Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, October 11, 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 11, 2019

ALABAMA STATE PARK OFFERS COOL RUNNING
Beginning runner or expert, you’ll have an unusual trail run at Cathedral Caverns State Park on November 23 when 5K and 15K routes take you through a beautiful valley and into a lighted cave where it’s always 58 degrees F. Runners will get a T-shirt and finisher medal. Support stations will provide beverages and snacks. The 5K is limited to 200 entrants and the 15K to 300. RV camping is limited but there are some 30-amp sites for $20 a night. Call ahead for details and registration instructions.

ARKANSAS NATIONAL PARK OFFERS TOURS
Take a free interpretive tour of the historic Fordyce Bathhouse daily at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October 31 in Hot Springs National Park. Two campgrounds, one of them a KOA, are nearby. The imposing bathhouse, now a historic museum with four floors of exhibits, shows visitors what life was like for millions of patients who came to the “American Spa” with doctor’s orders for bathing, an exercise regimen and prescribed relaxation. See the dressing rooms and bath halls, the hydrotherapy room, the room where patients gathered for music, games and socialization and the enormous 1915 gymnasium. In the basement, see the Fordyce Spring and learn about the unique geology that creates the hot springs.

ARIZONA CAMPING FEES RISE
According to forest rangers, campers in Tonto National Forest had a choice of raised fees or reduced services. Higher fees won out by a landslide. RV facilities vary throughout the Forest’s 12 campgrounds but will be $16 to $25 more per vehicle. Senior citizen discounts still apply.

CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUND GETS UPGRADES
Launch Pointe RV and Recreation Area at Lake Elsinore now has more campsites, more on-site rental units, a 4,500-gallon splash pad for children and recreation facilities including trails and QR code adventures. Don’t have an RV? Rare vintage Airstream models are on site and available for rent.

GEORGIA OPENS NEW 22-SITE CAMPGROUND
Anglers can try their luck at three lakes within the Evans County Public Fishing Area (PFA) in Claxton. A new campground, said only to “open soon,” will have 14 RV sites, five of them pull-through with full hookups. Rates will be $30 and $35 nightly. The campground will have restrooms and showers. An event center with kitchen can accommodate up to 85 people. Reservations are made at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.

INDIANA STATE PARK GOES BACK IN TIME
Find yourself in the 1800s on November 16 at Lusk Pioneer Legacy Weekend in Turkey Run State Park, Marshall. Follow the legacy of the Lusk family with guided hikes to the coal mine and Earth Hill. See the Nature Center. Tour the 1841 Lusk home and their mill site. Sign up for the Whiskey Tasting and hors d’oeuvres at the Covered Bridge, then have a pioneer dinner with foods based on historic recipes. The evening ends with square dancing and a cash bar. It’s a day-long event ending at 9 p.m. The program costs $47 per person not counting lodging or camping. The park has a camp store, modern restrooms with showers and 213 campsites with electric hookup. (765) 597-2635

SOUTH DAKOTA PARK DOUBLES IN SIZE
Palisades State Park has received a donation of 250 additional acres, which will allow it to expand recreation opportunities including 70 more campsites.

SOUTH DAKOTA’S 53RD YEAR FOR BUFFALO AUCTION
This colorful tradition at Custer State Park in the Black Hills keeps herd numbers in check and benefits the establishment of new herds throughout the state park system. Between 250 and 400 buffalo and burros will be sold at public auction starting at 7 a.m. Six campgrounds are within this state park. Reservations can be made a year in advance. For auction information call (605) 255-4515.

TEXAS GETS NEW THEME RV RESORT
TheOld West lives at the new Cibolo Ttrails RV Resort and CBD Saloon in Marion, Texas. A family of these new CBD themed destination resorts is planned across the country. (210) 636-4787.

RECLAIMED VIRGINIA COAL MINE GETS GRANT
Sixty new campsites will be added to Thunder River Outdoor Recreation and Campground thanks to a $350,000 grant. The water supply line will be replaced and extended and a bathhouse, trails and other improvements will be added. At present the campground has ten full-hookup sites.

Stay Tuned
Keep abreast of ongoing changes during the seasonal slowdown/shutdown of services on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Changes begin October 16. Check ahead with each campground for status, which could include closing of restrooms and showers, closing of ranger programs, shop closings and total closing of the campground itself.

The campground at Audubon State Park in Kentucky, closed since 2017 due to work on an adjacent dam, will remain closed into 2020. Construction delays have made a reopening date uncertain.

Near Princeton, British Columbia, a provincial campground will have 10 sites at Martin’s Lake next year. Fees will be $10-$12 nightly. The popular lake site, formerly undeveloped, will now have supervision.

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

If increased camping and park entrance fee rates for 2020 are approved by the state legislature of South Dakota, they will help cover shortfalls after flooding and disastrous weather hit the state this year. The proposed annual park pass will increase from $30 to $36, and the daily park pass will increase from $6 to $8. The seven-day vehicle pass for Custer State Park will double, to $20.

Trail & Hitch RV Park and Tiny Home Hotel in Meeker, Colorado, is the proposed development of a nightly and monthly RV park with a tiny house hotel accommodation component. It is located on 19.97 acres, the site of the former Wilderness Rendezvous park. It will feature 30 RV spaces with full hookups, 4 tiny homes available for nightly rental, 3 bathhouses and a laundry. Trail & Hitch plans to open this month (October 2019).

The Black Beach Campground in Silver Bay, Minnesota, is scheduled for completion in April 2020, with sites opening in May. Forty-nine campsites will have water, sewer and 30- or 50-amp electricity. Most of the sites will accommodate larger RVs and there will be a few pull-through sites. The main building will house lavatories and bathing units. There will be a playground, a group picnic area and a walking trail leading to Black Beach. Rentals will be either nightly or weekly, and reservations can be made online starting in January.

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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Gary Smith

I just looked at the Facebook page for Cibolo Trails RV Resort & Saloon. I think it was produced by the folks at The Onion.