Nearby to just about anywhere in the Twin Cities sits the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, located in Washington county. The reserve boasts 2,165 acres with 80 percent of that land set aside for preservation. Many animals are privy to this reserve, such as; Pheasants, red fox and deer to name a few. The hope is that over time this area will resemble the land prior to settlement in the 1800's.
The fantastic thing about this park is the possibilities of things to do while camping there. They have archery, picnic shelters, canoing, playgrounds and more. The trails are well kept and put to good use. The preserve boasts hiking, mountain biking, and even equestrian trails. For the kids and family I recommend trying the orienteering course. It teaches a lot of good skills kids can use in the outdoors and is great for any level of knowledge. The swimming beach is one of the best in the area. The beach actually is a filtered and disinfected pond that is 6 feet at its deepest point and still boasts a huge sandy shoreline to relax on.
The camping is phenomenal with 80 campsites that have electric hook ups in the traditional campground. There is also a group campground with three spacious sites and a equestrian campground for our larger four legged campers.
The faculties and buildings are top notch, clean and very accessible. this is one of the best local family campgrounds I have found, perfect for that quick get away and a great place for kids to get there feet wet in the camping world without having to stray to far from home. This is a must see park. You will never be at a loss for things to do.
For more info check out reserves web site here.