What are the chances you're planning an RV road trip to Minnesota right now? Well, if you're here, they're probably pretty good, and you may be wondering where exactly to visit in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. With so many bodies of water, you'd think a jaunt to one of Minnesota's state parks featuring water is a given.
However, there is a lot more to the Gopher State than its 11,000+ lakes. Namely, there are the Big Woods, an area of southeastern Minnesota treasured for its sylvan delights. And, if you're going to find yourself in the neighborhood soon, you owe it to yourself to check out Nerstrand Big Woods State Park while there.
What is Nerstrand Big Woods State Park?
Established in 1945, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is located just about an hour south of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Within its grounds are some of the last preserved maple-basswood forests in Minnesota, along with wildflowers, including the endangered dwarf trout lily.
Popular activities at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park include hiking, birdwatching, wildflower viewing, and winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. There is a hidden gem, too!
Things To Do at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
You're visiting Nerstrand Big Woods State Park to partake in the great outdoors, and there are plenty of ways for you to do that.
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park's 11 miles of trails provide numerous opportunities for hikers of all ages and skill levels. See some of the park's biggest trees on the easy Big Woods Trail (1 mile), or try the more challenging 1.7-mile Fawn Trail loop with stunning views.
Visit the Hidden Falls
Should you choose to venture down the Hidden Falls Trail loop, lined with wildflowers, you'll find that it brings you to the eponymous Hidden Falls — a popular stop for visitors fed by the Prairie Creek, which runs through the park.
When you're not looking up at the trees, you should be looking much lower at the many varieties of wildflowers at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. There are over 50 varieties of wildflowers at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, including dwarf trout lily, bloodroots, hepatica, and Dutchman's breeches.
Unsurprisingly, the many trees found at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park act as a welcome habitat for a number of bird species. Some are nesting birds that call the park home, while others are migratory birds just passing through in different seasons. A viewing guide is available for birdwatchers at the visitor center.
Skiing, Snowmobiling, and Snowshoeing
In winter, the northern part of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is reserved for cross-country skiing, while visitors can go snowmobiling in the southern part of the park. If snowshoeing is more your thing, you can usually do that all over Nerstrand Big Woods State Park in winter.
Can You Go RV Camping at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park?
The good news for travelers like you is that, yes, you can go RV camping at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, which has its own campground.
The bad news is that you can only go Nerstrand Big Woods State Park camping from early April through late October each year. So, if you're going to be in the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park area in winter, you'll need to find somewhere else to stay with your RV.
If you're visiting Nerstrand Big Woods State Park in season and staying at the main campground in your RV, you'll have access to grills, fire rings, and picnic tables at each of the 52 sites.
Another thing to be aware of is that only 27 of the RV campsites at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park have 30-amp electric hookups, so be on the lookout for that when reserving online.
When Is the Best Time To Visit Nerstrand Big Woods State Park?
Since your plans more than likely involve Nerstrand Big Woods State Park camping, the best time to visit is when the campground is open — from early spring to early fall. This also happens to be when the weather at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is at its best.
Temps will be in the low 50s Fahrenheit in April, rising to the high 60s in May, and will stay in the 70s-80s all through summer before dipping back into the low 50s in October.
While you can't camp in winter when temps dip down into the 20s, the weather and snowfall provide wonderful snowmobile and skiing fun.
See Nerstrand Big Woods State Park in a Cruise America RV!
Now that you know what to expect from a visit to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, it's time for you to plan your trip there. Of course, you'll want to have the very best RV to get there, right? Well, Cruise America has the RV rental you need.
Cruise America's rental RVs are available in a variety of lengths and floor plans and are packed with modern amenities to help you make the most of your road trip.
You're sure to have the time of your life on the road in a Cruise America RV. Visit Cruise America today to start planning your next adventure to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park or wherever else the road may take you.