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Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, April 26, 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 for dates, rates and rules. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: April 26, 2019

Lake Tahoe campgrounds opening
Opening dates for campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit have been announced by the U.S. Forest Service – they are as early as April 27 and as late as June 1, so check ahead for your favorite spot. Opening dates for the unit’s day-use areas also vary. More information.

New Jersey campground now open
Turkey Swamp Park, a family campground in Freehold Township, NJ, opened for the season with 64 wooded, pull-through campsites, all with water and electric hookups. Twelve of the sites are on a first-come basis; the rest can be reserved at 732-462-7286. Reservations require a two-night stay and are prepaid. RV sites cost $36 nightly for residents, $40 for non-residents. Campfire programs and free wagon rides are offered on Saturdays.

Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival in Manitoba
Camp free (with festival admission) in a tent or RV at the annual Whoop & Hollar music and folk festival in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. New this year is an RV campground just next door along the Assiniboine River; tent sites continue to be on the festival grounds. The pet-friendly event runs August 23–25.

Rally for Freedom in Missouri
Three days of red, white and blue good times are ahead in Buckhorn, Missouri, when members of “Freedom of the Road Riders” rally for a bike show, field games, concerts, food and plenty of cold drinks from May 24–27. Members of the Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) get a $10 discount off the $40 admission. RV parking spots can be reserved at

Remember motor lodge travel?
Binge on nostalgia while staying in your RV at the historic Stonewall Motor Lodge, Stonewall, Texas. Built in 1964 to house the U.S. Secret Service and Press Corps when Lyndon Johnson was president, the motel now offers renovated rooms with custom retro furnishings as well as five RV sites with full hook-ups. It’s in the heart of Texas Hill Country, with its many wineries and breweries. Reservations will be accepted by mid-May; the lodge opens on June 3. 972-489-7694

More RV spaces for Wisconsin Jellystone
Look for 103 new RV sites, some back-in and some pull-through, in June when the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort opens in Caledonia, Wisconsin. The resort also has 50 new cabins, a new swimming pool with sand beach and a floating obstacle course. Of the new RV sites, 31 are seasonal and have full hook-ups.

Luxury resort coming to Bluffton, South Carolina
It’s expected to take 18 months to develop a new luxury RV resort in Bluffton, South Carolina. It will occupy 92 acres at the Hilton Head National Golf Resort and will have 300 high-end RV sites plus recreation amenities. The parking pads would be for upscale vehicles, which could cost anywhere from $250,000 to $2 million.

Possible new RV campground in Cleburne, Texas
[Update: The permit request was denied.] A new RV campground for Cleburne, Texas, is in the works from the Solomon family if a specific use permit is approved by the city council on April 23. Stays at the campground would be limited to two weeks and no permanent structures would be permitted. RVs more than 10 years old would have to be inspected before being admitted to the park.


Two Kankakee River State Park campgrounds remain closed
The Chippewa and Potawatomi campgrounds at Kankakee River State Park in Illinois closed for upgrades in 2015, but then the state budget impasse hit. Now with state finances back on track, a feud with contractors over costs of the project at Potawatomi needs to be resolved, and the remaining work at Chippewa needs approval and then it will go out to bid. No one from the state was able to give a confident answer that the parks would open in 2019.

Blue Ridge Parkway announces campground, picnic area openings for spring
Last year’s record amount of rain along with an unexpected six-week government shutdown over the winter delayed the openings of campgrounds, picnic areas and visitor centers along the Blue Ridge Parkway. But Parkway spokeswoman Leesa Brandon said, “The Parkway tradition of opening facilities throughout April and May and being fully operational by Memorial Day weekend continues,” she said. “I feel like we’re in good shape for the upcoming season.” Read more at

KOA reports camping is on the rise in North America
BILLINGS, Mont. (from a press release) — More North Americans are discovering the benefits of time spent outdoors and as they do, they’re committing more time to camping each year, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) reported. More than 7.2 million households in the United States have started camping over the past five years, bringing the total number of camping households in the America to a new high of 78.8 million. Read the press release.

Silver Bay celebrates Black Beach Campground groundbreaking
The city of Silver Bay, Minnesota, celebrated the groundbreaking for the Black Beach Municipal Campground project Monday, April 15, after nearly five years of anticipation. The facility will be a 49-site campground with 30-amp electric service in all sites, picnic tables, fire rings, restroom and bathhouse facilities, a playground and access to walking trails that will lead to the beach.

Janet Groene is the author of 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at

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