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In the far southwestern reaches of Minnesota, closer to Sioux Falls in South Dakota than Minneapolis or Saint Paul is Split Rock Creek State Park. Visiting Split Rock Creek State Park is easy to do when you book an RV in Pipestone County, and the combination of land and water activities will provide plenty of entertainment while motorhome camping in the area. This state park can trace its modern history back to 1938 and has come a long way over the years.
A large dam, which was built by the Works Progress Administration in conjunction with the Civilian Conservation Corps, was the foundation for Split Rock Creek State Park. The dam was constructed of locally quarried quartzite and was created to provide water-based recreation opportunities for a part of Minnesota with few lakes. The landscape surrounding the park is more similar to South Dakota than the rest of Minnesota.
RV camping at Split Rock Creek State Park is a wonderful way to see southwestern Minnesota, and with plenty of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy while motorhome camping here, you may end up staying longer than expected. During the summertime, common outdoor activities include hiking, horseback riding, biking, and enjoying facilities around the park. There are picnic shelters, playgrounds, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and more.
There are many types of hiking trails throughout Split Rock Creek State Park, some of which are self-guided tours and others that are wheelchair accessible. Paved trails provide access to the beach, the picnic grounds, and across the dam, while natural trails will take you through the forests and around the lake. Most of the trails begin near the campgrounds, and the self-guided trail has placards along its length to explain the things you’ll be seeing.
During the colder months, Split Rock Creek State Park offers different entertainment opportunities. RV camping at state parks during the colder months of the year is a fabulous way to see the landscape with a different mindset, and campers at this park can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoe when there is snow on the ground. The lake doesn’t often freeze over entirely, but on the rare occasion that it does, guests can enjoy ice fishing.
The state park RV campgrounds found at Split Rock Creek State Park can host more than 50 RVs at once. The campgrounds are split up depending on the amenities, with 34 campsites being drive-in sites with minimal amenities and the other 21 offering electricity hookups in 30 and 50 amps. One electric site is wheelchair accessible, so reserve this site ahead of time to make sure it is available when you arrive.
All campsites have their own fire ring, picnic table, and grill for added convenience. Additionally, centrally located facilities like showers with hot water, restrooms with flushing toilets, and a dump station can be accessed by all campers. Water-based facilities are seasonally dependent, so don’t expect them to be running while camping here in the winter. No matter what the season, though, it is possible to rent a camper near Split Rock Creek State Park and enjoy all this park has to offer.
The tiny town of Ihlen is located directly north of the park, but aside from a gas station, a post office, one restaurant, and a church, there isn’t much to do here. Taking Highway 23 further north to Pipestone is one of the best ways to find more modern amenities in the area. In Pipestone, you’ll find the Pipestone National Monument, which is a great place to see local natural features that are undisturbed.
Pipestone is home to a few museums to explore, including the Pipestone County Museum. This museum is a great place to learn about the local history of the area and has artifacts and exhibits to help learners of all ages interact while visiting. Also in Pipestone is Fort Pipestone, a restored fort that once housed soldiers and civilians during earlier pioneer days.
Heading southwest into South Dakota will bring you to Sioux Falls, one of the largest cities in the area. When you camp in an RV near Pipestone, it is easy to visit Sioux Falls, and there is plenty to do while you’re in town. More than a dozen museums are scattered throughout town, and some of the more popular options include the South Dakota Golf Hall of Fame, the Sioux Falls Medical Museum, the Old East Side Fire Station, the Old Courthouse Museum, and the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History.