Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, September 19, 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 covers timely 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: 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.

DATELINE: September 19, 2020

ARKANSAS FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
Work off all those pumpkin pie calories with the Gobble Grinder bike ride, a moderately difficult 12-mile, three-hour jaunt at Lake Fort Smith State Park, Mountainburg. The ride is on November 27. Make separate reservations early for the group event and for RV camping, which is available with full or partial hookups. (479) 369-2469.

CALIFORNIA DERELICT PARK TO BE BORN AGAIN
A ghostly relic of a waterpark that closed in 2004, then was vandalized and finally burned in 2018, the former Lake Dolores Waterpark in San Bernardino County will begin construction of an RV park next year. By 2023 it’s expected to have an all-new waterpark. Another 90,000 square feet will become office space, a library and amphitheater by 2024. The original parking lot will become an electrical grid to service the complex.

FLORIDA GEORGIA BORDER IS THE PLACE TO BE
Labor Day, 2021, will be celebrated with a kicky carnival on Saturday, August 31[sic] [Editor: We’re assuming they mean Sept. 4, but can’t find correct date on their website], at the Kingsland KOA north of Jacksonville, Florida, in St. Marys, Georgia. Be there for vendors, food trucks, live music and carnival games from noon to 8 p.m. and a glow pool party after that. This KOA is famous for its complimentary waffle breakfasts. Amenities include 50-amp power, tiki bar, general store, pizza, year-round swimming pool, dog park, mini-golf and other family resort fun. Reserve early, especially for holiday weekends, at koa.com.

ILLINOIS GAINS NEW CAMPGROUND
Hartford Five Diamonds Campground will open with 49 campsites on the Confluence Trail, next to the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower. Starting with 4.2 acres, owners have an option on an additional eight acres. The park will offer full hookups and a small convenience store. Owners operate Coleman Country Campers nearby and plan to cater to transient workers as well as leisure travelers. For now call the camper dealership at (618) 254-1180.

LOUISIANA COMBINES CYCLING, CAMPING, CAJUNS
Cycle Zydeco, starting March 14, 2021,  is a four-day casual touring bicycle ride in South Louisiana. The annual ride takes place the week after Easter and includes great Cajun food, live music, and the finest flat roads the Pelican State can offer. Cycle Zydeco is a festival on two wheels with four-wheel (and more) RV campers welcome. A variety of campsites are available from dry camping to water and electric hookups. Check it out at cyclezydeco.com

MAINE DOES BLUEGRASS
The Maine Bluegrass Festival at Thomas Point Beach Campground near Brunswick is a family reunion as well as a whale of a music concert. It’s scheduled for Labor Day weekend, 2021. Campsites are available with or without electric hookup. Call (207) 725-6009 to learn when tickets and camping reservations will be available.

NORTH DAKOTA SCHEDULES SCANDIMONIUM
Get your lutefisk recipe ready for Norsk Hostfest in Minot, scheduled for September 30 – October 2, 2021, and September 28 – October 1, 2022. The concert hall is a former hockey arena with 5,000 seats, all well positioned to enjoy music, dancing, a pageant and more. The cultural, food and song fest honors Sondre Norheim, known in Norway as the father of modern skiing. He emigrated to the United States in 1825. At this time parking for 1,000 rigs at the RV Hospitality Center on the festival grounds is priced at $25 nightly. Reserve early at (701) 852-2368 or at hostfest.com

OHIO COUNTRYFEST LOOKS AHEAD
Dates for Ohio’s own CountryFest in Fort Laramie are July 9, 10, 11, 2021, and  July 8, 9, 10, 2022. A-list performers take the stage and the big screens in an event that has been featured on TV. The family friendly music extravaganza is also a camping experience, with ticket holders allowed in-out entry between the concert and campground during the day, allowing campers to leave temporarily to tend to kids or pets.
A Camping Permit includes one Camping Unit Pass for a tent or RV, one Vehicle Pass, and two Campground Wristbands. Purchase up to 6 more Campground Wristbands at a nominal cost for a total of 8 people per campsite. Everyone in the campgrounds must also have both a Concert Entrance Wristband and a Campground Wristband. Mobile showers will be available for a fee. Water and electric are available but no dump station or sewer. See videos of past concerts at vimeo.com. Connect at (937) 295-3000.

RHODE ISLAND CAMPGROUND WILL BE STATE OWNED
Echo Lake Campground, Burrillville, has been family owned since the 1950s. Now closed for virus concerns, it has been purchased by the state. Expectations are that it will continue as a family campground, second in size to the family owned George Washington State Campground in Chepachet. Located on the west side of the lake, the campground has RV sites with electric and water. (401) 568-7109

VERMONT CAMPGROUND HAS NEW OWNERS, NEW PLANS
New owners of Pine Hollow Campground in Pownal plan to build a pavilion for events and a small game room, and will expand the camp store. The campground is pet- and big-rig friendly with full hook-ups, many pull-through campsites and free wi-fi. Under Vermont’s famous canopies of fall color there will be activities including a chili cook-off on October 10. Seasonal camp reservations are now being taken for next year. (802) 823-5569

Stay Tuned
East of Gainesville, Florida, Elite Resorts at Little Orange Lake plan a 2021 opening for a big-rig-friendly, 600-site, full-service resort on 200 acres. The lakefront resort will offer boating facilities, secure storage and a large clubhouse. (800) 356-2460; email : info@ liteResorts.com. Website: www.eliteresorts.com/littleorangelake/index.html

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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