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. Click any link for corresponding picture.

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Maryland

Brunswick Family Campground. Last visited August 2016. 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. 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.

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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Pennsylvania

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.

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. Last visited June 2016 (third consecutive year). The campground is the western terminal of the Millersburg Ferry and is mostly seasonal. But there are 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. As of 2016 the arcade appears to have been abandoned. 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. Last visited October 2010. Small and rustic, but pleasant. Right next to the York Heritage Rail Trail. Good home base for the York pinball show.

Knoebles at Elysburg. Last visited August 2016. This was our third consecutive year in site BC-71. It was big and level. It's kinda 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 a little tight and not very level. We also stayed in site SA-38 which was better, but next to a busy pedestrian path. Reservations should be made well in advance. A five day stay Monday-Friday is good. Avoid coming and going on Sundays when the water and dump stations are zoos. The biggest drawback is no water and sewer at any site. There is a Knoebles satellite campground with full-hookups called Lake Glory. Lake Glory looks 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.

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. Last visited September 2015. 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. 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 like 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 is 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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Tennessee

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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Virginia

Bull Run Regional Park at Manassas. 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. 2017/June - It was pretty full so we got site 39 which was okay, but maybe the smallest in that row. 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 marinia 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.

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.

Occoneechee State Park near Clarksville. 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. 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. In October 2014 we took site 27. 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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