If you're searching for a relaxing natural getaway within half an hour of Minnesota's Twin Cities, Willow River State Park is a must-visit. Found five miles north of Hudson, this 2,891-acre park is the ideal spot for a quick and easy camping getaway.
Centered around Willow Falls and the beautiful waters of Little Falls Lake, this pretty park offers abundant recreational opportunities all year round. Fishing, boating, hiking, and cross-country skiing are all popular, and there are three great family campgrounds to choose from. So rent a camper near Willow River State Park, pack your bags, and give yourself a few days to explore the best the park has to offer.
Willow River State Park campers enjoy a long list of recreational activities at this expansive natural area filled with lakes, rivers, forests, and prairie.
For many visitors, the best way to start your Willow River State Park RV camping adventure is to take to the water. Little Falls Dam, a reservoir on the Willow River, is found within the park and has long been popular with canoeists and kayakers. However, paddlers are advised to check the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for information on dam closures and water conditions. In the event the dam is closed, boaters can find other places to launch on the St. Croix River.
If you're a keen angler, you'll want to remember to bring your rod and gear with you for your visit. Fishing on the Willow River allows you to target a wide variety of warmwater species, including bass and panfish. The river is also stocked with trout, with the best fishing spots to be found upstream of Willow Falls.
Speaking of Willow Falls, this beautiful cascading waterfall is well worth a visit. Nestled in a 200-foot gorge, it's one of the park's main attractions and offers plenty of inspiration for amateur photographers. To get the best views of the falls, take the one-mile Willow Falls Trail from the campground. You might spot a deer or two along the way and, if you visit at the right time of year, you may even encounter some spectacular wildflowers.
There are 13 miles of hiking trails in total throughout the park, so it's worth taking the time to explore them all at your own pace. The Trout Brook Trail wanders for just under a mile and a half along the lower Willow River and offers beautiful natural scenery, while the Nelson Farm Trail, just under four miles long, is perfect for hikers seeking more of a physical challenge.
Camping at Willow River State Park
If you want to camp with an RV in Willow River State Park, search for a rental RV in St. Croix County and then take your pick of the park's three family campgrounds:
- The 100 Campground. This campground boasts 50 sites that can accommodate large RVs, tents, and everything in between. More than half of the sites in this campground are electric, while flush toilets and showers are centrally located. Other features include a kids' playground and vault toilets. However, shade is limited in this campground.
- The 200 Campground. This 30-site campground features 12 electric sites, with drinking water available at a couple of points around the campground. Flush and vault toilets are provided but there are no showers here.
- The 300 Campground. This campground offers 70 sites that can accommodate motorhomes, trailers, and tents. Twenty of these sites feature electricity, while a dump station is located near the campground entrance. Flush toilets and showers are provided, with drinking water available throughout the campground. There's also a playground for the little ones, and the camp hosts sell firewood in season.
Exploring the Area
When you've had your fill of everything Willow River State Park has to offer, you won't have to drive your rental RV far before you come across a host of other attractions worth visiting.
Just a few minutes to the southwest lies Hudson, where you can explore the 19th-century Octagon House Museum or enjoy a picnic in Lakefront Park. If you'd prefer to continue exploring the state parks system, William O'Brien State Park is just over half an hour north and offers excellent fishing and swimming.
Or if you'd rather head for the city, you can be in Saint Paul in around 25 minutes. While you're there, make sure you spend a day exploring the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. It offers a wonderful experience for nature lovers, and is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Twin Cities and the area around Willow River State Park.
Willow River State Park, WI is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Willow River State Park. Outdoorsy's Willow River State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.