Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, December 12, 2020

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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 weather and 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 roads. 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 get reservations and to be aware of cancellation requirements. The 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 for details.

DATELINE: December 12, 2020

BRITISH COLUMBIA RV PARK TO BE REVITALIZED
In Kelowna, a massive new mixed-use development is being planned including a 1,000-unit RV park and 200 townhomes, some of them 14 stories high. The current Hiawatha RV Park is closed. It will be part of the transformation process. The master plan also calls for RV sites to be provided for low-income earners. (250) 861-4837

BRITISH COLUMBIA GROWS CAMPSITE FAMILY
Pacific Frontier Investments Inc. has purchased two new campground locations as part of its planned Pathfinder Camp Resorts, one in Agassiz/Harrison and another in Fort Langley, where the company already has a campground. The Pathfinder holiday parks will have RV sites with full hookups as well as cabins, swimming pool, children’s adventure camp, free Wi-Fi and a camp store. Before the end of 2021, Pathfinder hopes to open another, 150-site campground in Parksville, B.C.

CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUND IMPROVES FOR 2021
When the 300-site campground in 95-year-old Memorial Park in San Mateo County reopens next spring, improvements will include new restroom and shower buildings, resurfaced park roads, improved paths of travel, and accessible features that are ADA compliant. The water treatment plant was renovated in 2017. (650) 363-4000

FLORIDA STATE PARK SCHEDULES MANATEE FESTIVAL
If all goes well, the annual Manatee Festival will take place January 23-24 at Blue Spring State Park, Orange City. A major outdoor party and fundraiser for the park and its nature conservation projects, it’s a weekend of live music, Frisbee dogs, manatee viewing at the spring, children’s activities, arts, crafts, music and dancing. The park has 51 campsites with electric. A dump station is available, but facilities and possible closings depend on health concerns. The springs are closed to swimming during manatee time. Reservations (800) 326-3521.

FLORIDA CONCERT TO HAVE RV SITES
Coming to West Palm Beach on July 17, 2021, is a Doobie Brothers show with RV camping at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheater. RV sites are $53 and are being reserved now. This is the 50th anniversary tour featuring former frontman Michael McDonald. Concert tickets and RV tickets must be bought separately and rules apply for each, so start planning early. Tickets are available through sites such as StubHub and LiveNation.

FLORIDA’S NEW MEGA RESORT
The Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales opens officially on December 28. It’s a Sunlight Resorts community of 1,000 sites, some of them cottages and 400 are RV spaces. Some waterfront sites are available. A complete community with pizza and sandwich shop, tiki bar, convenience store, dog park, spa, pickleball, golf and 200 acres pf green space, the resort is close to all Central Florida theme parks and attractions.  See the website for rules which include specifics about RV condition and age and an added fee for pets. Contact sales@resortatcanopyoaks.com or (863) 213-0346

MINNESOTA PARK PLANS MAJOR WORKS
Chippewa Park in Brandon, a 35-acre government park, plans to spend $l million in a 30-year, two-phase improvement that is good news for RV travelers. In the first phase, taking place over 5 years, a dump station and 14 additional RV sites are on order. A storm shelter and restrooms with outdoor showers will be added. Also to be added are more hiking and ski trails, boat-in campsites and a bridge crossing the channel that connects the two lakes. Currently the park has 15 campsites and a double vault toilet. In Phase Two, continuing through the next 10 to 15 years, an RV restroom and shower building will be built plus more RV sites, a beach playground, and more boat-in sites. (320) 762-2966

NEW HAMPSHIRE CAMPGROUND HAS BIG PLANS
The new owner of Jericho Gateway Family Campground in Berlin plans to spend $5 million in a major update that will include adding hookups at RV sites, new cabins and additional tent sites. A venue for festivals and ATV shows will be added for the many ATV fans who frequent this 300-acre site for its direct access to miles of ATV trails. Until now the campground has offered only dry sites. (603) 848-0508

VERMONT PARK RELEASES WHITEWATER NEWS
Whitewater Weekend reservations are open now at Jamaica State Park, where a two- or three-night minimum and other rules apply during these special events. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically schedules water releases from the Ball Mountain Dam for recreational paddling on the West River twice a year. A truck shuttle operates a for-fee service on a two-mile stretch of the West River Trail within the park, which allows paddlers to maximize time on the most popular rapids. At this time the spring whitewater event is expected to be April 30–May 2, and the fall release September 24–26. The 41-site campground is typically open for these events. Reservations can be made by directly contacting the Reservation Call Center only (no online reservations for the special paddling weekends). Note that the Depot Street Bridge has a strict eight-ton limit. Be sure the total weight of your vehicle and RV does not exceed it. Stay updated and get campground information at vtstateparks.com (802) 874-4600.

WASHINGTON SCHEDULES ICONIC FESTIVAL
July 30–August 1 are the 2021 dates for the gigantic Watershed Music Festival held in George. Headliners have been announced as Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Lindsay Ell, Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett, followed by a long list of more music greats. Some camping packages are already sold out. A festival pass is required to enter the camping area. Prices and campsite sizes depend on the package you purchase. The Gorge Amphitheatre is an award-winning outdoor venue overlooking the Columbia River. Go to watershedfest.com.

Stay Tuned

In Delaware City, Delaware, a 422-site RV and cottage resort will be built adjoining the C&D and Delaware City canals. The Fort DuPont Campground Resort will also have a bathhouse but no other features have been announced. Stays on the site will be limited to 180 days. No opening date has been projected.

The Sky-Vu drive-in theater site in Idaho Falls, Idaho, will be transformed into an RV campground to open in 2021. It will have large, paved, pull-through sites, laundry, pickleball courts, bathhouses and a general store some time next year.

Read more of Janet Groene’s Campground Chatter new 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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Robert Jobson
1 month ago

really enjoy your article every Sunday