You can rent a canoe in the park if required.
Wildlife is abundant in the park, with deer, fox, coyote, and raccoon all common. Thanks to the large lakes, many bird species also call this park home, such as herons, egrets, ducks, and many more. Following the hiking trails will take you through various habitats and the opportunity to spot some of the wildlife.
The park offers over 130 sites, suitable for camping with an RV, and spread over two campgrounds. Lakeview Campground is near the lake while Oak Ridge campground is in the center of the park. Both campgrounds offer electric hookup if required, but not on all sites, so advance booking is recommended. The campgrounds can accommodate vehicles up to 70 feet in length, so this state park would be okay for the majority of RVs. Only basic amenities are available, such as showers and flushing toilets.
Around the park, you will find a range of activities to partake in, such as volleyball and horseshoes, with equipment available at the park office. During the colder months, a warming house is available at the Trail Center, on the lower floor of the Interpretive Center, for when you are RV camping at Sibley State Park in the winter.
When you are book a rental motorhome in Sibley State Park, the nearest town is New London. The town offers basic facilities such as a gas station and store for your daily essential items, plus a few restaurants, mostly fast-food style. A little further south is the city of Willmar that has a range of larger stores and many more facilities.
While in New London, pay a visit to the Norby Sculpture Garden. The garden is open to the public and free to enter, featuring bronze sculptures spanning the 40-year career of Arthur Norby. In Willmar, you will find the Schwanke Museum, a privately owned motor vehicle museum. With over 100 cars, 200 tractors and other vehicles and exhibits, there is plenty to see, plus there is a gift shop for the essential souvenir.
Take your RV rental a little south of New London and visit the small town of Spicer on Green Lake, where you will find the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. The center provides hands-on-learning exhibits, designed for all ages to learn about the environment. You will find around six miles of trails to explore, and the center arranges regular events for all ages.