Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Discovering Mac’s Park Place along the Zumbro River August 10, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Enter the bar and restaurant through the non-descript door on the right. To the left in the fenced area is Mac’s Park Place campground. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

DOWN THE GRAVEL ROAD from Mabe’s Deer Camp just off Wabasha County Road 21 a ways, hang a left and you’ve reached Mac’s Park Place Campground & Bar in rural Mazeppa.

An overview of the also unknown-to-me Lake Zumbro dam by Mac’s Park Place. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

Randy and I discovered Mac’s, at the foot of the Lake Zumbro dam, during a day trip into the Zumbro River Valley. It’s a restaurant, bar and campground. A hidden, at least for those unfamiliar with its location, community gathering spot.

Fishing access is limited at Mac’s. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

Our stay was brief—long enough to enjoy drinks and cheese curds outside before securing permission to enter a gated area along the river. If you aren’t camping and want to fish here, you need to pay given the privately-owned riverside location. The river draws plenty of anglers from inside and outside the campground.

Love this sign atop Mac’s Park Place, rural Mazeppa. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

My impression of Mac’s links this place with the word “fun.” From meat raffles to bean bag tournaments, from live music (by the likes of The Smokin Coyotes, Ledfoot Larry, Fat City All-Stars and more) to karaoke, from burgers to buckets of beer, everything about Mac’s shouts a good time. I expect folks party hard here.

One of the many campers parked at Mac’s. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo May 2022)

The grounds were abuzz with people, ATVs and golf carts in a packed campground, not a quiet outdoors camping-in-nature type of experience based on my observations. And that’s OK. Different folks like different experiences when escaping routine life.

I delight in discovering places like Mac’s. There’s something about a homegrown backroads business that draws people in. I picked up on a sense of community here that stretches far beyond camping, dining, drinking and fishing. People are connecting, enjoying life here in the Zumbro River Valley between Mazeppa and Oronoco.

Please check back for one final post focusing on the river and the Lake Zumbro dam.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling