Beauty and quiet, that is the essence of Carley State Park. In the spring, delicate bluebells (Mertensia virginica), and other wildflowers carpet the valley with a profusion of color. Hike along the trail that follows the Whitewater River and take in the grand old white pines. Listen for the sweet song of orioles, song sparrows, house wrens, and indigo buntings. Enjoy the picnic area, play on the swings or practice softball. Try your hand at horseshoes or sit back and see a red-tailed hawk ride thermals in the sky. The north branch of the Whitewater River is a designated trout stream and provides habitat for brown trout. Rustic campsites are located near the picnic area.
Towering white pines share this bluffland landscape with delicate wildflowers and oak forests, including beautiful bluebells in May. Catch brown trout in the Whitewater River.
Campground Areas: 1
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Approximately 15 miles northeast of Rochester, or 4 miles south of Plainview on Wabasha County Road 4.
Stayed at this park for the second time in late July, 2016. Campsites are nicely secluded from each other but several do not have level sites for larger tents. Nice mix of easy and challenging trails, but some of the river crossings are prone to flooding after rain. Minimal mosquitoes, but small black flies were abundant. Large playground area adjacent to campsites. No firewood was available at the time we stayed so we had to drive to Plainview about 4 miles away to buy it. Only saw the park ranger drive through one time in three days. If you want a quiet experience, this park can provide it.
I stayed here midweek. There was no firewood available and only one source of water at the group campground. The park was completely deserted, but one car pulled off the road down the way from me and spent the night on the side, which was creepy. Don't know if the park is patrolled at night at all.
Trails are pretty but need some maintaining. One of the bridges has rotting boards starting to break through, and concrete bridges are hard to access without leaping onto them or climbing onto steep slopes with the aid of trees. Give this park a little TLC...please.