Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, August 30, 2019


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

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: August 30, 2019

Early winter storms have closed campgrounds in the Fort Nelson and Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park regions of British Columbia. Reopening dates have not been announced, and may not occur until spring. Check ahead for both camping availability and highway closures/conditions.

Sweet when ripe and incredibly puckery when unripe, persimmons are nature’s gift to the Indiana backwoods. They’re called the Indiana Banana. The 73-year-old Persimmon Festival at Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, is a good time to discover a gem of an historic site during an activity-packed week, September 21-28. The Candlelight Tour of the old industrial park is the 21st, and events begin on Monday. A parade ends the festival on the 28th. The campground has 80 sites with electricity. Reserve early for this popular festival.

Wildwood State Park on Long Island has been throwing a family-friendly Fall Festival for 26 years. This year it’s September 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring the kids for live entertainment, food, music, crafts vendors, wagon and pony rides, a petting zoo, and contests for the best scarecrow and the best guess at what pumpkins weigh. Admission is free. RV sites cost $18-$24 nightly plus $5 more for non-New York residents.

The annual Night Sky Festival in Acadia National Park has events for stargazers of all ages, September 25-29. Join astronomers for clear views of the heavens from atop Cadillac Mountain. Learn from nationally renowned speakers and get hands-on with photography workshops, nighttime kayaking and stargazing events. The park’s campgrounds are open in September. Reservations for events, camping and the boat tours are essential at (www.)

The largest motorcycle rally in the Midwest spreads for hundreds of miles of scenic roads around Lake of the Ozarks for your riding pleasure. Dates are September 11-15. About 90,000 motorcycles are expected. Enter to win a new Harley. Enjoy the food, fellowship and vendor villages selling motorcycle gear. Hear music and join group rides in the countryside. Osage Beach RV Park welcomes RVers and their rides. Mention BikeFest when reserving (three-night minimum) at (573) 348-3445.

The derelict Firefly Meadows campground in Wood River, Nebraska, has been restored  with 30 RV sites, 21 of them with full hookups. Major upgrades to the bathhouses include subway tiles, heated floors and private showers with rainfall shower heads. Some sites are pull-thru; some have 50-amp service.

Indian Lake State Park in Lakeview invites RV campers for a weekend of fun September 20-22. Admission is free to the 40th annual Fall Festival featuring vendors, children’s activities, music and food. With luck, the famous Ohio maples and sycamores will be out in full color by then. The park has 360 sites with electric and 43 with full hookups.

Warriors’ Path State Park in Kingsport is adding a new marine dock with covered boat slips, a building with snack bar and shops, and 40 new RV campsites with paved pads. The park is handy to the Bristol Motor Speedway, so there is frequent demand for spaces to accommodate RV’s owned by race crews and spectators.

The Wisconsin State Fair RV Park in West Allis, just off I-94, is the only RV park in Metro Milwaukee, and it’s abuzz with activities all year. Check out the weekly Wednesday  concerts.  For information on the motorcycle training schools that go on through October, call  (414)  791-0008. The RV Park, which has 70 full-hookup sites, is also near the Milwaukee County Zoo, Mayfair shopping mall and Miller Park, home to the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club.  There’s also a dump station, propane refill and showers. During special events a minimum stay is required; monthly rates are  available all year.

Some RV spaces at the Albany County Fairgrounds in Laramie have full-hookups and reservations are going fast for the Higher Ground Fair September 21-22. Part country fair and part festival, the event is all about rural life in the Rocky Mountain states of  Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Stay  for two days of music, food, folk arts, demonstrations, contests, children’s parades both days, and all things related to the local mountain culture.

According to its website, the popular Nordic Pines campground in Baraboo, Wisconsin, has been closed by its owners.

Stay Tuned
Slated to open by March of 2020 is a new, 18-acre campground in Bassett, Virginia. It will have 122 RV sites and 40 tent sites. Pull-thru RV sites will have full hookups. The Lily Pad RV Park will also offer paddle sports on the scenic Smith River.

Coming in May 2020 in Silver Bay, Minnesota, is the new 49-site Black Beach Municipal Campground. All sites will have 30-amp service and some will have 50 amps. All have water and sewer hookups. A few sites are pull-thru. Rentals will be nightly or weekly. The city-owned campground is NNE of Duluth on Lake Superior.

In Idaho, roads and some campgrounds are closed in the Burgdorf Hot Springs area due to the Nethker Fire, but Burgdorf Hot Springs was scheduled to reopen August 29. The fire is almost completely contained, so check for reopening dates.


The Bureau of Land Management reports that Red Rock Canyon campground, Nevada, at the national conservation area and about two miles east of the Visitor Center, reopened Friday, Aug. 30, after being closed for the summer. The campground has 54 campsites, including six primitive RV sites for $20 per night. Reservations can be made at The campground will be open until June 2020.

Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve in Washington County, Minnesota, will be getting a $1.7 million makeover that will improve conditions for campers and Eagle Point Trail users. The improvements should be completed by January. The park’s 80-site campground’s electrical and water systems will be upgraded, including the restroom and shower buildings. There will be 57 50-amp sites and 23 30-amp sites. A $142,000 playground will replace the previous one.

In Philomath, Oregon, the Planning Commission Monday night denied a plan for a proposed development including a 175-space recreational vehicle park. The commission based its findings for denial on the development not meeting goals as outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan and included the concern that the large scope of the RV park creates questions about what could be interpreted as substandard housing. Commissioner Joseph Sullivan stated the size of the park should be limited while promoting tourism, adding, “We need a place for tourists to stay, but we don’t need a city.”

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

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