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William O’Brien State Park – Review

I am a huge fan of MN State Parks. I love being able to go exploring in an area that has been preserved and maintained to it’s natural resources.


I chose William O’Brien State Park for our first camping trip because of it’s convenient location to the Twin Cities (an hour away from Minneapolis) and also for the hiking trails along the St. Croix River.


The little kids didn’t want to do too much hiking during our stay because it wasn’t the best weather outside.

Take us back to the camper.


I would love to go back to William O’Brien State Park and hike all the trails with Ryan some time in the near future.


They have one along the river, one that takes you in the woods and a few that go around a prairie grassland area.

Family Photo

My husband posted the intro to our stay at William O’Brien State Park (Link Here). The second day was a touch windy giving us the perfect opportunity to check out the Visitor Center that is on site at the park.


There were boards to read, small animal nests and fossils to view. Along with some packets for kids to work on while camping  if they are interested in getting a Jr. Explorer patch. If they don’t finish them during your stay you can mail in the completed packet for the patch at a later date.


Isaiah was confused why Keegan was in a log as Ruth found a ladybug friend…


I was dared by the kids to touch the dead animals. I thought a few of them were way too creepy looking!


At one point Ruth tried to sneak up on me with Mr. Coyote…

Put that thing down!


We loved spending some time hiking together along the St. Croix trail. Ruth found a new hobby that will keep her busy for hours, it’s called catch the birdie! She couldn’t understand why they kept flying away from her, but she kept trying to get as close as she could.


I was able to get a few wonderful family photos taken at William O’Brien State Park. The backdrop is beautiful everywhere you look.


The campground itself isn’t the most family friendly setting, but in the summer time the beach could be a great getaway from the camper.


And you can always find something to do with a stick…


The kids all picked out their own hiking sticks from our adventure in the woods.


We enjoyed some time playing horseshoes, Ball and getting dirty in the sand volleyball court.


Next time we will have to bring the sand castle tools.


There was plenty of room to run!


We spent a good amount of time playing tag in the open fields on our second day.


We also found a cute little ice cream shop down by the river just west of the campground.


We were able to break open our First Aid Kit thanks to Jadis walking with her eyes closed into the truck.


I also felt like we had the best site in the Riverside campground (10E). We had our own patch of green grass to play camping games in next to our camping trailer. We were across from the very clean restrooms and our site had a small view of the St. Croix River. I think it would be even nicer once all the trees/plants are in full bloom.


The only thing lacking at the campground was a playground for the children. I was glad we brought a rubber tub chalk full of outdoor gear.


At one point the campground lost all the electrical power. We made due with a campfire which included a bonus treat.


Isaiah’s first S’more


Once it got too chilly outside we warmed up inside our cozy camper. Dan at Coates RV was right, camping in a trailer has it’s benefits!


If you are looking for a place to camp that has a ton of hiking or want a serene place to canoe William O’Brien State Park is the place to stay.


Thanks for checking out our trip to William O’Brien State Park. Coming up we head North to Duluth for a little more fun for the kids.

Happy Camping, Kelly


Friday 24th of May 2013

Saw your website on the news the other day. My wife and I are going to Wild River State Park this weekend, going to check out William O'Brien next. We just moved here from Texas and are thankful that we can finally go camping and hiking without 95 degree weather. Good website, keep it up.


Saturday 25th of May 2013

Thanks for the compliment! We are at Baker Park this weekend and so far the weather is so much better. Hope you're loving Minnesota so far.


Tuesday 14th of May 2013 fun! This looks like a great time..and Kelly.looks like you are a pro at those horseshoes! Dang! :) Loved reading about this trip- whoop!


Thursday 16th of May 2013

That picture was right before she chucked it past the horse shoe pole and into the St. Croix river... :)