Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, February 15, 2020

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

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: February 15, 2020

ARKANSAS STATE PARK TEACHES BIRDING
They call it a Beginner’s Bird Hike, but birders of all skill levels are welcome on a ranger-led hike on March 9 to view the avian action and spring wildflowers at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Bismarck. The area is known for its bald eagles. Take the hike, then book an eagle watch nature cruise on the lake. The  park has 113 campsites with water and electric.

CALIFORNIA FIRE DAMAGE STILL CAUSES CLOSURES
While some campgrounds in Mendocino National Forest have reopened since the Ranch Fire, closings continue to be announced, with some closures to continue through 2020. Get current local information from each ranger district.

FLORIDA PANHANDLE MAKES COMEBACK
Mexico Beach was nearly wiped off the map by Hurricane Michael. Now the famous El Governor Motel and its adjacent campground are due to reopen, perhaps as early as this summer. The original 66 campsites are being replaced, generally with the original footprint. The campground will also have a new bathhouse, laundry and office.

TAKE A GEORGIA OWL PROWL NIGHT HIKE
Hike a nature trail at Mistletoe State Park, Appling, at night in hopes of spotting one of the many owls that populate the park. Meet at the park office at 7:30 for the ranger-led prowl, which ends at 9 p.m. Sign up early. Participation is limited to 50 people. Phone number for the event (not camping) is (706) 541-0321. Known for its bass fishing, the park has 93 RV sites.

INDIANA DUNES BUS TOUR FREE
Free, ranger-led, two-hour, heated bus tours of Indiana Dunes National Park are offered regularly from the Visitor Center. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call (219) 395-1883. Camping is at Indiana Dunes State Park, which has 193 sites with electric plus shower rooms, dump station and a long list of park amenities. Reserve with reserveamerica.com.

NEVADA STATE PARK SEES STARS
Washoe Lake State Park north of Carson City plans a star gazing party for June 20 from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Hosted by the Northern Nevada Astronomy Group, the evening will begin with a slide presentation until it’s dark enough for telescopes, which will be available. Bring a red light if possible and a lawn chair and meet at the Maze Parking Lot. The park has 49 first-come campsites with picnic table and fire ring. Some have electric and water hookups. The park has a dump station and boat launch, and the lake is a fishing hotspot.

NORTH CAROLINA CONCERT AND ‘QUE
The Duplin Blue, Brew & ‘Que Festival on March 28 offers dry camping for $10 and a day of family fun, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hear bluegrass music, eat at the barbecue cook-off, try wines from local wineries (ages 21 and over) and shop the concessions. Artists performing will include The Cleverlys, Tim White and Troublesome Hollow, Abby the Spoon Lady, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Kyle Petty, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, and Cumberland County Line Bluegrass. It’s at the Duplin County Events Center, Kenansville.

TEXAS CAMPING WITH EXTREME TRAIL RIDING
What is Extreme Trail Riding? See horses and their riders meet various challenges at the BBQ Cook-Off and Extreme Trail Horse Event at the Alamo River RV Ranch in San Antonio on February 23. The campground offers RV and equestrian campsites, a camp store, canoeing and kayaking, a dog run and fishing in the Medina River. Ask about their military discounts.

WEST VIRGINIA DOMEFEST WELCOMES RVS
The music festival with a view meets May 14-16 at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown. Domefest features mountain arts and crafts workshops, acroyoga, hooping, music, dancing and good fellowship. Two sets of RV passes are available. Hear music genres from jazz to rock, funk and electronica.

WYOMING HAS FUN ON ICE
Here’s your chance to see motorcycle ice races. Daredevils race on two wheels, kids race on four. Boysen State Park, Shoshoni (ENE of Casper), offers year-round RV camping but check ahead to see what facilities are available in winter. The races are held throughout the winter on selected dates. The park covers more than 35,000 acres at the south end of the Owl Creek Mountains at the mouth of the Wind River Canyon.

Stay Tuned
• The city-owned campground in Hancock, Michigan, is gaining ADA-compliant restrooms and playground improvements. Work will begin this summer to be completed by May 2021.

• Gammy Woods Family Campground in Weidman, Michigan, is reportedly closing for 2020. Storage spaces are available and event schedules are announced on the website. Call (989) 506-8005 for details and updates.

• Wildwood Park, a new county park being built two miles southwest of Garden City, Kansas, will have 10 RV campsites in addition to fishing and a wide variety of recreation facilities. A completion date hasn’t been announced.

• No reopening date has been targeted yet for Chehalis River Campground, a year-round campground in British Columbia. Early this month, floods heavily damaged Harrison Mills, the District of Kent, Harrison Hot Springs and beyond.

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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