Must-See State Parks in Minnesota

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Minnesota is home to some of the best state parks in the country. And there are a lot of them too. If you want to narrow your search and visit the best of the best, we’ve got you covered with our must-see state parks in Minnesota. Fire up the RV and head to any one of these for a weekend of family fun.

Blue Mounds State Park

A park as beautiful as it is mysterious, Blue Mounds State Park offers up a truly unique experience. Cacti, prairie grasses, and wildflowers dot the landscape as herds of buffalo move across the horizon. Spring is the perfect time to visit since the grasses haven’t grown to their tall summer heights, so the views are unobstructed. The park also features an enigmatic 1250 foot long stone ledge near the southern end of the park. It may have been used as an ancient calendar by native tribes. On the first days of spring and fall, the sunrise and sunset align perfectly with the stones.

Grand Portage State Park

Featuring the tallest waterfalls in the state, including the 120-foot tall High Falls of the Pigeon River, Grand Portage State Park offers some beautiful sights. The park marks a number of important sites, including the Grand Portage National Monument, which marks the site where fur traders established a center of commerce with the Ojibwa in the 17th century. This is also where Alexander Mackenzie embarked on his cross-continental trek towards the Pacific Ocean in 1793 – a full twelve years before Lewis and Clark made the same journey.

Itasca State Park

The original and, to some, the best state park in Minnesota. It’s among the largest in the state and gives you a classic “National Park” feel with its classic lodging available at the historic Douglas Lodge. There’s an onsite visitor center, restaurant, and common area with a fireplace at the lodge as well. Hiking is the best activity at the park, especially a hike to the Mississippi Headwaters where the river flows from Lake Itasca.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before hitting the road to see Minnesota’s state parks, be sure to visit Minnesota’s #1 RV dealership, PleasureLand RV Center. From new and used RV sales to parts, accessories, and certified service, PleasureLand RV Center has got your adventures in Minnesota covered.

Head to Maplewood State Park

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If you’re always on the lookout for the next place to take your RV, PleasureLand RV Center is here to give you a suggestion: Maplewood State Park. The park sprawls over 10,279 acres and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Maplewood sits on a series of high tree-covered hills that provide visitors with striking vistas of small, clear lakes nestled in deep valleys.

Maplewood State Park features eight major lakes and numerous ponds, offering water lovers places to enjoy their water sports, like swimming, fishing, and boating. The lakes offer plenty of sandy beaches and recreation areas on the shore for sunbathing, grilling, and picnicking.

Drive along the park’s scenic route to view the flora and fauna in the park, including 150 bird species and 50 species of mammal, including deer, beavers, racoon, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. The trails are also a great way to see the wildlife while you hike, horseback ride, or cross-country ski (in the colder months).

Spring through fall, the park is “dressed” with displays of trillium, hepatica, bloodroot, yellow lady’s slipper, wild onion, prairie rose, and showy milkweed. If you go in the fall, the park turns into a fall wonderland with brilliant shades of orange, gold, and red.

The park is located 7 miles east of Pelican Rapids on State Highway 108.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Visit PleasureLand RV Center before you head to Maplewood State Park or any other destination this spring. Besides helping to make sure that your RV is ready for the road, PleasureLand RV Center can also help you get into a new RV if it’s time to upgrade or evenĀ  if you’re shopping for your first rig.

Explore Wild River State Park

St. Croix River Scenic

A great place to keep in mind the next time you’re looking for a place to take the RV, Wild River State Park is located along 18 miles of the St. Croix River.

The park is attractive to those who enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, interpretive programs, self-guided trails, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

The hiking is also great, offering a 35-mile trail system. The trails are especially nice during the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

For those not using an RV, the camp has a guest house that provides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and fireplace. The park also has six camping cabins, which have bunkbeds, a table, and benches.

You can get to the camp by exiting I-35, taking State Highway 95 to County Road 12. Drive 3 miles on County Road 12 to the park’s entrance.

Contact the park for more information at 651-583-2925 or email wildriver.statepark@state.mn.us. The best time to contact the park is somewhere between 9am and 4pm.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before you visit Wild River State Park, stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a new or used RV and find your next motorhome or travel trailer today. If you’ve already got a rig, you can schedule service with the service center at PleasureLand RV Center to make sure that your RV is in tip-top shape for the road.

Visit Lake Bemidji State Park

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Looking for a nearby spot to camp and enjoy some outdoor recreation, perhaps for spring break? If you’re centered in Minnesota or plan on passing through soon, check out Lake Bemidji State Park. It’s just 10 minutes north of Bemidji off Highway 71 N. Watch for and follow the park’s signage and you can’t miss it.

Lake Bemidji State Park offers visitors swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, camping, biking picnicking, and snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in colder months.

Away from the lake, hiking is an especially good activity. Trails lead through Lake Bemidji’s tamarack bog, which is carpeted with showy lady’s slippers, pitcher plants, dragon’s mouths, grass pink, and insect-eating sundews. Most flowers start to bloom in the bog between late spring and early summer.

Birdwatchers will also love the lake, as it offers a unique ecosystem with eagles and ospreys. Other common birds in the spring include the red-eyed vireo, tree swallow, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, yellow-rumped warbler, indigo bunting, swamp sparrow, blue-winged teal, ruby-throated hummingbird, and many more.

Free WiFi is available at the campground and Visitors Center.

The park’s hours are from 8am to 4pm daily.

If you’d like to learn more, contact the park at 3401 State Park Road Northeast, Bemidji, Minnesota. Call 218-308-2300 or email lakebemidji.statepark@state.mn.us.

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Stop by PleasureLand RV Center before you visit Lake Bemidji State Park or any other destination in Minnesota. PleasureLand RV Center offers RV sales, service, parts and accessories in Minnesota. See us in St Cloud, Brainerd, or Ramsey today!

4 Great Spring Break Destinations

It’s never too early to start planning your spring break trip. With the kids out of school, a little time off for yourself, and an RV to travel in, spring break is a great opportunity to unwind, reconnect as a family, and share some new experiences. If you’ve got the will but don’t know where to go, why not try out one of these fun-filled destinations?

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Harbor Town, on the island of Hilton Head in South Carolina

For the beach-goer, Hilton Head offers miles of beautiful coastline. Hilton Head itself offers fantastic dining experiences, dozens of unique shopping opportunities, and plenty of annual public events that tourists can take advantage of. By the time spring break rolls around, the water is just right for swimming.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Those looking for sand, surf, and boardwalk fun need look no further than Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. With 60 miles of wide, soft sandy beaches and numerous family-friendly attractions, Myrtle Beach offers never-ending fun and adventure.

Branson, Missouri

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A popular regional destination for years, Branson has been drawing crowds from all over the country recently. Renowned for its live music scene (famous musicians associated with Branson include Johnny Cash, Dick Clark, the Oakridge Boys, the Osmond Family, and Kenny Rogers), Branson offers plenty of music and theater shows at its dozens of venues.

Yosemite National Park, California

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If you’re interested in natural beauty, Yosemite National Park is not only one of the prettiest places in the United States, but the world as well. From hiking and camping to stargazing and nature watching, Yosemite National Park is a place that everyone should try to visit at least once.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before you head out, remember to drop by at PleasureLand RV Center in St Cloud, Ramsey, or Brainerd, Minnesota. When taking such a long road trip, it’s important to get your RV checked over at a qualified service center, such as PleasureLand RV Center, before you hit the road. And, of course, if you don’t currently own an RV but would like to take your spring break getaway in one, now’s the time to start the shopping process and tour some models.

How to Use the Proper Campground Etiquette

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Camping seems simple enough — arrive at the campsite or RV park, sprawl out and enjoy a weekend, week or even months at your new destination. However, there are certain things that make campgrounds work, and many of those things involve the behavior of those who are camping there. This simple guide to campground etiquette will help you and your fellow campers enjoy each camping experience to the fullest.

Leave Nothing Behind

The first part of enjoying the great outdoors is doing as little harm to it as possible. Always pack up your campsite, then double and triple check that you haven’t left any items or trash behind. Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.

Be Friendly

When you’re at a campground or RV park, you know you have a common interest with everyone else there. Invite your campground neighbors over for snacks or drinks and encourage your little ones to make new campground friends. Often times, the people you meet at the campsite become lifelong friends.

Time your Awning and Outdoor Lights

It can be easy to forget to turn off your awning, porch or other outdoor lights. Set your lights on a timer, so they never use excessive power and keep your fellow campers up at night. Your outdoor lights may not seem bright to you, but the camper next door may be staring at them all night long.

Leave Extra Wood Behind

Every camper has arrived at a campground late and endured the struggle of finding firewood at night. One of the best bits of campground etiquette you can practice is leaving some of your firewood behind for the next camper. They’ll be elated to be able to start a fire upon arrival, and hopefully the favor will be returned to you by someone else.

Find Your Dream Camping Vehicle

A happy camper makes a good camper, and there’s no better way to get excited about camping than to purchase a top-quality new RV. Stop in and see us at PleasureLand RV Center to find your dream RV today.

The Best Minnesota Horseback Riding Trails

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Minnesota is one of the top states in the country for horseback riding. The diverse terrain, massive network of trails and stretches of untouched land make for some of the most scenic trail rides you can find.

The following three riding trails and ranches are some of the best in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for taking in the Minnesota sites on horseback.

Big Valley Ranch — Winona

Big Valley Ranch is a family-friendly place to hop on horseback without owning one. The ranch is nestled into the picturesque Winona bluff country, and offers 165 acres of terrain. Visitors can enjoy everything from riding lessons to long trail rides, day camps and more. The ranch is located on East Burns Valley Road in Winona, so it’s easier for vacationers to find than some other, less-accessible ranches.

Browns Creek State Trail

The 5.9-mile-long Browns Creek State Trail in Washington County opened last October and is the newest addition to Minnesota’s massive trail system. This rail-trail spans from Stillwater to Grant where it meets up with the Gateway State Trail. Riders can access the St. Croix River from an off-road trail or enjoy the smoother paved option. Both lines pass historic sites and breathtaking Minnesota scenery.

River Valley Ranch — Carver

Get on the trails every day you’re in Minnesota at the River Valley Ranch in Carver. The ranch provides stunning 1-hour-long tours of the Minnesota River Valley with group tours available as well. Even better, the ranch is just 25 minutes southwest of the bustling city of Minneapolis. This is the perfect option for novice riders; however, reservations are recommended for all tours, so call the ranch at (952) 361-3361 before your visit.

Stop and See Us at PleasureLand

Don’t forget to stop and see us at the PleasureLand RV Centers when you’re traveling throughout Minnesota. There’s no better place to find the perfect RV or simply some accessories and camping supplies for your fall adventures.

Enjoy Fall on the Water

Canoe tied to a dock on a lake in northern Minnesota

RVers are commonly interested in outdoor activities and the natural world. After all, a good portion of your travels will probably be oriented towards parks and preserves all across the U.S.

Minnesota offers no shortage of beautiful outdoor areas, no matter your interests or hobbies. If you’re into kayaking, canoeing, or any other variation of paddle-crafts, this is especially true: Minnesota has 32 designated water trails and is the oldest water trail system in the country, more than 50 years old. It’s also one of the largest, covering more than 4,400 miles.

Check out these great Minnesota water trails this fall.

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River winds through 500 miles of Minnesota countryside. With so much area, there’s really no good way to characterize the water ways of the Mississippi. It starts as a narrow and tame stream at its headwaters in Itasca Lake before widening out.

Lake Superior

The largest freshwater lake in the world is also one of the most scenic. On calm days the water can be so clear and calm that it’s like glass. On days that conditions are poor and the water is too choppy on the lake, there are plenty of smaller and more sheltered lakes and tributaries attached to Lake Superior that are good alternatives.

St. Croix River

If you’re looking for a dramatic waterscape, St. Croix River delivers. With a 200-foot gorge, ice age potholes, and scenic rock formations, St. Croix River is one of the more interesting waterways in Minnesota.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Drop by PleasureLand RV Center if you’re ready to combine your love of travel and the outdoors with the convenience and comfort of your very own motorhome. PleasureLand RV Center offers RV sales, service, parts and accessories in Minnesota.

Hiking Gear Necessities

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RVing and hiking go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you RV and frequent national parks and campgrounds, chances are you’re familiar with a good hike. But if you’ve yet to embark on a good walk in the nature that surrounds your site if if you generally stick to shorter trails, there’s some indispensable gear that you need to take on longer, more rigorous excursions.

Plenty of Water

Water is absolutely essential. This should go without saying, but staying hydrated is more important than anything else. Dehydration can occur rapidly if you’re exerting yourself and can be debilitating enough to prevent you from continuing back to the safety of your camp or RV. Bring plenty of water bottles or a full canteen. Check before you set out if there are any sources of clean water along your trail in case you need to top your supply off.

Energy Rich Snacks

To keep your energy up and to remain on your feet it’s important to have some good energy rich snacks for your hike. These take up relatively little space in your pack and aren’t heavy, so why not have them? These could include protein bars, fruits, nuts, or anything that provides a good blend of filling protein and quick energy from carbohydrates and sugars.

Hiking Footwear

Good footwear is necessary if you’re taking a long hike. This includes either boots or shoes designed for hiking, plus some well-cushioned socks. This will reduce your chance for blisters, improve your stability and traction, and generally increase the distance you can walk by ameliorating fatigue.

Weather Appropriate Clothing

If you’re hiking in the heat of summer, make sure to wear a good hat and breathable clothing. If it’s winter, keep yourself warm with a sturdy coat, pants, and long sleeves. Use your best judgement, but always dress for the worst case scenario: what would you need to wear if you got lost and had to stay out in the elements over night?

Charged Cell Phone

We didn’t have cell phones back in the day, but now that we do, there’s no excuse not to have one on you. Even if reception isn’t great out where you’re at, it’s still better to have a cell phone with spotty reception than to have an emergency with no cell phone at all. A cell phone can also help you keep track of time so you know when you need to turn back.

Hiking Buddy

Never go out alone. The longer and wilder the trail, the more this is important. A buddy on the trail is invaluable. In case something goes awry, you have backup to assist you, whether in lending aid themselves or finding aid.

Along the same vein, always inform a third party of your whereabouts and hiking route prior to embarking. This can be someone who stays back at camp or even a relative or friend back home. In case you and your party get lost and you can’t make contact with the outside world with your cell phone, having someone who is knowledgeable of your intended location and plans is invaluable.

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Visit PleasureLand RV Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota, for all of your RV needs. Come out and see our lot to find the perfect RV for your next trip or view our inventory online.

Best Family Summer Camping Destination in the Southwest

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The summer camping season is all about spending time with friends and family in the great outdoors. The American Southwest is packed with some of the best family camping destinations in the country. Whether you’re looking for a beach escape, relaxing woodsy getaway or a trip to one of America’s most iconic wonders, there’s an RV destination in the Southwest waiting for you to visit this summer.

Jamaica Beach RV Park — Texas

There’s nothing quite like being on the ocean in the summertime, and the Jamaica Beach RV Park on Galveston Island is one of the best places to soak in the sun. It’s one of the newest RV parks on the island, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Galveston Bay area. The campground features 111 RV sites with full hookups, mini golf, tether ball, a splash pad, bounce house, adult pool with swim-up bar, hot tub, family pool and summer movies. Best of all, the beach and gorgeous Gulf of Mexico are directly across the street.

Cave Springs Campground — Sedona

Families who enjoy hikes in the woods, bird watching, sandstone peaks and fishing in streams will love the Cave Springs Campground in Arizona’s Oak Creek Canyon. The campsites are shady, nearby hiking trails are plentiful and Slide Rock State Park (with its famous swimming hole) is just minutes away.

The campground features 82 sites and coin-operated showers, grills, vault toilets and drinking water. There are no sites with hookups, but motorhomes and travel trailers up to 36-feet long are always welcome.

North Rim Campground — Grand Canyon Village

There’s no summer adventure quite like one to the iconic Grand Canyon. The North Rim Campground is located at Grand Canyon National Park, so you’re always seconds from one of the world’s most magnificent wonders. Adventurous hikers will love the location for its easy access to the 14.2-mile-long trail that leads into the canyon.

The park doesn’t offer sites with hookups, but it always welcomes RV campers. A dump station, restrooms, campsite grills, showers and coin-operated laundry machines are available for campers as well. Fees for the North Rim Campground are $18 to $25 per night in addition to the usual park fee. Be sure to reserve your campsite as far ahead of time as possible, because the Grand Canyon is even more popular in the summer months.

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