I’m playing a little catch up with some of the posts from the end of the summer. With the close of the camping season, we kind of went on something of a camping bender. Every free weekend became booked by a camping trip to somewhere. It was busy, it was exhausting, but it was awesome.
Over Labor Day weekend, we went camping and hiking at Willow River State Park. The park offered a lot of great hiking and scenery so I will shamelessly link those posts to this one. Check them out if you haven’t already!
Having already thoroughly covered the hiking and a lot of the other features of the park on those posts, this post will focus on my review of the campgrounds, and more specifically, campsite #363.
Willow River State Park is big and offers a ton of campsites between several different areas. The park has three campgrounds and a group camp. The campgrounds are simply named as the Group Camp, the 100 Campground, the 200 Campground, and the 300 Campground. The 100 Campground has 50 sites, the 200 Campground has 30 sites, the 300 Campground has 70 sites, and the Group Camp has 4 areas that can accommodate multiple tents. That’s 154 site options!
While I didn’t actually enter into the 100 or 200 campgrounds, I did see the 100 campground from the road and Pioneer Trail. Confirmed by the Willow River website, this campground is the newest and consequently doesn’t have mature trees. While a few of the sites have partial shade, none of them offer full shade. This is something to consider when choosing a site and the level of privacy you are hoping for. This may be okay for a camper, but a tent baking in the sun doesn’t sound ideal to me.
As with all campgrounds I have never camped in before, I rely solely on the campground map to assist me with choosing a site. This image below is a smaller version of the map. You can see the larger image HERE.
Things I take into account when looking at a map include the location of the restrooms, the distance to any connecting trails, and how spaced out the campsites are. Based on those criteria, site #363 seemed great.
This campsite was huge. It was wide and long. It offered great mature tree cover and the plants between the sites were thick enough to create privacy.
We could slightly see our neighbors through the trees, but it felt far enough away.
See how long the site is? The road is several feet behind the car.
A view from the car looking to the back of the site.
It turned out that the pit toilets next to the site were closed. However, a small connecting trail ran next to the site and went directly to the campground’s flush toilets. Score!
The only real negative of the site was the presence of some strange acting bees. From sunup to sundown there were numerous bees on the ground. They weren’t aggressive and were likely just ground bees checking out the intruders, but any bee near me is a bee I wish was not near me. No offense, bees…
Takeaway: This site, and the sites around it, were shaded, semi-private, and large. I would absolutely camp here again in the future!