The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.
DISCLAIMER: These news items are believed current at press time but conditions are still changing quickly, not just because of COVID but because of other factors such as highway conditions. Phone the campground – don’t rely solely on websites, GPS or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open. Seasons and COVID restrictions vary. Get specifics about rates, campground facilities, reservation policies, campsite size and shape, and the condition of access routes. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.
FULL ALERT: Throughout the U.S. and Canada, campsites are being added at a rapid rate but, because of distancing, fewer campsites are available until the pandemic is over. It’s more important than ever to have reservations. Be aware of reservation fees, cancellation requirements and current campground rules. Check ahead for details.
DATELINE: January 23, 2021
ALABAMA STATE PARK WALKS THE WILD SIDE
At DeSoto State Park, Fort Payne, the 29th Wildflower Weekend is scheduled for April 30–May 1, the perfect dates to hike the Azalea Cascade Trail, Little River Trail and the Rhododendron Trail at the height of springtime splendor. See flowering trees, shrubs, rare plants, hillsides covered with wildflowers. Hear guest speakers, have lunch in the park’s Mountain Inn, see the many species of blooming plants on Lookout Mountain, shop the Country Store. The park has primitive campsites and 96 spacious RV sites with full hookups. There’s a $4.75 reservations fee and rates are hiked by a 3.75% daily resort fee. (256) 845-5075, email to DeSoto.Campground@dcnr.
CALIFORNIA BEACH CAMPGROUND EXPANDS
The Nature Conservancy made it possible for the Jalama Beach Campground near Lompoc to add 36 acres. They’re also helping with improvements. The county plans to expand the campground and add a coast trail with beach access. Currently the park has hot showers, restrooms, a dump station and 107 ocean view campsites with picnic table and barbecue. Electric hookup is at 31 sites. (805) 568-2460
COLORADO RV RESORT TO EXPAND
The Buena Vista KOA has been bought by a private firm that plans to add tiny homes and employee housing, update its many amenities, host group events and – good news! – be a year-round facility. Currently the bathhouse is closed for the winter. At present the resort has 47 full-service RV sites. From your campsite you have a view of 14,000-foot mountains towering over a valley shaded by piñon pines. The resort is a mile from the Arkansas River, where you can go fishing or rafting. Hike or bike on public lands adjacent to the resort. Bathe in hot springs, play volleyball, horseshoes and basketball, see nearby ghost towns and go rockhounding. (719) 395-8318
FLORIDA WELCOMES MORE SITES, NEW CAMPGROUNDS
Throughout Florida, intense demand is driving the addition of hundreds of new RV sites. Here’s just a sample. The first 193 RV sites at the Keystone Heights RV Resort opened in November. Still to come are a big clubhouse, swimming pool and other resort features. In St. Augustine, the North Beach Camp Resort is growing by 70 sites, and Pecan Park RV Resort in Jacksonville has doubled in size with the addition of 158 concrete RV pads.
In Rockledge, the Space Coast RV Resort now has 50-amp service at 74 RV sites. Southern Leisure RV Resort in Chiefland is adding 279 sites to its present 218 RV spaces. At the gated Southern Leisure RV Resort of Ocala, work is underway on 185 more RV sites and an Olympic-size swimming pool.
New in East Milton is Splash RV Resort and Water Park, a 62-acre resort and water park with 351 RV sites. In Webster, Sunshine Village now has 50 supersites. Thousand Trails Orlando RV Resort in Clermont recently completed the development of a section that will allow for more than 160 new RV sites, while Torrey Trails RV and Golf Resort in Bowling Green opened its first 158 RV sites this winter.
FLORIDA TO GAIN ELITE NEW PANHANDLE RESORT
Known for its high-rise condos and apartments, Panama City Beach will now have its first luxury RV beach destination. Kukla RV Resort, expected to begin construction this winter and open in 16 months or less, won’t accept RVs more than ten years old and will limit density to 5.8 units per acre. The gated property will have a 24-hour office and video surveillance. Luxuries will include a large swimming pool, fitness center, on-site restaurant, clubhouse, concierge service, walking trails and a pedestrian path to the famous beach.
IDAHO CITY TO GET FIRST CAMPGROUND
A grant has been applied for, bringing Hailey one step closer to a city-owned park known as the Croy Creek Campground. As seen in architectural renderings, it will have 24 RV sites plus tent and parking areas for vans. Also look for dishwashing stations, two ADA-compliant vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings with grills, benches and a bike storage area. The campground will be open only during the summer season, probably late May to late October. To keep updated on the progress of the project contact the Hailey Sun Valley Welcome Center, (208) 788-3494
MASSACHUSETTS CAMPGROUND REBORN
Quabbin Pines RV Resort is the new name for the former Lakeridge Campground in Orange, which closed more than 20 years ago. New owners hope for an opening as early as April. Plans for the 20-acre campground call for RV, tent and cabin camping and a camp store for overnight family campers. There will be no permanent residents except for the owners, who will live on site. After the first winter, the owners will decide whether to stay open year-round. Call (978) 633-4471. Website under construction at quabbinpinesrvresort.com
NORTH CAROLINA ANNOUNCES NEW RV PARK
Planned to be open by Memorial Day, the new oceanfront Avon by the Sea RV Park will have 26 full-hookup campsites, a secure gated entry and a bathhouse. Ocean fishing on Cape Hatteras doesn’t get much better than the 600-foot Avon Pier, an historic icon for anglers. RVs will be allowed to remain all year on the 4.85-acre park but must be fully licensed and ready for the highway. North Carolina’s Outer Banks are known for beaches, historic sites, sportfishing, surfing and shipwreck diving. It’s also the site of Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers Monument. Don’t miss the restaurants, shops and galleries in the charming town of Manteo. For now, the best contact is Dare County Tourism, (877) 629-4386.
OKLAHOMA STATE PARK HAS FALL FORESTRY FESTIVAL
The long list of bragging rights at Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow, includes a luxury lodge, golf course, train rides, horseback riding, trout streams, a lake and two campgrounds. The park also has a full schedule of exciting family events and festivals including the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest to be held September 24 and 25. Watch or compete in forestry skills such as the ax throw, log rolling, crosscut, men’s and women’s bow sawing and much more. The park has several campgrounds with water and electric hookup, most with 50-amp service and some with sewer. One campground is on the lake. Reserve your campsite early, especially during the park’s festivals. To enter competitions call the festival at (580) 584-3393.
TENNESSEE STATE PARK GETS NEW LUXURY LODGE
For RV travelers at Fall Creek Falls State Park, Spencer, the opening of a luxurious new lodge by fall 2021 means a sophisticated dine-out option in addition to light fare already served at The Village pool snack bar and FCF Golf Course Pro Shop. Groceries are sold at the camp store in The Village. A coin laundry facility, open year-round, is located in The Village by the Main Office and General Store. Fall Creek Falls souvenirs are available at two gift shops: one in the park office and one at the camper check-in building. The enormous park covers 29,800 acres of rugged hills, waterfalls, gorges, streams and hardwood forests. The 222 campsites, some of them with sewer, have water, electricity, tables and grills. Campgrounds have six bathhouses. (423) 881-5298
Joining more than 500 sister KOA parks are 11 new ones this year. They include the Harrison KOA in Missouri, Moore Haven KOA in Florida, Houlton/Canadian Border KOA in Maine, Weidman KOA in central Michigan, Newberry/I-26/Sumter KOA in South Carolina, and Jonesborough/Cherokee KOA in Tennessee. See koa.com.
Read more of Janet Groene’s Campground and RV Park News and updates here.
Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her new Farley Halladay book, “May Misfire, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.
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