Flandrau is a nice campground right in town, but quiet and wooded enough that you would never know. There are several nice trails, some that parallel the river, some that climb hills for great views. The sand-bottom chlorinated swimming pool and playground are favorites of our kids. My only cons on this campground is it's relatively small and only about half of the sites have electric, so they fill up quickly, sometimes months in advance. Also, the swimming pool is a favorite of locals, too, and gets pretty crowded at times.
Pros: staff very friendly and accommodating. Grounds kept very clean. We had our own trash can that was emptied daily. Kids loved the pool. Very quiet day and night. Lodge was relaxing with cable TV, Wi-Fi, games and ice cream. There was a small playset and basketball court that was fun for the kids. Cons: Although the sites are electric, water, sewer: there are only 5 of them and they seem to be almost an afterthought. They are very close together with only about 3 feet between our awning and the next guy. No shade, and located directly in front of the bathhouse/laundry building. $9/day extra for our dog. That coupled with the daily rate made it more than we usually like to pay. The Wi-Fi was only available in or near the lodge, it would be great to have that boosted out to the campsites. Driveway leading to resort was very narrow and muddy (dirt road). Again, I can't say enough about the hardworking staff or the cleanliness of the grounds, but sadly I doubt we'll be back anytime soon.
Have stayed at Father Hennepin Lakeview CG many times over the last 10 years, and have noticed a marked decrease in rules enforcement the last few years, with this year being the worst. Only supposed to have one vehicle per campsite, almost everyone had more than one, plus a boat/trailer. Boats only supposed to be parked in a certain lot, but instead they took up all of the overflow parking in the cg the entire time. Most drivers go through the campground at a very high rate of speed: both campers going around the loops, and boaters going to the in-camp boat launch (there are other launches in the park). There was dog waste all over. There was garbage all over. Dogs are not supposed to be on the beach and yet there were many there every time we visited it. We like this cg very much, but are sad to see it slipping down into a low-class place. I did talk to the ranger in the office a bit, not sure what good it did, but hopefully the park management will make an effort to get this park back to where it used to be. It might take a few years before we want to go back.
Would recommend to others & would stay here again. Very quiet, lots of shade and trees, but sunny sites too. A nice 'black hills' feel. Good base camp for exploring the area. We were far away from the office and the Wi-Fi was a little spotty but usually worked fine. Kids loved the pools but we did not use the water slide (extra $). Office staff are workcampers and very friendly and helpful. The only things that keep us from rating higher are that our site had not been cleaned up before we arrived, there were lots of cigarette butts and small pieces of trash scattered about, and that the water slide is an extra charge. It would be nice if it were free to campers. Also a note to anyone with a hound dog: there are rabbits *everywhere* which makes walking your dog through the campground especially challenging, if your dog hates rabbits as much as mine does.
Very friendly and helpful office staff. Had the option of a pull-thru parking-lot type site or a shaded back in site; chose the much nicer shaded area to the left of the cg entrance. There was a fair amount of noise from the interstate, planes flying close overhead and an occasional train, but we ran fans and our A/C and it did not bother us at night. A good campground for a night or two stay, not sure I'd make a vacation out of it. We would stay here again when passing through the area.
When we got to the park we pulled aside and went into the office to check in. The lady at the counter asked for our name but could not find our reservation in the system. I showed her the confirmation, and after much searching and telling us we didn’t have a reservation, asking was it under a different name, asking us if were we in the right state (I think we would know!), saying she wasn’t seeing us, etc., she asked again how to spell our last name and finally found us. Why she couldn’t search by the reservation number I have no idea! Once at the site we had a hard time getting the trailer level: the site sloped very steeply to the front. Had to jerry rig some wood blocks under the front wheel to get it even close to level (it wasn’t that close!!). When hubby went to plug in the electricity, he yanked his hand back and yelled OUCH! There was a hornet’s nest underneath the electricity box cover and he got stung by one. Thankfully it was a tiny nest: if it were big he might have gotten stung multiple times! I drove back to the office to ask them to come and spray something to kill the bees. They sent a teenage girl who was allergic to bee stings to take care of it?! We did rent a canoe for the trip downriver and it was a lot of fun, and the shuttle bus return was really handy. Unfortunately the canoe rental brings a lot of extra traffic into the campground. We saw many cars that were not campers driving through the campground. At times it was noisy and you usually felt like the drive-through people were staring at you. We enjoyed the area but would probably try to find a quieter campground next time.
We decided to try this KOA for our first outing of the season. I have mixed feelings about our stay. On one hand, the hosts and employees were all very helpful and friendly. Our kids enjoyed the playground and the pool, as well as some of the activities. On the other hand, it is definitely a KOA "atmosphere" with very busy roads, golf carts everywhere, people drinking alcohol, dogs in almost every campsite (many with multiple dogs), and kids running everywhere and through your campsite. None of this being the one thing that would ruin a weekend, but it's something to take into account. It is near Highway 169 and there is quite a bit of road noise, especially after hours when the campground quiets down. The pool was ok, however the ceiling is coming down and it definitely needs repair. Also, the pool starts at 3 feet and goes to 6 (?) feet deep, which is something to keep in mind if you have young kids. One of the activities was a Saturday-evening hay ride, which we didn't do, but we got to hear/see the hayride about 10 times as it passed our camper on its' route throughout the campground. All of the hayriders stare down at you as they go by: very strange! We reserved 2 months in advance and paid for a full hook-up site, however when we arrived and were escorted to our site it was clear that we would be able to hook up our sewer line, OR use our awning, but not both. The sewer portal was at the very back of our site, and a tree blocked our awning. We asked if there were other sites available but they were booked full for the weekend. We ended up choosing the awning, pulled to the far front of the site to set up camp, and when we broke camp we had to back the camper up to use the sewer portal. Not a major problem, but I felt that we paid for a full hook-up site and technically were not able to use it as such. Since we weren't hooked up we had to be mindful of how much water we were putting into our tanks all weekend. Also, the campground has a policy against allowing certain types of dogs, one of the types being a rottweiler. A family at one of the camping cabins had what was obviously a large rottweiler and I wondered how they got past the rules, or why the management was not enforcing them. Later that weekend, we were at the playground which was near the cabins, and this rottweiler saw my dog and took a running start, broke it's collar, and ran full speed for about 25 feet barking and growling at me and my dog. The owners sat dumbfounded for a minute as I was desperately trying to keep myself between my dog and the rottweiler, before they finally came after their dog. The rottweiler didn't do anything to my dog, but it sure was frightening to have that huge dog run at you so hard it broke it's own collar to get at you. All in all, my kids enjoyed themselves, it was ok for a first trip of the season weekend, but I'm not sure we'll be back.