Take a trip along the southeastern blufflands area of Minnesota and you’ll come across a 2,700-acre park filled with limestone bluffs, hiking trails, and a sandy beach that’s home to nearly 50 kinds of mammals. Whitewater State Park is a must-see Minnesota park that boasts just about everything an outdoor adventurer needs for a memorable vacation.
This includes cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fishing, just to name a few. For the best RV camping near Whitewater State Park, continue reading this informative guide. You’ll learn about the best RV parks near Whitewater State Park, the best time to visit Whitewater State Park, popular activities, and basic tips.
Whitewater State Park Facts
If this is your first time RV camping near Whitewater State Park, it might be helpful to take some time to understand what makes this park so unique. Here are some Whitewater State Park facts.
- The park was established in 1919 to protect the natural resources in the Whitewater River Valley.
- During the 1850s, settlers in the area removed much of the vegetation in the surrounding land for farming and grazing.
- During the 1930s, Whitewater was one of three Minnesota parks developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration camps.
- In the 1940s, federal conservation officials collaborated with local landowners to implement drastic conservation measures.
- Whitewater State Park’s geological features can be traced back to millions of years ago when erosion carved through the bedrock, resulting in valleys and bluffs.
There’s no doubt that just about anyone will find these Whitewater State Park facts fascinating! Now that you know about the park, let’s move on to the best Whitewater State Park RV sites.
Best Whitewater State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Before addressing your RV rental Whitewater State Park needs, you first need to select a proper campsite for your trip. Here are some of the best RV parks near Whitewater State Park.
Amenities: If distance is your top concern, then Minneiska Campground should be on the top of your list. Located at the heart of Whitewater State Park, Minneiska boasts electrical hookups, non-electric tent sites, and cabins. Regarding amenities, visitors have access to picnic shelters, water hookups, and sanitary dumps for RV vehicles. This campground is a quality selection for your first Whitewater State Park RV camping trip.
Capacity: 40 RV sites
More Information: Minneiska Campground
Lazy D Campground & Trail Rides
Amenities: Visitors who spend a night at Lazy D receive the luxury of staying in a “family-type” campground that comes with a wide selection of outdoor activities including fishing, river tubing, and horseback riding. The campground is situated in the Whitewater Valley, making it a convenient location for RV camping near Whitewater State Park. They also have electric and water sites, laundry facilities, and Wi-Fi. You can also reserve one of their fully furnished cabins.
Capacity: 106 RV sites
More Information: Lazy D Campground & Trail Rides
Prairie Island Campground
Amenities: Similar to Lazy D, Prairie Island provides an enjoyable family-type camping atmosphere through organized events, live music, and miles of accessible recreational trails. You can spend some quality time on their disc golf course, paddle along the Mississippi River, and even go rock climbing on the Sugarloaf. Amenities include a bathhouse, a dump station, and house cabins. This sounds like a good option if you’re concerned about your RV rental Whitewater State Park needs.
Capacity: 111 RV sites
More Information: Prairie Island Campground
Pioneer Campsite Resort
Amenities: Pioneer Campsite Resort is one of the best RV parks near Whitewater State Park given its proximity to the Mississippi River and relaxing atmosphere. Visitors are encouraged to bring their canoes. In addition to several outdoor activities, visitors can explore several local attractions, including the National Eagle Center and the Coffee Mill Golf Course. You must pay via cash or a personal check to make a reservation.
Capacity: 233 RV sites
More Information: Pioneer Campsite Resort
Autumnwoods RV Park
Amenities: Autumnwoods RV Park is one of the most convenient RV parks near Whitewater State Park given its location to several restaurants and outdoor establishments in Rochester, Minnesota. Feel free to spend some time playing golf at one of Rochester’s golf courses. Wi-Fi is available throughout the campground, and visitors have access to individual showers. Keep in mind that camping in a tent is not allowed.
Capacity: 93 RV sites
More Information: Autumnwoods RV Park
Best Time To Visit Whitewater State Park
Minnesota’s drastic seasonal weather change means that Whitewater visitors should expect a unique experience each season. Consider the following factors when deciding on the best time to visit Whitewater State Park.
It’s no surprise that Minnesota ranks as one of the coldest states in the nation. The state is known for freezing rain, ice, and heavy snowfall that averages 30 inches (76 cm) in the southeast. That said, there’s still plenty of things to do in Whitewater State Park during winter.
You can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even explore some beautiful white scenery along the Valley Trail. Make sure to follow some basic Minnesota winter camping guidelines for your first visit.
Come springtime, temperatures continue to remain low, averaging highs between 49 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit in April. May is often regarded as the peak of the spring season because the state receives an average of seven hours of sunshine while temperatures gradually ascend.
Fortunately, Whitewater boasts some of the most mesmerizing wildflower scenery in the state. So make sure to grab your camera and capture the forest glades, which are filled with colorful flowers.
While some parts of Minnesota can be pleasantly warm in the summer, the southeast region can rise to 90 degrees. Thunderstorms and flash floods are quite common in June.
Additionally, the southern region can experience high levels of humidity, making for an unpleasant first-time visit. With that said, visitors can cool off at Oxbow Beach. Other summer-related activities include fishing at the Whitewater River.
Visiting Whitewater in the fall comes with its benefits. By mid-October, the broadleaves and hardwoods change colors, giving you a chance to witness some striking fall foliage. You can see much of this changing scenery while hiking the park’s trails.
Average high temperatures in October range anywhere between 50 and 60 degrees and average lows fall between 30 and 40 degrees.
Things To Do In Whitewater State Park
Make sure you make the most out of your first adventure through some memorable activities. Here are some of the best things to do in Whitewater State Park.
- Go hiking. Whitewater State Park has a combination of trails with varying difficulty levels, so you can explore at your own pace. For something simple, try the Trout Run Creek, a 2-mile packed dirt trail that takes you through a wooded valley. The Dakota Trail, a 4.2-mile loop, is another great option. Keep in mind that this trail is popular among cross-country runners and backpackers.
- Go to the beach. Sometimes, an afternoon spent in the vicinity of a beach is all that’s needed. Head over to Oxbow Beach, a small swimming spot where you can cool off during the summer months. There’s also a stone beach house nearby where you can change into your swimsuit.
- Go fishing. Whitewater serves as one of the best fishing locations in Minnesota. Visitors can cast a line at several access points along the park’s river and head upstream or downstream for trout fishing. That said, it’s recommended that beginners fish upstream on the Trout Run Creek instead of downstream.
- Go cross-country skiing. Once the snow comes in, visitors can treat themselves to some winter fun by skiing on the park’s trails and along Whitewater River. You can also opt for snowshoeing and rent any needed gear (once the park receives 6 or more inches of snow).
- Go geocaching. This is another great alternative if you’re in the mood for an adventure in the form of a scavenger hunt! Over 1,200 geocaches are hidden in Minnesota state parks, which gives you and your family an opportunity to develop critical navigational skills in the outdoors. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources even lets visitors rent GPS kits for free.
Tips for Visiting Whitewater State Park
Before you set out on your journey, make sure you go through these tips for visiting Whitewater State Park for the first time.
- Google Maps falsely alerts visitors that the park is inaccessible. To reach the park, take Highway 74 near Lazy-D Campground.
- Consider coming for a visit during the midweek to avoid large crowds.
- Make sure you do your part in conserving the park by leaving no trace on the park’s trails.
- Pets are not allowed in the park’s cabins.
- Unlike other Whitewater State Park RV campgrounds, Cedar Hill is not available during the winter.
RV Rental for Whitewater State Park
It’s easy to see how a Whitewater State Park RV camping trip becomes a memorable adventure. To spice up your journey, head on over to your nearest Cruise America location and get yourself set up with a customized RV rental vehicle. These RVs are packed with all of the comforts of home you’ll need. You won’t have to worry about your RV rental Whitewater State Park needs much longer!
Contact Cruise America to get started on your camping adventure!