Boulder Campground, although in a fairly hilly location, finds itself surrounded by low ground and saturated soils. That was the case in April when I visited, anyway. At any rate, there is a lake on one side, a permanent swamp on another, and the remainder of the border abuts a blowdown area from a windstorm in July of 2011. Few campsites here are very large, and fewer still offer genuine privacy. Like many state forest campgrounds, it is probably best suited to fall camping for hunters who want to take advantage of the thousands of acres of the surrounding St. Croix State Forest.
It’s quite a long way to drive through the state forest to get to this campground, but getting one of the lakeside campsites would probably make it worth it. Sites that qualify even remotely as “lakeside” are limited to sites 7 and 17. The access to Rock Lake is right in the campground, and there is a short dock which would seem to offer a little bit of fishing opportunity.
While there are lots of ATV and OHV trails in the state forest, they are not allowed in this campground. They will need to be trailered and left at the trailhead parking lot which is at the far end of the campground loop (still basically in the campground); this is indicated by a sign at the campground entrance.
Site 1 is nicely laid out, with plenty of room to the side of the driving surface for tents. It is near the swamp, with some grassy surfaces, and lots of shade.
Site 2, like site 1, is down by the swamp with good tree cover. There is lots of room, but no grass to put a tent on. In fact, it could be downright muddy on a wet weekend.
Site 3 is also well shaded, but not very roomy. It is, however, very grassy.
Site 4 is surrounded by low wet areas, but remains high and dry. This site is fairly spacious, but has no grassy surfaces to speak of. Expect some midday sun in this campsite that would be easy to back a trailer into.
Site 5 is a fairly level site at the back, with a long driving surface. However, it would be difficult to impossible to back a trailer into. This is another shady site.
Site 6 is nice and open at the back, with some grass to put a tent on- or maybe two. This site lacks overhead tree cover, allowing the sun in for most of the day. In the spring, the ground seemed rather lumpy, which may resolve itself before summer; tenters beware.
Site 7 is right across the camp road from the boat landing, water pump, and picnic area. Along with site 6, it would benefit from the wind blowing across the lake (or suffer, in the case of a storm). It is also close to the latrine, which is in the middle of the loop behind the campsite. Easily one of the most desirable sites in the campground.
Site 8 is another fairly long campsite with some grass in the back, although it may be a struggle to find a good spot to put a tent down. It would likely receive a bit of wind off the lake in a West or even North wind.
Site 10 is a fairly short site with the road wrapping around it. It appears the trees offer little shade throughout the day, but it seems to have absorbed the table from site 9, which appears no longer in use.
Site 11 is also fairly close to the road, and is basically an all-gravel site.
If you like the sun, site 12 is your pick. This site is on the edge of the swamp and blowdown area. The sun seems to have fostered some ground-level vegetation, which sets it apart from site 11.
Site 13 sits well off the road in the middle of the campground loop. It is very open and spacious, and a rather sunny campsite. The camp’s vault toilet is practically inside this campsite, which may be desirable for some, but obviously detracts from its privacy.
Site 14, like 12, is very much in the sun on the edge of the blowdown area. On my spring visit, there was some standing water on the driving surface. There is, however, a lot of grass on the site and is one of the more secluded sites in the campground.
Site 15 is another short site on the inside of the loop, but has good tree cover. It is a fairly level campsite on the whole.
Site 16 is a fairly short and sunny site, but is fairly well screened from the road and other sites. It is fairly average in most other respects.
Site 17 is a carry-in lakeside campsite, which is easily the closest to the lake. It is well shaded, with a gravel tent area. Along with site 7, it is easily one of the premier sites in this campground.
~Click on or hover over slideshow photos to see campsite numbers~