CAMPGROUND NAME: Gunter Hill
LOCATION: Montgomery, AL
KIND: Army Corps of Engineers (ACE)
RATES: 2015, $18-$24. Interagency pass holders can take 50% off those prices
RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED: Yes, via Reserve America (see note at bottom)
CAMPGROUND WEB SITE
CAMPGROUND MAP or see page bottom
GPS: N 32.36302, W 086.45475
ACCESS: Paved roads to and within the campground. There are handicap accessible restrooms and showers
SURFACING: Concrete slab, at least in the Catoma loop
PULL THRU: Yes
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: There are some sites that should be able to accommodate the largest rigs
LEVELNESS: There’s some slope in some sites but getting level shouldn’t be a problem. I refer here to the Catoma loop. I didn’t visit the Antioch loop
TENT PADS: I didn’t see any in the Catoma loop
FIRE GRILLS: Both ground level and waist high BBQ
PICNIC TABLES: Yes
PETS: On leash
HOOKUPS: Full hookups in the Catoma loop
DUMP STATION: Yes
ELECTRICAL QUALITY: 123 volts, 60 Hz, no faults (As indicated by my Progressive Industries Power Management System, Model EMS-PT30C.)
CELLULAR: I am not providing Signal Strength data for voice in this report as all readings were taken were 0%. I suspect that the latest iOS update broke the FieldTester app I use to make these measurements.
AT&T iPhone 5s without Wilson Mobile 4G booster:
3 bars, LTE
Download speed: 2.85 Mbps
Upload speed: 1.73 Mbps
AT&T iPhone 5s with Wilson Mobile 4G booster: A noticeable improvement
3 bars, LTE
Download speed: 7.67 Mbps
Upload speed: 0.58 Mbps
Verizon iPad Air without Wilson Mobile 4G booster:
1 bars, LTE
Download speed: 0.96 Mbps
Upload speed: 0.08 Mbps
Verizon iPad Air with Wilson Mobile 4G booster:
1 bar, LTE
Download speed: 1.69 Mbps
Upload speed: 0.24 Mbps
Over-the-air: About 12-15 stations
RESTROOM RATING: Pass (I assign a Pass or Fail rating based on many considerations including: cleanliness, usability, hot water availability, hand soap availability, ease or difficulty it is to use the toilet paper, condition of fixtures, if using the restroom is a pleasant or unpleasant experience, etc.)
SOAP: Hand soap
SHOWER RATING: Pass (I evaluate showers in a similar fashion to restrooms. See above.)
BUGS: Not much bug activity when I was there mid-April. A few mosquitos, big fat bumble bees and maybe a wasp here and there
Gas: I believe I recall seeing a pump outside B & J Grocery at 5601 Old Selma Rd. just up the road a short distance from the campground.
Dump: In the campground
Propane: AllStays indicates Allgas at 4911 Birmingham Hwy.
Groceries: There’s a Dollar General near the campground: 6510 Old Selma Rd. and a B & J Grocery at 5601 Old Selma Rd. Prattville may offer better options at a drive of 35 minutes or so.
RV Parks: K & K RV Park 334-285-5251 and Autauga Creek Landing 334-361-3999 are both nearby, according to AllStays
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 at the BLM’s Imperial Dam LTVA, 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 idyllic. I wanted to stay forever…
The Catoma loop in which I camped had recently been refurbished,, or maybe it was new. Campsites were well separated, maybe 30′-50′, each had a generous sized concrete slab on which to park with a gravel area containing a picnic table and both waist high BBQ and ground level fire pits, not to mention full hookups. Yes, water, electricity and sewer, the latter being very rare at ACE parks in my experience. Electricity came in 20, 30 and 50 amp flavors. One person with whom I spoke said the older loop, the Antioch loop was even more wooded than the Catoma where I stayed. The sites there aren’t as modern. I don’t think they have sewer.
My spot, lucky #13 was close to the water’s edge, with views of the Antioch Branch of the Gun Island Chute off of the Alabama River–I’m a little fuzzy on the topography. I could see the water through the trees some of which were draped with lichen which added to the dreamy quality of this place. It was the time of year when abundant numbers of birds were in the area, calling their mates or singing so as to indicate their availability for partnership. They sang to me in the morning and as the sun set at night. They sang all day long.
It was midweek during my stay, during the school year. Consequently there weren’t many children about. There was an occasional military jet that flew overhead. I suspect they were from Maxwell Air Force Base located in Nearby Montgomery. There wasn’t much of that. It didn’t bother me.
Showers are located in two separate buildings in the Catoma loop. The one I used did not allow people to adjust the water temperature. I dislike this sort of arrangement, but the water was warm enough, barely, and not too hot. The shower I used had a pushbutton to turn it on. It ran long enough on each push so as not to be annoying. I gave it a passing grade, albeit with some reluctance. I looked in the other shower, the one closer to my campsite and saw it had individual knobs so people could adjust the temp, and shower heads that looked like they should be OK, but I didn’t use those showers.
It may be necessary to book well ahead of time for this campground, especially during the high season or weekends; especially considering that with passes campsites can be had for a little as $9.
Regarding ReserveAmerica as it pertains to this campground, it seemed as if their data base did not have site size information for the Catoma loop and would always indicate that there were no spots available. I think these two things may be related. A phone call to the host unearthed both vacant and appropriate sites.
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