Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 28, 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, not just because of COVID but because of full and partial winter shut-downs. Just before your trip get current information by phoning the campground. Don’t rely solely on websites or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open and COVID restrictions vary. 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: Because of distancing, fewer campsites are available so it’s more important than ever to get reservations and to be aware of cancellation requirements/fees/penalties.

DATELINE: November 28, 2020

ARIZONA CAMPGROUND GETS NEW LOOK,  NEW OWNERS
Michael and Christi Hargis are among the new owners of Lakes at St. David RV Resort in St. David, where massive renovations are underway with hopes for an early 2021 opening date. The site was formerly a campground. It will have the same scenic setting but a fresh new look and infrastructure. A little bird told us that the Hargises are avid musicians, so don’t be surprised if informal jam sessions are on the activities list.

CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUND CHANGES OWNERS
Marina Dunes RV Park, Marina, has new owners but present plans call for operations to remain the same for now. The pet-friendly resort offers direct access to the beach, 96 sites,  full hookups, a playground, laundry, clubhouse, Wi-Fi, fitness center, store, showers and restrooms. (877) 570-2267

FLORIDA STATE PARK HAS HISTORIC FESTIVAL
This is the 14th year for the iconic Knapping Festival, a showing of primitive and Stone Age arts and skills held on the site of a pre-Columbian Indian mound. Ochlockonee River State Park, Tallahassee, is worth a visit any time to see rare nature sightings such as wild orchids, Cat-Faced Pines and red-cockaded woodpeckers. This event, February 26-28, is also a must-see for history students.
Human history here begins before European settlement with a midden mound and extends through the “pine stores” era. See the remains of an old turpentine operation. Restore your inner cave man by participating in flint knapping, the art of projectile point fashioning, deer hide tanning and bone, wood and antler carving.

IOWA COMMUNITY LOVES CAMPERS
Quarry Springs is making plans for a county RV campground with 30 gravel sites, electric and lighting at each site, online reservations, a resident caretaker, a restroom/shower facility and a storm shelter. It will be open only in season. A dump station may be included. Get updated information from (515) 478-6272.

MINNESOTA STATE PARK BEGINS UPGRADES
The work done at Whitewater State Park this summer is the start of an ongoing $3.8 million redesign. This year’s changes at the campground, located between Winona and Rochester, included an accessible shower building with a solar thermal hot water, four accessible vault toilets, additional campsites and improved roads for larger RVs, upgraded electric in the Upper Cedar loops, improved storm water drainage, a new septic system, more tree and shrub plantings, and road pavings. Visit here for more info.

NEW YORK WINE FESTIVAL HAS CAMPING
Celebrate the red, white and blue – especially the reds and whites – at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, to be held July 9-11, 2021, in Watkins Glen. Camp in Pit Row at the famous race course with a reserved 20’x40’ paved site, 50-amp power and shared water. The package includes two motorized vehicle passes. Festival tickets are separate. Make reservations ASAP. Click here.

OREGON CAMPGROUND TO GET NEW SHOWERS
In Brookings, the year-round Beachfront RV Park had to close its flood-prone restrooms and showers two years ago. Now a plan is in place to relocate them to higher ground. The scenic  park, presently open to self-contained RVs only, offers beachfront pull-through campsites, back-in sites with full hookups, sites with partial hookups and dry camping. Full hookups include cable and Wi-Fi as a courtesy, but they aren’t guaranteed. Check ahead for information on when new facilities will be available. (541) 469-5867

NEW TEXAS CAMPGROUND OPENS FEBRUARY 2021
Redbud Ranch RV Resort, to open in Hutto (near Austin) on February 1, will have 147 RV sites and a choice of back-in, pull-through or buddy sites, all with concrete slabs, fire ring with grill, picnic table and private patio. Activities include swimming in the big pool, fly fishing in the creeks, walking the dog in the dog park, playing with your little ones in the “playscape” and staying in touch with your work in the business center. (512) 265-8000

TEXAS PARK NEW IN CANYON LAKE
One of the newest communities in the New Braunfels – San Antonio area, Casitas Del Lago has modern amenities and is close to shopping and restaurants. A gated community with homes for lease, it has concrete RV pads with full hook-ups. (830) 837-2834.

VERMONT CAMPGROUND HAS NEW OWNERS
Still family owned, the 18-acre White Caps Campground on Lake Willoughby has a new family at the helm. Long-time regular campers here look forward to a continuation of the same family outdoor experience the place is known for. RV travelers have a choice of full or partial campsites and activities such as mountain biking, kayak and canoe rentals, and a lively café with a general store. (802) 467-3345

Stay Tuned

• In Great Basin National Park in Nevada, Wheeler Peak Campground and Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive will be closed through next summer. The park’s other campgrounds are open.

• Hats off to the Iowa DNR, which has one of the best websites in the U.S. for campground and state park updates. Check it often for frequent updates including news of the state’s many brief, temporary park closures for deer hunting.

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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