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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.
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Just over an hour’s drive from the heart of Minneapolis, the Wildwood Campground is a family-friendly RV park near the Minnesota border with Wisconsin. It’s within proximity to the Interstate State Park and the St. Croix River, as well as the Franconia Sculpture Park.
RV camping at the Wildwood Campground includes access to around 70 RV sites, with some pull-through access available. There are water, electricity, and sewer connections and a few sites that can cater to big rigs, with pets welcome to stay with you if they’re kept on a leash.
Aside from a heated swimming pool that’s open from the Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends, the Wildwood Campground also features basketball and volleyball courts. There are a mini-golf course and a self-guided nature trail, together with shuttles to a canoe and kayak rental company throughout the week.
Campsites at the Wildwood Campground are on the doorstep of the Interstate State Park, where two adjacent state parks merge along the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. They’re carved by the deep gorge of the St. Croix River (which served as an important transportation route for Native Americans) and include a handful of rustic-style National Park Service buildings that are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can walk between the two parks along the U.S. Route 8 bridge or explore on a scenic boat cruise, with canoe and kayak rentals also available. Rock climbing is permitted on many of the cliffs that flank the river while swimming is allowed from the swimming beach on Lake O’ the Dalles. If you want to learn more about the geology and ecology of the region, don’t miss the Ice Age Interpretive Center that details the park’s glacial features and natural fauna.
A short drive south of the Wildwood Campground is the Franconia Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area, which also lies along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. It’s covered by northern red oaks, sugar maples, and basswood trees, with an abundance of wildflowers igniting the landscape in spring. The Franconia Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area is a bird lover's paradise, with red-shouldered hawks, Acadian flycatchers, and cerulean warblers all regularly spotted here.
A 20-minute drive north of the Wildwood Campground is the Wild River State Park, which hugs an 18-mile stretch of the St. Croix River. It encompasses the Deer Creek section of the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road that was constructed in 1853 as a highway for troop movement and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park features 35 miles of hiking trails and 18 miles of horseback riding routes, as well as short sections of paved cycling trails and interpretive trails. Stop in at the McElroy Interpretive Center to browse its ecological exhibits, join one of the naturalist-led programs, or rent a canoe to explore the St. Croix River at your leisure. If you’re visiting during the winter months, there are around 30 miles of cross-country skiing trails, not to mention six miles of groomed snowshoeing routes.
Campsites at the Wildwood Campground are just five minutes’ drive from Taylors Falls, where you can pick up grocery supplies at the local supermarkets. There are also gas stations here if you need to fill up your RV rental and a good selection of cafes and restaurants if you want to grab a bite to eat.
While you’re in Taylors Falls, you can get a dose of local history at Folsom House, the restored home of lumbar magnate W.H.C. Folsom. He moved to the area in 1850 and played a prominent role as a state senator, with original family belongings now decorating the rooms. Browse Folsom’s well-stocked library and admire his rectangular grand piano on a guided tour of the historic home while learning about the region’s 19th-century reputation as the northern white pine center of the world.
Just a stone’s throw from the Wildwood Campground is the Franconia Sculpture Park, where more than 120 contemporary sculptures are exhibited across 43 acres. It was founded in 1996 by a small group of artists and has grown into one of the United States’ most innovative sculpture parks. Aside from being open to the public, the Franconia Sculpture Park also offers programs to support artists at various stages of their career who can be seen creating new works on-site between April and November.
If you’re visiting during the winter months, head to the Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area, a popular ski resort that boasts trails, snow tubing lanes, and three terrain parks. It stays open on Friday evenings for late-night skiing and snowboarding, with a couple of restaurants in its chalet where you can grab dinner. In the summer, the ski resort transforms with zip lining and an aerial challenge course that offers six different circuits for all experience levels.
Whether you want to get active on the St. Croix River or hit the ski slopes of Trollhaugen, book an RV in Chisago County and start planning your visit.