I always enjoyed camping in my pre-child days. After I had my first daughter I wondered how long it would be before I would be able to take her camping. Turns out it would be 4 years and by then her younger sister had come along. The first time we went camping, my kids were 4 and 2 and I think we may have found the perfect spot to introduce them to the joys of camping!
Lake Byllesby is a Dakota County Parks Campground, located in the Canon River Valley, south of the metro. There are a couple of reasons why I love this campground so much for young kids.
- You are camping on a big field of nice grass. They can run around barefoot, and won’t be dragging mud into the tent.
- There are enough activities to keep them busy. We always make sure to get a site with a view of the playground. The kids can play and I can sit at the camp site and actually relax with a book!
- There is a beach that it is an easy walk from the campsites.
- The campground is a very family-friendly atmosphere and the bugs have never been bad when I have been there.
- The city of Canon Falls is just a short drive away and makes for an excellent excursion for an evening ice cream cone and to check out the water fall.
- The location! We live in the south metro, so for us it is about a 30 minute drive. You feel like you are out of the city but still close enough to home should you forget something critical at home (the first time we went my daughter unpacked all the underwear I had packed for her so we did need to make the quick trip home!)
One thing to note is that because Lake Byllesby is a beautiful grass field you don’t get to drive right up to your campsite. Instead you will need to park in the lot and then haul your stuff to your site. That said, the parking lot isn’t far depending on your site. Check the map to find the one that’s right for you. For us, we always pick spots in between the playground and the parking lot.
We have gone for a weekend each summer for the last three years. I think this year we may be ready for a little more adventurous camping, but Lake Byllesby is where my kids discovered how much fun it is to cook your meals over a fire, sleep in a tent, and be outside with your friends and family all day long!
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