Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, April 4, 2020

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: Information is believed current at press time but conditions can change quickly. Check ahead for specifics about dates, rates and rules, as well as a campground’s location, site sizes and conditions, reservation policies and road conditions in the area. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: April 4, 2020

FULL ALERT: These days we are seeing many news postings about “RV parking.” Look further. This may mean day parking only or temporary dry overnight camping in a public parking lot for the homeless. We are also noting an uptick in cancellations for many springtime events but RV reservations for some late summer and later events already have a waiting list.

ARKANSAS TO SEE OCTOBER HARVEST MOON
RV reservations and tickets are already on sale for the Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival in historic Eureka Springs, to be held October 8-11. More than a blockbuster music festival, it’s a coming-together for excursions, workshops and the arts. Tickets are limited to 3,000, so get current updates at (888) 762-7158 or hillberryfestival.com

ESCAPEES PARKS REMAIN OPEN
This column usually doesn’t cover members-only news but the latest news from Escapees is one more reason to join this organization. In the belief that fulltimers require full-time campground access, the group’s parks remain open to members (not to non-members). Some facilities are closed and group events curtailed, but they are assuring that members have a place to go. See escapees.com.

IOWA CAMPGROUND OPENS
The Ottumwa Park Campground is scrubbed, sanitized and open for the season on a first-come, first-served basis. RV sites with water and electricity are $18 nightly. Tent sites are $15. Group activities may be canceled or rescheduled. (641) 682-8208.

IOWA CAMP-OUT COMPLETE WITH MUSIC
Discover America’s hinterland in the heart of the Midwest at the Hinterland Music Festival in St. Charles July 31-August 2. Headliners start with Of Monsters and Men and a list of stars on Friday. Then music plays all day Saturday and the festival ends Sunday with rousing performances by Leon Bridges, Weyes Blood, Hamilton Leithauser and many more. RV camping with or without power, including three-day music tickets, is $550 and $350.  Children under age 12 are admitted with a paying adult and there’s a Hinterkids Tent for playtime and nursing mothers. Get the whole story and updates as they become available at hinterlandiowa.com.
While in Madison County discover the famous covered bridges (from the movie), the John Wayne Museum and the quilt museum.

KENTUCKY CAMPGROUND STILL IN THE SADDLE
This statement is from the Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington. It’s a veritable theme park of camping, horses, equine activity and bluegrass wonders. They emphasize the importance of making reservations now for future blockbuster events (such as the Breyerfest this summer) so you don’t miss out when things open up again.
“The Kentucky Horse Park Campground remains open. The campground store is closed but will be available to take calls 8 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. (859-259-4257, option 2) Campers can go directly to their sites and will be checked in automatically, they will not need to check in at the store. We understand that many plans have been changed due to an event being canceled/postponed. Campers can transfer their reservation by logging into their account at ReserveAmerica.com. If you are unable to transfer and need to cancel, the $10 cancellation fee and first-night stay fee (if applicable) will be waived. If you previously canceled your stay this month, you will automatically receive a refund.”

MAINE NIGHT SKY FESTIVAL FOR FALL
Say goodbye summer, hello autumn at the annual Night Sky Festival in Acadia National Park. Dates are September 16-20 for days of workshops and hands-on experiences for star gazers from expert astronomers to newbies. Now is the time to research and reserve for RV camping. Get the official story and stay current on updates at the official site, nps.gov, or at acadianightskyfestival.org.

MISSOURI FAIRGROUNDS CAMPER FRIENDLY
When RV travelers attend the Missouri State Fair (August 13-23) they’ll find a whizbang midway, blue ribbon displays, food, music, games and 170 RV sites with full hookups. Some sections have 50-amp service. The 60-acre campground has three dump stations, restrooms, showers and free wi-fi. 800-422-FAIR (3247) or mystatefair (at) mda.

OHIO ATTRACTION REBORN AS CAMPGROUND
The 10-acre site that was once the Prehistoric Forest attraction in Marblehead is being transformed into a family campground with 108 campsites, some with pad and some on gravel. People who remember it as a tourist attraction will be happy to hear that the former Prehistoric Forest gift shop will again sell Blue Bunny ice cream as well as camping supplies and pizza. The old waterfall will flow again, the mountain will remain and, while the dinosaurs have been sold, two dinosaur heads were kept on site for selfies. For information on an opening date call (419) 967-0418.

SOUTH DAKOTA OFFERS PUDDLE OF MUDD
“Dry” camping may not be the right word at the unimproved Buffalo Chip Campground for the Puddle of Mudd rock/grunge concert on August 7. RV site reservations must include ticket(s) to the entertainment and activities center. Note that pets aren’t permitted in the campground, so look into the kennel that will be available. The concert is just one of the events during the nine-day, five-stage Buffalo Chip Rally in August. Get details as they develop at buffalochip.com.

WISCONSIN REVS UP ROAD AMERICA
Schedules for a busy summer season will be revised as needed but that doesn’t mean that Road America in Elkhart Lake is not gearing up for a rip-roaring season of family camping, activities and racing on the historic track. Go to roadamerica.com to see schedules and get tickets including camping packages. Then, stay on top of updates as necessary.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new book, “March Malice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

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