Crystal Lake Campground is a nice city operated campground in Strum, WI. It’s a few miles south and west of I94 and within easy driving distance of Eau Claire, about 30 minutes away. There are basically two sections of the campground. The older section consists of sites 1-21. These sites are grass camping spots with plenty of trees and a feeling of privacy. They are also water/electric only. Sites 22-42 are developed gravel campsites offering full hookups. There aren’t as many trees, but a few of the sites look out over the upper portion of the lake. Many of the others border a big open grassy area that has a mown park-like feel. There are restroom/shower buildings in both sections of the park as well a big children’s playground and two volleyball courts – these get a lot of use by the locals.
The lake itself is a small, but pretty lake. Right at the campground it’s more of a fast moving stream emptying into the lake. However, a short walk toward town takes you right along the lake shore and then over the highway bridge and dam into the small downtown.
Adjacent to the campground and, in fact, right next to several of the campsites in the older section of the campground is a nice nine-hole golf course. If a person likes to golf they can basically walk out of their camper and onto a fairway. The golf course also has a restaurant.
Aside from the golf course, the only other primary draw is Eau Claire which does have some nice attractions as well as about any kind of shopping a person might want to do. There are campgrounds closer to the city, but for the price and amenities, Crystal Lake is an excellent alternative.
My Verizon 4G worked well and since we were backed up to a wide open field I had no problem at all getting a satellite signal. Also worth mentioning is that the campground has excellent WiFi, a rare find in most any campground. We had not one, but two severe thunderstorms during our one week stay. Both times park personnel knocked on our door (once at 3:00 a.m.) to warn us of the coming storm. I appreciated that extra effort. However, the concrete block restrooms were a distance from our campsite and the “official” place of refuge was the fire station in town, a 5 minute drive away! We stayed put, watching the weather radar on the internet. Had there been anything bigger, though, we would have been in a tough spot.
The open sky could be a real plus for fans of sitting out at night and counting satellites. However, the bad weather I just mentioned plus the abundance of smoky campfires pretty much drove us in after dark. In the right conditions, though, this place would be great for people who like to star gaze.