Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Camden State Park: May 22nd, 2015

After our trip to Fort Ridgely, we headed to our hotel in Marshall and then off for an evening hike at Camden State Park.  We haven't done a lot of evening hikes - Glacial Lakes was the best of the few - and I was looking forward to it.

Camden State Park's Hiking Club trail is 2.4 miles long, and it starts at the Beach House.  Well, there was no "Beach House" on the map, so we just headed towards the beach and hoped we would find an obvious house there.  We went up a small hill and found a Hiking Club Trail sign going the other way (it said "Hiking Club Trail ends here"), so I figured we were on a loop and we should go in the direction opposite from the one it came from.

Sound like faulty logic?  It was.  We went up a really steep hill, went right at the bend, and right back to where we started.  A steep hill, all for nothing!!!  And to make things worse, we'd have to go back up that steep hill again and turn left instead of right at the bend.  Aughh!


So we went back up that stupid hill and turned left, and essentially hiked the trail backwards.  They need to put up a trailhead sign!

Once we actually got on the trail, it was perfectly pleasant.  Lots of wildflowers and birds on this mowed path through the woods and along the edge of the prairie.  It was a beautiful evening.  We should go on evening hikes more often.

Little waterfall on the Redwood River

We didn't get anywhere near to it, but apparently Brawner Lake at the south end of the park is a very good fishing lake.  If you're into fishing for Brown Trout or Bass, hitch up the boat and head for Camden.

Camden State Park is actually pretty big.  I'd say it's a good destination park - come for a long weekend and enjoy the hiking and swimming.  Bring your boat or rent a canoe, bring your bike and enjoy the mountain bike trails, or bring your horse.  In the winter you can cross-country ski on 5 groomed miles (hopefully not on that steep hill) or snowshoe across the prairie.

Beautiful evening on the prairie

The picnic shelter in Camden State Park LOOKS like CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) work, but it is actually VCC (Veteran's Conservation Corps) work.  Whereas the CCC was made up of young men who needed jobs during the Great Depression, the VCC was made up of older men who had fought in the Great War.  I was unable to tell the difference: still high quality stonework.

By the way, in case you were wondering why it is called Camden State Park...
Settlers in the 1840's named their new town Camden, after the one in New Jersey.  As with so many small towns on the Minnesota prairie, Camden thrived until the railroad passed it by, and the town declined and eventually disappeared altogether.  Luckily, they left behind a very nice state park.

We hiked 2.4 miles and didn't even cover a small fraction of the park.  If we are ever in the area, I'm sure we'd go back to Camden.  There seems to be plenty to do and see, and it's supposed to be outstanding for fall color.

Total miles hiked today (this park): 2.4
Total miles hiked in 2015: 5
Total ticks today: Joe - 0; Elly - 5
Total ticks in 2015: 8
Countdown to All Miles: 38.7 to go


  1. 5 ticks in one day, huh? Nicely done.

  2. Pshaw, I've had five ticks on one foot before. When I was a kid...
    It does seem like they're out in force this year, though.

  3. This Camden looks a lot nicer than the one in NJ! Also: your tick count in the post (and the last couple) still says 2014....

  4. Whoops...fixed now. Those ticks have NOT been hanging on since last year.