Minnesota Campground Looks to Add 45 Campsites
Polk County Commissioners in northwest Minnesota were updated on the progress of a planned expansion at Union Lake Sarah Campground during their meeting this week, a project the board had approved back in October.
Campground owner Jack Bailey and caretakers Joel and Dale Thormodsgard provided the update, the Crookstown Daily Times reported.
The project will add 45 campsites to the west side of the campground, situated between the two lakes, for a total of 130 camping spots, 100 of them on the Union Lake side, Bailey explained.
“We haven’t given up on it, but it’s taking a little longer than we expected,” said Dale Thormodsgard. “There’s been some delays and a few small changes, but now we’re just waiting on some permits to get the ball rolling. We’re getting pretty excited about it, starting to move some trees around.”
One of these changes was opting to install a septic system rather than build a bath house. Joel Thormodsgard pointed out that at a few thousand dollars, the septic system option is much less expensive than a bath house, estimated to cost around $100,000. Most campers occupying the campsites are now self-contained with bathrooms of their own, he added, so there would be little need for an elaborate bath house.
Dock space won’t be included with the new campsites, he said, so the people renting them would need to take their boats in at the end of the day or work out a deal to share existing dock space with someone.
“We don’t want it turn into something like Maple Lake, where people fight for dock space,” said Dale Thormodsgard. “We didn’t want to start plugging the shoreline with docks.”
Bailey said some campgrounds in the area are rumored to be shutting down soon, so the additional camping area with lake access will be beneficial. Dale Thormodsgard noted that 38 people are already on the waiting list, with twice that many more possible once the word gets out, so “we should have no problem filling it up.”
The shoreline and properties along Union Lake have been greatly impacted over the years by rising water levels. This year’s lack of precipitation has, however, turned things around significantly.
“There’s a road I haven’t seen in years coming back,” said Joel Thormodsgard. “I thought it was gone.”
Dale Thormodsgard said a lot of the more recent lake transplants are commenting on how low the water is, surmising that it’s well below the normal level this year.