Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, September 12, 2020

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for news for RV travelers. Information is believed current at press time but conditions are still changing quickly. Check ahead by phone directly with 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 including tolls. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

FULL ALERT: The schedules of openings, partial openings, re-closings and cancellations are still in flux and are fixed by state, county and city authorities. They may apply differently to private and public campgrounds and to residents versus non-residents of that state or county. Check ahead for details.

DATELINE: September 12, 2020

ARIZONA FLOATS ANNUAL RIVER TRIP
It’s a 40+ year tradition to have a group float down the Parker Strip on the Colorado River from Buckskin Mountain State Park to La Paz County Park. It’s scheduled for June 12, 2021. RV sites at Buckskin Mountain have water and 30-amp electric hookups. Cost for the float is $25 per person. Camping is extra. Call the campground reservations desk at 1-877-MY PARKS (697-2757). Ask how to get separate reservations for the float.

ARKANSAS STATE PARK CELEBRATES SUNRISE
See Sunrise on the Summit in a special event on November 7 at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, Roland. Make the climb with a park interpreter to marvel at the 360-degree view of the Arkansas River Valley at sunrise. Call (501) 868-5806.

CALIFORNIA RESORT AREA CLAWING BACK
After suffering devastating snow damage over several years followed by several years of close-down, Saddlebag Lake Resort and Tioga Pass Resort in Inyo National Forest are gradually reopening services and facilities. The campground can accommodate smaller RV rigs on a first-come basis. No hookups are here but potable water and toilets are on the premises and sites have picnic tables. At an altitude of 10,000 feet, the resort area offers spectacular lake and mountain scenery, hiking, fishing and the High Sierra Fishing Slam – that is, you might catch four types of trout on the same day. For information call a park ranger at (760) 876-6219.

FLORIDA STATE PARK HAS FULL MOON HIKES
They call them Almost a Full Moon Night Hikes at Myakka River State Park near Sarasota. The moon will be bright on November 27, 28 and 29, and the fall weather perfect for hiking a five-mile loop trail through some of the state’s most diverse wilderness. Advance sign-up is a must and a separate $10 fee is charged for the event. An email ticket will be sent in advance. Three camping areas are suitable for RVs. Don’t miss the tree-top boardwalk. Contact hikeitflorida.com about the hike. For camping reservations go to https://floridastateparks.reserveamerica.com/

FLORIDA RV SUPERSHOW OFFERS SUPER CAMPING
It’s already time to plan for the Florida RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on January 13-17. See the latest RVs, gear and services. Talk to RV experts. Attend seminars. Meet other RV groupies. Inquire about RV camping in the enormous camping area at (813) 621-7821.

ILLINOIS HAS 35 NEW RV CAMPSITES
Just opened in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, Illinois City, is Deer Haven, a full-service campground with large 35 pull-through sites. Built on the site of the preserve’s former picnic area, it’s the first new camping area in Loud Thunder in decades. For now only online reservations are available here.

IOWA CAMPGROUND UPGRADES AND GOES YEAR-ROUND
Marble Beach State Recreation Area north of Spirit Lake has downsized and upgraded. It’s the site of the largest campground in the Iowa Great Lakes, offering a long list of activities including watersports, hunting, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. The original 223 campsites have been pared to 122 for better spacing. RV travelers now find 50-amp hookups and modernized restrooms. The call center for Iowa State Parks is (877) 427-2757.

MICHIGAN CAMPGROUND BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE
Antrim Meadows Campground in Mancelona, 75 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge,   reopened in July after sitting empty for four years. There are 25 campsites with water and electric hookups, and the new owners plan to add two rental cabins on the property. (231) 916-2493

OHIO CAMPGROUND NOW HAS LIVE CAM
Watch the park’s famous ospreys without disturbing them thanks to the new live cam at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, Perrysville. Upgrades continue at the park, which has 400 campsites, some with full hook-ups and 50-amp power. Rent a kayak and paddle the Hidden History Water Trail or bring your horse to enjoy one of the 50 equestrian campgrounds and miles of riding trails. (419) 938-7884

OKLAHOMA CALF FRY SLATED FOR 2021
Tickets and wristbands are needed for both the festival and camping at next year’s Calf Fry, the largest annual outdoor 3-Day Red Dirt/Country Music Festival in Oklahoma. Held in Stillwater at the Tumbleweed Amphitheater, the 2021 concert dates and information are available only by logging in at calffry.com .

Stay Tuned
• It’s approved and soon to be a reality. A new, nine-site campground with bathhouse at Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine, will be build on the site where Percy’s General Store once stood. Sites will have water, electricity, sewer and a fire pit. The facility will also have a two-story bathhouse for guests.
• In Wyoming, the new 78-space Buffalo Bluff RV Park is being built on 13.42 acres recently annexed by the City of Cody. It’s expected to have full hookups and paved pads.

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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