Thinking of exploring the Ice Age trail? If you are looking for a challenging hike we suggest The Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Trail (circle trail). This has been to date the hardest hike we have completed. It’s hard to believe it took us over two hours to complete 4.5 miles.
Beware the deer flies, they made our hike hell, even after spraying ourselves with bug repellent twice. Bring a hat or head cover and you won’t be able to hike in peace.
I do highly recommend the David Obey Interpretative center. It was very kid friendly with lots of cool stuff for the kids to explore and snakes to pet.
This may be a tough hike (at least to complete with kids and a dog) but there are some beautiful sights that make it worth it!
Best campground we have visited so far. Our site (#15) was spacious with a great view of the river. The campground was also very quiet even though there were plenty of children around.
Amazingly the beach was not crowded considering it was a gorgeous day in July. Would visit this park again!
The island has a great loop that goes around it that’s perfect for biking or to complete on a scooter.
We enjoyed the quiet beach but the hiking trails were plagued by deer flies. Bring a hat and bug spray!
Great campground for the kids! My three children had a TON of fun using the jumping pillow, the slide, pool and mini-golf.
There is also a great playground. Hayward KOA has a ton of things to do for kids and that helps increase our rating.
Some of these activities are not free though. For the kids to use the pillow and be able to go tubing we had to buy a bracelet (for each) that cost $36 for the entire duration of our visit. The longer you stay the better value. We didn’t get the bracelet for us adults, so we paid $10 each to go tubing.
We found the campground a bit worn down and old looking, but generally clean. The sites were a bit closer together than we would have liked although we did see some sites with more space in between in other areas of the campground.
The roads in the campground seemed very narrow, and the situation was exacerbated by people parking their cars too close to (and sometimes on) the road. People would also drive against what was supposed to be the flow of traffic often.
We probably wouldn’t make a repeat visit and would stick to camping at State Parks.
Here is another lifesaver during our camping adventures: these non-stick grilling mats! I love that most camping sites we have visited include a firepit. However, I did not love the idea of cooking my food directly over these fire grills.
I found these non stick reusable grilling mats which not only make cooking on these firepits more hygienic but also makes clean up a snap! These mats are easily wiped after you are done cooking.
Here is a family camping favorite: extendable roasting sticks! We love these! These sticks can be extended up to 32 inches. The handle is heatproof so that means kid safe. They also come in different colors so no more arguing over which stick is whose!
They are very easy to clean too! Just let them soak in water to get all the roasted marshmallow off easily.
We absolutely loved out visit to Sibley State Park.
We would definitely call this a very family friendly state park with lots of activities for the whole family. We had a gorgeous Saturday with temperatures in the high 80s. Just perfect to enjoy the lake beach or bike along the lakeside view bike trail.
You can also go hiking or drive up to Mount Tom.
The trails were well kept, wide and spacious allowing for a nice hike.
The panoramic view from Mount Tom was excellent!
You can also go fishing, kayaking or just enjoy the beaches of Lake Andrew.
You can rent kayaks from the park office or stop by to buy some frozen treats for the family.
We stayed in Lot 33E. This was a very nice lot that we found easy to back into and drive out of. This campground was a little bit more dense that Sakatah Lake Park, which means a bit less privacy. But perhaps that made it better because the kids made friends with other kids easily.
We were thankful to have an electric site this time as it was a hot Saturday for Minnesota. But then we woke up to rain and thunderstorms on Sunday. By 10am lots of the campers had left and we couldn’t blame them as there was more rain in the forecast. We were glad we were able to enjoy a full gorgeous Saturday.
Following the advice of a friend we decided to stay very close by for out first trip on our RV. This friend also recommended Sakatah State Park as a family friendly park that his kids enjoyed visiting.
We tried to make our reservation in advance but were able to find only non-electric sites. Although to be fair, Sakath State Park only has 14 electric site out of about 70 or sites. So not many available.
Our site was #4 which turned out to be a narrow site to back into but we were able to make it in with no issues. The site as least was long and provided some nice privacy. It also included a picnic table and a fire pit ring that was very deep and safe.
Sakath State park has an incredible paved bike trail that runs thru the park and continues for miles. This would be a great place to come in for a long run if you are training for a marathon. Or just bring your bike and enjoy the sights.
There is also a trail that runs along the lake (the name escapes me now). It makes for some great views although it was a bit overgrown and therefore narrow. We also made sure to check for ticks afterwards just to be safe.
We did not get very lucky in our fishing but the park has a very nice fishing pier and of course a boat launch if you wanted to go in the water to fish or just enjoy.
The park office has some programs available. We tried geocaching but completely flunked the test. The kids had fun though and that’s all that matters. We will keep trying at other parks.
I would recommend Sakatah State Park although if you have a big rig drivers beware. The roads and sites can be narrow and can be hard to navigate or back into. We did not escape unscathed and scratched our RV with a huge “decorative” rock (like who thought that was a good idea near the dump site?). You live and learn though and now are making sure to research the parks we will be visiting in advance as much as possible.
Also, after asking at the park office we were told it would be OK. But after we used our generator for only using for 30 minutes to recharge the batteries we got a visit from the Park Ranger about a noise complain. Later on we heard other people using their generator too. So who knows? Maybe we just turned out to be difficult neighbors.