Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, October 4, 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: October 4, 2019

CALIFORNIA DEVELOPMENT TO WELCOME RVERS
The master plan for the massive Chula Vista Bayfront includes 247 RV sites. Although an opening date for camping hasn’t been announced, groundbreaking was done and the Costa Vista RV Resort and the Sweetwater Path will be the first projects completed in the 535-acre tourist attraction. Eventually the site will have picnic areas, a swimming pool, hiking and biking paths and a gym. The completion date goal is summer, 2020.

CALIFORNIA CAMPS TO LIMIT STAYS
New camping limits in Mendocino National Forest now mean stays of no more than 14 days within any 30-day period, with no more than 28 cumulative days in any 12-month period in a developed recreation campground. In dispersed recreation areas, visitors may camp in the same location outside a one-mile radius of a developed recreation site for 14 days within any 30-day period but no more than 28 cumulative days in any 12-month period.

GEORGIA’S MOUNTAINS HAVE NEW CAMPGROUND
Northeast Georgia welcomed a new campground this summer when the Willow Valley RV Park opened 58 full-hookup sites with 30- and 50-amp service. The year-round park near Dillard has a laundry, dog park, swimming pool and spacious clubhouse with kitchen and  planned activities. Located in Chattahoochee National Forest, the park is near whitewater rafting, wineries, scenic waterfalls, hiking and other outdoor attractions.

LOUISIANA FESTIVAL HALTS RV CAMPING
Long an RV camping tradition, the Black Pot Festival at Vermilion Historic Village in Lafayette won’t be accommodating RV campers this year. Walk-in tent camping, no cars, will be allowed in the baseball field. RV camping is, however, allowed at the week-long Black Pot Camp preceding the festival. Organizers are arranging shuttle bus service for RVers who stay in nearby campgrounds. Come to the camp for workshops, jam sessions, barn dances, cookouts and more down-home Cajun activities. The annual music festival and cook-off features cooking contests in categories including Gravy, Gumbo, Cracklins, Jambalaya and Dessert. Dates this year are October 25-26. Call for details : (337) 291-8388.

OKLAHOMA STATE PARKS RAISES FEES
State park campsites in Oklahoma have gone up by $2 to $16 nightly with an additional $1 nightly for electricity. Increased rates will help fund the installation of more electrical outlets throughout the system.

SOUTH CAROLINA CAMPSITES HALF OFF
Reserve a campsite at Baker Creek State Park between now and October 31 and camp for half price on the shores of Lake Thurmond. The park offers fishing, hiking and biking trails and a volleyball court. The pet-friendly part has 50 campsites with electric and water plus a dump station. For details on how the deal works, call the park directly at (864) 443-2457.

SOUTH CAROLINA PARK OFFERS CONCERT
Table Rock State Park, Pickens, presents champion fiddle player Andy Leftwich on October 11 for a program of Music on the Mountain from 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets for $15 are sold separately from park admission and camping fees. The campground has 94 sites with water and electric plus a laundry and dump station. After the concert, hike to a waterfall and fish in two lakes for bass, bream and catfish.

TENNESSEE CAMPGROUND GETS MAJOR UPGRADES
Warriors’ Path State Park in Kingsport is getting a huge facelift with more full-hookup sites, more paved sites, improved water service including fire protection and an all-new marina. The Visitor Center will now include a gift shop, restrooms that can be accessed after hours, and meeting space for special events. On Duck Island, shelters, tennis courts and basketball courts will be upgraded.

TEXAS’ ZIEGENBOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL WELCOMES RVs
It’s the 17th year for this foot-stompin’ music festival, to be held October 18-19 in Sam Houston Race Park, Houston. Friday’s headliner is Aaron Watson; Saturday’s is the Josh Abbot Band – both leading a long list of music acts starting at 4 p.m. each day. RV parking is $125 for both days or $75 per single day. Several seating packages are available, from General Admission to VIP perks. ZiegenBock, which means billy goat in German, is a beer brewed “by Texans for Texans.”

Stay Tuned
The California Tahoe Conservancy will restore the former Tahoe Pines Campground in Meyers. The goal is to restore lands along the Upper Truckee River and improve water supplies.  Dead trees will be removed and the defunct campground’s well, piping and pavements will be replaced. A reopening date has not been announced.

Lubbock, Texas, has approved a massive new master plan that will include a 280-acre park with four baseball fields, hiking and biking paths, a skate park, disc golf, a food truck court, five-acre dog park, picnic areas, squash pads, and perhaps an RV park.

The I.B. Magee Beach RV Park in Port Aransas, Texas, was wiped out two years ago by Hurricane Harvey. Now a $3.7 budget will restore it. Look for it to reopen in 2020.

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

Tonto National Forest (Arizona) campground fees increased by as much as $8 per vehicle beginning October 1. Typical fees now range from $16 to $25 per vehicle. The Forest Service reported that 95% of visitors surveyed would prefer to pay more than to have services like toilets, parking and trash cans reduced.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is banning campfires at all Parkway property, including Rocky Springs, Jeff Busby, Meriwether Lewis campgrounds (Mississippi and Tennessee), due to drought and high fire danger. The ban will not be rescinded until after sufficient rainfall has reduced fire danger levels. Charcoal grills and cook stoves are still permitted in designated areas.

More than 31,000 acres of land in eastern/southeastern Ohio is being purchased by the state from American Electric Power for $47 million and will be used for conservation and recreation. The property includes six campground sites and more than 350 lakes and ponds, as well as 24 miles of the Buckeye Trail, a 1,440-mile hiking trail.

Janet Groene is the author of 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new book, “February Felony – A Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com.

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