The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.
This site covers time-sensitive news for RV travelers. Plan your trip according to your own dates, the type and size of your rig, and your budget and interests. Be alert for sudden changes due to COVID, floods, road closures or construction, wildfires or weather. Many events are still tentative. In many areas, roads, passes and campgrounds are beginning to close fully or partially for the winter.
COVID restrictions are in place and vary according to the state or individual campground. Masks or a vaccination certification may be required. Many campgrounds are having special events for Thanksgiving weekend and/or special discounts and perks for veterans on Veterans Day weekend. Two- and three-night minimums may be required.
DISCLAIMER: No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.
DATELINE: October 30, 2021
ALABAMA STATE PARK HAS TRADE DAYS
Come to buy, sell or just enjoy the lively scene at Trade Days on the third weekend of each month, ending for the 2021 season on November 20-21 at Tannehilll State Park, McCalla. Rent a vendor space for $40 or be a shopper among the many colorful booths. The park has 195 improved campsites in three areas with water and electric. There are bathhouses and two dump stations. Reserve early, especially for Trade Days weekends. The popular park also offers rides on the miniature railway, an Iron and Steel Museum, hiking trails and creekside fishing for rainbow trout. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (205) 477-5711.
ARIZONA MOUNTAIN BIKE FESTIVAL
Accommodations have been made for camping but this massive mountain bike festival is for RV travelers who are avid cyclists. Focus is on the bicycle ride, the red rock vistas, chill vibes and awesomely scenic trails in the Cocino National Forest around Sedona. Due to COVID, this year’s date was moved to November 12 -14. The festival will return to its usual springtime slot March 4-6, 2022. Come both dates for the rides as well as skill clinics, demonstrations, vendors, raffle and a beer garden, all to benefit local trails and cyclist organizations. For the coming festival, 60 dry camping spaces have been reserved for Thursday through Sunday nights at the the Bruce Brockett Trailhead/Camp Area, 18 miles from the festival. Shuttles will be provided. Sign-up is required for both the bike ride and the campground. Go here to register.
ARIZONA CAMPGROUND ON TRACK FOR SUMMER 2022
Village Camp Flagstaff eyes summer 2022 as the opening date for a new, outdoor-centric camp with RV sites, cabins and safari tents. Large pull-through and back-in RV sites will have 30/50-amp electric, sewer and water. Wide roads lead to spacious, level concrete lots. Guests will get outdoors in the Arizona sunshine to play bocce, basketball and pickleball. Amenities will include food and snacks, a general store, game room, well-equipped fitness center, clubhouse, fire pits and an amphitheater for entertainers. Go to the website to sign up for updates and advance reservations.
FLORIDA STATE PARK WELCOMES MANATEE SEASON
From mid-November through March, Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, is one of the nation’s most important manatee refuges and a first rate place to see these endangered mammals in the wild. The colony of West Indian manatees here is growing. The largest spring on the St. Johns River, Blue Spring (not to be confused with several Blue Springs elsewhere) closes its water activities for humans during manatee season. The spring site hosted Native Americans for centuries and is the site of a pioneer home built in 1872. A campground offers 51 RV sites with water and electric, picnic table and grill. Pets with rabies certificate are permitted in the campground. The Bedtime Story Lending Library has books for children ages 4 to 9. Hike and bike trails through the pine scrub to appreciate the flora and fauna that brought botanist John Bartram here in 1766. Phone the park at (386) 775-3663 or call (386)775-3663 for reservations.
FLORIDA CAMPGROUND GOES WESTERN
Get your giddy-up on for the Cowgirls and Cowboys weekend at Ragans Family Campground, Madison, November 19-20. The 125-acre park is just off I-10 between Tallahassee and Lake City. Dress in your wildest Wild West get-up and bring the kids for camping with full RV hook-ups. There are also tent sites and you can also rent cabins to make it a family weekend with grandparents, aunts and uncles. Kids will build their own stick horse then play games. You can fish or kayak the lake and drive the ATV trails. For those who don’t have overnight sites, day passes are available for $20 per person, age 4 and over. (850) 973-8269 or click here.
NEW YORK SKI RESORT HAS WINTER RV SITES
Electric-only hookups (no water or sewer) are available now until April at Old Forge Camping Resort, Old Forge. This is the season for the full winter resort experience with skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, miles of snowmobile trails and cozy firesides. The resort has seven restroom/shower facilities, most with stovetop and sink. Ask about Winter Stay ‘n Play packages December 1-May 6. Contact (315) 369-6011; email: email@example.com
OREGON RV PARK GETS AN UP-DO
Showers and restrooms are now open at Beachfront RV Park in Brookings, and renovations will continue. Park right on the beach. Be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves. The park offers full hookups including cable and internet as well as partial hookups and, for fully self-contained rigs, dry camping sites. Book a fishing charter, go surfing, sample shopping and dining on the boardwalk, or come for one of the many festivals in this vibrant port city. The Festival of Lights runs from the day after Thanksgiving through December 26. (541) 469-5867, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH DAKOTA TO HAVE NEW LAKESIDE CAMPGROUND
Kattails Campground & Recreation, Lake Campbell, has been accepting some campers, and is taking reservations but it isn’t expected to be fully open with all facilities until next year. When open it will have full hook-up sites, a convenience store, video casino, an indoor/outdoor bar and eatery, and plenty of planned activities. The 900-acre glacial prairie lake is popular for swimming, boating and fishing and has been the home of a gala sailboat regatta since the 1980s. Call (605) 695-2298 or email: email@example.com
TEXAS STATE PARK TO HAVE MARSHY CHRISTMAS
Santa doesn’t use his sleigh to visit Sea Rim State Park, Sabine Pass. On December 18 he and Mrs. Claus will arrive in an airboat to serve hot cocoa, teach Christmas crafts, pose for pictures and listen to wish lists. The park on the Gulf Coast at the far southeast corner of Texas is remote, unique and rich in bird sightings and marsh wildlife. It covers 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline and 4,000 acres of marshlands. Paddling trails may be closed on some days, so check ahead. Fish in the surf, launch a boat, ride horseback. The park has 15 campsites with partial hookups. Call (409) 971-2559 and visit here.
VIRGINIA KOA HAS EYES ON WINTERFEST
Something spectacular is almost always going on at the Kings Dominion theme park. No season sparkles more brightly than WinterFest, when the North Richmond/ Kings Dominion KOA, Doswell, next door to the theme park, runs shuttles. Pull-through RV sites have a paved patio, full hook-ups including 30/50-amp power, picnic table, wood burning fire pit and perhaps a gas grill. Other sites may be back-in and have gravel pads and partial hookups. Campsite guests can get passes to the theme park. The extravaganza of lights and entertainment runs on selected evenings November 20-January 2. Sessions run 5 to 10 p.m., and you’ll want to be there the whole five hours for shows, ice skating, cookie decorating, food stations and carriage rides. Reserve your campsite early at (800) 562-4386.
Read more of Janet Groene’s Campground and RV Park News 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, “June Jeopardy, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com and on all e-book platforms including Kindle, Nook, Google Play. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.