Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 14, 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 and a new administration may require additional shut-downs in 2021. Just before your trip get current information by phoning the campground. Don’t rely on websites or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open. Get specifics about rates, campground facilities, reservation policies, campsite specifications and the condition of access roads. 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 are still in flux not just because of COVID but because of wildfires, floods and other factors. Almost all parks require COVID measures, which vary. Check ahead. Read each campground’s COVID information. Masks and social distancing may be required. Because of distancing, fewer campsites are available so it’s more important than ever to get reservations and to be aware of cancellation options.

DATELINE: November 14, 2020

CALIFORNIA’S NEW PARK ONE YEAR CLOSER TO OPENING
The target date for opening Fort Ord Dunes State Park is 2022. The first new state park campground on the coast in 30 years, the campground will have four miles of ocean beach and three campgrounds. One with 45 RV sites will have electric and water hookups for large RVs. The traditional camping area will have 43 campsites and the walk-in, bike-in campground will have 10 campsites. This area will be accessible to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail. The interior road system is being improved and signage will be added to direct traffic.

FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL ON CALENDAR FOR 2021
Florida history lives year-round in the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs, where the 59-year-old Florida Folk Festival is scheduled for May 28-30, 2021. See and hear folk life in all its talents from dance and music to crafts. Attend workshops, performances, folk music jam sessions and talks. See the Seminole Village. Take children to the kids’ area to learn about folkways. Hear the banjo and fiddle contest. Shop the Marketplace. For information and advance tickets call (877) 635-3655. If camping reservations are sold out in the park, look for campgrounds within 30 minutes under listings for White Springs, Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper and Jennings.

IOWA CAMPGROUND HOSTS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL IN 2021
It will be the 40th Annual Backbone Bluegrass Festival in the Bluegrass Campground, Strawberry Point. The corn will be high as an elephant’s eye in time for your Iowa vacation. The family-friendly, kid-friendly festival in July features five shows, camping, music instructors for all ages, food vendors. Websites, details and lists of participating performers are still in the planning stages. Go to backbonebluegrass.com, or email backbonebluegrass@windstream.net. (563) 608-1056

MINNESOTA FESTIVAL EXPANDS RV SITES
Harmony Park Music Garden in Geneva has added more RV sites for next year’s Revival Festival. Scheduled for May 27-30, the festival will allow campers to enter on Thursday if they have a three-day pass. No in-and-out is permitted. All RV campers are required to have tickets to the festival. Harmony Park is a major events venue on the shores of Lake Geneva in an old growth Burr Oak Forest. The entertainment lineup has not yet been announced. The park has no hookups but there is a shower house, playground, firewood and ice for sale and a pub offering beer and liquor. Pets are not permitted at this event. Order tickets at revivalfestmn.com.  (507) 402-8733

MEET MISSOURI’S NEWEST STATE PARK
Echo Bluff State Park, Eminence, the state’s newest state park, is open all year with a luxury  lodge, cabins and the Timbuktu Campground with 62 full-service campsites. In season enjoy swimming, kayaking, tubing, fishing and canoeing. Hike, ride mountain bike trails and hope for a glimpse of the region’s famous wild horses. The Creekside Grill has a varied menu from pizza to steaks. (844) 322-3246

NEVADA SCHEDULES MAY EVENT WITH CAMPING
Camp EDC, the Electric Daisy Carnival, is a festival of arts activities, music, yoga, meditation, guest speakers and pool parties. It’s scheduled for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for May 20-24, 2021. No one without a festival pass will be permitted entry to the campgrounds. A camping pass does not grant entry into the gates of EDC. Power is available at 30 or 50 amps. Water and pump-out vouchers are for sale. Since last year more RV spaces have been added in an adjacent lot. It will have a chill zone, access to bathrooms and showers and a general store, but is farther from the Mesa. Campers in this area may want to bring bicycles. Click here for info. [Note: It appears this is already sold out, but you can join a wait list.]

NORTH CAROLINA LIGHT SHOW OPENS
RV campground guests at Tanglewood Farm in Clemmons, North Carolina, get free admission to the glittering Festival of Lights, which runs from 6 to 11 p.m., November 13 through January 1. Weekday hours may vary through the season. With reservations, horse-drawn carriage and tractor-pulled rides are also available. This is a drive-through exhibit. If you don’t have a tow car or dinghy, check ahead for options. The campground is said to close for the season by December 6. Confirm details at (336) 766-9540.

OHIO CAMPGROUND CLEANS UP
In Franklin Township, Morrow County, a massive cleanup is in process at the Hidden Lakes Campground, an old private development with many condemned sites filled with derelict buildings, abandoned RVs, trash, old tires and scrap metal. In 2012, 31 properties were condemned but little has been done until now. Property owners and local churches are helping and the county is providing dumpsters. The development was established in the 1960s with 1006 lots for sale. Now there are 940 lots. If you’re interested in helping with the cleanup or  purchasing a membership, get details at 419-946-7050.

TEXAS CAMPGROUND NEW IN EASTLAND
New earlier this year, Wandering Oaks RV Park offers a full-facility stay to RV travelers while they visit nearby Eastland. The city is the home of 12 restaurants, a motorcycle museum and shopping in the historic downtown. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, full hook-ups with 30/50 amp power, on-site managers, laundry and bathhouse in a 25-acre wildlife area with fenced dog parks, catch-and-release fishing, and hiking trails. It’s a Good Sam park offering daily, weekly and monthly rates. Monthly electric fees are based on actual charges by the utility company. (254) 433-9090

WEST VIRGINIA CAMPGROUND GETS UPGRADES
Known as a year-round destination for ATV, snowmobile and mountain bicycle adventures, the rugged 1,600-acre Ashland Scenic Campground in Northfork was awarded a $3.2 million loan for upgrades including additional camping, a wash station and new lodges. RV campers have full-hookups, a pet area, free cable TV and unlimited Wi-Fi. The Camp Store carries LP gas, RV supplies, firewood and other basics, while the Company Store, a mile away, carries heat-and-eat foods, tobacco and adult beverages. Campers have direct access to the Hatfield McCoy Trails. (681) 251-1118

Stay Tuned
• In California, the campground at Doheny State Beach will be closed for six months while a new sewer system is being installed.
• Due to an increase in the city’s minimum wage, charges and fees in Branson City Park in Missouri will go up, including a $3 to $5 rate increase in the RV park.

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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