Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, August 29, 2020

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

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for news for RV travelers. Information is believed current at press time but conditions change quickly. Check ahead by phone directly with the campground. Don’t rely on websites or Facebook. Get specifics about rates, campground facilities (full services and activities may not be open yet), reservation policies, campsite specifications and the condition of access roads including tolls. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

FULL ALERT: Schedules of openings, partial openings, re-closings and cancellations is still in flux and are fixed by state, county and city authorities. They may apply differently to private and public campgrounds and to residents versus non-residents of that state or county. Check ahead.

DATELINE: August 29, 2020

ARIZONA CAMPGROUND FLIES NEW FLAG
Formerly a KOA, Gila Bend Kampground is now (as of Sept. 1) the Sonoran Desert RV Park. The managers’ goal is to develop the 122-site park for snowbirds and overnighters.  Features include large, pull-through and back-in sites, four patio suites with private dog runs, a rec room, laundry with clothesline, petanque court, showers, horseshoe pit and putting green. An adjoining 20 acres will be developed as a seasonal park called Red Barn RV Park Gila Bend, debuting in 2022. Designed for the budget-minded, the new park will have full hookups but no additional frills. See SonoranDesertRVPark.com

BRITISH COLUMBIA HOPES FOR NEW CAMPGROUND
Tofino, the surfing capital of Canada (and some say all of North America), should have ten new campsites and a workshop ready by next spring. Phase two of the 13-acre project on Minato Road will see 80 campsites and a single home where the owners, Rick and Rebekka Lim, will live their retirement dream. A trail system and viewing platform are on the to-do list.

CALIFORNIA RV PARK TO EXPAND
The former Club Royal Oak RV Resort east of Kingsburg, now the Kings River RV Resort,  plans to add 94 new RV spaces to its present total of 85. The resort has a dog park, boat launch, laundry, a store and three camping “cabins” on wheels. Construction will be done this winter and reservations accepted after March 1. Choose from a variety of campsites, some pull-through, full hook-up and/or riverside. When water levels are high, fishing and boating are available. (559) 897-0351

FLORIDA MUSIC JAM POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING
The famous Suwannee Music Jam held each fall at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak has been rescheduled for April 28 – May 1 next year. If you have reservations for the 2020 September dates, apply now for a refund. It’s not too early to make reservations for the springtime event, which draws large crowds from all over the Southeast to camp, canoe the river and hear topmost country music stars. The year-round campground remains open for self-contained RV’s. (www.) Musicliveshere.com.

GEORGIA STATE PARK CALLS ALL VOLUNTEERS
Saturday, September 26, 2020, is Your State Parks Day at Victoria Bryant State Park,  – Royston. Enjoy a day of volunteering with the staff and “Friend’s of Victoria Bryant State Park” while working to beautify and manage the forest. A free hot dog lunch will be served. Sign up for this ahead of time to get details about times and what to bring at (706) 245-6270. Reserve one of the 28 campsites with electric. Some are pull-through, 30- to 50-feet long. One of North Georgia’s best-kept secrets, the park has fish ponds, hiking trails and a golf course. Playgrounds are open but the swimming pools are closed for now.

GEORGIA STATE PARK HAS SWEET NEWS
The yearly Sugar Cane Festival is scheduled for George L. Smith State Park, Twin City, on November 21. The park has a 412-acre lake stocked with bream and bass, 24 RV sites, a  playground and Wi-Fi. Boat and kayak rentals are suspended for now but campers may bring their own. Don’t forget to bring PFDs too. Pay $2 to attend the old-time festival to see cane grinding, hear country music, sample great festival food, shop for crafts and buy cane syrup to take home. Bring the family to tour the covered bridge and old grist mill. (478) 763-2759

LOUISIANA’S NEW CAMPGROUND TO HAVE LAZY RIVER
New and growing in Ponchatoula is the Fireside RV Resort with 162 full-hookup campsites, some double or triple. More amenities are a-building. Fish in the lake. Swim in the adult pool with its swim-up bar or splash around with the kids in the family pool. A lazy river will soon flow through the resort. Email info@firesidervresort.com

MONTANA’S NEWEST KOA IS NEAR HELENA
Halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, this KOA’s campsites are mostly pull-thru. Big rig RV travelers like its handy access to the interstate and a fuel station.  Formerly the Lincoln Road RV Park, the newly flagged park has campsites to 80 feet, 50-amp service, Wi-Fi at added cost, propane, laundry room, gift shop, a snack bar and a dog park.
(406) 458-3725

SOUTH DAKOTA WILL DO 54TH BUFFALO ROUNDUP
Watch cowpokes as they round up and drive the herd of approximately 1,400 buffalo in Custer State Park. Not only is the roundup a spectacular sight to see, it is also a critical management tool in maintaining a strong and healthy herd. The spectacle starts at 9:30 a.m. Mountain time on September 25 with parking lots open at 6:15 a.m. Arrive there early if you want to pick your spot. Guests must stay in the viewing areas until the herd is safely in the corrals, generally around noon. Breakfast is available at 6:15 a.m. in both viewing areas. Lunch is served at the corrals once the buffalo are rounded up. There is a fee for both. The park’s Arts Festival will be held throughout the event Friday through Sunday.
Testing, branding and sorting of the herd begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until approximately 3 p.m. Crews will work the remainder of the herd in October. Custer State Park covers 71,000 acres and has multiple campgrounds, so start planning ASAP.  (605) 255-4515

WYOMING COMPLEX CHANGES HANDS
The 170-unit Virginia Lodge in downtown Jackson and its adjoining 103-site RV park are being updated by new owners. The 13-acre site also has a conference center and a courtyard for programs and concerts. The Virginian RV Campground has use of the lodge’s hot tub, restaurant and swimming pool and its own showers,  laundry, saloon and liquor store. A shuttle bus takes residents to downtown attractions. At present reservations are suspended and will be open for the 2021 season after November 1. (307) 733-7189.

Stay Tuned
• An application for funding for a potential RV park on the Missouri River in St. Joseph, Missouri, has been approved, but some wrangling continues because of the history of regular flooding on the site. Proponents point out that RVs can evacuate for high water while other developments cannot.

• On the border of Georgia and South Carolina, The Campground on Lake Hartwell has been closed for more than 20 years but it’s about to get a new life. A U.S. Corps of Engineers project, it will get a floating water park and a 40-acre campground with a variety of campsites including RV sites.

• Expect a spiffy new look at Pere Marquette State Park in Illinois when the campground opens next year. It’s closed this year for a facelift.

• By the end of the year, 53 full-service campsites are expected to be open in Broussard, Louisiana. The park will be located just outside the entrance of the Broussard Sports Complex at St. Julien Park, intended to accommodate RV families who are  attending events there. It will have a laundry, bathhouse and Internet availability.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-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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Rick
1 month ago

On all of our trips out west (from Virginia to California, 5 times for 2-3 months each) the Virginia RV park in Jackson Hole was and still is the most expensive CG we have stayed at. Yes it’s in the middle of Jackson Hole but WOW is it expensive! $100+ dollars a night if you can get in.