Sunday, October 2, 2022

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This Minnesota campground is a hidden gem

Swan Lake Resort—what an unexpected gem in Fergus Falls, Minnesota! I had read all the reviews and the exceptional ratings and thought it sounded nice. There happened to be a site available so we booked it on our way toward Glacier National Park.

In Minnesota, the word “resort” usually means there are full hookups available, a pull-through or two, an old swing set and perhaps a small camp store. Usually there aren’t any fancy amenities like pickleball, swimming pools, activities or hot tubs, so I wasn’t really expecting much.

Buying a campground

Thomas Bales, one of the current owners, was building a tiny house during the pandemic and needed a spot to put it. He found Swan Lake Resort but it was way out of his grasp financially. Friends and family (Thomas, Anna, Andy, Francis, and Jake), formed the “Lagos Collective” and bought the property in May 2021.

The past owners spent a day with them trying to pass along 16 years of knowledge to the group. On day 1, however, Thomas had to ask a guest how to start the lawnmower!

Worked, worked and upgraded

They worked on the beach and added buoys, a water slide, paddle boards, and sand toys. They expanded activities with spike ball, football, ring toss and a 9-hole disc golf course. The landscaping was beautiful with lots and lots of flowers. The cabins got new mattresses, artisanal dishes, handmade quilts and kitchen gadgets.

The campground has 5 cabins, 17 seasonal campsites in a neat, well-cared section with 6 lake view overnight sites, 6 non-lake views, 1 group area and 5 beautifully manicured tent spots. I didn’t realize how lucky we were to get a site on short notice until I got there.

We had a lake view pull-through site with full hookups named “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck.” While the six sites were close to each other, stacked in a line, the view out the windshield fully made up for it.

Swan Lake Resorts’ beach was filled with toys for the kids, volleyball nets, picnic tables and lawn chairs. They had a water slide and floating pad for even more fun. Kayaks, boats and canoes were available to rent.

Everything was well-landscaped and cared for, with lights lining the walkways and a 1/4-mile hiking trail in the park. They have been able to maintain the classic “woodsy” Minnesota lake atmosphere. We could not have been happier with our two-night stay. Nope, not a pickleball court in sight but a down-home “Up North” resort, which was just our style!

For more information check out their website: Swan Lake Resort.

##RVT1070

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Ed Duprey
15 days ago

We stayed there in May this year. Great spot on our way home to Michigan from Washington. Would stay again for sure.

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