Camping near Rochester

Camping near Rochester puts you within a short distance of parks, rivers, and nature trails.

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97% (1779 reviews)

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Camping near Rochester guide


Southern Minnesota is ripe with opportunity for campers and city visitors alike, where Rochester offers wooded areas, fresh rivers, trail systems, and plenty of elbow room just north of the border with Iowa. Wildlife is prevalent, and birdwatchers can catch glimpses of many species along the Zumbro River and the 80 miles of connected trails frequented by hikers, bikers, and runners. While the Quarry Hill Trails are among the favorites, Silver Lake has wonderful walking paths and bike rentals, while Fox Trails Park is ideal for walking solo or with a dog. RV parks and campgrounds are easy to find on the town’s outskirts and at nearby hot spots like Lake Pepin and Whitewater State Park.

Where to go

Whitewater State Park

About 30 minutes south of Rochester, scenic Whitewater State Park is known for its limestone bluffs, trout fishing, and hiking trails. Visitors can camp in the park's campgrounds and head out for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. The Whitewater Wildlife Management Area also provides opportunities for hunting and nature exploration.

Chester Woods Park:

Situated about 20 minutes southeast of Rochester, Chester Woods Park is a beautiful county park with camping facilities, hiking trails, and a lake for fishing and boating.

Lake Pepin

Located about 1.5 hours southeast of Rochester, Lake Pepin is all about water activities such as boating, fishing, and sailing. Visitors can find camping options in nearby campgrounds to take in stellar views of the lake.

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

One hour’s drive south of Rochester, this park offers camping facilities and guided tours of the famed Mystery Cave. Visitors can explore the park's historic buildings, hike the trails, and learn about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Myre-Big Island State Park

Located about 30 minutes west of Rochester, Myre-Big Island State Park offers camping facilities and recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and fishing. The park also has a golf course and archery range for extra fun.

When to go

Visiting Rochester is fun throughout the entire year with outdoor activities varying by season. Summer is the busiest season and for good reason—June through September offers great weather when RV parks and campgrounds are all open. Hiking, biking, and watersports are best during the summer and fall months as well. Experiencing the art centers, museums, and historic sites of the Rochester area can be done even in winter, when the town decorates and celebrates the holiday season. Snowshoe and cross country ski trails are excellent for snowy escapes, and the town embraces winter sports like hockey and ice skating too.

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