Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, December 7, 2019

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene and the staff of RVtravel.com

DISCLAIMER: Information is believed current at press time but conditions can change quickly. Check ahead online for dates, rates and rules, as well as a campground’s location. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: December 7, 2019

ALABAMA STATE PARK CELEBRATES BIRDS, BLOOMS
February 21-23 is Fins, Feathers and Flowers Weekend at Lakepoint Resort State Park, Eufaula, home of the Eufaula Wildlife Refuge and its rich population of bird life, flora and fauna. Don’t miss the city of Eufaula itself, where the history of American architecture is seen on street after street of homes including the historic Shorter Mansion. The park has 192 improved campsites, many now with 50-amp service, plus tennis courts, fishing, boating, a children’s playground and dining in the resort lodge. The weekend schedule features waterfowl programs and ranger-led groups exploring the park’s unique nature sites. Campground registration is now at the Marina Store.

ARIZONA STATE PARK HIGHLIGHTS NATIVE INSTRUMENTS
Lost Dutchman State Park, 40 miles east of Phoenix, presents a musical event featuring indigenous and modern instruments including wooden flutes, didgeridoo and guitar. Meet at Palo Verde starting at 6:30 p.m. on December 28  for the 1 1/2-hour program. The park has 138 campsites, 68 of them with 50/30/20-amp service and water. Non-hookup sites are on paved roads. There are no size restrictions and pets are permitted, but smoking outdoors is not allowed, whether or not fire restrictions are in effect.  A $6 non-refundable fee is charged for reservations at (877) MY-PARKS.

CALIFORNIA RV FESTIVAL RESERVATIONS GOING FAST
It’s time to make reservations for the star-studded Stagecoach Country Music Festival next April in Indio. A complex schedule of dates, rates, facilities for RVs, tickets and camping packages makes it a must to plan months ahead, especially if you want a time payment plan. Just a few of the stars in this extensive lineup are Pam Tillis, Chris Lane, Courtney Marie Andrews and Mitchell Tenpenny. Go to statecoachfestival.com.

FLORIDA RV SHOW TAKES STAGE FOR JANUARY
Overnight RV parking is available for $20 at the massive Tampa RV Show, scheduled for January 15-19 at the fairgrounds. Shoppers, dreamers, dealers and RV owners make this show a must-see annual ritual for the latest on RV gear, campgrounds, accessories, seminars and all things RV lifestyle.

LOUISIANA STATE PARK LOOSENS REQUIREMENTS
The three-night minimum stay in state parks in the Pelican State has been lifted. The minimum had applied to RV camping and cabin sites during the week. New rules go into effect December 9.

MICHIGAN CAMPING RESERVATIONS LIMITED
Channel Campground in Muskegon State Park won’t accept advance reservations for the 2020 season. Seasonal flooding makes access unpredictable. Get current information before making plans.

NORTH CAROLINA CAMPGROUND WINS REZONING CHANGE
Changes may be a while in coming, but fans of Lake James Family Campground near Morganton should keep current on new and improved features now that rezoning has been approved.

NORTH CAROLINA CAMPGROUND STAYS OPEN
Instead of observing its usual closing at this time, the Oregon Inlet Campground will stay open through the winter at North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore. All 120 campsites will be open, with water and electric hookup at 47 sites. One restroom will remain open. Site-specific reservations are now available at recreation.gov.

TEXAS CAMPGROUND NOW OPEN
The official website for the new St. Ives RV Resort in Alvin, Texas, is now up at stivesrvresort.com. The pet-friendly campground is open and reservations are now being taken. The tree-shaded getaway has 72 spacious, 80 x 40-foot back-in and pull-through sites. Visit the NASA Space Center, Houston Medical Center, and attractions in Galveston, and go fishing in Galveston Bay. Or, just kick back and enjoy nature. Like daily and weekly rates, these monthly rates include electricity.

WISCONSIN MAKES PLANS FOR BIG JULY FESTIVAL
The once-a-year music/camping/contest blowout known as the Hodag Country Festival is a summer favorite for Midwesterners. This year’s dates are July 9-12. Campgrounds open at 6 a.m. on July 4th. All campers must have a nine-day ticket in their possession to be admitted to the campgrounds. Camping is not allowed with daily tickets. Nine-day ticket holders can stay through the Festival for the same low fee. Reservations are being taken now. If you want the same site as last year, reserve by January 3. After that, sites will be reserved on a first-come basis. Camping reservations are by phone only at (800) 762-3803 or (715) 369-1300. For full information about the festival and its rules go to hodag.com.

Stay Tuned
• Changes are coming to Crystal Crane Hot Springs near Burns in southeast Oregon, including a name change to Crane Hot Springs. The resort plans a bigger shower house with more restrooms beside the main soaking pool. Come for the day and enjoy the hot springs.

• In British Columbia, there is a good chance that a thriving campground will be in place by next year in Sicamous, where Waterway Houseboats on Mara Lake is in receivership. The popular tourism site closed last June and local authorities want to keep tourists coming by turning it into a recreation area and campground.

• A trash-strewn site on the Knik River near Palmer, Alaska, is being cleaned up and developed as a private, supervised campground. It is near the Glenn Highway and adjoins the Public Use Area. This is a work in progress, so get current information.

• The Oaks RV Park and Campground in Andalusia, Alabama, will celebrate its grand opening December 13th and 14th. It will include 27 RV sites with hookups, 15 tent sites and bathhouses. Also on the property: a 10-acre fishing lake, dog park and children’s playground. A full-hookup site on a concrete pad will go for $45 a night (primitive sites are $15). Reservations: reservations@oaksfamilyrv.com .

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

• Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in Santa Claus, Indiana, is all lit up with the Santa Claus Land of Lights: Family Christmas Light Adventure. This driving journey, open now to December 30, is 1.2 miles long and is one of the largest holiday light shows in the U.S. They offer several RV sites including gravel sites to deluxe concrete pads and patios, and all sites include full hookups (water/sewer/electric). Check out Rudolph’s Family Christmas Package at lakerudolph.com.

A proposal to build an RV park, hotel and gas station near the northwest entrance to Zion National Park has been rejected by county commissioners who said the rural area wasn’t equipped to handle that kind of commercial development. A company called Juniper Investors was asking the commission to rezone land near the town of New Harmony off Interstate 15.

• A proposed campground, the Bluegrass Campground, in Georgetown, Kentucky, would include a 100-site RV park, a few cabins, and a playground. Neighbors are concerned about the impact on local traffic, although the local pizzeria, FatKats Pizza, would welcome the additional customers. The city planning commission will consider a revised proposal next month.

• The BATL (“Be About That Life”) Ranch RV Resort in Mount Calm, Texas, is now open. They state, “It is a place made for people to camp in the woods, but bring all their amenities from home and be able to use them. Like a state park, we have wild life, trails, trees, and ponds, all letting you get back to nature. Unlike state parks, we can accommodate RVs larger than 35 feet, have water, sewer and 50/30/20 amp spots and you can have a camp fire under normal conditions.” Learn more at batlranchrvresort.com.

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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