By Jim Umhoefer
Washington County. About 2 miles north of Marine-on-St. Croix on Highway 95. Highway map index: Z-23 (metro St. Paul-Minneapolis map on back of state map)
William O'Brien State Park, only a short drive northeast of the Twin Cities, draws large numbers of campers and daytime visitors. People are attracted by the wooded, rolling land along the St. Croix River and the variety of ways they can unwind from city life.
Because of O'Brien's proximity to the Twin Cities, the campgrounds are usually full on weekends. If you don't have a reservation, get here early to register for a site. The park has two semi-modern campgrounds. The lower campground (near the riverfront) has 60 sites. Of these, 43 have electrical hookups and 4 are specifically designated for disabled campers. In the upper campground (65 sites, 19 electric), some sections are open and sunny, while others are deeply wooded. Read more: