Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 23, 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: November 23, 2019

ALABAMA STATE PARK PRESENTS COUNTRY MUSIC ICON
The immortal Lee Greenwood plays the Lodge at Lake Guntersville State Park on December 3. The 6,000-acre park, known for its eagle sightings, has 166 campsites with water and electric hookups.

ARIZONA KOA ADDS LONG LIST OF IMPROVEMENTS
The Willcox/Cochise KOA Holiday in Willcox has spent more than $1.5 million in recent improvements. That means that every campsite now has 30-/50-amp service, 48-channel cable TV, fiber-optic WiFi with 2G and 5G service, a new heated swimming pool, spa, ADA restrooms, a dog park and a restaurant serving breakfast and dinner October to May.

ARIZONA OVERFLOW AREA NOW A REAL CAMPGROUND
The addition of a shower house, dishwashing station and more parking has turned the 30,000-acre White Tank Mountain Regional Park near Phoenix into a real campground but primarily for tenters. Sites have a picnic table, 12 X 12-foot level pad and fire ring but no hookups. Reservations can be made starting November 30 for camping beginning December 1.

COLORADO CAMPGROUND ADDS 20 SITES
The Bank Campground, a BLM facility near Canon City famous for its rock climbing, attracted 50,000 climbers, hikers and recreationists in 2018. It now has 20 new campsites, two more vault toilets and a camp host.

GEORGIA STATE PARK RELIVES HISTORIC BATTLE
The siege of Fort McAllister, Richmond Hill near Savannah, was the last battle of General Sherman’s March to the Sea. See musket and cannon firings, skirmishes and drills all day, with the Final Assault at 5 p.m. Ticket sales end at 4:30. Admission is $9. The park has RV sites with water and electric hookup. Reserve the site of your choice. The December 14 event is the 155th year for this annual Winter Muster.

INDIANA CAMPGROUND GETS NEW LIFE
Formerly a KOA, the Terre Haute Campground and its 77 RV sites are getting a new look thanks to new owners. The campground has a seasonal swimming pool, go-cart track, petting zoo with two donkeys, basketball court and many other activities for all ages.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE PARK ADDS NEW RV SITES
Just in time for winter, Goose Creek State Park near Washington, Beaufort County, has added 21 RV sites and they’re handy to the heated shower house. The park, just off Pamlico Sound, offers eight miles of trails under live oaks and a wetlands environment rich in wildlife. Boat, fish, paddle or drive into nearby historic towns such as Bath and Beaufort.

SOUTH CAROLINA PARK WINS AWARD
Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach was named the Mega Park of the Year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. What is a mega park? ARVC’s yearly honors are given in four categories: Small, Medium, Large and Mega. With 1,300 full hookup sites on the ocean and lakefront, sunny or shady, and a long list of comforts including free WiFi and cable, this kid-friendly, pet-friendly resort won the judges’ votes.

SOUTH CAROLINA TRAVEL PLAZA FOR BIG RIGS
Enmarket Travel Plaza in Hardeeville has renovated and remodeled to expand diesel service and conveniences for truckers and RVers. The convenience store has a large selection of hot and cold grab-and-go foods including a soft-serve yogurt bar with toppings. There is a trucker’s lounge, showers, laundry and a resurfaced lot for overnight parking. Outside, the new travel plaza features nine diesel lanes.

TEXAS CAMPGROUND CLOSES FOR REPAIRS
Spring Creek Park in Tomball will be closed at least through the end of the year. Sewage and plumbing problems are being addressed and a new restroom and shower house will be added.

Stay Tuned
• Neighbors are opposing a campground plan but it’s still alive in Brown County, Minnesota. There is still a possibility that a seasonal campground will come to Clear Lake in Sigel Township.

• Fishhook Park on the Snake River at Prescott, Washington, won’t open in 2020, but that is good news for campers in 2021. All 41 campsites, the beach and campground will receive major upgrades from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

• In Brookings, Oregon, Beachfront RV Park is now on limited operations, with the main restroom not in operation, but upgrades are promised. It’s still in planning stages, but look ahead to a future when 163 campsites will be ready for prime time.

Gainesville, Florida, will gain a 600-site luxury RV resort covering 177 acres on Little Orange Lake. The first phase will open in 2021. The resort plans to add ziplines, a fishing pier,
boat launch and a waterfront gazebo.

• Expected to begin in 2020, historic Canoa Ranch in Arizona will offer a campground for the first time thanks to a $250,000 budget approval to start work on the first phase. Already a vibrant tourist attraction with tours and activities, the ranch is where early Spanish settlers stopped on their journey to San Francisco in 1775.

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly has promised better wireless internet access in the park without towers blocking the view to the park’s famous landscape. The park is seeking public comment on a proposal from a private company, AccessParks, to install up to 484 small (10 by 10 inch, or 7-inch diameter) antennas on employee housing and visitor lodging facilities at Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful. Several dozen other antennas of various sizes would also be required to link to internet providers outside the park without building additional towers. The deadline to comment on the proposal is Friday, Nov. 29. For more information and to comment click here. From powelltribune.com.

When northern campgrounds close for the season, some parks now host amazing Christmas light shows. Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort in Santa Claus, Indiana, has presented it’s annual Land of Lights display for 11 years, with 38,000 visitors in 2018. Jellystone Park in Caledonia, Wisconsin, and the Jellystone Park at Six Flags in Eureka, Missouri, also have Christmas light shows. Campgrounds are the perfect settings for these displays, since they have roads and electrical pedestals throughout, as well as trees and landscaping to enhance the displays. The light shows not only bring in income to the campground as well as the local region, they also raise money for local organizations such as Ronald McDonald House. Read more at Woodall’s Campground Management.

Plans are in the works for caring for and improving Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks for the next 25 years, including astronomical viewing sights, elevated cabins and food trucks. Also proposed for overnight stays are increasing pet-friendly campsites from the current 37 percent to 50 percent of all campsites; increasing full-service campsites with sewer, water and electrical hookups from the current 5 percent to 20 percent of all campsites; and increasing electric-only campsites from the current 47 percent to 50 percent of all campsites. Read more here.

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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