Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, September 13, 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: September 13, 2019

ARIZONA CAMPGROUND FEES RISE
On October 1, rates increase at 12 campgrounds in Tonto National Forest. Sites that were $10 will be $16. Senior access passes remain at $8.

MINNESOTA CAMPGROUND TEES OFF
With an eye to attracting more families, Fiddlestix RV and Golf Resort in Isle, Minnesota, is planning a massive expansion that will add 200 seasonal RV sites, a hot tub, two outdoor swimming pools, putting and chipping greens, a netted driving range, paintball, a fish pond and a playground. By the 2020 season, 91 RV sites will be in place and more will continue to be added into 2021.

VIRGINIA CAMPGROUND TO ADD HOOKUPS
The popular eating, party and camping sites at Devils Backbone Basecamp in Roseland, Virginia, will add water and electric hookups to its 25 sites.

ALBERTA CAMPGROUND NOW OPEN
Private owners did not announce their reasons but Spring Lake Campground in Alberta, one hour from Grande Prairie, closed last May. Now assigned to Saddle Hills County, the campground is open again until October 1. An RV-only, big-rig-friendly resort, it has a fishing pier and a sand bottom lake.

ARIZONA’S SLIDE ROCK STATE PARK HAS FALL FEST
Bring a picnic lunch (no glass containers) to celebrate autumn in Oak Creek Canyon on Saturday, October 5. The festival is filled with exhibits, demonstrations, children’s activities at the Junior Ranger Station and a tractor show. See blacksmithing, taste different honeys and learn about bees, check out a fire engine, and learn from experts how to attract monarch butterflies to your garden. The park was once an apple orchard and apples will be available for purchase. There’s no camping in this state park but the Sedona area offers many RV campgrounds nearby.

CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUNDS TO REOPEN
Cottonwood, Indian Cove, Black Rock, Black Rock Equestrian and Jumbo Rocks campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park have reopened for the fall and winter season. They are expected to close again next May 26 for the summer.

FLORIDA CAMPGROUND OFFERS NONSTOP MUSIC
The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak is just that, a campground with music. Camp on the banks of the famous river and plan your trip to take in nonstop, year-round music festivals featuring big-name stars of country, blues, folk and other popular tunes. The annual Suwannee Roots Revival, October 11-13, features a huge billboard of music stars including the Grammy award-winning bluegrass Del McCoury Band. There’s a dance tent, children’s stage and activities, music workshops, daily yoga and food and crafts vendors. RV sites priced $30 to $45 have water and electric, 30 to 50 amps. Full hookup sites are available with 30- or 50-amp service. Order concert tickets separately.

GEORGIA STATE PARK HAS FALL FESTIVAL
Just south of Blairsville, Vogel State Park treats RV campers to a day of family fun on October 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some activities come at extra cost; some are free. There are hayrides, a cake walk, a duck race, professional storytellers and more. Surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest, the scenic park is 2,500 feet above sea level. RV reservations are highly recommended.

IOWA CAMPGROUND REOPENS
Closed because of massive flood damage, the popular Buffalo Shores Park campground in Buffalo, Iowa, is open again. Weather permitting, it will stay open until late October.

MINNESOTA RV SITES TO GET MAJOR UPGRADES
In Washington County, Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve’s 80-site campground will get water and electric upgrades including 50-amp service to 57 of the sites. Water lines are being replaced and 56 water hookups are being added. Parking areas and the hiking paths are also being improved.

MISSOURI RV PARK OFFERS LOTS
Current River Campground in Van Buren, Missouri, is now platted for the selling of RV lots and is now known as the Current River RV Park. The 52.1-acre park will have its own homeowner association. Get details at 573-323-4000.

OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
The Ohio Renaissance Festival runs nine weekends, from August 31 to October 27. Overnight parking spaces for RVs, some with hook-ups, are available for this festival of jesting, jousting and juggling. See 100 daily performances on 14 stages in an authentically re-created English village from Medieval times. Don’t miss the dungeons, the tower, leather crafters, glassblowing, and knights in shining armor. The Ohio Renaissance Grounds are in Harveysburg.

WASHINGTON WALMARTS BAN RV PARKING
Walmarts in Pullman, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho, no longer allow RV’s to park overnight. If you missed it, here’s our story from August 30.

Stay Tuned
As we’ve previously reported, a longtime favorite for travelers going to Denali, Alaska, the Mat-Su RV Park was largely destroyed in the McKinley Fire. Owner Colin Jennings says it will be rebuilt. A reopening date will be announced.

A reopening date has not been announced for Spinney Mountain State Park in Colorado. A hail storm and flood caused extensive road damage.

ADDITIONS FROM RVTRAVEL.COM STAFF

There will be a public meeting at the end of the month to talk about proposed updates to the 1,248-acre Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Virginia. Each state park has a master plan that guides development and they are updated every 10 years. The draft of the updated master plan for this park proposes a 60-site campground, 10 cabins, a paved off-road multipurpose trail, and more improvements.

Louisiana State Parks will offer full campsite hookups at Chemin-A-Haut State Park near Bastrop. The improved campsites will include water, electricity, and sewer utilities, beginning October 11. Chemin-A-Haut State Park has 26 campsites as well as 14 cabins and a group camp.

Cavendish Campground in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) National Park will remain closed for the remainder of the year due to damage from Hurricane Dorian. Fallen trees and debris have made the area unsafe, and some areas are inaccessible. Due to extensive damage, the area will not look the same when it reopens due to significant changes to the landscaping.

Stilo Development Group USA, an Italian real estate company, is requesting easements from the U.S. Forest Service to improve forest roads and run utilities to its property in Tusayan, Arizona, where Stilo plans to build a resort, a 250-space RV park and other lodging. Grand Canyon National Park expressed many concerns including water use, traffic congestion, and protecting cultural and archaeological sites. It is unclear when development would start.

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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