1 site · RV, Tent15 acres · Lonsdale, Rice
The Cannon River valley near Northfield is mostly flat, but as you move west towards Lonsdale, the topography becomes beautiful rolling hills that are the perfect setting for some of the first vineyards in Minnesota. Today, many vineyards dot our local landscape.
In addition to the vineyards, our land contains a forest which is part of the original "Big Woods". When pioneers first came to the area, this large forest covered much of southern and central Minnesota. "Big Woods State Park" is just 35 minutes from us in Nerstrand.
Our hiking trails on the property bring you from vineyard to woods to the wildflowers in summer. We love it and hope you will too.
Learn more about this land:
Just one site means relaxed, quiet camping! Pitch a tent and recharge at Prairie Woods Farm! 35 minutes south of the Twin Cities, 7 miles west of I-35 at the Northfield exit. The site includes a picnic table, fire ring, and an amazing vineyard view with incredible sunsets most evenings. Retreat to the screened "She shed" or roam the vineyards or woods. Firewood is available for purchase.
Camp is a very short walk from the parking area and you may drive in to load and unload. (conditions permitting - Summer and Fall) or use the gear-hauling wagon if you want the exercise. You are welcome to park one vehicle at camp.
On your way to Prairie Woods Farm, you'll quickly notice the change in topography from flat farmland into rolling hills. The views are spectacular and the camp offers a chance to enjoy the vineyard, wildlife, amazing sunsets, and peace & quiet. Each guest receives a welcome packet containing information on the area which is highlighted with some of our favorite things to see and do. If you chose to go exploring on your way, here are some ideas to get you started:
Vineyards and Wineries: We are in the heart of Minnesota's wine-growing country where some of Minnesota's very first vineyards began. Within a few square mile area, there are 4 different vineyards growing over 30 tons of grapes for local wineries. Visit some winery tasting rooms within a short drive like Next Chapter in Montgomery, Vintage Escapes in Killkenny, Mousse sparkling wines in Jordan or Cannon Valley in Cannon Falls. A little farther is Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery in Kasota (near Mankato). All have a very different appeal and are worth a visit.
Enjoy the many Craft beers, cider, or spirits. If you love craft beers, visit Montgomery Brewing, Giesenbrau Bier Company, Imminent Brewing, Tanzenwald brewery, or Chapel Brewery. Prefer a homemade cocktail? Loon Liquors Distillery in Northfield specializes in hand-crafted gourmet cocktails made from their own spirits distilled on site. Chankaska also offers hand-crafted cocktails from their distillery as well. For ciders, we highly recommend Keepsake Cidery, a lovely spot 15 minutes away that creates wonderful craft ciders and has excellent food!
Boating and Fishing: If you enjoy boating or fishing, we are minutes away from many southern Minnesota Lakes. Bring your canoe and explore the Cannon River! We are happy to help shuttle you if we are around. You can also tube the Cannon River with a shuttle service from Welch.
Golf: Play the famous Willingers only 6 minutes away, Creeks Bend outside of New Prague, or public courses in Montgomery or New Prague, both of which offer a great day of golf.
Local Places to explore: Our personal favorite diversion is the historic river town of Northfield. This quaint community on the Cannon River reminds us of a small European village with several walking bridges crossing the river with shopping, good restaurants, and pubs on both sides. Many feature live music or weekly jam sessions. It's our favorite place to grab a drink and enjoy sitting by the river. There is even a downtown falls! Listed on the National Historic Register, Northfield is home to two nationally known liberal arts colleges (Carleton and St Olaf), giving you a chance to catch a play, a recital, concert, or art show almost any day of the week. This is not a rowdy college town and prides itself on higher learning (At over $50k per year to attend with high admission standards, they attract the best and brightest) .
Traveling west from camp will take you to "Czech country" a collection of towns founded by those of Bohemian heritage. Explore historic St. Wenceslaus Church in New Prague; stop for a Kolachy (Czech sweet roll) at a bakery (Frankies Bakery in Montgomery are the best) or a bowl of authentic Vomachka soup at the Fish Tale Grill. Make sure to tune to KCHK radio (95.5 FM / 1350 AM) to know where the local polka bands are playing or to listen to polka music on the air!
Camping: Of course, most just stay onsite and hang out in the vineyard or walk our on-site hiking trails. (Trail maintenance in the woods varies each year due to the wet conditions) Take in the amazing views while hiking the quiet country roads that stretch on for miles. Relax on the screen porch "She shed" and enjoy watching the lightning bugs or butterflies put on their air show! The most important thing to us is to stop rushing and enjoy the quiet solitude.
For you newbies, we are here for you! We are seasoned and active sea kayakers, canoeists, and backpackers who love to camp and teach. Make sure you check out our additional options if you are interested in learning new skills or want to try out some gear you have been curious about.
We look forward to meeting you and giving you a flavor of the amazing landscape and beauty of southern Minnesota wine country.
Motorcycles: An important note, you will need to drive on 1.5 miles of gravel road to reach our property.