Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, August 23, 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: August 23, 2019

GEORGIA REFUGE OFFERS NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
Just in time for snowbirds headed south on I-95 and U.S. 1, the unique phenomenon that is Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge offers a workshop and camera boot camp for shutterbugs on November 9 with award winning nature photographer John Reed. The workshop will be held at the Environmental Education Classroom near Folkston, Georgia. The Refuge, which covers a vast area over multiple counties, has numerous campgrounds. RV parks are also found in Folkston. Advance registration is required at (912) 496-7836. Cost of the course is $65 in advance. If space allows, walk-ins will be accepted at $70.

MICHIGAN PARTY FOR CAMPERS ONLY
Lake Macatawa Campground in Holland State Park is throwing a shindig just for campers in its 211 campsites. Dates are October 4-6 and reservations are essential. Vehicles must also have a Michigan Recreation Passport. Come for the trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, crafts, games and educational programs presented by the park’s explorer guides.

MONTANA STATE PARK NIGHT HIKE
The moon will be full and park rangers will be ready at Makoshika State Park in Glendive to lead a night hike from 9 to 10 p.m. on September 14. The state’s largest state park has RV sites, stunning badland formations and the fossil remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and other prehistoric creatures. Stop at the visitor center at the entrance to check out the exhibits.

NEW YORK CAMPGROUND CLOSES EARLY
Unfortunately the closing of the Wilmington Notch Campground in Wilmington comes at the peak of leaf-peeping season. Repairs, maintenance and a new water system are to be installed. Nearby Meadowbrook Campground and Day Use Area will be open until October 14.

OREGON CAMP CLOSED BY BUDGET SLASH
Now closed is the 25-site campground at Dodge Park. It’s owned by the city of Portland but is nearer to Sandy, where the Bull Run River meets the Sandy River. The city council predicts a $46.3 million shortfall for Portland Parks and Recreation, prompting the closing of the low-usage campground.

PLAN AHEAD FOR STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Each year half a million visitors come to the annual Plant City Strawberry Festival in southwestern Florida. See headline entertainers, a youth livestock show, carnival rides, exhibits, food booths and vendors of all kinds. Dates are February 27 – March 8, 2020, when springtime weather is at its best. The Seminole Lake RV Lot is open to camping ONLY during this festival. RV camping details will be available after November 15 at (813) 752-9194 ext. 233.

TEXAS HAS NEW RV RESORT
Open Air Resorts celebrated the grand opening in June of a new, luxury RV resort near Spicewood, Texas. It has a large swimming pool, modern laundry and bathhouses, pickleball, gaga ball, volleyball, playgrounds, a dog park and an on-site general store.

Stay Tuned

Barrhead County in the province of Alberta will have a new, 125-site RV campground on a 160-acre parcel near Lac La Nonne. The first phase will have 50 sites with electric hookups.
The campground would also feature covered picnic areas, fire pits, playgrounds, a horseshoe pit, a garden space, two fenced dog areas, a stocked fishing pond and a storage yard, primarily for off-highway vehicle trailers. A cistern will provide water and a well is planned for the future. The first sites will be seasonal.

The BLM Goodenough Creek Campground in McCammon, Idaho, will be closed from September 3 to December 2 for improvements including new campsites and a spacious turn-around area for RVs.

The popular road to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park will be closed through the 2021 season and possibly into 2022, for repairs. It’s assumed that the campground at Bridalveil Creek and other sites in the area will also be inaccessible during this time.

A campground is set to open “this fall” at SkyPark at Santa’s Village in Skyforest, California, and at press time is awaiting its certificate of occupancy. The 70 RV and tent sites will accommodate rigs up to 40 feet and will have 50-amp service. For information on availability, call (909) 744-9373.

San Diego will get a new 246-site campground as part of the massive Chula Vista Bayfront project, a resort and convention center complex. More than 200 acres will be filled with things to do and places to go, stay, camp, eat and shop. The campground will be known as the Costa Vista RV Resort. A target opening date has not been announced.

Closed by flood damage, Devils Backbone Park in Grand Tower, Illinois, hopes to reopen for Labor Day.

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

A snowstorm forced Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park in northern British Columbia to close last weekend due to safety issues, including falling trees and low visibility for driving. The snowfall was due to an unseasonably cold Arctic air mass meeting Pacific moisture. There was also heavy snow at Muncho Lake and Summit Lake provincial parks, so camping or traveling through those parks was not recommended. Liard River Hotsprings reopened on Wednesday.

Jesse Cahill is investing $3 million to create 122 RV pads and about 40 tent spaces for travelers at The Lily Pad RV Park on 18 acres in Henry County, Virginia. The pads will be a mix of both concrete and pull-throughs and will include water, sewer and electrical hook-ups. Cahill plans to have river sports, including kayaking and canoeing, at the park, which is expected to open in March 2020.

Robin Poirier, a retired attorney, has been renovating an RV park in the Picayune, Mississippi, for the past seven years. The park, now known as Sun Roamers RV Resort and Clubhouse, has been upgraded with new utilities and streets. There are more than 150 sites available, including spaces for travelers’ RVs, as well as 12 RVs and 8 cabins for rent. Amenities include a large swimming pool, putt putt golf course, laundry facility, bath house, free WiFi, and a pond with fish.

Warriors’ Path State Park in Kingsport, Tennessee, is one of the most popular parks in the state. To keep up with the increasing amount of visitors, more than 2 million per year, the park will receive major updates worth more than $6.4 million. RV sites will be enlarged, 40 new paved RV sites will be added, the marina will be expanded, and the park’s infrastructure will be updated. Construction should begin by the first part of 2020 and be completed by 2021.

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

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Vanessa Simmons

I lived in Portland for 11 years and never heard of Dodge Park! Had I known it was there I would have used it when going there to visit my son the past two years. It wasn’t on any of the RV campground apps I use.