Camp your way around Mankato

Jen Jones
Guest Writer

Mankato, Minnesota was named the second-best college town by Schools.com in 2017. As another school year begins and  summer starts to wind down,, students are back on campus looking for ways to stay active.

Minnesota is home to parks and campgrounds that are going to be a hit for anyone looking to get a camping trip off the ground.

Camp Close To Home

When students are considering a camping trip, the first thing to consider is location. Most college students do not have the ability or the means to travel to far off camping destinations. For students at MSU-Mankato, there are campsites that are close to campus. One of the most impressive parks in the state is Minneopa State Park.

Located in Mankato, not far from campus, Minneopa is the perfect destination for a day trip or overnight camping. This park has everything that you need for an epic trip. Take a walk on the trail and see the cascading falls.

Visitors love Seppman Mill, a wind driven grist mill made out of native stone and lumber. The German style of architecture gives a nod to the history of the settlers that first came to Mankato. 

Another great campground is Land of Memories Park. This park is located off Highway 169 and provides a rustic, yet relaxed, camping experience. Most students won’t have an RV, but you can still pull up your car or truck and set up at one of the 39 available campsites.

Students that have not camped before do not have to worry about losing some of the comforts of home. Land of Memories Park is fully equipped with restroom and shower facilities, electrical outlets and fire rings.

Embrace the outdoors without having to worry about giving up all the devices that you are used to.

Activities While Camping

There are great activities that you can do while camping. Hiking and fishing are always going to be mainstays of any camping trip, but there are other activities that you can plan as well.

Plan an overnight stay and see what stars and constellations you can identify and observe. Another great idea is research local plant and animal life and see which ones you can identify on your trip. Most campsites are open year round, giving you the opportunity to experience nature in the winter as well as the summer.

Give your car or truck a check before leaving. As you pack your essentials, check brake lights, your oil and other fluids. You will want to pack some emergency supplies and food before you head out. Having a reliable vehicle is important for safety while camping, so check yours before leaving. 

Camping is a great way for students to get out of the dorms and relax. Enjoy your time outdoors and get excited by nature.

The great thing about camping is that it does not have to cost a lot. Grab some friends, pack up the car, and get ready for the outdoors.

Feature photo courtesy of Natalie Thornley.

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