The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.
DISCLAIMER: These news items are believed current at press time but conditions are still changing quickly, not just because of COVID but because of other factors such as highway conditions. Phone the campground. Don’t rely solely on websites, GPS or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open. Spring opening dates and COVID restrictions vary. Keep a sharp eye on schedules because some event cancellations are being reconsidered as COVID loses its grip. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.
FULL ALERT: In the U.S. and Canada, campsites are being added at a rapid rate but because of distancing, fewer campsites are available until the pandemic is over. It’s more important than ever to have reservations. Be aware of reservation fees, cancellation requirements and current COVID rules, which vary according to the campground.
DATELINE: February 13, 2021
ARIZONA CAMPING RESORT ADDS SITES, AMPS
Verde Valley RV and Camping Resort, Cottonwood, has added 62 campsites and is providing 50-amp power to even more of its sites. (Request it in advance.) View and tour the dazzling Red Rock Country of this scenic valley. Luxuriate in the hot tub/whirlpool, play mini golf, pickleball or volleyball, go to the game room for billiards and join in the many planned activities, projects and programs. (928) 634-8158
ARKANSAS STATE PARK KNOWN FOR BIKE TRAILS
Cane Creek State Park, Star City, has unique and awesome bicycle trails including five daring suspension bridges. Call the park ahead for current closings and conditions to make sure all five bridges are open for a swinging good time. Check ahead too for dates and details of the frequent interpretive programs such as guided walking, biking, kayaking, and birding tours. The park has 29 campsites with electric and water, half of them with 50-amp power. Top off your provisioning list at the Dollar General in Star City. Explore Bayou Bartholomew, the world’s longest bayou. 870-628-4714
CALIFORNIA NATURE RESERVE MAY GET CAMPGROUND
Oso Flaco Lake is about to open up to more visitors, with easier access and RV camping, if the state’s draft plan gets a green light. Two new entry routes are in the plan as well as cabins, tent sites, 200 RV campsites, new restrooms, hiking and bicycling trails and a concessions area. The plan will impact the whole Oceano Ranger District and will take place in two phases starting with primitive campsites. Major developments for RV travelers will come in Phase Two. To get here, go west from Guadalupe on Highway 1. For now the reserve is a quiet, remote, bird watcher’s paradise.
IDAHO ANNOUNCES ANNUAL GORDY’S HWY 30 MUSIC FEST
Camp under the trees at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds RV Park, Filer, for the annual Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Fest June 23-26. Two dozen bands play almost nonstop during the weekend at this family-friendly reunion. It began years ago as a fundraiser for a small mountain school. It’s still a benefit and includes a bounce house, food vendors, beer garden and real bathrooms. The RV park has 80 spaces with full hookups including 50 amps, and 100 sites with water and 30-amp power. Dry camping is also available. Get reservations and festival tickets early for this popular event. (208) 326-4396
INDIANA RV RESORT HAS NEW AMENITIES
Like so many campgrounds these days, Indian Lakes RV Campground, Batesville, has upgraded to provide 50-amp service at many sites. New at the resort are an enormous new swimming pool and an open-air pavilion. The pet-friendly resort offers seasonal and nightly sites, some of them waterfront, plus boat launch, beach, golf, mini-golf, restaurant and Wi-Fi. (812) 934-5496
MAINE CAMPGROUND TO OPEN WITH SCORES OF NEW SITES
When it opens in mid-April, Moody Beach RV Campground in Wells will have 71 new RV sites with 50-amp service, a renovated bathhouse, a new playground with basketball court and an RV storage area. The family resort, which is near Ogunquit Beach, has a large pool, spa, rec hall, laundry, dump station and playground. If you’re not a Thousand Trails member, reserve your campsite at (888) 481-6348.
MONTANA RESCHEDULES BIG SKY FESTIVAL
Camp under big skies at this year’s Under the Big Sky Festival at Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish. Dates are July 17-18. Headliners include Brothers Osborne, Tyler Childers, Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, along with a long list of more country music greats. Children under age 6 are admitted free to the ranch’s Rough Stock Rodeo. The grounds have plenty of food and drink options and a general store. Many camping options are available, many of them with shuttles to the natural amphitheater where performances are held. Get details at email@example.com
NORTH CAROLINA HIGHLAND GAMES TENTATIVE
In these uncertain times, sponsors of the Loch Norman Highland Games, scheduled for April 17-18, aren’t sure what will take place. It’s fairly sure the games won’t be as extensive as usual, but individual competitions may still be on the menu. Keep an eye on this event as it develops. Held at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville, the annual event offers camping across the road, an easy walk from the festival center. Camping is on a first-come basis. Water hook-up may be available (bring a splitter). Space is limited, best for smaller rigs. The setting alone is worth a visit any time. Now a nature reserve, it was a 265-acre Colonial-era family farm. See schoolhouses, ruins and a family graveyard. Get details and updates at (704) 875-3113.
TENNESSEE STATE PARK HAS SPRING FEST
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Millington, is reported to have its annual Spring Fest of arts and entertainment on April 17, a time when spring blooms are bright and many hikes, wildlife tours and programs are taking place throughout the Volunteer State. This park, just north of Memphis near the Mississippi River, has 46 campsites with water and electric hookups, dump station and hiking trails through hardwood forests. The park also offers horseback riding trails and a nature center. As the date nears, get details at (901) 876-5215.
UTAH STATE PARK MAKES A RUN FOR IT
Known for its scenery, lakes, watersports and frequent challenges for runners, Sand Hollow State Park, St. George, will have an exciting 50-mile team relay on March 6. Run or watch the Lake to Lake Relay and Ultra Marathon. The route goes from Gunlock Reservoir to Sand Hollow Reservoir. The race route will take runners through scenic landscapes of Southern Utah along city trail systems and back roads. The park has large, pull-through campsites with full or partial hookups, boat launch and ORV trails. Register in advance for the Relay and separately reserve for camping. (435) 680-0715
In Defiance, Missouri, rezoning has been approved for the expansion of Beyond the Trail RV Park. The park, which has access to the Katy Trail, will add 20 more RV sites on 2.89 acres.
Shenandoah Acres, a park with 522 campsites, condos and cabins, is now under the Sun RV Resorts banner. Stuarts Draft, Virginia, is a summer swimming destination that was founded in the 1930s and has a mixed history of openings and closings. Now revitalized, it has a swimming lake with beach, four playgrounds, an arcade and a fishing pond.
In western New York’s Finger Lakes region, the historic Hill Cumorah Pageant site, home of an outdoor drama depicting Mormon origins in this area, is undergoing changes requested by church officials in Salt Lake City. The proposal includes demolition of the campground.
Pioneer Park in Corvallis, Oregon, has reopened with new waste receptacles, hand-washing stations and outhouses. To camp here you must get a city permit and submit to a background check.
Read more of Janet Groene’s Campground Chatter new and updates here.
Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her new Farley Halladay book, “May Misfire, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.
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