Mid-Atlantic Campground Reviews

Of course you're welcome to look around. But the campground reviews on this page are not highly refined. It's a rough collection of notes primarily intended for my own future reference. You'll notice I like pet-friendly activities, pinball and trains. By 2020 we had transitioned almost exclusively to state parks. The parks rarely have full-hookups, but the space, seclusion and quiet are so worth it. Click any link within the text for corresponding picture.

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Brunswick Family Campground. 2019/October - Another stay in C5. 2017/September - This was our first time in site C5 which now may be our favorite site. The river view is a bit better than C4, but the awning faces south which can be a bit harsh at times. The C4 trail down to the river was clogged with debris and basically no longer exists. This year was the lowest I've seen the river. New for 2017 were four cabins at the far east end of the campground. Also new were gravel pull-throughs in area D. It's no longer the open field free for all it once was. 2016/August - We typically stop by for a few nights once per year. This place is pretty rough around the edges. It's dusty when it's dry and muddy when it's not. There are no full-hookup sites. Water and electric connections are located at every other site. Be prepared to hookup curb-side. Be prepared to share a water faucet with your neighbor. Areas A and D are open fields and could accommodate any size rig. Areas B and C are shaded but have smaller sites. C4 is the best site. It's of moderate size, shaded and has a direct river view. But it has curb-side hookups. C5 would be a close second choice and has street-side hookups. In 2014 we witnessed some flash flooding. While probably rare, I'd stay away from sites B4-B7, C1, C2 and C8. The river was high during our 2015 visit. I like this place for the nearly non-stop train action. The MARC station is just a short drive (or bike ride) back to Brunswick. This campground is not the place to be if you're bothered by 24/7 train noise. The big local attraction is the C&O Canal Towpath for biking and hiking. In fact you have to drive down a portion of the Towpath to get to the campground. The Brunswick Heritage Museum is great with a huge HO train display. But it's only open Friday-Sunday. As of 2012 the campground is now managed by River & Trail Outfitters, not the town of Brunswick.

Castaways at Ocean City. 2018/September - We had site 273 since 278 was unavailable at the time. 273 was at the end of the canal. I wouldn't go any lower. I'd pick 278 and then 275-273 in that order. All three sites have a big "backyard" between the site and the canal. 273 was getting too close to the playground. Between 273 and 274 was some sort of underground septic tank with an alarm that would momentarily go off at times. Seemed to be related to rain or someone dumping. No smell. All of these sites that are close to the water are weather dependent. They're great when the weather is great and not so great when the weather is bad. Crab Alley had good takeout with onion-free crab cakes. Last visited October 2016. 278 is a great site right next to the canal and bark beach. Yet it's far enough away from Jackspot to escape the nightly bar noise. On the downside, the site is a bit of a squeeze and it needs to be reserved well in advance. And you'll be sandblasted when the wind is blowing hard across the beach. If we go back again we'll try one of the water view sites in the Club Castaways area. Sites 12B and 31B look to be the best in that area. Actually those sites seem impossible to get. As of 2016 the arcade had moved to a standalone building by the welcome center, but there was no pinball. During our 2012 visit the arcade was in the camp store building. In 2012 there was a Whirlwind, but it was dirty and non-functional. Before that there was a working Stern Harley Davidson. Of course there's always pinball at Playland and some other arcades off the boardwalk. As of 2010 there was a really nice Ripley's pin in the Ripley's museum, but you have to pay to get in the museum. Dog-friendly activities include Micky Finn's in West OC, Bayside Skillet at 77th street, Macky's restaurant at 54th street and Bayside Boat Rentals at 54th street. We also did a sightseeing plane ride from the OC airport.

Cunningham Falls State Park at Thurmont. 2022/August - Our first visit. We stayed in the upper William Houck Area in the Addison Run Loop at site 1. Site 1 is probably the best with a deep woods view and a partial view of incoming traffic. Awning faces north with lots of trees and good shade all day. Sites 5 and 7 may be an okay second and third picks. Electric only. Addison Run Loop is probably the best for both power and pets. Hydrant at site 4. Clockwise traffic so all hydrants are curbside. Probably need 50' of hose to reach both fills. Strong cell signal all around. Odd security with coded entry gate and tire spikes if you go the wrong way. Dump station lane is at the campground office beyond the tire spikes. Apparently the day use areas down at the lake get packed out. Guess the campground area needs to be "defended". The campground map is pretty abstract. The loops are separated by distance and elevation. No level strolling. Trail map. We hiked the Campground Trail to the Cliff Trail to Cunningham Falls which was only about a mile, but brutal with steep rocky terrain. So there's a general lack of hiking and strolling options without driving elsewhere. There aren't really any moderate hiking loops (our stay slightly predated the new Lady Slipper Trail). Drove down to the lake (doesn't open till 8:00) and did the Lower Trail back up to the Falls (bad picture). Pleasant easy hike. Manor Area notes: Seemed a bit hotter and steamier down there. Some highway noise. More of an honor box mentality without all the nutty security up at the Houck Area. Only a few electric sites. 15 had a isolated view and was in hose range of a hydrant. 9 and 6 may be okay second choices. No dump station. Avery and Visitors Center. The Furnace Trail is neat. But again, limited hiking and strolling options. Maybe okay for a couple of nights, but not a week. The campground at nearby Gambrill State Park may be worth a look.

Gambrill State Park at Fredrick. 2023/August - Our first visit. We stayed in site 22 which was probably the best. All sites were small. Site 22 was moderately sloped back (consider pulling the spring bars up top), but way off from side to side. Plan on four layers of levelers under each streetside wheel. The site faced east toward cabins 4-6. But there was enough underbrush in between that it wasn't overly annoying. Lots of big trees and good shade all day. The hydrant for the 12-23 loop was by site 13 (not shown on many maps). The other five electric sites 1, 12, 13, 20 and 23 were more exposed and faced the road or other sites. Full-hookup sites 28-29 were for the camp hosts. Why two? Only 28 was occupied by a host. Check in paperwork was on the bathhouse bulletin board. Honor box firewood ($6 or 3 for $15) was in the little doghouse by the bathhouse. Great hiking. The campground had direct access to the red trail. But the thing to do was drive to the parking lot between Rock Run and High Knob. That lot provided direct access to most trails. We did the red, green and white loops plus the lower lobe of yellow and a few segments of black. The campground is only a short drive to Dutch's Daughter and Spinners. Overall we liked Gambrill better than last year's stay at Cunningham Falls.

Happy Hills Campground at Hancock. Last visited October 2013. The population was mostly seasonal. Site choices seemed limited to not much more than the F and D sites along Ashwood and the E sites up by the barn. Ashwood was the main road between the office and the barn and was always busy with traffic. We had site F1 which wasn't so great. It was right at a busy intersection with lots of cars, golf carts and ATVs running back and forth. The fire ring was streetside. Choices appear limited, but it would be better to get as far up the hill as possible and off Ashwood if possible. The higher F sites would be better. The higher D sites would be better still. The E sites would be good if there's no activity going on at the barn. Our trip wasn't as fun as it could have been because of some bad timing. Their end of season Halloween bash was in full swing and the campground appeared to be at capacity. Activities up at the barn contributed to the non-stop traffic. The campground was on a huge piece of property with a substantial network of hiking trails. But the property was also open to hunting. Hiking was not advised at the time because of bow season. There's a ¾ mile trail from the barn down to the Western Maryland Rail Trail and C&O Towpath. The terrain all around the campground is hilly and there's no practical way (at least for us) to bike from the campground to the Rail Trail. But it's easy enough to drive back to Hancock and access the Rail Trail directly. We enjoyed strolling the Rail Trail as well as the town of Hancock. The Hancock Antique Mall was worth the drive. We'd give this place another try with some better planning.

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North Carolina

Enfield/Rocky Mount KOA. Last visited September 2014. For a KOA this campground was pretty small and seemed marginally equipped. We got there soon after a day of heavy rain and everything was pretty mucky and buggy. We got site C14 which was crammed in next to site C13. They say they never use C13 and gave us the use of both so it was reasonably roomy. But if I had to do it again I might go for the non-sewer sites out front. They seemed a bit flatter and dryer. We got what was probably the worst firewood ever. I think they cut down the tree the morning they sold it to us. It was so bad we stopped by Walmart and bought some manufactured firelogs. The high point of their facilities was pinball! There was a meager gameroom that included a pretty nice Jokerz. It was perhaps the first time I played this title where the flippers were actually strong enough to get back up the side ramps. Neat game that used up all my quarters. I was never quite able to finish the jackpot sequence. Overall it was an okay campground. We likely wouldn't go back, but it's probably a good place for people looking for a quick overnight stay from I95. This general area up and down the I95 corridor seemed a bit depressed (e.g. Enfield was a dump). Roanoke Rapids was the nicest town we came across, but even that didn't look all that great. Nevertheless, the Canal Museum was interesting and we had a good hike along the canal path from the museum up to the Roanoke Rapids Dam. No pets allowed in Dominion's Roanoke Rapids Day Use Area by the lake so screw them. Ralph's Barbecue in Weldon had good pulled pork sandwiches. We should have done the Halifax Historic District, but didn't get around to it. We did do some hiking in Medoc State Park. Nice trails and a nice campground. I don't know that we'll ever revisit this area, but if we do go back, Medoc State Park is where we would stay. Lots of mosquitoes all around.

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Blue Rocks at Lenhartsville. 2017/June - Another pleasant stay in site 155. Dr. Who was still playable. 2016/September - We stayed in site 155 which was only water and electric. Neat site with a semi boulder view across the main road. The site was only big enough for the trailer and awning mat, but that's okay. We'd take it again. This is a big campground, but most all the sites are seasonal or primitive. The roads are mostly steep gravel and often rutted. This is probably not the place to bring a luxury big rig. Most of the non-seasonal full-hookup sites were in a cul-de-sac numbered 1-11. In early 2016 we stayed in site 7 which was pretty nice. In 2013 we stayed in site 6 which was good, but wedged into a corner. It also had oddly placed hookups which were a stretch for the cords and hoses. We had the cul-de-sac to ourselves for a day, but it filled up by the weekend and got tight. Sites 7-9 (in that order) look to be the best. For sites 6-9 it's best to enter the cul-de-sac in a counter clockwise direction. Stay away from sites 10 and 11 as they are too close to the dump station. The campground water in the cul-de-sac was horrible; brown, hard, metallic and staining. The water was bad enough to be a deal breaker. I won't go back again with out a filter setup. On the other hand, water at site 155 (Sept '16) was okay, so I don't know. I'd like to give site 156, 157 or 158 a try. They looked like reasonably sized flat sites with a good view of the boulders and forest. There was a moderate sized arcade with a well working Doctor Who. In 2013 there was a dead Operation Thunder. There were many antique vehicles scattered about. This is great home base for visiting the WK&S railroad or the Allentown pinball show. Blue Rocks is home to the Blue Rocks Glacher (technically called a block field). The big draw is the many hiking trails including access to the Appalachian Train, Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle.

Caledonia State Park near Fayetteville. 2023/October - Our first visit. We picked site 164 and won't pick it again. I'm not sure what was supposed to be done with this site. It was kind of triangular with a tree in the middle. No one side was really big enough to comfortably spot the trailer. Fortunately, the park ranger happened by and recommended we stop traffic and approach the site from the opposing clockwise direction. That saved the day. But it was still tight and the site wasn't level. Our backwards awning faced northeast. Lots of trees and good shade all day. There's a western ridge and the sun was down by mid-afternoon. The view was actually pretty good. We faced into a tree grove overlooking the 148-155 group sites to the right and a playground set to the left. It was mostly quite up on the hill (until the pain in the ass screaming kids showed up at the playground). Campground site conditions were all over the place and the campground map wasn't really any help. You won't know what you're getting until you get there. Older maps show a hydrant between sites 164 and 166, but that was not the case. The hydrant was down by the dump station. But fortunately, the hydrant was far enough away from the dump spots that I didn't mind using it. Firewood, ice and dumpsters were next to the dump station. Full-hookup site 172 is the site to have. It's by itself with a good woods view. Site 178 is a good second choice. Site 170 is an okay third choice even though it's an inside site. We stuck to the flat hiking in and around the day use area. Next time we should try the Charcoal Hearth and Three Valley trails. We walked around the center of Gettysburg and visited some of the shops. The campground was a little more than an hour from the York pinball show.

Fantasy Island Campground at Packers Island (Sunbury). Last visited July 2013. Most of the sites were seasonal including all of the riverfront sites. Non-seasonal sites were mostly in the 50-85 area. We had site 58 which was perhaps the best in that row except for some harsh afternoon sun. Row 50-57 might be better in that regard with site 50 being the best. Both sites 50 and 58 would have had great views of Saturday night's musical entertainment had it not been rained out and moved inside the rec/gameroom. The rec/gameroom is a neat old former carousel building. There were only a few arcade items. The closest thing to pinball was a not-really-working Strikes 'N Spares. We rented a pontoon boat from Lake Augusta Outfitters at Shikellamy State Park on the tip of Packers Island. It was an easy walk from the campground. The good: They graciously made an exception to their rules and allowed us to have our "medium-sized" dog along for the ride. We never boat without out our pooch. The bad: They were really restrictive about where we could go with the boat. The entire North Branch was off limits. We could go up the West Branch only as far as the power lines. From dam to power lines was only about 4 or 5 miles. We had the boat for 2 hours which was plenty of time to see what there was to see. The North Branch and down to the dam was muddy. But the West Branch was surprisingly clear. Looking straight to the river bottom through 8' of water was perhaps the most interesting part of the trip. The other half of Shikellamy State Park is on the west shore of the river way up on a cliff. The park provides great views of Northumberland, Packers Island and Sunbury. The Front Street Station in Northumberland is within walking distance and dog friendly. The service was bad and the food was only okay, but the atmosphere was worthwhile. The Sunbury Social Club on East Drive was also dog friendly but we didn't get to try that. I was looking forward to biking the road surrounding the airstrip, but that entire half of Packers Island was posted. We drove down to Millersburg and put us and our truck on the Millersburg Ferry. Millersburg looked like it was worth exploring, but there was some sort of art festival going on and it was all too crowded to stop and enjoy. But the Ferry ride was well worth the trip. The Ferry delivered us to Ferryboat Campsites. We'd like to try this place assuming they have some non-seasonal sites. We saw a few freight trains of the North Shore Railroad in and around Northumberland. And we happened across a NARCOA meet setting on at North Shore's headquarters.

Ferryboat Campsites near Liverpool. 2023/July - Our tenth consecutive year and another great stay in site 12. The old shuffleboard court next to the bathhouse was converted into two more seasonal sites. So no more ringside cornhole tournaments. Both boats were out on the river on Saturday, July 29, which was, apparently, pretty unusual. Roaring Bull did the ferry route while Falcon alternated between ferrying and charters. The day coincided with the Ned Smith Nature and Arts Festival over in MYO Park. 2022/July - Our ninth consecutive year and another good stay in site 12. Campground under new ownership. New power box was activated necessitating the long red power cord. As always, great sunrises. The river was way low so there was no ferry service this weekend and virtually no powered boat traffic. However, the low water was advantageous for adding more material to the ferry wall. Entertainment was watching the big dump truck and excavator roam about the river. 2021/July - Our eighth consecutive year and another good stay in site 12. After all these years we finally got a ride on the lesser-used Falcon. New electric system will probably require the long red cord when activated for 2022. Bring the branch cutters and get after those vines growing up the embankment. 2020/July - Our seventh consecutive year and another good stay in site 12. The river was low this year, but the ferry still ran. 2019/August - Our sixth consecutive year and another good stay in site 12. This year the river was low, but the ferry wall had just been rebuilt. Go for the "half-load" of firewood. 2018/August - Our fifth consecutive year and another good stay in site 12. The campground had been flooded the week before our visit. They were still cleaning up and moving all the seasonal RVs back into place. The river was at 11' (Sunbury) when we arrived on Thursday, but crested again at over 15' by Saturday, August 4 (same view from last year). Apparently the campground gets nervous around 19' or 20'. There was only a ripple in the water where we usually see the ferry wall. No ferry service this weekend so we didn't make it over to Millersburg this year. But the high water was interesting to see. 2017/August - Our fourth consecutive year. This year we had site 12 instead of our usual site 26. Site 26 became a seasonal site whereas site 12 became non-seasonal. Turns out we liked site 12 better. The shade and view were better. Site 12 was closer to the ferry wall rapids so there was more entertainment with boats, kayaks and tubers going by. No grill at site 12. 2016/June - The campground is the western terminal of the Millersburg Ferry and is mostly seasonal. But there were a few non-seasonal riverfront sites. We managed to get site 26 which was probably the best by far. The view was fantastic. The shade was great. And it was the most secluded of the riverfront non-seasonal sites. There was even a nearby rapid for some water sound effect. Site 20 or 13 might be the second best. Sites 1-6 would be okay, but had far less shade. As much as I like site 26 we should try site 1. Although not as quite, it's oriented parallel to the river and has a great view of the ferry coming and going. I noticed that many of the non-seasonal sites around the Defiance Circle area had hookups at every other site possibly requiring curbside connections. Walking around the campground was pleasant and there were some trails upriver from Enterprise Drive. Again, the view from our site was great. We could see Millersburg and the Millersburg Ferry plus wildlife and assorted fishing boats, kayakers and tubers. There's was decent arcade, but no pinball. One afternoon we grabbed the dog and headed off to Millersburg on the Millersburg Ferry. Zoom shot of site 26 from the Ferry. Both Riverfront Park and MYO Park made for pleasant mostly shaded strolling. Both are right along the river and connected by a swinging bridge. At the far end of MYO Park is a nature trail on the remains of a canal towpath (next time bring bug spray!). I biked part of the Lykens Valley Rail Trail which was nice, but not obvious to get to. From MYO park I accessed the trail from Wiconisco Street at the entrance to a mulch yard across from Snyder's Welding and Air Boat. For lunch we stopped at Williams French Fries. Good sandwiches with outdoor seating next to the town square - Market Square Park. There was also an ice cream stand back at the campground.

Gifford Pinchot State Park near Dillsburg. Last visited May 2014. From a dog owner's point of view this place sucks. Not only do they have a limited number of pet-only sites, but pet owners are restricted from strolling about the non-pet areas of the campground. Too bad. It's a nice place with nice amenities and well-kept grounds. Our site 229 was also nice. But we won't be going back. I believe all PA State Parks have similar pet rules so they can all kiss my ass. While there I visited the Timeline Arcade in Hanover. This place is great. It's mostly classic arcade video games, but there were more than a dozen pinball machines. Most were in pretty good shape. The Black Rose Antiques & Collectibles mall was also worth the stop. I'll want to go back to Timeline. Next time I might check out Conewago Isle Campground near East Berlin.

Hersheypark Camping Resort at Hummelstown Last visited October 2013. Formerly called Hershey Highmeadow Campground, I gave this place a one-night try because of the heavy rail traffic. I stayed in site 23 which was about as close to the tracks as possible. Sound effects were great, but visibility was poor thanks to a vine encrusted chain link fence. A better view was from a small gravel lot between the tracks and dump station. The best unobstructed view was at the far corner of the property where the tracks cross over Hersheypark Drive. Sites in the 124-135 range might be my first choice if I return. These scenic sites back right up to Swatara Creek. The sites were on the far side of a ridge that blocked much of the train noise. The full-hookup pull-through area was also mostly shielded from the tracks. This was a big full-service, well maintained campground. There's a big arcade in the main building , but no pinball. Aside from Hersheypark, there might not be much to do nearby. I biked to Hummelstown and ate at the Warwick Hotel which was good. Also on Main Street was a neat toy store called "Toys on the Square".

Indian Rock Campground at York. 2018/October - I had no luck getting them to answer the phone, but they replied to emails. We stayed in site 23. There was no campground map. Most all the sites were along the western edge of the property and numbered from south to north. Site 23 was the second to last site at the far northern end of the property toward the tent area. The sites were short and narrow. I'm glad we had no curbside neighbors. The sites were full-hookup, but only 20 amp power and lots of notices to not abuse the water and sewer. No room for individual fire rings, but there were nearby rings in the central lawn area. The campground was about half full. I believe we were the only transients during our mid-week stay. Everyone else was seasonal or residential. There was an abandoned rail siding down in the woods behind our site. Apparently it was for delivering coal to the neighboring water pumping station. 2018 may have been the last year for Indian Rock. The sites were almost uncomfortably small, but it was a quite, well-maintained, rustic, little campground. I'm sorry to see it go. I went to the York Timeline Arcade. They had 15 pinball machines, but most weren't worth playing. It was all pretty disappointing and I have no interest in going back. Plus parking was a pain (at least for a big truck). If there is a next time, I might look at the York Agricultural and Industrial Museum. We also went to Rocky Ridge park and hiked trail 7. Great park with wooded rocky terrain. There were lots of hiking trails all about a mile or so long. Last visited October 2010. Small and rustic, but pleasant. Direct access to the York Heritage Rail Trail. Good home base for the York pinball show.

Knoebles at Elysburg. 2019/August - Our sixth consecutive year in site BC-71. 2018/August - Our fifth consecutive year in site BC-71. The afternoon sun can be a bit harsh. Note to self: Approach the site from the south and spot the trailer on the opposite diagonal. That should block out most of the afternoon sun. This is against the "grain" of how the site lines are drawn, but the site is big enough to make it work. Lately we've been arriving on Monday and leaving on Saturday. This seems to be a good schedule for missing any arriving or departing crowds. 2017/October - Usually we stay at site BC-71 in August. This year we planned a second October visit for one of the Halloween weekends. We were in site ON-51, right across from the pedestrian path. It was neat to see the park decorated for Halloween. There were great fall colors and lots of campfires. But we missed the regular summer live entertainment. We'll probably just stick with our usual August slot. 2017/August - Our fourth consecutive year in site BC-71. It was a big and level site, but really wet during storms. Storm water runs right under the trailer and over the awning mat. But it quickly drains off when the rain stops. Power boxes in this area were curbside and far off. A standard length power cord won't cut it. The site was far from the park, but a good excuse to walk off some food. We may shoot for the same site next year. In a past year we stayed in site PE-51 which was tight and not very level. We also stayed in site SA-38 which was better, but next to the busy pedestrian path. Reservations should be made well in advance (i.e. reserve your site for next year before leaving this year). Avoid coming and going on Sundays when the water and dump stations are zoos. The biggest drawback was no water and sewer at any site. There was a Knoebles satellite campground with full-hookups called Lake Glory. Lake Glory looked nice but having done some reconnaissance we'd probably pick nearby J&D Campground over Lake Glory. Nevertheless, the point is moot because staying right next to the amusement park is too cool to pass up. Lots of pinball at the two Arcades. The park is pet friendly. Belle even rode the Pioneer Train.

Lackawanna State Park near Scranton. 2023/May - Yet another good stay in site 60. All loops and sites up hill from Fox Run were closed including the new construction at Ledges. Finally made it to Steamtown and the Electric City Trolley Museum. Both were worth the trip although a lot was closed off at Steamtown. The Anthracite Heritage Museum might be worth while, but may not be open during the week. 2022/May - Another good stay in site 60. Parking area off Rowlands "Road" for hiking Kennedy Creek, Bassett and Lakeshore trails. All good. Also hiked Snowflake and Frost Hollow trails from South Shore parking. Most major trail intersections now have numbers corresponding to the trail maps which is helpful. The primitive Ledges area was closed and under construction. Looks like they're turning it into hookup sites. 2021/May - Another good stay in site 60. 2020/June - Our first visit. We had site 60 which may have been the best. No curbside neighbors and a great woods view. Good shade all day. The site was sloped front to back, but level side to side. Site 57 might be a good second choice. 57 is set back such that site 60 isn't in the way. Sites were electric only. There was a water hydrant between sites 51 and 53. Two 25' hoses were needed for the curbside water fill, but only one for the streetside fill. There was another hydrant between sites 61 and 65, but that one was even further back. No provided firewood. It was go find your own deadfall. Good hiking. We hiked most trails between North Woods Trail and Fairground Hill Road. There were still many more trails to explore around the lake. Trail maps and markers were semi-ambiguous.

Loose Caboose at Kinzers. Last visited August 2013. I could watch Amtrak trains right from my campsite. I was only about 2 miles away from the Threshermen's Reunion and only about 8 miles away from the Strasburg Railroad. I stayed in site 38. It was on the third tear and had a view down to the Amtrak line which is exactly what I wanted. For a wide unobstructed view of the tracks, grab your cocktail and camp chair and head down to the lawn in front of the picnic pavilion. Site 38 was pretty small. They let me park my truck in the next site which was closed for renovations. Most sites were seasonal or "under renovation". There's no arcade, but I did find a long-neglected Black Knight locked in a busted up storage shed. The owners appear to be slowly renovating the campground. But in the meantime it all has a worn feel to it. There were some low-rent seasonals making noise at odd hours of the night. I enjoyed my stay, but next time I may look for something a bit more upscale. Ideally I'd like to stay at Roamer's Retreat Campground right next to Rough and Tumble. But those reservations would need to be made a year in advance for the Threshermen's Reunion.

Mountain Springs Campground at Shartlesville. 2017/October - This time we stayed in site R1. The view was okay until the giant fiver pulled in. I'd stick with the T sites as noted below. The Operation Thunder was still kicking along. 2015/September - We stayed in site T12A which was probably the best with a great view of the pond. T13 would be an okay second. T11 would be good since it's oriented so the awning faces the pond, but takes some maneuvering to get there. T12 is not so good assuming someone is occupying T11. In 2013 we stayed in site R6 which was okay, but too small and had trees blocking much of the pond view. R1 would have been better. R2 and R5 were too small. All of these sites had good shade. Any of the sites in rows B-F and J were big and would be a good choice. The row H pull-through sites were long, but too narrow. There was a moderate sized arcade with a working Operation Thunder. In 2013 there was an out-of-order Starship Troopers. This campground is large and mostly wooded. We enjoyed many long pleasant strolls. The campground is just a few miles away from the Kernsville Dam Recreation Area in Hamburg where there's lots of hiking. We're looking forward to further exploring this area. There's also the Reading railroad museum in Hamburg. Roadside America is close by and worth the trip. Look for the Saturday night demo derbies across the street at Mountain Springs Arena. Be aware that the campground can get quite noisy if there's a big event going on at the Arena.

Pine Hill RV Park at Krumsville. Last visited May 2013. A well-manicured campground with all full-hookup sites specializing in big rigs. Isolated location with a lot of highway noise and nothing to do within walking distance. But it's a great home base for visiting the WK&S railroad and the Allentown pinball show. Pine Hill had a small gameroom with a semi-playable Escape from the Lost World and Earthshaker.

Riverfront Campground at Duncannon. Last visited July 2016. This place is on a narrow floodplain between the Susquehanna River and the old Pennsy main line. Lots of trains went by, but summer visibility to the tracks was limited. We stayed in site 4 which may be the best. It's big with a concrete awning pad and a good view of the river. This was a full-hookup site... Sort of. The 15 amp power source was rudimentary at best. Our AC pulled the line down to 95 volts. Needless to say we didn't use the AC. Unfortunately this happened to be a really hot July weekend. I noticed that no one ran their AC except a few of the seasonals who had their own generators. Sewer consisted of an underground tank that's periodically pumped. Don't know if it was empty to begin with, but we filled it with our four day stay. In previous years when I visited in November, visibility to the tracks was great. Pinball at the Old Sled Works is just a short bike ride away. The campground is rustic, rustic, rustic. In 2013 I almost stayed in site 4. In November I would have had the whole lower campground to myself. But the power didn't work so I got moved back up to the unmarked residential section where I was the previous year. The residential sites are often muddy and more cramped. My "full-hookup" site comprised 15A power and a hole under a rock that probably led to some sort of septic tank. Update: as of 2016 the residential section had a lot more fresh gravel and lawn. In all fairness, this operation is clearly advertised as a bare-bones fishing camp, not a full-service family campground. I thought it was great!

Seven Points on Raystown Lake. Last visited July 2015. I was shooting for a waterfront site in the Senoia Camp, but ended up with site 259. The site itself was nice, but it was too far back and too far up for a view of the lake. The immediate area was so remote and hilly that it wasn't really practical to walk anywhere. There was a threaded water faucet right across from 259. Fresh water was also at the dump station. All sites are electric only. So if we can't get a water view, it's probably not worth staying at Senoia Camp. We think we might like Point Camp better as it all looked more level. But if we can't get a lake-view site than Ridge Camp might be the place to go with lots of shady spots. 39 looked like a good site. We rented a pet-friendly pontoon boat at Seven Points Marina and had a blast. Unfortunately they don't want their boats above marker 15.

Trough Creek State Park on Raystown Lake. 2023/October - Another great stay in site 22 and another great October weather week. They solved the water problem by bring in a tanker. The faucet by site 14 ran clear with good pressure. Firewood proceeds bought a new playground behind sites 19-20. Hiked the Laurel Loop trail, which diverges and converges from the Laurel Run trail. Neat trail that follows the ridge southeast of Laurel Run. But it's not on any trail map I've seen. For a flat, easy walk, the old Trough Creek Drive goes quite a ways before disappearing into the lake. 2022/October - Forget about the potable water up by the dump station; it's worse than the campground. On the plus side, there seemed to be better pressure at the campground, but still brown. I heard a park guy say the water tests safe, but suffers from excessive iron content; maybe they'll get a new system someday. In the meantime, best to bring your own water. Yet another great stay in site 22. We switched back to October and never left the park. Fantastic weather, great fall colors, great hiking, great sitting by the campfire and no bugs. There's a cell signal up Terrace Mountain Road near the intersection of the Boulder and Laurel Run Trails. 2021/August - Another great stay in site 22. Water is still brown, but the potable faucet by the dump station seemed to run clear with better pressure. Maybe try that next time. We drove down to the Warriors Path State Park and did the Deer Trail Loop and Island Farm Trail Loop which were flat and only partially shaded and not the best choice for a hot sunny day. The southeast end of the park looked more hilly and wooded. 2020/August - Another great stay in site 22. Another good pontoon boat rental from Seven Points Marina. Perhaps the water was less brown this year, but still brown. Water pressure was painstakingly pathetic. Consider at least partially pre-filling the tanks next time. The fresh water faucet up by the dump station was reopen, which is fed from a different well. "Friends of Trough Creek State Park" had honer-box firewood by the campground entrance. While we were there they moved their setup over by the "rustic restrooms" which was pretty convenient for our site 22. Their bundles were smaller pieces of hardwood. Honor-box firewood was still up by the Youth Forestry Camp which was larger pieces of pine. 2019/July - Another great stay in site 22. We did most of the hiking trails this time. The camp water supply was brown this year. What ever was in the water didn't much settle out like heavy sediment. But it didn't smell or taste bad (not that we were drinking it). Don't forget the water filter. Lincoln Caverns was worth the visit. Last visited July 2016 (third consecutive year). The lower numbered campsites constitute the anti-dog area in typical PA State Park fashion. But the campground is so small that this restricted area was no big loss. Dog sites are the higher numbered sites. Once again we had site 22 which we think is the best. We also had site 22 in 2014. We'd take it again. Site 21 is probably a good second choice. Site 18 is probably a good third choice. All sites are electric only. A few water faucets (with hose threads) are distributed through the campground for filling tanks, but are not specific to any one site. There's a water faucet up by the dump station, but it's been blocked off. The best faucet is by site 14 since it's the one that doesn't need to be manually held open. All faucets are a bit off the main road and one section of 25' hose can be a struggle. Honor-box firewood was up by the Youth Forestry Camp No. 3 beyond Trough Creek Lodge. This was a great park! Lots of trails and impressive scenic features. Dog friendly pontoon boat rentals were available at Seven Points Marina, but they're closed by about mid-October. We also checked out some campsites around Seven Points. The waterfront sites in the Senoia Camp area looked good. The waterfront sites in the Point Camp area looked better. Ridenour Overlook was a good stop. Huntingdon was a neat little town. We ate at the Wildflower Cafe (516 Washington Street) which had a dog friendly backyard patio area. Woody's Bar-B-Q was good. The Farm Museum at the Huntingdon Fairgrounds was worth the visit. The Isett Acres Museum was worth the visit. Pinhead Amusements (now closed) is (was) a great pinball location in Bedford, but it's a long hour's drive from Trough Creek.

Twin Grove at Pine Grove. Last visited August 2015. I was slow with my reservations so this year we stayed in end-site E36 instead of by the creek. It was actually pretty nice. At least we weren't staring at the side of a neighboring RV. In 2014 we stayed at site F44 along the creek in the old section of the campground. Great site. We'd take it again or any other site along the creek. Much better than the new section where we stayed in years past. As of 2012 the campground has a whole new section on the east side of the property. All of these new sites are large, full-hookup pull-throughs. We stayed in new site A20. Nice site, but no shade and a long walk to other amenities. We also stayed in new site A64. This site is even more remote, but is up on a hill with a great view. Any of sites A61-A69 have the same great view, but it's a long walk to get to anything else. Unfortunately this whole upper area is now fully infested with seasonals. As of 2015 there's another new "B" area under sites A61-A69 with the same great view. I suspect the seasonal infestation will spread to the B-section as well. In any event, we'll stick with the old section of the campground as noted above. Twin Grove has a full service restaurant and the remnants of an old-time amusement park. Great atmosphere. There's a big arcade. In 2015 the arcade had World Poker Tour with no sound. In 2014 there was a super nice Police Force. More pinball was in the ice cream shop (Street Fighter II and Lethal Weapon 3). The campground is located right across the road from Swatara State Park. Lots of well-manicured trails for walking and biking. Swatara State Park has a new parking lot off Rt. 72 near the Trout Run Trailhead with a few RV-friendly pull-through parking spots. Good place to spend a few hours before check in time at the campground.

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Cherokee Trails Campground & Stables at Bluff City. Last visited October 2015. Cherokee Trails is a tiny campground with stable facilities but less than two dozen sites near Bristol and South Holston Lake. Nearly half the sites were occupied by seasonals or full-time residents. In 2015 we stayed in site 11 and would take it again. In 2013 we stayed in site 2. Sites 1-7 weren't level side-to-side and were along a busier road (not that there's a lot of traffic around here). Sites 9-12 weren't level front-to back and were along a less busy road. I'd pick 9-12. All the sites were big and everything was well manicured with some great views. All the upper sites 1-12 shared a central fire ring in the middle of the circle. The lower four sites 19-22 were neat and had individual fire rings, but were electric and water only. There's a washer and dryer available in one of the sheds. I like this place. It has an isolated feel to it, but is close to a lot a activities. It's in a narrow mountainous hollow accessed by a 1.4 mile one-lane road. Traffic is light, but I'm not sure what happens when two rigs meet. Maybe it's not the place for fainthearted big-riggers. Looks like there's a lot of great local hiking, but we didn't have the time or weather to check it out. We did do some hiking around both the South Holston and Watauga dams. The TVA does a nice job of maintaining a few miles of trails at each dam site. There's also some good hiking (and a miniature train) at Steel Creek Park. Map. The orange triangle trail along the east side of the lake was a good walk. All the other trails look more involved. During our 2013 visit Bristol was essentially closed thanks to a "Rhythm & Roots" event (no dogs). So we checked out Elizabethton instead. The town has a neat historic business district with covered sidewalks which went great with the rainy day we had. We found some good pork BBQ takeout at Bristol BBQ (drive-through only). The next day was clear and sunny and we got a dog-friendly pontoon boat rental from the Friendship Marina on South Holston Lake. Fantastic day! Bristol Caverns was well worth the visit as well as the Bristol Motor Speedway guided tour. There's no way I'd go anywhere near the Bristol area on an actual race weekend.

Norris Dam State Park. Last visited October 2015. We stayed in the east campground at site 3. The site was on the edge of a forest view and nicely isolated from the rest of the campsites. The immobile concrete picnic table was nothing but in the way. It was a tight site and a little awkward for our truck and 24' trailer, but well worth the view. Site 16 might be another good choice with trees on one side and a meadow on the other with great curbside sunrises. We checked out the west campground and decided we prefer the east which seemed more peaceful (at least at site 3). We'd stay here again! There's good local hiking in the park as well as at the TVA dam site. And I liked the Grist Mill and Threshing Barn museums. Oddly there was no onsite firewood. The rangers told us to go into the woods and grab whatever deadfall we could find. The Museum of Appalachia was well worth a visit. We got a dog-friendly pontoon boat rental from Sequoyah Marina. We explored portions of Cove Creek, Mill Creek and Big Ridge State Park. It would take a multiday boat rental to cover the whole lake. Clinton, TN Article.

Pine Mountain at Pigeon Forge. Last visited September 2013. We stayed in site 46 for a week. Site 61 may be the best, but any creekside site would be good. Everything was neatly maintained with all full-hookup sites on concrete pads. Nice campground, but staying in Pigeon Forge was more trouble than it was worth. If I had to do it again, I'd pick a campground convenient to Gatlinburg without the hassle of driving through Pigeon Forge to get anywhere. In Pigeon Forge we did the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, the Titanic Museum and the Dixie Stampede (which was great). We also walked along the Riverwalk Greenway connecting the Old Mill area with The Island. We went to the Little River Railroad & Lumber Company Museum in Townsend. It happened to be closed, but fortunately most of the exhibits were outside. Howard's Restaurant in Gatlinburg had a great dog-friendly outdoor patio area overlooking a creek. The second-floor Wild Boar Saloon had three modern Sterns, but was closed during the day. I did the Hollywood Star Cars Museum and the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. As for Ober Gatlinburg, I did the Aerial Tramway, Alpine Slide and Wildlife Encounter. The Ober Arcade had a nice Lord of the Rings and T2. There was a dog-friendly scenic trail connecting Gatlinburg and the Sugarlands Visitors Center. Otherwise dogs are not welcome on National Park trails. We drove to and Cades Cove and Newfound Gap.

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Bull Run Regional Park at Manassas. 2020/August - Another good stay in site 97. Good hiking at Conway Robison State Forest. 2020/May - Almost had another stay in site 97. Campground closed for Covid-19. 2018/April - Stayed in full-hookup site 97. The site was reasonably level, well drained and dry. 2017/May - Another good stay at site 34 which is now water and electric. We end up here about once a year since it's close to home and makes a quick easy getaway. Campground Map (as of 2016). Many sites are small and/or have awkwardly located utilities. If you lack long hoses and power cords you may end up having to squeeze into a corner of your site or even pull in backwards. Some sites also have a tendency to get muddy. I like the full-hookup sites numbered in the high 90s. The utilities are properly positioned (for the most part) and the sites are near the top of a well-drained slope. In May 2016 we stayed in site 128. In theory this was a roomy full-hookup corner site. But the hookups were awkwardly toward the site's exit. I should have backed in. And the exit was so tight I ended up backing my way out. And the grass areas were not well drained. In 2015 we stayed in site 34 which was nice, but electric only. For electric only, any of the sites 32-39 were good. But the communal water supply is adjacent to the dump station which I'm not thrilled about. In years past we had site 17 which was okay for our old 16' Fun Finder, but too tight for our 24' Trail Sport.

Candy Hill Campground at Winchester. Last visited June 2014. We were in site C11. C10 and C12 were better. C13 and C14 were better still. But all these sites got some harsh late afternoon sun on the rear curbside corner. V1-V11 were at a better angle, but many were seasonal. F1-F9 would be good. All the D sites were too narrow except D15 which would have been excellent. Well-manicured campground, but many sites were tight. Sticking with their "premium" sites is probably a good idea. Management seemed pleasant if a bit paranoid. No shortage of signs and instructions. Big arcade, but no pinball. Good place to stay to get as close as possible to anything going on around Winchester. We probably wouldn't go back just for the campground itself. Next time we may check out The Cove Campground west of Winchester. We did the State Arboretum of Virginia which was great. Very dog friendly and plenty of space for RV parking in the grass overflow lot. Back at Winchester we also liked Jim Barnett Park and the Old Town Mall. We didn't get around to trying any of the Mall restaurants, but I believe many may be dog friendly including at least Brewbaker's and One Block West. We tried the Kernstown Battlefield, but didn't time it right. They have hours only on weekends. Looks like the property is otherwise gated and locked.

Claytor Lake State Park. 2023/June - Another great stay in site 12. The old electrical box box had been mutilated, so now my regular right-angle 30 amp cord fit. $8 firewood seemed pricey, but there was a trailer up State Park Road with $5 wood. We hiked all the trails again and visited the Shot Tower and Foster Falls State Parks which were worth the trip. Be sure the Shot Tower is open as the inside is worth the look. 2022/June - Another great stay in site 12. Don't forget the short red power cord! Did all the trails again. No pontoon boat this time. Visited the Roanoke Pinball Museum which was well worth the trip. Parking sucks for giant pickup trucks, but I found a two-hour street space a few blocks away. Also revisited the VA Museum of Transportation and the Pulaski Transportation Museum which were worth the trips. 2021/July - All of campground D is now site-specific. This time we had site 2 which was actually pretty good. Lots of trees and shade. It had a woodsy feel, but also a view toward the rest of the campground for people watching and passing RV entertainment. Some previous person had bent this particular electrical box so I was able to use my normal right-angle 30 amp cord. The only down side is that it's crammed up against site 1 which could be a problem with noisy or smoky neighbors. I would not pick site 1. Site 3 might be good. It's deep and angled away from the other sites in that row. 5 and 6 might be okay. 4 is too close to 5. Good hiking and another good outing on the old 21' Suntracker. 2020/July - We arrived on Sunday, July 5 around noon when a lot of other people were clearing out. Site 12 had just been vacated so we got it again. For some reason site 11 was closed so we were even more secluded. Another good outing on the 21' Suntracker. Lots of cicada tree damage. The cicadas had all died just before our arrival. It was a hot week with lots of mosquitos, but we managed to hike all the trails again. All sites will be site-specific as of 2021. 2019/September - Another great stay in site 12. Another great pontoon boat outing from Claytor Lake Watersports (21' Suntracker). This campground has those funky power boxes that don't take my right-angle 30 amp plug. As of 2019 some sites could be site-specific reserved. But all the sites we like were not. So it's still luck of the draw. I'd go with sites 12, 11, 9, 6 and 2 in that order. Otherwise, anything in the 1-12 range is good. Campground map as of 2019. Circled sites could be site-specific reserved. Also new as of 2019 was the Hidden Valley trail around the north side of the park. Claytor Lake is one of our favorite destinations for hiking trails. Trail map as of 2019. 2017/June - It was pretty full so we got site 39 which was okay, but maybe the smallest in that row. All the sites in this row have some harsh sun exposure. Don't forget about sites 1 and 2! They were decent and available and we drove right past them. Site 12 will still always be the best if we can get it. Apparently they're going to begin taking specific-site reservations for 2018. Site map as of 2017. Another great-weather, dog-friendly pontoon boat rental from the marina at the park. Bike ride on the Dora Trail in Pulaski which had maybe a mile worth of asphalt before turning to gravel. Pulaski Transportation Museum worth the visit. 2015/October - Specific sites are not reserved. It's first come, first served. Drive around until you find an empty site you like and take it. Water and electric were in area D. Areas A-C were primitive. We stayed in back-in site 12 which was probably the best of them all. It was on the end of the row, it was big and it had a great curbside view of a pine forest that was beautifully backlit by afternoon sun. We were lucky. I'm guessing site 12 is always one of the first sites to be taken. Site 11 would be a reasonable second choice. During a past visit we picked pull-through site 32 which was parallel to the access lane (like parallel parking). It was nice, but all the back-in sites were better than any of the pull-throughs. All the back-in sites had better shade and were more secluded. All the sites and grounds were neat and well maintained. Click for an image of the campground map. Pet friendly pontoon boat rentals were available on site at the Park's marina. The Virginia Museum of Transportation was well worth the drive to Roanoke.

The Cove Campground near Gore. 2017/July - First visit. The Cove Campground was an enormous complex of several different camps and seemed to specialize in off-roading with miles of Jeep and ATV trails. There were also several lakes and a beach which seemed popular. This is not the place for luxury big rigs or faint-hearted RVers. Just getting there required a 1.7 mile trip up gravel Rock Enon Springs Road (signage was good). The majority of sites are primitive and inaccessible to conventionally-sized RVs. 2017 Map. We had site 20F; 20F; 20F in Camp I. Camp I was mostly an open field. This was the only camp with electric and the only camp I'd want to take an RV. I modified the Camp I map (very not to scale) to better reflect the arrangement of access lanes. From the main office, a steep lane curved up toward site 18. Moving counter-clockwise, a center loop split off from between sites 18 and 19 and ran between sites 2-7 and sites 19-20E. This segment was the only way in or out of Camp I without excessive road ruts, rocks or low tree branches. The lane then looped around site 20E and back above sites 20E-19, but there was some low hanging branches up there. The lane along sites 9-17 was actually off in the woods and not accessible with a full-height RV. Sties 9-17 were primitive. Sites 1-8 and 18-20F were electric sites - the only electric sites. Each pair of sites shared a power box. There was a 30 amp outlet for each site and one shared 20 amp outlet. Sites 20E and 20F shared a power box, but the lane bisected site 20E from the power box. So I would definitely not pick site 20E. There were random water faucets through out Camp I. Some sites were within hose distance of a faucet, but not 20F. We filled up at a faucet along the center loop by site 19A. None of the sites were graded or level; they just roll with the land. The best strategy was to park parallel with the access lane. 20F was the only wooded electric site and probably the only one I'd pick. All other electric sites were exposed and the grass was high. They didn't seem big on lawn mowing. 20F was sort of a pull-through, but in the end I backed out to avoid branches and rocks. We oriented ourselves east-west with the awning facing the woods toward sites 9 and 10 in the distance. We were level side-to-side, but had to put the jack all the way down to level fore and aft. It was a lot of work, but once there we had a large and quite spot with a lot of shade. For July, there were only four or so other RVs that came and went during our Fri-Mon stay. I absolutely would not come here during one of their off-roading events. Otherwise it was surprisingly peaceful. There was effectively no dump station. The dump station was up by the bath house beyond Camp II and was no place I'd want to drag an RV. With an abundance of caution we got the trailer to Camp I, but I wouldn't take it anywhere else. In summary, 20F was a neat location I might like to try again, but it took a lot of cautious maneuvering to get there and back.

Douthat State Park. 2023/June - This time we had Lakeside site 8 which was pretty neat with mostly a woods view, but with a bit of a lake view to the left. The site is tucked beside a western ridge and the sun is down by 5:30. Lots of shade all day. We had three days of rain and the only new trail we tried was part way up Buck Hallow trail to the overlook. And as usual I made a trip to the C&O Railway Heritage Center and the rail yard in front of the Amtrak station. 2022/June - This time we stayed in Lakeside 11 which was pretty neat with a great lake view. The sun was harsh from about 1:00 to 4:00, but the side tarp took care of that. This campground is way denser than we like, but that's probably dictated by its prime location. Yet there are only four sites, 10, 11, 17 and 19 that have great lake views. Sites 10 and 11 have really great views, but are more open. Sites 17 and 19 have maybe lesser views, but are way more shaded. Site 14 looks tempting, but is too small and crammed on top of 15. So if sites 10, 11, 17 and 19 are taken, Lakeside is probably not worth putting up with the density. One exception: Site 8 is big, at the end of a row, shaded, has a great woods view (with a bit of lake view) and is about as secluded as it's going to get at Lakeside. Lakeside also has the advantage of direct access to many trail options. We hiked Middle Hollow to Pine Tree to Blue Suck Falls and back down across Laurel View. Took about 2.5 hours and was too much for us old people. No more Blue Suck Falls. Backway Hallow was good and walking around the lake is good and takes about an hour. This was a split trip. After spending three nights at Lakeside we spent another three nights at White Oak 31. We had our eye on this site from last year thinking it would be secluded and have a great woods view. It did! But we failed to recognize the site's extreme grade which I calculated to be about eight percent! The hitch ended up about waist high or 37". Also it was a squeeze getting the awning out next to the lantern post. Really the site was exactly what we wanted, but the topology was just too weird. I used every block and chock I had (plus a big timber from the camp host) and still felt like we were going to roll away at any moment. Also, the site angles away from the rest of the campground. Instead of trying to turn around, I used the dump station down at Whispering Pines. I like site 27. Think I'd pick 27, 22, 23, 21, 20, 7 and 5 in that order. All of those sites have a good angle facing to woods and/or creek. But I think I'll try for LS 8 next time. The Wilson Creek trail was a good hike and goes all the way to the Ross Camp trail which isn't shown on every map. Still no cell signal without hiking up the mountain or driving back to town. Revisited the C&O museum again. Also, the Amtrak station is a great place to see some car kicking. 2021/June - Our first trip to Douthat. We stayed in the White Oak Campground and picked site 7 along the creek. We thought we might have some good creek ambiance, but the campground is so high up from the creek, it was a non-issue. Any of sites 5-10 would be similar, but 7 may be the best in the row. Our first choice might be site 31 which is off on its own and has the most isolated woods view. White Oak Campground is supposed to transition to site-specific reservations beginning in 2022. The Lakeside Campground would be neat, but is site-specific and I'm thinking the good sites will be difficult to reserve. I'd pick 10, 11, 15, 17 and 14 in that order. The Whispering Pines Campground has larger sites, but is more open and is way too far away. The Beaver Dam Campground looks okay, but is on the fringe of the park and the hiking trails. Great hiking (map). Many of the trails are strenuous and probably more than we'll ever cover. We did Beards Gap Hallow and across to Blue Suck Falls. We also did Tobacco House Ridge, Huff's, Heron Run and YCC. No cell signal at the campsite. The only cell signal we found was at the overlook halfway along the Tobacco House Ridge trail. The C&O Railway Heritage Center in nearby Clifton Forge was well worth the visit. Overall a great stay.

Holiday Trav-L-Park at Virginia Beach. Last visited September 2014. This place is huge! I highly recommend the Supersite section. We had Supersite 859 at the end of a row which was great. In 2012 we had Supersite 824 which was also great and at the end of a row. Actually the lower numbered Supersites may be more desirable as they're closer to a tree line which provides some afternoon shade a bit sooner in the day. Be warned that this campground is next to the Oceana Naval Air Station. There will be F-18s flying over your head all day. The arcade had the same old line up of an EM Big Ben with a dead left flipper, an Attack from Mars with a dead right flipper and a Bride of Pinbot with weak flippers and too few balls. Pathetic! Of course there's Flipper McCoys in the 2200 block of Atlantic Ave. But they're still limping along on the same old Bally/Williams line up plus a South Park that didn't work very well. The campground had its own complementary parking lot at 9th and Pacific Avenue which is pretty handy. The beach and boardwalk are dog-friendly after Labor Day weekend. The Virginia Aquarium is worth another visit. Next time we should do more of the Aquarium's boat tours. The Military Aviation Museum was excellent. Definitely worth another visit. While in the area we also checked out First Landing State Park. Most of the campsites looked cramped with a lot of brush. Everything was inland of the dunes so there were no views. Aside from the beach there didn't seem to be much to do around the campground. There were many hiking trails across Rt. 60 on the eastern side of the park, but overall I was uninspired. Croc's 19th Street Bistro and Abbey Road Pub were listed as pet friendly. Croc's had good food, but seemed overly expensive for what it was. Drinks were horrendously expensive. Abby Road was the way to go. Not the greatest view from the front patio, but good food, good drinks and on-site parking. Lots of mosquitoes during this trip.

Kiptopeke State Park near Cape Charles. Last visited September 2014. Even sites 2-42 were along a shady tree line and seemed to be the sites of choice. We had site 20 and would take it again. Lots of good hiking trails in this park. Don't forget the bug spray! The breakwater made from sunken concrete ships was an interesting sight. Next to the state park was the Southern Tip Bike and Hike Trail which was a paved rails-to-trails path about 2.5 miles long. At the south end of the trail was the visitor's center for the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge which was worth the visit. Cape Charles had an okay little downtown area along Mason Avenue that was worth a walk. Kelly's Gingernut Pub had some dog-friendly outside seating, but we didn't try it. We did take the pooch to The Shanty which had good food, good drinks and good views. The Cape Charles Museum was also worth the visit. I drove up to the Eastern Shore Railway Museum in Parksley. The Museum was small and the drive was long, but the devoted train nut would probably find it worthwhile. Lots of mosquitoes during this trip. We came and went by way of the Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel which was a sight in of itself. Down side was the $22 toll each way for a truck and tandem-axle trailer. No inspection stop. The tollbooth attendant asked if our LP was turned off and took our word for it.

Lake Anna State Park. 2022/August - Site 35 is our new favorite site. We had not previously considered 35 because it was non-reserveable. As of 2022, everything is reservable. 35 has a long driveway like 39 with a deep woods view, but no yurts. Also like 39, 35 slopes slightly back and is awash during heavy downpours. Maybe bring a hoe and shovel to pull back some of the gravel. Awning faced SW with some morning sun, but big tree shade the rest of the day. 2021/August - Back to site 39 (36 was taken). There was yurt activity this time. Good stay, but everything was a bit scruffy. No lawns mowed anywhere. Don't forget about the Ware Creek Trail. It's neat, but not on all the maps. Another good pontoon boat rental from Dukes Creek. We like that they provide half-day rental options. 2020/September - This time we had site 36 which may be our new favorit (except for the September rain of acorns). Good woods view, reasonably spaced out from the neighboring sites and no yurts. 2019/June - Another good stay in site 39. Firewood was at the camp host, but also at the camp office stored in a dry shed. Also ice at the camp office. Trail map. 2018/June - First visit. We picked site 39 which may have been the best. It had a longer "driveway" and was set back off the main road more so than the other sites. It had a good woods view and good shade. Late afternoon sun was a bit harsh street-side. One possible negative was that the site was next to yurtville. The four yurts appeared to be new for 2018 and were all unoccupied during our stay. The greater threat might come from noisy neighbors at nearby site 40. Site 35 was also set back with a good woods view and might be a good second choice. There's firewood at the camp host, but also shed-covered wood (and ice) at the camp office. Campground map as of 2018. Dog friendly pontoon boat rentals at Dukes Creek Marinia.

Occoneechee State Park near Clarksville. 2022/September - Back at site C29 eight years later. C29 is still the best for a wide open lake view. Otherwise the novelty has worn off. Hard, steep turn down off the cul-de-sac makes maneuvering into the site difficult. It was a hot, sunny week. Awning faces south into some good shade trees, but the late afternoon sun was harsh and the picnic/firering terrace was completely exposed. Under the awning became untenable by about 3:00 pm. The RV terrace is small. No room for the awning mat and trees block the awning from full extension. There was often a nice breeze blowing off the lake. Someone "vandalized" the small old power box such that our right-angled cord fit. Otherwise we would have needed the red cord. Great wooded hiking trail terrain. But no moderate-length loops and no direct access to anything from the campground. Map. If there's a next time I'd go for sites 30-33. They have more of a woods/cove view, but are far more protected. Plus the picnic terraces are all curbside. I'd pick 32 33 30 or 31 in that order. 31 and 32 are short and have corresponding truck parking spots across the road next to the little picnic pavilion. Last visited September 2014. We picked site C29 which was one of the most unique sites we've seen. It was perched on a man-made terrace overlooking Kerr Reservoir (i.e. Buggs Island Lake). The main terrace was just big enough for the trailer and there was a second terrace for the table and fire ring. Fantastic view! As neat as this site was, it was wide open to direct afternoon sun magnified by lake reflections. It was okay for the end September, but would be brutal during the summer. Lots of hiking, but there was so much else to do we didn't get to it. Clarksville was great with a neat little downtown area including some shops and the very dog-friendly Lake House Restaurant. They had an off-leash back patio area where all the locals gather with their pooches. The food was good too! The state park had on-site, dog-friendly pontoon boat rentals managed by Clarksille Water Sports. The lake is too big to ever get bored on a boat. We explored portions of Butcher's Creek, Grass Creek and Bluestone Creek. We puttered by our own RV and stopped at the municipal dock on the edge of Clarksville. We spent one day on a road trip to nearby South Hill which seems like a reasonably nice town. We visited their Model Railroad Museum in the old South Hill railroad station as well as their Tobacco Farm Life Museum which was one block west on Main Street. Both were worth the stop. We visited the Max B. Crowder Memorial Park (i.e. Whittle's Mill) which was a few miles outside town off Rt. 47. This remote undeveloped park had a beach-like area below the dam that was a great place to let the dog tear around. There's also an interesting old hydro power plant that may or may not still be operational. Neat park that I doubt many people know about. Next we checked out a trail head access lot for a section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail off Main Street (Rt.621) in the neighboring town of La Crosse. Looked like a nicely paved rails-to-trails path. We'll do a bike trip here if we ever make it back to the area. Lots of mosquitoes everywhere.

Outlanders River Camp at Luray. Last visited July 2014. The RV area is wide open and roomy. Any of the full-hookup sites are good. But this is a newer campground and it will be many years before the trees fill in and provide some shade. We stayed in site 2. We had a big "front yard" and spectacular views. The late afternoon sun was harsh. But the views were worth it. Nevertheless, if I were unable to reserve site 2, I'd go for something in the next row 24-33. Those sites have the best angle on afternoon sun. The biggest draw is the many on-site hiking trails. Great place to have a dog. Outlanders Deli (across Rt. 211) is good for a quick bite. The Luray Greenway trail is a good walk. We also scouted Lake Arrowhead. Looks like there's a hiking trail around the lake and the parking lot is good enough to stop by with the RV.

Shenandoah River State Park near Front Royal. 2023/August - Good stay in site 8, which may be our new favorite site. It's perhaps the most secluded site with no visible neighbors. Unlike the other sites in that row, 8 had great afternoon shade. Awning faces southeast so there's some morning sun. If it's going to be hot, it'd be worth putting up the side tarp to the south (rear). In the back corner of the site was our own little private trail to the adjacent meadow. Lots of mystery bug bites. Discovered the Wildcat Ledge trail, which was grueling, but had some great views at the end. Revisited Skyline Caverns, which is always neat. Also visited the Fireball Arcade in Front Royal. It was "okay". Neat to see older games on location. They were playable, but pretty rough. 2021/September - Another good stay in site 13. Everything is now site-specific. 2020/October - The upper loop sites 1-18 are non-specific; the lower loop sites 19-32 are specific reserved. This time we tried site 2. There was a mountain view, but the morning sun was late and the afternoon sun was harsh on the back curbside corner. I'd pick 4-7 over 1-3. 8 looked secluded. No cell signal anywhere. Trail map. 2019/May - Stayed in site 11 (unreserved) which was much like site 13, but maybe a bit more private. They don't appear to be cutting brush between sites so there's a bit more privacy and shade with each passing year. Sites 11 and 13 would be our two first choices. Last visited August 2016. Technically it's called the Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. Shenandoah River State Park. Who would ever remember all that? Specific sites are not reserved. It's first come, first served. Pick up your reservation envelope at the welcome shack then drive around until you find an empty site you like and take it. We took site 13 (unreserved as of 2019). In October 2014 we took site 27 (reserved as of 2019). Both these sites faced north/northeast which is good for avoiding afternoon sun. The elevations were low and the mountain views weren't as good as they could have been. If we go back we might try for pull-through sites 4, 6 or 7 with 4 looking like the best as far as potential views. But 4, 6 and 7 are a bit smaller and less private. Site map. The park's website wasn't clear about dumpsters and dump stations, but both are located at the top of the hill by the entrance to the campsite area. Firewood with an honor box was by the camp host site. Great hiking. The lower trails by the river were easily bikeable. Great views from the visitor center and Culler's overlook. Front Royal had a nice little downtown historic area around East Main and Chester Streets. We didn't try any restaurants, but there were a few with outside seating. Skyline Caverns is worth a visit. The north end of Skyline Drive was also nearby.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Last visited July 2012. Reservations may be made for a pull-through or back-in site. However, specific sites are not reserved. It's first come, first served. Drive around until you find an empty site you like and take it. All the sites and grounds were neat and well maintained. Water and electric only. We reserved a pull-through site and picked site 12. But all the inside pull-through sites have an odd two-tier arrangement. It was interesting, but awkward. If I had to do it again I would have reserved a back-in site and tried for something in the 1-13 range. Those sites had better shade and were all on one level. Or I might just try for another nearby private campground. This place was small, REALLY buggy and almost too quiet. Click for an image of the campground map. Pet friendly pontoon boat rentals were available on site next to the Park's beach. We took the boat to Mango's Bar and Grill for lunch which was pet friendly. Good food. Located on the SW side of the Rt. 122 bridge at Bridgewater Plaza. Bridgewater Plaza also had a neat arcade with an Attack from Mars.

Staunton State Part near South Boston. Last visited October 2014. The park is at the upper end of Kerr Reservoir (i.e. Buggs Island Lake). The campground is in a wooded area without any views of the lake. We picked site 42 and would pick it again. All the sites are wooded with good shade. Lots of good hiking around the park. There's a boat launch, but no marina and no boat rentals. Back at South Boston we went to the South Boston - Halifax County Museum which was excellent. It had a little bit of everything. We biked a 2.6 mile portion of the Tobacco Heritage Trail which is accessed off Railroad Avenue near Cotton Mill Park. Beyond the 2.6 mile mark the trail looks to be unmaintained. There's also a visitors center at the intersection of Rt. 58 and Rt. 360 with tons of area information. Lots of mosquitoes during this trip. We enjoyed our visit, but if we go back to the lake we'd probably pick Occoneechee State Park and Clarksville as our destination (see above).

Yogi Bear's Jellystone at Gloucester Point. Last visited 2011. I have nothing bad to say about this place except stay away from site #95. High tide was on our doormat. The nicer shaded sites were in the southwest 142-227 area. But many of these were seasonal and may be hard to get.

Yogi Bear's Jellystone at Luray. Last visited 2011. No complaints, but if we go back I'll definitely book one of the "Red Carpet" sites. Big arcade, but no pinball. If we're going to Luray we generally prefer Outlanders River Camp over Jellystone.

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West Virginia

Harpers Ferry Campground. Last visited June 2016 (third consecutive year). The campground is run by River Riders off Rt. 340 which is where you check in before proceeding to the campground. The main parking lot at River Riders is a dead end. Not an easy place to turn the trailer. There's a grass lot across the road where it's possible to turn around. There's also a gravel bus lot on the far side of the building, but it may be clogged with buses. As of 2014 all RV sites have water and electric, but no sewer. As of 2015 there's a dump station on site. Also new for 2015 were some cabins which, unfortunately, reduced the number of RV sites. But new for 2016 were more water and electric sites on the far side of the boat ramp. Most sites are riverfront. In 2016 we had site 35 which is probably the best. In 2015 we had site 30 which had a lesser river view because of a small overgrown peninsula. Backing into the site from the narrow bridge was also a bit tricky. In 2014 we had site 32 and would take it again. I'd pick sites 35-30 in that order. But they don't guarantee specific sites so you might get what they give you. Riverfront sites numbered in the twenties are okay, but wedged between the new cabins. 2014 pre-cabin site map. 2015 post-cabin site map. Generally there's not much room to maneuver. Our 24' trailer and full-size truck were doable. Anything bigger might struggle. The campground is also an adventure park. Most riverfront sites have an overhead zip-line. There will be screaming people flying over your RV. Also new for 2015 was a 10' height restriction (we're 9'6") for RV sites 30-35 under the zip line. I wasn't concerned. Even at 10' there seems to be a large margin of error. There's also a heavily traveled rail line right next door. But the rail noise pales in comparison to the non-stop tunnel-related horn honking. Right by the campground entrance is a tiny one-lane tunnel that's blind from both directions. Everyone honks on the way through to warn oncoming traffic. For me this was the only negative aspect of our stay. It quiets down at night, but is otherwise nearly non-stop. The tunnel is not recommended for RVs. Detour directions are provided from River Riders. For the detour I'd pick Engle Switch Road over Kidwiler Road. Engle switch might have more twists and hills. But Kidwiler is longer and is relentlessly all patches and potholes. The whole check in process is pretty stressful. There's the offsite check in located on a road without an obvious turn around. Then there's the long detour over roads that barely qualify as roads. Then there's the tight maneuvering at the campground itself. Note that many of the guard wires and posts are removable which can simplify maneuvering in and out of the sites. I like this campground enough to put up with the horn honking and odd check in. It's kinda quirky and rough around the edges, but way more interesting than the local KOA. There's a gravel access road connecting the campground directly to Harpers Ferry. It's bikeable with off-road tires. Otherwise it's a nice walk. If we're going to drive to Harpers Ferry, we go early in the morning and park at the Harpers Ferry Amtrak station. Parking is otherwise fairly impossible. We stopped at the Town's Inn for breakfast which was dog friendly and had great food and a great view. The Harpers Ferry Toy Train Museum and Joy Line Miniature Railroad is worth a visit. Neat place to spend an hour. And it's pet friendly. Belle even went for a train ride. Doesn't look like they have a website, but here's the brochure. It's along Bakerton Road between Rt. 340 and the infamous horn honking tunnel.

Harpers Ferry KOA. Last visited June 2013. Nice place with all the amenities one would expect to find at a KOA. Specific sites are not reserved so there's no point in having a favorite. I made reservations in the 50 amp pull-through section (28-55) and ended up in site 40. These sites are flat and well-manicured, but have little shade. The 30 amp full-hookup sites (131-168) were smaller and less level, but had old-growth trees and lots of shade. On the other hand, the 30 amp sections filled up by Friday night whereas we had no immediate neighbors around our 50 amp site. It's a toss-up. The campground has a good sized arcade with a playable FunHouse. The campground is only two or so blocks from the National Park Service visitor center with their shuttle buses to historic Harpers Ferry. But no dogs on the buses so that was of no value to us. We did our exploring early in the morning and parked at the Harpers Ferry Amtrak station. Parking is otherwise fairly impossible. A good hot weather walk is up river from the train station along an access road paralleling the railroad tracks. It's flat and well shaded. And there's good train action. At the end of this road we found some river-side camp sites run by River Riders. We may try that next time. By accident we discovered the Harpers Ferry Toy Train Museum and Joy Line Miniature Railroad. Neat place to spend an hour. And it's pet friendly. Belle even went for a train ride. Doesn't look like they have a website, but here's the brochure.

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