Camping Near Mankato: 5 Best Campgrounds in the Mankato Area

The Best Camping Near MankatoCamping in the city of Mankato, MN, provides excellent opportunities to experience Minnesota's remarkable natural beauty firsthand. Mankato is awash in recreational areas, with a state park on its doorstep and numerous lakes and rivers nearby. At 75 miles from the Twin Cities, Mankato is a bit too far to be considered among the best Minneapolis suburbs, but it's still within striking distance of the big metropolis. The best campgrounds near Mankato offer stunning views of Minnesota's natural attractions and access to outdoor activities like fishing, boating, golfing, hiking, and biking.

Land of Memories Campground

Nestled on the Minnesota River, the Land of Memories Campground offers excellent recreational opportunities on Mankato's western border. RV and tent campers can choose from 40 pet-friendly campsites with electric and non-potable water hookups, picnic tables, and individual fire rings. The campground provides flush toilets and hot showers, allowing campers access to modern comforts while exploring Minnesota's great outdoors. The Land of Memories Campground's convenient riverside location allows campers to canoe or kayak to the site's boat landing. With the Minnesota River to the campground's north and west and the Blue Earth River to its east, the area is also quite popular for fishing. Channel catfish are the most common fish, but anglers can also find walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and carp. Located within the 100-acre Land of Memories Park, this campground provides easy access to the park's other amenities. A playground offers a shaded space to play at the eastern end of the campground. Visitors can enjoy four soccer fields, an 18-hole disc golf course, and several bike trails. Land of Memories Park sits on Mankato's western border near the affordable West Mankato neighborhood. Campers are near attractions like Rasmussen Woods, the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota, and Sibley Park, just across the Blue Earth River.

Sawmill Campground

Between beautiful forests and acres of idyllic farmland, Sawmill Campground offers inviting campsites just west of North Mankato. The family-owned, private campground offers RV, tent, and cabin camping. Each site has its own picnic table and hookups for electricity, city water, and city sewer. Back-in sites provide 30 and 50 Amp service, while pull-through sites offer 30, 50, and 120. The pet-friendly campground has a bathhouse, on-site laundry, and a storm shelter. Firewood and ice are available for purchase, making it easy for campers to cook over a campfire or keep food in a cooler. Guests can also enjoy free wi-fi service and a small playground with a zipline. While the nearby woods and farmland appear endless from Sawmill Campground, the site is near numerous great attractions. Across the street lies the public North Links Golf Course, and The Molasses Ranch pub is just around the corner. Recreational areas like Minnemishinona Falls, Caswell Park, and Benson Park are a short drive away, allowing campers to enjoy hiking, softball, and sand volleyball nearby. Sawmill Campground is less than 10 minutes from North Mankato, a small city home to cottages, ranches, and a growing collection of new construction homes. The charming community boasts over two dozen parks, a brewery, and a South Central College campus.

Sakatah Trail Campground

Sakatah Trail Campground offers shaded campsites, an on-site restaurant and lounge, and quick access to impressive trails and lakes in the neighboring city of Madison Lake. The small, pet-friendly campground features 25 tent and RV camping sites, with full electric, city water, and city sewer hookups available. Campers can experience nature while enjoying contemporary amenities like hot showers, flush toilets, and picnic tables. Just next door, campers can savor delicious burgers and cocktails at The Anchor Bar and Grill. The adjoining restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features an expansive patio where guests can relax and watch football games. Sakatah Trail Campground sits on the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail, a 39-mile multi-use trail stretching from Mankato to Faribault. The paved trail is a favorite for hiking, biking, in-line skating, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. Located on the outskirts of Madison Lake, Sakatah Trail Campground also provides quick access to the numerous lakes surrounding the small city. Lakeside parks, waterfront restaurants, boat ramps, and fishing holes are just minutes from the campground and are enjoyed by residents year-round. The Blue Earth County real estate in Madison Lake primarily consists of large new construction homes, with some waterfront homes available.

Minneopa State Park

Camping at Minneopa State Park Home to mesmerizing waterfalls, historic structures, and rolling hills full of majestic bison, Minneopa State Park is one of the most exciting places to camp near Mankato. The park's name comes from the Dakota language, meaning "water falling twice." This state park features 4.5 miles of trails offering excellent views of the Minneopa Creek falls and the Minnesota River Valley's picturesque prairies. Visitors can also find the historic Seppman Mill, a German-style windmill built in the 19th century, or drive through 325 acres of bison range to spot the magnificent bovines in their natural habitat. The park offers two pet-friendly campgrounds. The Red Fox Campground has 68 sites for tents, RVs, and cabins, while the group campground has four tent sites capable of accommodating parties of up to 15. Many campsites have access to water and electric hookups, and there are showers, pit toilets, potable water, and picnic tables for campers. Visitors can hike, drive, or even boat into the campgrounds from Minneopa Creek. Minneopa State Park is less than 10 minutes from West Mankato, a neighborhood filled with cozy cottages and large, sprawling ranches. It is also close to several other recreational areas, including the Williams Nature Center, Minneopa Golf Club, and Mount Kato Ski Area.

Shady Oaks Campground

Tucked away in the county fairgrounds 10 miles south of Mankato, Shady Oaks Campground offers a near-endless itinerary of activities for campers throughout the year. The pet-friendly campground offers tent and RV camping, with 70 sites providing water and electric hookups and several primitive campsites available. Guests can choose from sunny or shaded campsites in the lush riverside campground. A playground, picnic tables, and fire rings offer things to do inside the campground. On holiday weekends, campers can participate in even more campground activities, like bingo, nature walks, and games for all ages. Meanwhile, the nearby Watonwan River has canoe landings, fishing spots, and a 3/4-mile trail for hiking and biking. With its convenient location within the Blue Earth County Fairgrounds, Shady Oaks Campground also provides guests a front-row seat to the fairgrounds' festivities. Visitors can enjoy the historic Blue Earth County Fair and other annual events, like the Fall Festival & Shopping Extravaganza. The Blue Earth County Fair has been held in Garden City since 1860, making it the oldest county fair in Minnesota and the longest-running county fair in its current location. Garden City is an unincorporated community of about 250. Few homes are available for sale in the quiet neighborhood at any given time, but those on the market tend to be large and secluded due to the area's semi-rural nature.

Enjoying the Best Campgrounds Near Mankato, MN

Camping is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy Minnesota's great outdoors, and access to various options is one of the advantages of living in Mankato. The best campgrounds near Mankato allow campers to experience unforgettable scenic views and fun activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. #hw-pillar-cta-bottom-mankato#


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