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The best camping near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Nerstrand Big Woods adventure.

75% (2 reviews)
75% (2 reviews)

Discover the serene beauty of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

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Top-rated campgrounds near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

99%
(688)

Prairie Creek Forest Campground

7 sites 路 Tents60 acres 路 Nerstrand, MN
Pitch your tent at one of our Walk-in campsites on 60 acres of forest or hilltop prairie along Prairie Creek in Rice County, MN. Explore the creeks, trails, forest, our enormous granite "split rock", a 60 acre county park featuring a waterfall and more trails, including a single track mountain bike course. That's 120 acres of exploring outside your tent; this campground truly offers a large amount of remote forest for recreation right on site. Big Woods State Park is less than 2 miles away. Faribault is 8 miles and Northfield is 9 miles from our driveway; they offer dining, boutiques, and all other amenities. Nerstrand is 4.5 miles east and has a gas station and a fantastic meat market. Numerous Cannon River put-ins are within 10 miles. Vehicles: Our main parking area by sites 1, 2, & 3 is easily accessible. The road to the secondary parking area beside site 4 is up a very steep hill. Kids under 16 camping with their parents do not count in pricing. Sites are priced for one tent, please let us know if you need to have more than one tent. A map of the land is in the photos and shows locations of sites, parking and more. All Sites are Walk-In! We have a cart you may use to haul gear in. Site 1 is near the creek. Approximately 200 feet from main parking area. Stone fire ring and grill grate, picnic table. Site 2 is in the pines. Approximately 200 feet from main parking area. Stone fire ring and grill grate, picnic table, this site has good hammock trees. Site 3 is by the creek. Approximately 300 feet from main parking area. Steel fire ring, steel grill ring, picnic table, this site has good hammock trees. Site 4 is on the hilltop. Approximately 100 feet from the secondary parking area Steel fire ring with grill grate, stone fire ring, picnic table, this site has good hammock trees. This campground is managed by Stephen and Molly on land owned by he and his father Ted. In 1961, Ted's parents bought this farm. Over the years, the arable land has been sold but we retained the wooded area which is crossed twice by a stream. About 20 years ago, a 60 acre county park was created to the south and west. The property is bordered on two sides by this county park. When Ted was in high school, the family sold the dairy cows and started a bare bones horseback riding ranch using trails in these woods as riding trails.
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$25
/ night
100%
(303)

Belle Creek Bluff

3 sites 路 Lodging, Tents28 acres 路 Welch, MN
Belle Creek Bluff is on 28 acres of prime land in Welch. Belle Creek runs through the middle of the property. Walk, swim, paddle, fish and explore the this beautiful spring fed trout stream. There are a number of hiking trails on the property. Bordering state lands to the east of the property provide endless exploration and hiking adventures. Hike to the top of the bluff for a spectacular view of Welch valley and the ski hill. Hiking NE along Belle Creek can you spot the old model A truck along the banks? There are eagles, falcons, finches, and many colorful birds to see.
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$40
/ night
98%
(33)

field view campsite

3 sites 路 RVs, Tents20 acres 路 Northfield, MN
Learn more about this land:You"ll camp right next to the Horse pasture and on our field drive with wonderful views and sunsets. The field is surrounded on three sides by Rice County Wilderness Park so it is very private and quiet.
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$25
/ night
98%
(156)

The Double J

5 sites 路 RVs, Tents71 acres 路 MN
Welcome to the Double J! Of the 71 acres we own, about half is tillable and the other half is woods and pastures for our horses. Within that, there is a beautiful secluded 3-acre meadow nestled down along along a beautiful 1,200 foot stretch of the Zumbro River where we have 5 spacious tent/RV campsites. While the campsites are all adjacent to each other along the river, they are each very spacious (the smallest being 100' wide and 75' deep), with some mature trees scattered around. Each sites (except Site #1) is able to accommodate up to 8 people and more than one tent or RV. There is a small meadow above all the sites where campers can play catch or other games. We provide and maintain a centrally located outhouse and keep the entire area mowed throughout the year. All sites offer great shade trees (perfectly spaced for hanging up a hammock) and access to the river - great for those hot summer days! Water activities to be enjoyed include fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and tubing (equipment not included). Some campers will drop in upstream at the Covered Bridge Park and float down to their campsite (Note there is a large log jam or two that will require portaging around). The Zumbro River, especially in the fishing hole, offers great fishing including Trout, Small-mouth, Red-horse, and an occasional Northern or Sauger. Campers are welcome to to meander out into our pasture to pet our two horses, Shiloh and Champ. Also, we are only 1.5 miles from town where you can visit Covered Bridge Park which has a Frisbee golf course and a nice play area for younger kids. Reserving adjacent sites, or all of the sites, makes for the ideal setting for a large family or group camp-out. In order to prevent overcrowding, we do reserve the right to limit number of sites, or campers per site based on overall parties/campers in the camping area. We will notify you if there are any limits prior to confirming your booking. We enjoy being able to share our property with others, and it is our desire to promote a safe, peaceful, family-friendly environment, therefore, be sure to note, we do have a NO ALCOHOL policy. PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to read the "RV Details" on the site information page as the road to the camping area may limit the type or size of RV due to a couple dips, a sharper curve, and it's steeper slope. Also, keep in mind, we reserve the right to cancel any reservations due to heavy rains or floods that may require our sites some additional time to dry out sufficiently. For updates and notice of last minute cancellations be sure to follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/DoubleJCamping Don鈥檛 hesitate to contact us with any questions! We look forward to being able to serve you!
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$40
/ night
100%
(6)

Brookside Meadows

3 sites 路 Tents35 acres 路 Nerstrand, MN
Tired of the traffic? Can't stand all the continuous noise from the craziness of the cities? Do we have a place for you less than an hour away from the twin cities or Rochester! It is a 35 acres site with walking trails (3 miles). This property has a creek flowing through the property. It is the middle of nowhere. We are on a gravel road with very little traffic. We have 3 spots for tents and 1 for RV/campers. Each has a stone fire-ring & picnic table/wood table. We would love to have you out here. Restore & renew at what we consider to be our own retreat-like oasis. Pets are welcome and children will love playing by the brook and walking the trails. Check in after 3 (no entrance after sunset), Check Out at Noon Pack in Pack out- no littering please We are Rustic so no public restrooms/showers No smoking 2 vehicles max unless prior approval with management Pets OK- on leash in public areas/trails, off leash at campsite OK ***No entrance to grounds after sunset Onsite: Firewood available ($5 a bundle cash preferred or Venmo) Dennison (2 miles): Gas station & Fireside restaurant (check out their ribs, wings & waffle fries!) Nerstrand (2 miles): Gas station & Boots & Lu restaurant (breakfast on weekends) ***Nerstrand Big Woods Park! Walk to their waterfalls- Northfield (8 miles): Breweries, grocery, and antiquing Can't wait to meet you!
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$28
/ night
99%
(250)

Bluff Hollow Camp on the Root River

1 site 路 RV, Tent8 acres 路 Stewartville, MN
The property is one of a kind. The Driftless Region starts right here in SE Minnesota. It is secluded with mature trees, beautiful bluffs, fishing, kayaking! It is a nature lovers dream!
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$55
/ night
97%
(262)

The Edge

7 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents160 acres 路 Rochester, MN
This 160 acre farm used to be a sod farm, and then a Christmas tree farm. Camping provided is in the remnants of the uncut Christmas tree forest.聽
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$25
/ night
100%
(11)

Walker's Ranch

1 site 路 Tent9 acres 路 Lakeville, MN
Learn more about this land: Come stay and make memories on the Walker ranch, you can't beat the scenery and location. Explore the Walker trail that leads to the creek and lounge in the woods in the hammock. Possibilities are endless!
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$35
/ night
100%
(83)

Prairie Woods Farm Vineyards

1 site 路 RV, Tent15 acres 路 Lonsdale, MN
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聽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聽is available for purchase. Camp is a聽very short walk from the parking area and you聽may drive in to load and unload. (conditions permitting -聽Summer and Fall) or use聽the gear-hauling wagon if you want the exercise. You are welcome to park one vehicle at camp. On your way to聽Prairie Woods Farm, you'll quickly notice聽the change in topography from flat farmland into rolling hills. The views are spectacular and the camp offers a chance to enjoy the vineyard,聽wildlife, amazing sunsets, and聽peace & quiet. Each guest receives a welcome聽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聽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.聽 Enjoy the many聽Craft beers, cider, or spirits. If you love craft beers, visit Montgomery Brewing, Giesenbrau Bier Company, Imminent Brewing,聽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.聽 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:聽If you enjoy boating or fishing, we are minutes away from many southern Minnesota Lakes. 聽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聽away, Creeks Bend outside of New Prague, or public courses in Montgomery or New Prague, both of which聽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聽shopping, good restaurants, and pubs on both sides. Many feature live music or weekly jam sessions.聽 It's our favorite place to grab a drink and enjoy sitting by the river. There is even a聽downtown聽falls!聽 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聽 (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!聽聽 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聽due to the wet conditions)聽 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!聽The most important thing to us is to stop rushing and聽enjoy the quiet solitude.聽 For you newbies, we are here for you!聽We are seasoned and active sea kayakers, canoeists, and backpackers who love to camp and teach.聽 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.聽 Motorcycles: An important note, you will need to drive on 1.5 miles of gravel road to reach our property.
from
$35
/ night
88%
(13)

Lionheart

3 sites 路 RVs, Tents36 acres 路 Millville, MN
Our land is a unique find with a little bit of everything. With river access, you can enjoy swimming/water activities and wind down with the wildlife sounds and campfire crackle. We have a few standup paddle boards, and river tubes available to rent and farm fresh eggs to purchase and enjoy with your morning campfire breakfast. The best on the Zumbro! Come experience life outdoors on the river :)
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$39
/ night
90%
(43)

Champion Valley

4 sites 路 RVs, Tents150 acres 路 Lakeville, MN
Champion Valley is a 150-acre outdoor adventure park in Lakeville, MN featuring ax-throwing, airsoft, paintball, escape rooms & archery tag. We are located 5 minutes off of Interstate 35W. It is situated on 150 acres of beautiful hills and waterways covered with thousands of trees.
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$30
/ night
98%
(21)

RadRo Farms at Hippie House

2 sites 路 RVsLakeville, MN
10 acre parcel with a 70鈥檚 split level house built by a former state representative. The land used to be a farm but is now mostly tall grasses and goldenrod. We have a large vegetable and berry garden and a large native flower garden. We have a chicken house and blankets of fireflies in the summer and beautiful sunsets that face the campsite. Sometimes it鈥檚 really quiet and sometimes you can hear the highway noise.
from
$25
/ night

The best camping near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park guide

Overview

About

Who says northern Cali gets to have all the big tree fun? At Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, huge basswoods tower over you, concealing the aptly named Hidden Falls watering hole. At this wide, shallow rapid on Prairie Creek, limestone bedrock is exposed and the rare dwarf trout lily blossoms all over.

It鈥檚 one of Minnesota鈥檚 only parks without a major historical site or body of water, which leaves it considerably less buggy than the rest! And unlike the state鈥檚 more flashy rec areas, you鈥檒l find seclusion in this rarely-full spot. The main trail to the falls can get crowded, but if you make time to do the two loops that go around it, you鈥檒l likely have the place to yourself.

When to go

The best time to visit Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural beauty is at its peak. Summer offers lush greenery, but be prepared for busier trails and hotter days. Winter can be magical with snow-covered paths, though some areas may be less accessible.

Know before you go

  • Highway 67 is closed; follow alternative routes provided by the park for access.
  • Check the park's website for the latest updates on trail closures and conditions.
  • Remember to pack essentials, including water, snacks, and a map, as amenities may be limited.
  • For safety, always stay on designated trails and be aware of local wildlife.
  • Cell service can be spotty, so plan ahead and inform someone of your itinerary.

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