Campgrounds | campgrounds

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There are many web sites for reviews and ratings. This is strictly our experience and suggestions from a variety of stays throughout the USA.  We stayed at some of the best, and some of the worst campgrounds across the country.

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We have for the most part trusted Good Sams, and KOA as we believe they have a public image, and corporate franchise to keep up. So they have quality audits and corporate income reports to keep them “up to snuff”.

We have also stayed at some really nice $$$ resort locations on beaches and in the mountains that are always very nice, but for a premium price. So unless you are trying to impress your spouse for her anniversary or other special occasion, I am too cheap to recommend those places.

We have photos throughout this blog so we will spare you a bunch of photos here. I will limit this to just a few locations that we think enough of to share our opinion. We have had quite a few campground experiences from our trips across the country as well as the local state and national parks nearby North Alabama where we live.


Lake Guntersville State Park – Guntersville AL

details: over 300 sites split into (1) near lake, and (2) near the mountain.  Up-to 50 amp full hookup service and a few concrete pads near the lake.  Also there is a lodge and chalet’s on the mountain overlooking the mountains and lake.
This is a state park and very well maintained.  Lots are semi-level, but most will require some sort of levelling mechanism.  it has a beautiful view of the lake and a man-made beach for summertime swimming and water recreational activity.  It is also wildly popular with both professional and every-day fishermen.

opinion:The deer are very comfortable around people.   Especially if they have food to give away.  ( Sounds like me and Norma )  The deer are very comfortable around people. Especially if they have food to give away.  However, this is prohibited by state law but they still show up and find scraps and dropped morsels all over the campground.  We see them playing in the lake if we get up early enough to catch them.

The placement of your camper can be near the mountains on the back side if you like hiking and more shade.  Or if you enjoy fishing and water sports, then there are an equal number of sites very near the lake.  The ones by the lake stay the busiest and have more young adults and children.

CAUTION – Besides the deer, there are lots of other wildlife too that you don’t want to get friendly with ( skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, and the occasional bobcat and more ) .   Also, if you are coming from a distance, call first to be sure there are no national bass fishing tournaments taking place which will usually fill the park and leave you without a site.


 Fall Creek Falls Campground – TN

details: This state park campground is located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties in Tennessee. 11 miles east of Spencer and 18 miles west of Pikeville.   So it is not easy to find, but worth the trip once you do find it.

Fall Creek Falls State Park TNopinion: We visited this campground several times during an annual “mountaineer folk festival”.   WOW – This was the most fascinating, educational, and entertaining event we could imaging.   Not to mention good food made on site like homemade sorghum syrup, kettle stew and beans, corn bread and other food prepared by wonderful old style cooking demonstrations.

This event included but not limited to, bluegrass music, sheep herding, sheep shearing, syrup making ( the old fashioned way ), Indian arts and crafts, wool spinning, looming, and did I mention good food.   The also had a civil war reenactment which included the occasional startling cannon firing. :-D

fall-creek-falls-small

There are three campgrounds with hookups and bathhouses, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, pedal boats, canoes and aluminum fishing boat rentals (bring your own trolling motor and battery unless you want to move about under paddle power), bicycle rentals, horseback riding, and an 18-hole, par 72 golf course.

With so much to do, see and hear all year long it’s hard to imagine what more you could expect during the three-day Mountaineer Folk Festival being held Sept. 6-8.

- See more at: http://www.tnvacation.com/triptales/the-mountaineer-folk-festival-hits-falls-creek-falls/#sthash.qGNtN94J.dpuf
There are three separate campgrounds with hookups and bathhouses, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, pedal boats, canoes and aluminum fishing boat rentals (bring your own trolling motor and battery unless you want to move about under paddle power), bicycle rentals, horseback riding, and an 18-hole, par 72 golf course.

With so much to do, see and hear all year long it’s hard to imagine what more you could expect during the three-day Mountaineer Folk Festival being held Sept. 6-8 2014.   Dates change each year, but normally the first weekend in September.

CAUTION : Most TN state parks do not offer sewer sites.  They also don’t level the sites to preserver the natural drainage and view of the original landscape.  Please call or check the parks web site prior to visiting and expecting power, water, and sewer hookups.


Two Rivers Campground – Nashville area

This is our favorite campground in the Nashville area.   It is very clean, well managed, and super nice attendants.  This was probably our first campground to be escorted to our site as a customer service.  We were not accustomed to that, and it was a special act of kindness to be sure we found the lot and got to it from the correct direction to back in.

We found the neighbors to be especially nice although it is common for camping neighbors to be more like real neighbors used to be ( friendly, respectful, and helpful ).  In one trip we had a nice couple that just gave us tickets to the Grand Ole Opry that they had purchased but weren’t going to use.  THAT WAS GREAT !

We highly recommend this campground as it is easy enough to get to for a big city location, and convenient to almost all the things you would want to do as a visitor to Nashville.


Desoto State Park Campground – near Fort Payne Alabama

 We camped at this campground several times during our pop-up campepopup-desoto-state-parkr years, and recently returned with our motor home and tow vehicle.   There are beautiful walking trails and breath taking scenery, including “Little River, and Desoto” water falls, abundance of wildlife, and plenty of natural foliage.  The size of each lot has been recently improved to accommodate today’s larger RVs.  Most sites are tightly packed gravel, but all the pull-thru sites are paved however, some are difficult to get level as they are sloped a bit.

Told you it was foggy !

Told you it was foggy !

They have a total of 94 full hook-up sites, with 2 comfort stations centrally located that have restrooms, showers, & coin-laundry, WI-FI, and Cable TV, and an abundance of shade.   Each site can accommodate any size of large camping units. Tents are also welcome. Picnic tables & Fire pits are located at each site.  All sites have full hook ups with sewer, water, and electricity up to 50 amps.  You need to specify which type of site you want when you make reservations.  They have pull-through, back in, and buddy sites and all of them are nice.

There is also a campground country store for those essential items like marshmallows or pop-tarts ;-).    I remember walking down the steep sloping trail to the store and even the memory makes me sore.  It is pretty seriously down hill from the camp sites, and our (then) 6 year old daughter was having severe pain in her legs from walking down, and wanted “big strong” daddy to ride her piggy back  on the return uphill hike back to the site.   My calves are burning just thinking about it.

 


Grand Junction KOA – Grand Junction Co.

 All but one KOA that we have visited has been outstanding.   The one questionable one was probably not their fault, but the mosquitos were so thick you could not step outside without being eaten alive.

The Grand Junction KOA is especially fond in our memory because we made new friends there that by each of our daughter’s making instant friends during our short stay.  The girls became pen-pals and stayed in touch for years.    They were pulling a pop-up behind a Gold Wing Honda, and had a side car for extra passengers.   They had travelled from New Jersey to Arizona and were on their way back home as well.

All of the KOA locations had some offering of a meal as we checked in.  Some were crock pot soups, some were sandwich and “Sun Chips” but all were a pleasant and welcome treat after a long day of driving.  Remember we had two small kids cramped in the back seat of our extended cab Silverado truck.  All of the KOA locations had a pool, and most had a game room for the kids to burn off their excessive stored up energy.

Our son was the expert navigator, and keep in mind this was way before the days of GPS, and cell phones.   He was able to inform us how long to the next exit, and what was available nearby just from using what us old folks refer to as a “MAP”   and that is not an acronym for some type of electronic device.   It is real paper with real lines and words on it that explains how to get where you are going. :-)


East Oklahoma City KOA

Of all the KOA and State and National Parks on our first trip to California and back, we remember this one as being one of the nicest KOA campgrounds.

The hosts were especially helpful and friendly and they had crock pot soups and sandwiches for those of us who were exhausted and pulled in with no reservations.   They made us feel like they were there just waiting for us to pull in.

They were not only friendly, and fed us, but they also had one of the largest play ground areas for the kids, and the cleanest KOAs that we had stayed at.  They also have a pool, and fenced pet area to let your pets have some run and play time too.

They made us feel especially welcomed and for that I give them 2 thumbs up.


 

There are three campgrounds with hookups and bathhouses, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, pedal boats, canoes and aluminum fishing boat rentals (bring your own trolling motor and battery unless you want to move about under paddle power), bicycle rentals, horseback riding, and an 18-hole, par 72 golf course.

With so much to do, see and hear all year long it’s hard to imagine what more you could expect during the three-day Mountaineer Folk Festival being held Sept. 6-8.

- See more at: http://www.tnvacation.com/triptales/the-mountaineer-folk-festival-hits-falls-creek-falls/#sthash.qGNtN94J.dpuf

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