The Shady Oaks Campground is not only a fantastic campground – it’s also the home of the Blue Earth County Fair. We had the chance to speak with Tiffany from the Shady Oaks Campground. She shared with us some of the history of the grounds, activities around the area, and how to take a hayride to go tubing. Listen to our full interview here:
Shady Oaks Campground Minnesota
Camp Minnesota: I’m talking with Tiffany today. She works at Shady Oaks Campground in Minnesota. How’s it going today, Tiffany?
Tiffany: Not too bad.
CM: So, let’s go ahead and start with how long Shady Oaks Campground has been there and how you guys got started.
Tiffany: Oh man, let’s see. I think we’re at 156 or 157 years now.
CM: For the campground?
Tiffany: Well, the grounds. Our campground is also the housing for our County’s Fair.
Tiffany: And our County Fair has been going on for about 150 years, so I would say probably the last 50 to 70 years it’s been a campground.
CM: Wow, that’s incredible.
CM: Okay. And what types of camping do you guys offer?
Tiffany: We have for RVs, campers, and tent. Yeah, I guess for that; for the vast style, and then we have family reunion people that gather down here. We have a bunch of groups that gather down here for different activities and things like that.
CM: Okay. And what are the most popular activities at the campground and in the surrounding area?
Tiffany: Let’s see. For our campground itself, we have two playgrounds. We have a horseshoe ring, or five horseshoe places. We have the river that surrounds us on three sides. So, you’ve got the fishing. You’ve got tubing. You’ve got canoeing and kayaking. You’ve got a volleyball net. On the holidays, we do game and crafts for children of all ages. That way. We do hay rides. The surrounding area – well, we’ve got Mankato, so there’s a wild zone, so you can take your kids up there to do bowling and laser tag and games. And then we have movie theaters and sporting events, like hockey or baseball, or things that way. And then we’ve got the waterfall in Mankato. Golfing. Bike trails.
CM: Okay, so quite a bit.
CM: Two more questions for you. If you were just going to spend one hour in Shady Oaks Campground, how would you spend your time there, Tiffany?
Tiffany: Oh man, for an hour, I would say my thing that we like to do is we – you can go up town a little ways and we can travel down in a tube and go tubing.
CM: Fun, and is there someone that can do drop-offs for that?
Tiffany: We don’t have it setup yet, but I’m looking into it. Right now everybody just kind of loads up their pick-ups with the tubes and everybody, and then they drive up there, and then they take another vehicle and retrieve the other vehicle and stuff. But we’re looking into trying to get that setup.
CM: Yeah, you’ve just got to get a van and a trailer, right?
Tiffany: Well, we’re thinking about putting it on the horse trailer.
CM: Oh, cool.
Tiffany: Or I mean the hay wagon, and just doing it it that way. Just taking everybody in a hay wagon and run up there, and then bring them back.
CM: Oh, that would be a blast.
CM: Fun, and last question for you. If you were just going to spend one night in Shady Oaks Campground, which specific campsite would you choose and why?
Tiffany: Ooh, that’s a tough one, because there’s a lot of different ones. I would probably say our Site #31. It’s kind of a bird sanctuary and it’s closest to the river, and there’s trails and there’s a really nice fishing spot right off of that campsite.
CM: Perfect, that’s an awesome insider tip that we’re going to pass on. That makes me want to camp there.
CM: Well, thank you so much, Tiffany, for taking some time out of your day to chat with us about Shady Oaks Campground in Minnesota.
Tiffany: Thank you very much.
CM: All right, take care.