Campground Reports

Please note: Not all of the Campground Reports I have written are found on this page. Please use the blog Search function to look for these and other reports. On most browsers look for the magnifying glass icon near the top right of the page under the photo of me in the redwood forest. You may also try the drop down menu near the top of every page but it doesn’t always work, especially with mobile devices.


Shenango River Lake Campground, Transfer, PA

Shenango River Lake
A view of Shenango River Lake from near one of the campsites in the Old Duck Loop… I think.

I stopped at Shenango River Lake Campground on my way west from Connecticut where I spent much of the summer at Lake Waramaug Campground in New Preston. I was headed west to visit the 7 remaining states I needed to get to in order to have been to all 50. Shenango River Lake Campground isn’t far north of I-80, the route I was traveling. READ MORE…


Peaks of Otter Campground, Blue Ridge Parkway, VA

Sharptop Mtn. and Abbot Lake
Sharptop Mountain over Abbot Lake. It’s but a short hike through the woods from Peaks of Otter Campground to the lodge from where this photo was taken. You can drive over too. The lodge has a restaurant that is open to the public and there is free wifi there. Cross your fingers that it is working when you go.

To my absolute delight and childlike glee I saw something as I strolled around Abbott Lake by the nearby Peaks of Otter Lodge that I can’t recall seeing since I was a child: fireflies! If you haven’t ever seen them these wonderful little bugs carry their own miniature strobe lights around with them and flash them periodically as they fly around in the evenings. As children we used to catch them and put them in glass jars and marvel at their ability to light themselves up, but by the time I was a teen they were no longer to be found in the neighborhood where I grew up. As I walked back to the campground from the lodge one evening I saw a tiny little pinprick of light in the near distance. Then another, and another, and as I turned to look around I saw dozens of periodic flashes all around me, maybe hundreds. I was beside myself with joy. A tear came to my eyes as I called out aloud “Hello fireflies! Hello to all of you. I’m so very happy to see you, each and every one!” They made the child in me so happy. It’s good to know they’re still around in places. READ MORE…


Peaks-Kenny Campground, Dover-Foxcroft, ME

Sebec Lake: Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Faircroft, ME
Sebec Lake: Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft, ME

Peaks-Kenny is a very nice campground in the Maine woods alongside Sebec Lake at which you’ll find swimming and boating–canoes and kayaks can be rented for just $3 an hour! There is a roped off swimming area at the lake and a lifeguard stand which I presume is staffed during certain hours. “Very nice” is subjective of course, but my kind of campground is in the woods with lots of green, awakening to songbirds in the morning, spacious and well spaced camp sites and quiet nights. Of course, some of these things are seasonal. Generator hours (8-8 if I recall) are different than quiet hours and I was told that if a neighbor complains even during generator hours you may be asked to shut yours down. READ MORE…


Lovers - Lake Waramaug
A young couple enjoy each other’s company along the shore of Lake Waramaug, CT.

Lake Waramaug Campground is a Connecticut State Park Campground. For CT residents it’s $17 a night. I was a bit taken aback when I was billed $27 a night on the ReserveAmerica web site. It’s very hard to find out what you will actually pay on their site and I wish more people would complain about this to the various entities that hire them to handle their reservations. READ MORE…


Julian Price Campground, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

An early morning view along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC.
An early morning view along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC.

Know as “America’s Favorite Drive” or something to that effect, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile long National Park running along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains with its southern terminus at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina near the Tennessee border. Its northern terminus is at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. From there you can pick up Skyline Drive and go for another 105 miles north through Shenandoah National Park. I picked up the BRP a little north of its southern terminus because in the southernmost section there are three tunnels my RV wouldn’t clear. I believe that is also the twistiest and windiest section which could be tricky and tiresome in a good size RV such as mine. READ MORE…


Crabtree Meadows A.K.A. Crabtree Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Crabtree Falls
This view shows the entirety of Crabtree Falls.

Crabtree Meadows Campground A.K.A. Crabtree Falls Campground is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains chain. I’m not sure what the nearest town may be but it would be small–the BRP is a two lane road that runs through the mountains. The campground is off the parkway some distance and I noticed no road noise. It is in a forest of tall deciduous trees so it will be relatively shady after they have leafed out in spring. They were still working on this in mid-May when I was there. READ MORE…


Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster, SC

Lake View: Andrew Jackson State Park
A view toward the campground from the nature trail on the far side of the lake. Note the bench where you can sit.

I liked it here. It’s a small, intimate, woodsy park. I was here after spring had arrived so the trees were full of leaves. I’m sure in the winter the feeling here would be much different. Road noise from the nearby street, route 521 I think, was audible during the daytime but I didn’t notice it inside my rig at night. the town of Lancaster is nearby so getting most necessities should be relatively easy. READ MORE…


Falling Waters State Park, Chipley, FL

The waterfall at Falling Waters
Waterfall at Falling Waters

The campground at Falling Waters State Recreation Area (SRA), or State Park, depending upon to whom you listen, is set in a woodsy environment. The campground road is old but it’s fine. Let’s just say it has a little character. It’s a little narrow, however. Except for the Accessible sites which have concrete pads the campsites themselves are sandy and in many you’ll be quite close to your neighbors. Some sites are too small for RVs. Others, according to data on ReserveAmerica can handle rigs to 45′. It feels a little closed-in here. The campground is nice enough, it’s lovely in fact, but having just come from Gunter Hill it was a little bit of a let down, but most places would be after having just been at Gunter Hill. READ MORE…


Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL

Gunter Hill Campground
Antoch Branch from Gunter Hill Campground Catoma loop, Montgomery, AL.

I felt like I was in something of a paradise at this park, surrounded by tall trees sporting their lush, new, verdant spring finery; birds singing all around, camped on a lake shore; fairly peaceful and quiet, warm moist air… ahhhh. As far as campgrounds go this was my kind of place, at my time of year. Even the warm rain was a joyous experience. Bear in mind, my arrival here may have been at the optimum time of year when spring had sprung and was in full swing, the weather warm and muggy but not yet oppressive as heat and humidity can become. Just prior to my arrival here I had been traveling through parts of the country where the arrival of spring was little more than hinted at by a few flowering trees and the tiny tips of new leaves that were just beginning to timidly show themselves in the trees. Before that I’d been 8 weeks in the hot, dry desert which, don’t get me wrong, was very beautiful in it’s own way but in great contrast to the lush green of Gunter Hill. So, in arriving here I felt as if I’d, well, arrived… in a place something idyllic. I wanted to stay forever. READ MORE…


Meriwether Lewis Campground, Natchez Trace Parkway National Park, Hohenwald, TN

Section of the original Natchez Trace
This shot represents an idyllic section of the original Natchez Trace, the Old Trace as it is sometimes called. In reality, some sections of the Trace at times were miserable with water and mud, heat, humidity, insects and highwaymen (robbers). Travel was sometimes extremely difficult, even impossible.

The campground sits on a hilltop and as I wrote this in early April many if not most sites have views through the trees in one or more directions. Once the trees fill out with the new leaves leaves of spring (they were still bare when I was there) those views will likely disappear–the campground is in a forest of deciduous trees.

Just a mile from the campground is the gravesite of and memorial to Meriwether Lewis of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery. After that famed expedition, as Governor of the Louisiana Territory, Lewis traveled the Old Trace on his way to Washington D.C. and it is within a few steps of his gravesite that he met his untimely death by gunshot. It appears uncertain whether it was murder or suicide. READ MORE…


Jeff Busby Campground, Natchez Trace Parkway National Park, Ackerman, MS

Jeff Busby Campground
Jeff Busby Campground, Natchez Trace Parkway near Ackerman, MS

Jeff Busby Campground is a free National Park Campground along the Natchez Trace Parkway which itself is perhaps the most unusual National Park. Running through three states, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, the road and park are 444 miles long running from Natchez, MS in the south to it’s northern terminus near Nashville, TN. Much of the drive along the Trace is like driving through the woods. It’s lovely. The shoulders are manicured grass, in places for 100′ or so to where the forest begins. The speed limit is 50. Commercial traffic is prohibited. If you want to get gas or stop at a restaruant, you jump off of the Trace into a nearby community hidden on the other side of the trees, so to speak. Towns line the Trace, on the outside of the park. You don’t drive through them while driving the Trace. These things combine to make driving the Trace a most pleasant and peaceful journey. READ MORE…


Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, AR

Gulpha Gorge Campground
Gulpha Gorge Campground. Quarters are closer than I’d like for a park.

This is, from all appearances, a popular campground. Pretty much all the sites with hookups were taken midweek when I arrived. Just the day before I showed up I was at Cedar Lake in OK where most sites at two of the three campgrounds there were vacant. Gulpha Gorge Campground felt crowded. It’s small in size and it was full in the section with hookups. READ MORE…


Sandy Beach Campground (with mention of Shady Lane , North Shore, Lower and Upper Overflow Campgrounds) Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma

Fishing Pier, Cedar Lake
Fishing pier, Cedar Lake, Sandy Beach Campground, Ouachita National Forest, OK.

The route I was taking was from the Imperial Dam LTVA near Yuma toward Tennessee, a state I had not yet visited. I chose a route of secondary roads that would keep me off the Interstates and take me through the countryside. This was true through Arizona, New Mexico, and the panhandle of Texas. All of these places have some beautiful country including the mountains of Arizona and the gorgeous orangy-red soil of northern Texas. I also followed a secondary-roads route through another state I’d not yet been to, Oklahoma. This route was south of I-40  taking me through the Ouachita National Forest where I stayed at Sandy Beach Campground after looking also at North Shore and Shady Lane–all three campgrounds are at Cedar Lake. READ MORE…


Buckhorn Campground, Chickasaw Nat’l Recreation Area, Sulphur, OK

Snoozing at Buckhorn
Catching a little snooze on a warm late afternoon at Buckhorn Campground, Chickasaw NRA, OK.

I chose to stop here because Oklahoma was on the list of states I needed to visit in order to visit all 50, it was on my way to the southeast, it’s more natural setting than private RV parks, and with a Senior Pass was but $12 a night including water, electricity and showers. The timing of my arrival, March, was still early enough in the year so as not to be overly concerned about tornados–being overly concerned is something at which I excel. The average number of twisters in OK in March is 5. In April it jumps to 11 and in May the average is 28 before tapering off in June to 7. This data is based on 1991 thru 2010. READ MORE…


Desert Gem Campground, Salome, AZ

Iron Cowboy
Next door to the Desert Gem RV Park is the Iron Horse Bar & Grill, and next to that a gift shop, both owned by the same couple. They have imported more than a few sculptures from Mexico which I take it are welded steel. I liked this one most. If I recall correctly the gift shop retails them in the $1,800 price area.

My first impression of this campground was a little less than favorable but the place grew on me.  First, the owner wasn’t all that welcoming. She wasn’t impolite in any way, but she wasn’t all that friendly–all business. For me, this park fit the bill of giving me a launch pad close to Quartzsite, AZ–maybe 35 miles away–where I wanted to arrive early the next morning, and with Passport America the price was certainly right. READ MORE…


 

Rockhound State Park Campground, Deming, NM

Rockhound Visitor Center
Looking south from near the campground road toward the Florida Mountains. That’s the Rockhound Visitor Center on the right.

This is a busy little park, at least at this time of year which is their busy season (winter). I think it’s really hot here in the summer and people stay away. There is no shade, and no river or lake to cool off in. Most sites are first-come-first-served (see the campground map included with this article) but a few are reservable. READ MORE…


 

Oliver Lee Memorial Campground, Alamogordo, NM

Sunset at White Sands National Monument
Captured at the very last moment before the sun ducked behind some clouds on the horizon. The sand is quite white but the red color of the late afternoon soon makes it pinkish here and I really liked its delicate tones set against those of the red grasses and pale blue sky. Other than adjusting the brightness of the image down somewhat no alterations have been made.

Oliver Lee Memorial Park Campground–phew, that’s a mouthful–is a good jumping off point to visit White Sands National Monument. It’s the closest place you can camp from what I understand and that’s one reason I chose this place. White Sands is a place I’ve wanted to visit in order to photograph for some time. White Sands, by the way, is sometimes closed due to missile testing at the nearby air base. READ MORE…


 

Natchez State Park, Natchez, MS

Fishing pier at Natchez State Park, Mississippi
Fishing pier at Natchez State Park, Mississippi

At one time the town was home to over half the millionaires in the US and a number of the antebellum (pre civil war) mansions still stand, some of which can be toured.

The park is about 30 minutes from Natchez which has a sad and interesting history. I say sad because, like many other places in the south there was slavery there before it was abolished. In part that’s also why it is interesting, but there’s more than that. READ MORE…


Sparrowfoot Campground, Clinton, MO

Sparrowfoot sunset
My covered motorcycle obscures the view of the front of my RV but who cares… Look at that sunset! Sparrowfoot campground, Clinton, MO.

I stopped at Sparrowfoot campground on my way from Kansas City to Branson. At $4 a night for a campsite with electricity during the off season it represents a real value even considering there is no water then at the dump station, the showers and laundry are closed. Since I was heading for a full service campground in Branson after a short stay at Sparrowfoot I could use my own onboard facilities easily enough. READ MORE…


 

Nine Eagles State Park Campground, Davis City, IA

Road to Nine Eagles Lake
I had a wonderful walk to Nine Eagles lake from the RV campground and shot this along the way. It’s been altered on the computer in order to give it a dream-like quality.

The campground is part of Nine Eagles Park State Park (see brochure at link above). Perhaps I should say campgrounds, plural, as there are three separate campgrounds: one for RVs with electrical hookups, one for tent camping and one for equestrian camping, the latter two without electricity. The park includes 67 acre Nine Eagles lake where people boat, swim and fish. There is a picnic shelter and boat ramp at the lake. Note that only rowboats and boats with electric motors are allowed. I presume canoes, paddle-boards and kayaks are OK too but there is no mention of these in the literature. There are also hiking trails, and in the winter cross country skiing and snowmobiling. I was told by the campground host that after October 31 the campground is unhosted, there are no fees but the water is shut off. I asked if the electricity was turned off too but he wasn’t sure. The area is heavily wooded and I enjoyed a walk along the road from the RV campground to the lake which I’m guessing is about 1.5 miles. READ MORE…

 


 

Six Mile Lake Main Road
In this view we are looking down the main road of the Dispersed Camping Area at Six Mile Lake

Six Mile Lake is a Forest Service Dispersed Camping Area near Bena, MN

Turning my eyes for a moment from the keyboard of my iPad to glance out the window I’m captivated by the beauty of the late afternoon light filtering through the trees, some of which have begun changing into their autumn finery. My momentary glance out the window becomes an extended gaze.

Right now it’s extraordinarily quiet here. The only sounds on this windless afternoon are those of some birds and my fingers’ clickity-clack on the keyboard. It’s a relaxing, peaceful place. I’m the only one here at the moment. A few fisherman have used the boat launch during the day which is maybe 100′ from where I’m parked, and one couple drove thru the camping area in a blue pickup truck, perhaps just to have a look. Nobody else was camped here last night and it seems likely the same will be true tonight. Wait, there’s another faint sound. I step outside to have a look and when I do I spot a couple red-headed woodpeckers squabbling on a nearby tree, but the sound I heard was the drone of a motorboat out on Six Mile Lake. It’s stopped now. Perhaps they killed the engine in order to fish. I can hear them talking. I’m sure they’re at least a quarter mile out on the lake. READ MORE…


 

View from McClure Pass
View from McClure Pass

McClure Campground is a FREE Forest Service Campground roughly 30 miles north of Paoinia, and roughly the same distance south of Carbondale, Colorado, along route 133. It’s just to the south of McClure Pass, and as you might expect, at some elevation–somewhere in the 8,000′ area if I’m not mistaken. There is a 14 day stay limit. This is a lovely, heavily wooded location set amidst a mixture of aspens and conifers. I remember walking around the campground after a rain. It was silent and green, the moist air laden with the the scents of the forest. READ MORE…


 

Hendrum Community Park
I drove past many cornfields on my way to Hendrum. You’re looking at one in the distance in this photo. The only vehicle I’ve seen drive by on the county road just outside the park so far was a tractor.

Hendrum Community Park, Hendrum, MN

Hendrum is a small town in MN about 20 miles north of Fargo, ND. By all appearances it is a farming community with corn the main crop. There is no restaurant in town although there is a bar. The park has the feeling of suffering from some neglect. Still, that a town that seems so small has any facility to accommodate campers is impressive. That they do so for a night for free, including electricity and water is extraordinary. Thank you Hendrum! You rock. READ MORE…


 

Lakeside Marina and Campground
I liked the woodsy feeling at Lakeside Marina and campground especially since some of the trees were turning golden with the approach of autumn.

Lakeside Marina & Campground, Jamestown, ND

I stopped at this campground as a layover place on my way from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota to Minnesota where I was heading to do some leaf peeping. I liked this campground. I liked all the greenery, from the trees to the lawn which was well maintained. Even though I have no children of my own, or perhaps because of that, I liked the play sets on the central lawn and enjoyed watching the children at play. I don’t recall every seeing such an elaborate play set and monkey bars, etc., at another campground. In stark contrast I recalled another play set I’d seen elsewhere that seemed to be cobbled together from old worn out tires and rusty discards. READ MORE…


 

Scenery along the Lewis Creek trail, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
Scenery along the Lewis Creek trail, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND

Juniper Campground, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Unit, ND

Surrounded by the magic that is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I stayed 2 nights at the Juniper campground in the North Unit of park after having stayed a few nights at the Cottonwood campground in the South Unit . I’ve also a written a Travel Report about the park.

The campground was very quiet when I was there. It was largely empty. There were times when the only audible sounds consisted of crickets, the rustling of the cottonwood leaves and the clump-clomp of my footsteps as I walked. One night and the following morning I heard a pack of coyotes howling and yipping wildly nearby. READ MORE…


 

Bison on the Lewis Creek Trail
Here a bison alongside the Lewis Creek Trail caused me to circumnavigate

Cottonwood Campground, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Kind: National Park
Fees: $10 per night, $5 per night during the off-season. Senior Pass or Access Pass holders receive 50% discount. Maximum occupancy: 1 family or 6 people
Reservations: Only the group site, otherwise first-come-first-served
Campground Web Site
Phone: 701-623-4466
GPS: N 46.94842, W 103.52808
Google Maps

READ MORE…


Charlene and PeeWee happily situated in space #13
My RV Charlene happily situated in space #13. Oh, and let’s not forget PeeWee, my faithful little Yamaha XT250.

Meadows Campground is a Forest Service campground in the Routt National Forest (sometimes known as the Medicine Bow Routt) along US 40 about 15 miles east of Steamboat Springs, CO. Google Maps link. It is near Rabbit Ears Pass at an elevation of about 9300′. 7 miles of the journey from Steamboat Springs is up a 7% grade. READ MORE…


Space 7 at Cement Creek Campground
Space 7 at Cement Creek Campground

CEMENT CREEK CAMPGROUND, CRESTED BUTTE SOUTH, COLORADO

GPS: 38.82849, 106.83590

Cement Creek Campground is a Forest Service facility maybe 3.8 miles up Cement Creek Road, also known as Road #740, off of CO 135 out of Crested Butte South. The road is dirt, but apart from a little washboarding here and there it’s fine and fairly wide. I wouldn’t want to take a Class C or A  rig much larger than 30′ into the campground however because the campground loop is narrow with tight turns. Also, at less than 11′ in height there was a small tree limb in contact with the roof of my rig. At first I thought I was hearing some cute little animal calls but it turned out to be the branch screeching on my roof. READ MORE…

 


LITTLE LAKE MOLAS CAMPGROUND, SILVERTON, COLORADO

Little Molas Lake at Sunrise
Little Molas Lake at Sunrise

Sitting in my chair in the brisk early morning air, the warmth of the day’s early sun on my face, I see what you see in the photo of Little Molas Lake at Sunrise. At something like 11,000′ elevation the nights and mornings here are brisk, but when the sun comes up things warm rapidly. It’s soon warmer outside than inside my RV. The air this morning in late June, like most all mornings here in the Rocky Mountains I imagine, is fresh and refreshing. It’s clear and clean and brisk. It just makes you want to take a deep breath and savor it, and I do. READ MORE…


2 thoughts on “Campground Reports”

  1. Love the photo of the turning leaves and you can almost feel the quiet you are describing and I can feel the gaze turning to reverie and eventually a little meditation. You seem to have a knack for finding beautiful camping spots. Did the fishermen come back and share some fish with you for dinner? 6mile Lake seems like a local beautiful spot for fishing and camping for families. Is it a little oasis amid cornfields? I can feel and enjoy that , as many other campgrounds through your experience.Keep on breathing the fresh air and nature smells-Happy adventuring!

    1. No, the fisherman didn’t offer me any fish.

      Oasis amidst cornfields? No. This part of the state isn’t about farming. I’m in the Chippewa National Forest. Typically, you won’t find farming within National Forests. Grazing, yes, I’ve seen that out west; farming, I haven’t seen that. That said, there are a lot of private resorts here. Driving down the main roads I’ve seen a lot of turnoffs onto dirt roads signed “Resorts”. Perhaps they were grandfathered-in, having existed before the area was made a National Forest. I’m guessing. I don’t know the history. Just a hair down the road from me is Cherney’s Resort. In speaking with the onwner, Butch Cherney, I learned he’s been there for 72 years and the place belonged to his father before it became his. According to the page at http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/9/chippewa/sec1.htm it seems 1908 was the year this area became National Forest.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

a.k.a. Travels With Charlene

HandyBob's Blog

Making off grid RV electrical systems work

Wheeling It

Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road

Live Laugh RV

Our next Chapter

%d bloggers like this: