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Six of the Best Campgrounds in Southeastern Minnesota

Great River Bluffs State Park (Explore Minnesota)

Camping season has arrived. Southeastern Minnesota has some great camping spots that everyone should check out!

Here are six of the top camping opportunities in our area, from Cannon Falls to Preston, and the Rochester area to the Winona area. All are worth considering as you plan your spring or summer camping adventures. Special thanks to Explore Minnesota for their assistance and expertise!

Chester Woods Park/Campground – Just minutes East of Rochester, Chester Woods has a wide variety of activities, from fishing to canoeing and kayaking, as well as hiking, skiing, swimming and nature programs. The park has nearly 50 campsites to choose from, as well as a camper cabin option.

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (Explore Minnesota)

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park – Located not far from Preston, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is abundant in both natural and historical wonders. Visitors can explore Mystery Cave via guided tour and see stalactites, stalagmites, underground pools and bats in their natural habitat. Interested in man-made wonders instead? Historic Forestville is a restored village that looks like it is right out of the 1800s. The park offers a few different camping options.

Great River Bluffs State Park – South of Winona, this state park sits on breathtaking bluff vistas overlooking the Mississippi River valley. This beautiful, quiet park has some great opportunities for hiking, bird watching and camping. The park has several camping options to choose from, including five ‘bike-in’ spots!

Lake Byllesby Campground – Located just outside Cannon Falls, Lake Byllesby offers fishing, boating, swimming and other water-related activities. On-site caretakers oversee the campground. The Cannon Valley Trail offers walking, running or biking opportunities and there are antique and craft stores nearby for those looking for some shopping.

Old Barn Resort/Campground – Nestled between Preston and Lanesboro, the Old Barn Resort offers 274 camping sites and a 38 bed bunkhouse/hostel. Activities available include fishing, splashing and tubing down the Root River, biking the Root River Trail and an 18-hole golf course.

Whitewater State Park – Located just a few miles north of St. Charles, Whitewater’s 2,700 acres of park space offers a wide variety of activities including fishing, swimming, hiking, interpretive programs and visitor’s center exhibits. Park staff offers several nature programs, as well, that are fun for the whole family. The park offers several different camping and lodging options.

Got a favorite in the area that’s not on the list? Share it with us!

MORE CAMPING CONTENT: Dunken Starts a Campfire Using Doritos

An Awesome Little Grilling Song!



Grilling season has come to the Midwest. In honor of the most wonderful time of the year, here’s a little song about grilling. Enjoy!



If you’re going to hike around southeast Minnesota, there are a couple of snakes to be aware of.


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