The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.
DISCLAIMER: These news items are believed current at press time but conditions are still changing quickly, not just because of COVID but because of other factors such as highway conditions. Just before your trip get current information by phoning the campground. Don’t rely solely on websites or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open and COVID restrictions vary. Get specifics about rates, campground facilities, reservation policies, campsite size and shape and the condition of access routes. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.
FULL ALERT: Because of distancing, fewer campsites are available so it’s more important than ever to have reservations and to be aware of cancellation requirements and current campground rules.
DATELINE: January 2, 2021
ALABAMA STATE PARK GETS NEW LOOK
Closed since November, the Lake Shelby area at one of Alabama’s favorite state parks will reopen by summer 2021 with improvements galore. The draw at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, is its miles of sugar-bowl, white sand beaches plus a stately lodge. Add to that improvements in the campgrounds, a new crossover to the beach, improvements to the Beach Pavilion, new trails, a modern playground with three areas for different ages, separate dog parks for large and small dogs and a BikeShare station. The park also offers RV storage for $50 monthly. General park information: (251) 948-7275
COLORADO CAMPGROUND REOPENED, RENEWED
The San Juan National Forest’s Dolores Ranger District reopened the House Creek Campground in July after major improvements including 50-amp service at 12 campsites. Water service is now found at all campsites. Twelve sites can be reserved. No showers or firewood are provided. The campground is open all year but services are limited in September and October and closed November until May. The four-lane boat ramp is open Friday through Monday. Reservations: (877) 444-6777
DELAWARE STATE PARK SINGS SWAN SONG
Limited camping is available in winter at Trap Pond State Park, Laurel, where hundreds of Tundra Swans arrive in January and February. Resting from their breeding season in the Arctic, they feed on local fields. Be there early morning and evening to see the awesome sight of their flights. Named by a national magazine as the most scenic campground in Delaware, Trap Pond offers 142 campsites, most of them with electric and water. Camp in a primeval wetlands wilderness under towering loblolly pines. Go to ReserveAmerica.com to reserve an RV site up to one year ahead.
FLORIDA CAMPERS SING THE BLUES
Camping with the Blues is a three-day, rain-or-shine musical weekend for all ages, all campers in Brooksville. The Second Annual Blues Bash at the Sertoma Youth Ranch is scheduled for March 19-21 and tickets are going fast. An open air covered seating area and stage are the setting for act after musical act. There’s also a dance floor and food, drinks and merchandise for sale. No refunds or rollovers. For information on tickets and camping packages call (941) 758-7585.
FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL SCHEDULED FOR 2021
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs, holds one of the state’s most important folk festivals on May 28-30. The 69-year-old festival features 300 performances plus demonstrations of authentic folk arts, vendors and food. Hear the banjo contest. See luthiers at work. Visit the Seminole Camp. Join jam sessions and workshops. RV camping is available with hookups. (800) 326-3521.
GEORGIA HAS A VALENTINE FOR YOU
Tell your lover to take a hike on February 13 and 14 at Panola Mountain State Park, where hikes require a ranger to take you to the dramatic granite outcropping that is this geological showplace. Only six couples can be accommodated for each hike. Cost is $20 plus $5 parking. Call to reserve your spot at (770) 389-7801. The park has only a few campsites and they have no hookups. Check out nearby state parks including High Falls State Park, Indian Springs State Park and Stone Mountain Park as well as private parks.
MISSOURI STATE PARK CELEBRATES BISON-TENNIAL
When spring comes to Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, nature comes back to life. Bring your camera for two-mile hikes in search of the park’s grazing bison herds. Along the way see flora and fauna – spring wildflowers galore and both native and migrating birds. Hikes are limited to 25 persons. Bring water, a snack, sunscreen, suitable clothing and sturdy shoes. Campsites are basic and limited, so RV campers may want to overnight at nearby parks. (417) 843-6711 to register.
OHIO LOST LANDS FESTIVAL IS ON FOR 2021
One of the highlights of the Midwest’s late summer season is the Lost Lands Festival in Legend Valley, Thornville, scheduled in 2021 for September 24-26. It’s time to get updates, tickets and camping reservations. Go here to sign up for updates as the 2021 lineup of music acts becomes available.
OKLAHOMA TO HAVE RENAISSANCE FEST
Mark your calendar to time-travel to Scotland in the year 1540, also known as March 20-21, 2021. The Queensferry Renaissance Festival at the Park Hills Hotel & RV Park, Vinita, will prepare for the arrival of King James V for a Renaissance Festival overseen by the Queen Mother, Margaret Tudor. Shop for medieval wares, see artisans and jesters, hear music, see dancers. A special section of the fair provides fun for kids. RV sites have 30/50-amp power and are available by the night, week or month. (918) 639-3255
SOUTH DAKOTA GEARS UP FOR STURGIS RALLY
Some RV camping areas are already sold out at the Pappy Hoel Campground in Vale for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. Some new areas have full hookups and more than a dozen packages are available depending on the site, facilities and length of stay. Official dates are August 6-15, but the motorcycle fun spills over into the entire summer. (605) 499-8170 or email pappyhoelcampground@
Read more of Janet Groene’s Campground and RV Park News and updates here.
Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her new Farley Halladay book, “May Misfire, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.
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