There’s a pocket in Southwestern Minnesota that houses Murray County. A land rich with lakes and woods – and provides an ideal backdrop for a perfect weekend of camping in Minnesota. We spoke with Justin Hoffmann from Murray County Parks, and he filled us in on what to do and where to go when visiting Murray County. Listen to our full interview here:
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Murray County Minnesota Camping
Camp Minnesota: Well, we are talking with Justin Hoffmann today from Murray County Parks. How are you doing this morning?
Justin Hoffmann: Doing very good.
CM: Thank you, that is great and thank you for speaking with us today.
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah, no problem.
CM: So, how many Parks are in Murray County that actually provide camping opportunities?
Justin Hoffmann: We have four different Parks in Murray County that have camping. There’s Swenson Park, Sundquist Park, Lime Lake Park, and Seven Mile Park.
CM: Great. And so, when people are camping those different Parks, what are some of the most popular activities for them?
Justin Hoffmann: We have a couple Parks that are on some pretty good fishing lakes, so a lot of people come to fish. And I guess boating in the summertime and ice fishing in the wintertime are kind of popular.
CM: Absolutely. And are there any little hiking trails in any of the Parks?
Justin Hoffmann: No, not really around camping parks. I guess there’s no hiking trails or anything like that.
CM: Okay. No, that’s great information. And where is Murray County located within Minnesota?
Justin Hoffmann: We are located in the southwest corner of the state, about 30 miles south of Marshall and 30 miles north of Idington.
CM: Okay. Yeah, so a good location for people to kind of get a little bit of a weekend vacation, away from some of the little towns, coming up to Murray County.
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah. Yeah.
CM: Great. And so, I guess let’s talk about kind of the campgrounds a little bit. What is Swenson Park like?
Justin Hoffmann: Swenson Park is located on Current Lake. Just in the northern part of Murray Country. I guess we have 18 campsites there. Right now we just have electrical hook-ups and dump station at the Park. No water or direct sewer to the individual sites. Just electric only. And we have boat access there to the lake. Playground equipment for kids and a couple picnic shelters. We just have the outhouse-style bathrooms there right now. We’re looking in the future to hopefully add a bathroom and shower facility with flushed toilets and running water, and stuff like that.
Justin Hoffmann: So, pretty basic, little Park. Yeah, like I said, 18 campsites. We just added some new campsites here two years ago.
CM: Yeah, and are the sites a little bit more open or secluded?
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah, it’s more of an open area. We’ve been trying to clean the Park up. We’ve had a lot of older, dead trees and stuff like that, so we’ve been kind of cutting them down the last couple years and we’re trying to replace them with some new trees.
Justin Hoffmann: We’re trying to fix the Park up a little bit that way.
CM: Yeah, absolutely. And so, kind of moving on, what is Sundquist Park like as a campground?
Justin Hoffmann: Sundquist Park. I guess we have 14 campsites there. A boat access to the lake. It’s a pretty popular fishing lake. It’s on Lake Sarah. There’s also a fishing pier at the Park there. And swimming beach. That gets pretty popular – pretty full – during the summer. A lot of families come out there. We also have picnic shelters at the Park. Kind of the same thing. We don’t have any running water. Just outhouse-style bathrooms at the Parks, or at that Park. And I guess as far as the camping goes, like I said, 14 campsites. Electricity only. There’s a dump station at the Park, but we don’t have individually watered or sewered sites. But there’s also playgrounds there for the kids to play on.
CM: Great. And if people are not staying the campground, can they still go to the swimming beach?
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, all of our Parks. I mean they’re County Parks, and we’re open to picnicking. Boating. Everything. We don’t charge anything for just recreation use I guess. There is a fee of twelve dollars for camping at that Park and Swenson Park as well.
CM: Yeah. And so, with Lime Lake Park, what kind of campground is that?
Justin Hoffmann: That’s just a little, smaller Park that we have. There’s only three camping pads with electricity. And one picnic shelter. Pretty basic. Smallest access to the Lime Lake there, and boat access, and it’s right next to the dam that’s for the lake there I guess or whatever. But a couple outhouse-style bathrooms and that’s about it. It’s a really small Park, but three campsites.
CM: Okay. So, yeah, if you want to do some more private camping, that’d be a good Park to go to.
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s pretty quiet there. I mean it’s not real busy, but it can be at times I guess.
CM: Cool. And then the final Park in the County that has camping, Seven Mile Park. What’s that one like?
Justin Hoffmann: Yeah, Seven Mile Park. That’s located right in Fulda. Fulda, Minnesota. Right on the south part of Murray County. We have 14 campsites there with boat access to the lake and playground equipment, and picnic shelters. This Park, we do charge a little more. We charge fifteen dollars per night, because we have showers there and flush toilets in the bathroom. So, pretty basic as well.
CM: Yeah, absolutely. And so, final question. Out of Swenson Park, Sundquist Park, Lime Lake Park, and Seven Mile Park, which one is your favorite and where would you stay and why?
Justin Hoffmann: I think Sundquist Park on Lake Sarah. It seems like that’s our most popular Park. We’ve got a really nice swimming beach there and, like I said, the fishing pier. I mean it’s a pretty popular fishing lake, so there’s fishing tournaments and stuff like that throughout the year. It brings a lot of people in. And there’s a lot of hunting land in Murray County, so I mean the past couple months here, in October/November, we’ll see several hunters and stuff like that come through. So, it’s a nice little Park.
CM: Perfect. Yeah, and is there a specific campsite within Sundquist Park that you would stay in?
Justin Hoffmann: Oh, I guess they’re all about the same, I guess. They’re all pretty much open and I guess there’s not a bad one there, I would say.
CM: Great. Well, that’s great insights into the Park. We really appreciate you talking with us today.
Justin Hoffmann: You bet. No problem.