Red River State Recreation Area

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515 2nd Street Northwest, East Grand Forks, MN, USA
Red River State Recreation Area - paved trail along river
Red River State Recreation Area - playground in the campground
Red River State Recreation Area - Red River Rec Area sign
Red River State Recreation Area - nearby campsites
Red River State Recreation Area - our campsite (#44)
Red River State Recreation Area - shower
Red River State Recreation Area - restooms

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Red River State Recreation Area East Grand Forks Reviews

alyssa_ob alyssa_ob
244 reviews
Large campground in former city neighborhood May 23, 2015
The campground at Red River State Recreation Area was created in a former city neighborhood that flooded during the devastating 1997 Red River Flood. The former neighborhood was between the protective floodwall and the river. Rather than rebuilding, the state turned this neighborhood into a recreation area with a campground. This is the perfect use for this area, but if the river is flooded, obviously the campground won't be open!

The campground contains 113 campsites, of which 85 have full electric, water and sewer hookups. The roads in the park are paved (as they were former streets), but the campsites have gravel drives. Many of the sites are geared towards RVs and have pull through sites. The tree cover is a little sparse, but you can pitch your tents on the grass.

There are nice flush toilet/bathrooms on either end of the campground, with a shower building in the center. The shower house has 10 stalls, which is probably the most I've seen in a state park/rec area. The bathroom and shower buildings were really clean, partly because RVers tend to use the facilities in their RVs. This was appreciated by us tent campers, though.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides for tenting here. First, the nearby parking lot on the other side of the flood wall had super bright lights. It was always bright, all night long. Way too much light pollution to get a good night sleep unless you have an eye mask. Every time I woke up in the night, it felt like it was daytime, time to get up. Also, the traffic nearby was constant. All night long, you could hear cars and trucks driving by on highway 2 or the city streets. You could also hear periodic train whistles as trains passed through town. These annoyances might not be as bad if you are staying in an RV.

The good things about this campground is that it is very large and we didn't need a reservation to find a site - there were plenty open. Later in the summer it might fill up though. The grass was comfy to tent on. The bathrooms and showers were super clean. There is a small playground near the campground and a very nice, paved trail along the river. It is also nice that the roads are paved to keep it a little quieter. We arrived after hours, but the park staff had posted a list of available campsites to help us find a site.

This campground is in town! It is in East Grand Forks, MN, very near several restaurants and stores. Just across the river is Grand Forks, ND, with more restaurant choices and several large, chain stores. You can camp without being in the "wilderness", if you aren't into that. It is almost like camping in your backyard. But it was also nice for us, as we were just passing through.
available campsites
Red River Rec Area sign
our campsite (#44)
nearby campsites
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