Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 16, 2019


The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene and, occasionally, the staff of

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: November 16, 2019

Near The Villages, Sunkissed Village RV Resort adds 267 sites to the inventory of places for Florida RVers. Open to overnighters as well as park models, the resort offers full hookups plus a fitness center, restrooms, showers, pickleball, a dog park with dog washing station and hot water, a clubhouse, planned activities, swimming pool and grill area.

Pay only $2 on November 22 for a hayride and s’mores at Laura Walker State Park, Waycross. Meet at the campground picnic shelter at 6:30 p.m. Located on Laura Walker Lake, the park has 44 RV sites, a dog park, playground, boat ramp, WiFi and a wildlife observation boardwalk. The park is a good place to stay while you make day trips to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

At Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill, you’ll find 50 campsites. Reserve by site because some water and electric hookups requite long umbilicals. Plan now to be there for Winter Adventure Weekend, January 23-26. Spend the time hiking, canoeing, touring caves, kayaking, rappelling and learning winter survival with guides. Choose from a list of options at various skill levels from beginner to advanced.

The Michigan DNR will offer free campsites next summer, April through October, in exchange for help with hosting campers and light maintenance. Applicants must be 18 or over, pass a background check, provide their own camping gear and food, and work 30 hours, five days a week including holidays and weekends. Familiarity with the area is a plus. Apply by mail, then be available for an interview. More info here.

Camp on cold winter days yet get a hot mineral soak at Belknap Hot Springs, McKenzie Bridge. It’s on the McKenzie River and has 56 full-hookup RV sites accommodating rigs up to 50 feet. Additional RV sites are at a sister property, Camp Yale. The campground offers showers and a laundry.

Paris Mountain State Park has fascinating history worth a special trip, and November 23 is the date. In the 1 1/2-hour interpretive Walk Through History, see why this has been a landmark since the earliest settlers. The mountain is a monadnock, or a mountain rising from an otherwise level land. See a colonial era burial ground, learn about the lavish hotel once found here and see quaint buildings erected in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park has 39 RV sites.

Enmarket Travel Plaza in Hardeeville has renovated and remodeled to expand diesel service and add conveniences for truckers and RV overnighters. The store has a large selection of hot and cold grab-and-go foods and a frozen yogurt bar with nine flavors and 24 toppings. There is a trucker’s lounge, showers, laundry and a resurfaced lot for overnight parking.

Bring the family for a Texas-size Christmas in the Park in Atlanta, Texas, on December 13-14. The event is free but donations are appreciated for a party that includes lights, cocoa and cookies. Atlanta State Park has RV sites with full hook-ups. Decorate your own camper, then drive through the lighted park from dark until 9 p.m. to see the light show. Cookies and cocoa will be served by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch and Smokey the Bear.

Granite Lake RV Resort in Clarkston has been added to the Premier RV Resorts family.
The big-rig friendly resort has 20/50/50 amp service, long pull-through sites, a big clubhouse, laundry and off-leash dog park. Come here for the salmon fishing, big-box shopping within walking distance, concierge service, free WiFi and year-round camping.

Stay Tuned
Page Lake Powell Campground in Page, Arizona,
has broken ground for 47 new campsites, expected to be ready by April 2020. The campground was turning away as many as 94 reservations a day, so reservations may still be difficult to get.

Camping prices are going up on January 1 in South Dakota. Prime campsites will cost $26, preferred campsites $23, and “modern” campsites $20. Daily state park passes will be $8, annual passes $36.

Radius Chicago is an enormous new concert venue to open in 2020 in a former steel plant in the Windy City’s East Pilsen neighborhood. They promise ample parking for RVs but no further details yet on overnighting during concerts, tailgating and fees.

A new 170-site campground will open at a yet-unannounced date at the LEX Lindsay Fairgrounds on the Scugog River in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. Replacing the present informal dry camping sites will be 100 serviced RV sites plus tent sites and cabins for winter camping. It’s proposed that RV camping will be allowed only during events.


There’s an open house today,  November 17, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the new Willow Campground area at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Maricopa County near Phoenix, Arizona. Improvements made to the area include the addition of four new vehicle pull-through and five new vehicle back-in campsites, in addition to a new shower house, trailer turn-around area, additional parking and more. Also on November 17 is National Take A Hike Day, a free day-use entry day into the park.

The Beachfront RV Park in Brookings, Oregon, may soon see some upgrades if the Curry County Parks Department takes over operations from the Port of Brookings. The park is located at Sporthaven Beach, one of the only RV camping sites directly located on an ocean beach in Oregon. The county would bring in funds to return the park, with 163 total campsites, to full operations and to increase the capacity of the park through other upgrades, including increasing 30-amp sites to 50 amps and rebuilding the restroom.

A proposed seasonal RV park with room for 71 RVs on 14 acres in Seeley Lake, Montana, has met with skepticism from local residents at a recent community council meeting. The developer, Brandon Grosvenor, feels the park would have major economic benefits for the region, but residents feel that it would take away their recreational space, lower property values, and increase traffic issues. Now that the local residents have expressed their opinions, the permit application process can begin.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Her brand-new book, “March Malice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

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