Wilderness Bay Resort, 36701 Wilderness Bay Dr, Park Rapids, MN 56470
We were looking for a place close to Itasca State Park to stay and Jon found Wilderness Bay Resort. It was fairly easy to find. It consists of family friendly cabins. Most visitors are return guests.
The owner that was on staff while we were there has a hard time getting around so you need to give her time to get to you. We checked in and were handed the keys to our cabin.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it was really pretty nice inside. Ours was a two bedroom (small), with a nice big living room and a convenient kitchen area. You are expected to clean up after yourself before you leave. I think I killed over a dozen flies in that place, but they do provide the fly swatter.
This resort seems to be about fishing since it is on a lake. There is a place where you can clean your fish. They have life jackets and you can rent equipment. There were some paddle boats available that we almost took for a spin, but then didn’t.
There was enough room between neighbors that we didn’t feel crowded. it is the type of place my parents would have taken us as kids.
The view from the enclosed porch was nice. There was a grill and a fire pit available. The porch even had a table and chairs so you could eat out there if you didn’t want to eat inside.
It was a very sweet and laid back place to stay. If you have kids, want to go fishing, or want to stay at a small cabin near Itasca State Park, Wilderness Bay Resort is a good choice.
We decided to stay a night at a cabin in Bemidji Lake State Park. As a child my parents would occasionally take the long drive up to Lake Bemidji for our family vacation and the chance to fish.
The park is on the northeast side of the lake. The WiFi was surprisingly strong in the park. It is always so hard to find good WiFi inside a park.
The cabin was very cute. It held four beds, a table, and bench seats. It was warm enough that we didn’t need to use the heater which looks like it was baseboard. The bunk bed were low enough that we ended up sleeping on the top bunks in order to avoid hitting our heads.
The trail was mere steps from our cabin. The crown jewel of this particular park is the bog walk. It is definitely worth checking out all of the plants. We found a carnivorous plant on our walk.
There are a lot of pretty flowers in this park. Try to spot all of them. If you get tired of this park you are just a short drive over to Lake Itasca State Park. You could even go fishing. I hear it is kind of fun.
The best part about Mountain View Lodge is the view. If you take a moment and look closely you will see what I mean. OK, I will tell you, it is the Dairy Twist across the street. Best food in the area. OK, everything else that you can see is pretty sweet as well.
The lodge offers WiFi which helps when you are trying to plan your trip. Our room came with two beds and a chair. We slept well. I liked the fact that the bed away from the window had shelves on either side for your glasses and phone and such.
The bathroom was nice. the sink was outside which makes two people getting ready in the morning so much easier. The A/C unit was a bit loud, but if that is the worst thing you can find in a place I call it a pretty good place.
Outside there were chairs so that you could sit and take in the view. There were also grills available.
The free breakfast in the morning left a lot to be desired. The had juice and cereal and oatmeal, but I am still not sure how you were supposed to actual make the oatmeal. We ended up going into Hill City and having a really good breakfast at Hill City Cafe.
We stayed here so that we could drive to Custer State Park and walk to lost cabin, but we got lost and ended up closer to Harney Peak than we intended.
Mountain View Lodge really is a pretty great location. You can hit a lot of tourist places from this starting point. The place itself is well maintained.
If you are looking for a place to stay in the black hills area I would highly suggest Mountain View Lodge and Cabins. Particularly if it is close to anything you plan on specifically doing while in the black hills. It is close to Mount Rushmore. You could go check out Jewel Cave. There are just so many great things to do in the area. They are all a little drive, but not too far.
Book a room. You will not be disappointed unless you expect a good breakfast.
If you are looking for an outdoor adventure Afton State Park has something to offer you. Sometimes you want to take advantage of both the trails and just sitting around with friends. That is where staying at a campsite or renting a cabin or yurt comes into play.
Afton State park has both individual campsites for yourself or you and a friend and group sites in case you want to bring the whole family or multiple friends. Each site is out of the way enough that you don’t feel like someone else will stumble into it (I only stumbled into a group campsite once I swear). Most of the individual campsites are up the hill where a lot of the 200 yarders dare not tread. They are out of the way yet close to the main section of Afton alps.
The cabins are all along the same little road and located a bit further south. Only other cabin renters and yurt renters should venture into the area. You get a parking spot or two right by the cabin so if you do not want to walk too far you can always drive from the cabin to the main area.
There are a couple of yurts just past the cabins. They are setback and you will need to walk a short distance from your vehicle, but there is a little red wagon (ok it’s black) at the yurt for you to use.
What is a yurt you ask? A yurt is a round building made of wood and covered in a canvas. At the top there is a skylight which allows a ton of light into the yurt during the day. When the sun is out there is no place to hide; I mean it allows a ton of natural light into the room brightening up your day.
There is also a wood stove in the yurt to keep you warm, but you will need to add fire to it often as it is small. Something to keep in mind if renting in the winter.
The yurts can hold a ton of people. They come with 2 bunk beds and a futon bed. There is even a kitchen table in the middle. Bring your own bedding and pillow.
You can have a campfire. Make sure you put it out completely before you leave. Minnesota has some strange rule against alcohol in parks. If you plan on drinking understand you cannot be rowdy, you cannot be obvious, and you may need to hide it and act sober like a teenager at a kegger. The bathrooms are outhouses, but they are clean. There are also places to get drinking water from a spigot. What they do not have are showers. I considered sitting under the spigot, but decided against it. The best part about staying at Afton State Park is being able to get up and go straight out for a nice long hike.
If you are looking for a place to setup camp and sleep close to nature I would highly suggest Afton State Park. More for the close assess to great hiking trails than anything else, but also because the accommodations are well maintained.