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Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

Delano, Minnesota
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2 posts
38 reviews
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Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

We are planning a family road trip (with an 8 & almost 6 year old) from MN to Custer State Park. We are trying to choose between the many campgrounds within the park and have it narrowed down to Blue Bell, Stockade Lake South and Game Lodge Campgrounds because we are deciding to forgo our tent this time and get a camper cabin to make it easier. We like wooded, more secluded campgrounds with lots of nature, hiking, swimming and activities to keep busy. Any advice on these campgrounds would be appreciated!

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Custer State Park
Custer State Park
4,916 Reviews
Custer, SD
Blue Bell Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge
270 Reviews
Custer, SD
6 replies to this topic
Madison, Wisconsin
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27 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

We stayed in a camping cabin at Blue Bell and loved it! Here's the review I wrote: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28962…

The Blue Bell campground is nicely wooded/secluded - try to get a cabin that backs up to the woods - the view from our back porch was beautiful. My recollection is that the Game Lodge area cabins are in a much more open area - you can see them from the main road driving through - so I wouldn't recommend those. I don't remember if we drove past Stockade South cabins.

Blue Bell is a little more out of the way for driving anywhere, but not enough to really make a difference, in my opinion. And it's right by the start of the Wildlife Loop, which we ended up driving 3 times (two of them "on our way" to somewhere else). Each drive was different and I'm glad we did them all.

There aren't many activities right in the campground - you have to drive to get to the swimming/hiking/etc. The other two have swimming in the campground area, although I'm not sure if they are close enough to actually walk from your cabin. But no matter where you stay you'll want to drive to explore the various areas of the park, so for me that wouldn't be a deciding factor.

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Blue Bell Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge
270 Reviews
Custer, SD
Peachtree City...
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1,370 posts
129 reviews
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2. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

I stayed in Stockade South a few years ago and was happy with it - I liked the woodsy feel of it all. Comments similar to above - I didn’t really check out many nearby amenities (aside from the bathroom) because there was so much to do elsewhere, but I liked being so close to the lake.

Peachtree City...
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129 reviews
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3. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

Oh yeah, just mentioning that my kids were 8 and 6 when we stayed there & they loved the bunk beds! Also, Stockade South was my only choice because the others were taken at that time, but it is situated very well for trips into “downtown” Custer since you’re right on the western edge of the park.

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Custer
Custer
South Dakota
Delano, Minnesota
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2 posts
38 reviews
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4. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

Thanks for the info smwisc! I think we have ruled out Game Lodge because of the lack of trees. How was the drive to Sylvan Lake? We are avid hikers and plan to spend a few days hiking all of the trails up there, so the distance from Blue Bell is our biggest concern.

ScottinPTC-GA, thanks for the info! I like that Stockade Lake South is closer to the main hiking trails, but the views from the cabins at Blue Bell have me torn! My kids would love to be near the lake though (although I've read other reviews that talked about the geese and their poop being a problem there).

Edited: 01 January 2018, 21:13
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Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake
1,535 Reviews
Custer, SD
Blue Bell Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge
270 Reviews
Custer, SD
Madison, Wisconsin
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27 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

We drove up to Sylvan Lake via the Needles Highway, with multiple stops for climbing/pictures, but obviously in that case the drive is kind of the point! Google maps says the more direct route from Blue Bell to Sylvan Lake is about a half hour, which sounds about right. Driving in the park is a little slow because the roads are curvy, but it's all very scenic.

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Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake
1,535 Reviews
Custer, SD
Needles Highway
Needles Highway
637 Reviews
South Dakota
Blue Bell Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge
270 Reviews
Custer, SD
6. Re: Camper Cabins: Which Campground to Choose?

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