On the first night of our trip to Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park this May, we stayed at the Great River Bluffs State Park Campground. None of us had ever been to Minnesota before, so we were very excited to check it out!
Located in the town of Winona, MN, Great River Bluffs State Park is situated right on the Mississippi River. It is only about 5 minutes off of Interstate 90, which made it a very convenient stop for us while passing through.
This campground has no electrical hookups. There are 31 sites, and they all have a picnic table and fire ring. There is a lot of privacy between most of the sites due to the large amount of vegetation.
Pit toilets and a water source are located in the middle of the campground loop.
There is also a shower house with flush toilets, but you have to walk a little bit of a trail to get there. It wasn’t very long, and was actually kind of neat.
A playground is also near the campground, although we did not get a chance to check it out because it was raining.
There are many trails and overlooks of the Mississippi River at Great River Bluffs State Park. Here is a link to some of the most popular ones.
Making a reservation online is very simple. Just go to https://reservemn.usedirect.com/MinnesotaWeb/ and type in Great River Bluffs State Park, and pick your campsite!
When we arrived, we checked in at the welcome center, and then headed to our campsite. It was a 2 mile road to get there, and probably the most wooded, and winding, gravel road we have ever taken our camper on! It was a fun and very scenic drive.
We stayed in campsite # 21, which was a great site, despite it having a pretty steep driveway. One of the first things that we noticed, was the heavy presence of mosquitoes! To be honest, it might have been the most mosquitoes that we have ever experienced at a campground.
Boy, were we glad that we brought our Thermacell mosquito repellers! These things work great! We usually set one up on the picnic table, and one near our chairs by the fire pit. After a few minutes of running, nearly all of the mosquitoes are gone. We love the lantern models because they double as outdoor lights at night.
We were only there for one night, and there were heavy thunderstorms for half of the evening, so we did not have a chance to do any hiking or exploring. Julia got some great pictures on a overlook of the Mississippi River on our way out though! Also, the dogs did get their normal amount of walks that night and the next morning, despite all of the mosquito bites that I got!
This is a very beautiful campground, and we will try to make it back sometime to check out the hiking trails and the rest of the state park. Maybe with a little more bug spray next time!