21 Jun

Campground Review #86 Piney Campground in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Dover, Tennessee

On this episode of the Campground of the Week podcast, Casita Dean reviews Piney Campground in the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Dover, Tennessee.

Land Between the Lakes is a 170,000 acre area between Kentucky Lake on the West and Lake Barkley on the east, stretching north to south across western Kentucky and western Tennessee, and just 80 miles northwest of Nashville.

Campground Details

Piney Campground is a large public campground maintained by the USDA Forest Service, containing 384 sites separated throughout 7 loops. 283 of the sites are electric only, 44 have full hook ups, and 57 are primitive. The cost is $22 per night for electric and $40 per night for full hook ups. Reservations for all the sites can be made online through the Forest Service.

Amenities

Piney Campground offers a great list of amenities at this affordable price point. The Piney Outpost is a well-stocked camp store, and the bathhouses are clean and contain laundry facilities and vending machines. Other campground amenities include:

  • Campfire Theater
  • Softball field
  • Basketball and Volleyball courts
  • Fishing Pier
  • Boat Ramp
  • Swimming area with beach
  • Playground
  • Bicycle and equipment rentals
  • archery range
  • biking and hiking trails

Activities

Land Between the Lakes has a wide range of scheduled activities throughout the national forest, some for an nominal fee. Examples of offered programs include…

  • Golden Pond Planetarium programs
  • Feeding Time on the Farm
  • For Goodness Snakes
  • Afternoon Animal Encounters
  • Be a Hero for Wildlife

Be forewarned: cell service is mediocre and wifi is non existent.

Regional Attractions

The Land Between the Lakes is a regional attraction in and of itself, offering plenty of activities to keep visitors busy during their entire stay. Other regional highlights include…

Regional Dining 

Piney Campground is in the heart of BBQ country, so you will want to explore that cuisine during your visit…

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We’ll see you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

07 Jun

Campground Review #84 Unicoi Springs Camp Resort in Helen, Georgia

Unicoi Springs Camp Resort, located in the northeast mountains of Georgia, is a unique member-owned campground property. Our southern correspondent, Keith Sims, visited for a ‘boys getaway’ with his sons recently and was very impressed.

Campsite Details

So how does this member-owned campground work? Folks pay a one-time $5,000 fee which gives them the right to camp up to 14 days every month of the year. They pay an additional maintenance fee (currently $410) every year. The membership fee does not buy a particular lot on the campground, but rather access to any of the 300 campsites available.

All of the campsites offer full hook ups, a patio or deck, picnic table, cable, and high speed wifi. There are also on-site cabin and RV rentals available for members or their visiting family and friends.

Campground Amenities

Unicoi Springs is a resort style campground and offers amenities that measure up in that category:

  • Two pools
  • basketball court
  • volleyball court
  • tennis court
  • miniture golf
  • pickle ball court
  • clubhouse
  • activity center
  • gated security

Regional Attractions

Unicoi Springs is also located in a beautiful region, which offers many themed festivals throughout the year, including Oktoberfest in the fall. Helen, Georgia is a Bavarian-themed town complete with cobblestone streets and gingerbread trim on the storefronts. Other area attractions include…

  • Alpine Amusement Park
  • Unicoi State Park
  • Scenic Highway 197
  • White water rafting
  • Georgia Museum of Art in Athens
  • Anna Ruby Falls

If you find yourself struggling to get out to the campground as much as you would like, a camping membership option like this can be a fantastic solution. With concierge amenities like RV storage and setup, it’s worth checking out if you are near the northeastern mountains of Georgia.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV and camping fools…

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

RV Family Travel Atlas

31 May

Campground Review #83 Jellystone Park Hagerstown in Williamsport, Maryland

We have had a lot of great stays at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts, but Hagerstown has shot to the top of the list after our stay there last weekend.

Located in northern Maryland, just a mile from I-81, this area is often referred to as the “Crossroads of the Civil War.” The Hagerstown Jellystone is less than an hour and a half from both Washington DC and Baltimore, making this a fantastic weekend escape option for residents of those urban areas.

The Campsites

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24 May

Campground Review #82: Luray KOA in Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is one of our nation’s great natural treasures, and on this Campground of the Week podcast episode, Janine Pettit is recommending that you stay at the Luray KOA during your visit.

Campground Location

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19 Apr

Campground Review #77 Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina in Hilton Head, South Carolina

On this episode of the Campground of the Week Podcast, we are heading to one of the most iconic RV beach destinations on the east coast: Hilton Head, South Carolina. Our upper Midwest correspondent, Matthew and Melissa Kellas, took a trip down south last season and they loved camping at the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina.

In this episode, Matthew and Melissa talk about some of the unique booking arrangements at the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina. This campground features privately owned campsites, so individual owners decide when to rent out their sites and the office handles reservations. Tune in to hear their recommendations for navigating this unusual arrangement.

Matthew and Melissa also share some of their favorite activities and dining experiences from the area. Listen to hear about the best beaches, lighthouses, and family-friendly (and vegan friendly!) restaurants.

A big thank you to our sponsors who support weekly content for all our RV and camping fools!!!

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

12 Apr

Campground Review #76 Gunter Hill Campground outside Montgomery, Alabama

On this episode of Campground of the Week, our Kentucky correspondent Casita Dean reviews Gunter Hill Campground just 12 miles outside of historic Montgomery, Alabama. Casita Dean and his wife Laura first visited Gunter Hill Campground while attending a Green Eggs and Ham rally in their 2005 Casita 17′ Freedom Deluxe.

Gunter Hill Campground is a Corp of Engineers (COE) campground located on the Catoma Creek, part of the backwaters of the Alabama River. It consists of 142 sites, most of which are back in. However, there are about 20 pull thru sites if that is your thing.

Casita Dean talks about the two loops, Catoma and Antioch, and describe the differences between the two area. They offer very distinct camping experiences, so make sure you listen to hear which loop would suit your camping preferences best.

Reservations for Gunter Hill Campground can be made via Reserve American, and the prices are very budget friendly at $18/night for water & electric, and just $26/night for full hook up. That low price will give visitors access to boating, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

The campground also offers playgrounds, basketball courts, group shelters, and adequate comfort stations. Don’t bother to bring along your devices as WiFi is not one of the amenities offered at Gunter Hill.

The Region: Activites, Attractions, and Good Eats

Casita Dean is very familiar with the Montgomery area, and shares great recommendations  for enjoying both the historic sites and the great dining options.

Montgomery:

Prattville:

Gunter Hill Campground can offer campers a quiet, outdoor retreat or an affordable basecamp to explore on of America’s great historic destinations.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RVing fools!

We will see you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

29 Mar

Campground Review #74: Townsend/Great Smokies KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA in Townsend, Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, and we covered both the North Carolina and Tennessee side extensively over on our RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast a little while back. Make sure to take a listen to these episodes if you are planning a trip to the Smokies. We gave a ton of recommendations for hikes, activities, and good eats:

The Townsend KOA is located on the Tennessee side of the Smokies in the small and charming town of Townsend, just about 7 miles from the Cades Cove loop drive, one of the most popular places in the national park. This area is sometimes called the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” and if you are looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or Cherokee this might be the perfect option.

This is branded as a Holiday KOA, which means it offers upgraded amenities and activities while providing a great basecamp for exploring the local area. With about 100 sites for RVs and tents, and a few dozen cabins, you will need to book early if visiting during the peak summer season.

Amenities:

  • Pool
  • Playground
  • fudge and ice cream shop
  • snack bar
  • basketball
  • bike rentals
  • tube rentals and shuttle service
  • clean, well-maintained bath houses

Activities (from Memorial Day to Labor Day):

  • Outdoor movies
  • Wagon rides
  • Tie Dye
  • Bingo
  • fishing

Cell service is sketchy in the Smokies to say the least, but if you need WiFi you can get a good, strong single up by the fudge shop and camp store. Listen to the episode to hear our recommendations for the best sites at the Townsend KOA and tips for booking them!

The RV Family Travel Atlas podcasts are going to give you a ton of recommendations for activities in the area, but if you want to chill near the campground, here are some great options.

Area Activities:

  • 5-mile bike path
  • Tubing the Little River with River Rat Tubing
  • Fishing with Smokey Mountain Angler or Little River Outfitters
  • Tuckaleechee Caverns
  • Smoky Mountain Heritage Center
  • Townsend Festivals

There is no shortage of great campgrounds in the Smokies, but the Townsend KOA stands out as a charming, warm, beautiful campground providing a peaceful location and plenty of amenities. People return year after year, and that says everything.

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

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15 Mar

Campground Review #72 River’s End Campground and RV Park in Tybee Island, Georgia

On this episode of Campground of the Week, Janine Pettit, host of the Girl Camper Podcast, reviews River’s End Campground and RV Park in Tybee Island, Georgia.

Tybee Island is a premier RV destination in it’s own right, plus it happens to be just 15 miles away from Savannah, Georgia. Janine loved enjoying a beachy, relaxing campground while being an easy drive from one of America’s most historic and beautiful cities.


River’s End Campground and RV Park is a year round RV destination, so expect the rates and availability to fluctuate greatly throughout the year. They separate the calendar year into low season, mid season, peak season, and high season with different pricing for each category, ranging from as low as $49 to as high as $99. Thankfully, the website offers a very clear breakdown of the seasons and charges, so check it out if you want to make sure River’s End Campground fits into your traveling budget!

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08 Feb

Campground Review: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Disney World, Florida

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we are reviewing what may be America’s favorite campground of all time: Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Disney World, Florida.

After camping at Fort Wilderness, we can honestly say that it has earned every bit of it’s stellar reputation. Simply put, we will never stay anywhere else on return trips to Disney World.

If you are planning a trip to Disney World, one of the most important things to know is that Fort Wilderness is considered a Disney Resort property, which means that you will enjoy the benefits of staying ‘on property’: early dining reservations, early Fast Pass booking, and access to daily extra Magic Hours. You will also have access to Disney transportation: busses and boats connect Fort Wilderness to all the other Disney properties and parks.

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01 Feb

Campground Review #66 Fort De Soto Campground near St. Petersburg, Florida

Campground Review: Fort De Soto Park Campground

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we review the Fort De Soto Park Campground, about 20 miles south of St. Petersburg, Florida. Fort De Soto Park Campground is a perennial favorite for native Floridians and for the snow birds that flock down to the Sunshine State every winter.

And it is easy to see why. Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful campgrounds we have ever seen, and we can imagine returning again and again if it was in our own backyard.

Campground Details: Fort De Soto Park Campground

The campground is located in Fort De Soto Park, part of the Pinellas County Park System. There are 238 camp sites, spread out over three loops. This is one of those campgrounds where it pays to study the map–each loop has distinctive characteristics and rig requirements:

  • Area 1 allows tents, vans, pop ups, and trailers under 16 feet.
  • Area 2 allows all rigs and is pet friendly.
  • Area 3 allows all rigs and NO PETS.

Make sure you pick an appropriate site for your family! This campground document is very helpful…

The great news is that all three areas offer waterfront sites and spacious pull thrus. Every site also has water and electric hook ups, with dump stations easily accessible from each area.

Sites become available six months in advance, and you actually need to book that far ahead if you want your pick of spots. This campground routinely sells out, so don’t expect to show up and park on a waterfront site on a whim. Take a listen to the episode to hear about the other amenities available in Fort De Soto Park Campground.

Surrounding Activities and Attractions

On this episode of Campground of the Week, we only talk about the activities available within Fort De Soto Park itself. This is because we have an entire segment on the St. Petersburg/Tampa area on our RVFTA podcast this week. Head on over to RVFTA episode #127 to hear our interview with native Floridian, Courtney Parish, who shares all the best attractions in this area.

Fort De Soto Park is over 1,000 acres and is beautifully arranged for visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty and historical significance of this location. While you are here, check out:

  • North Beach, East Beach, and the designated dog beach
  • Boat ramps and fishing piers for easy water access
  • 7 miles of paved, multi-purpose trails, perfect for walking and biking
  • 2-mile, self-guided canoe and kayak trail
  • Historic Fort, with self-guided tour available here.

After our brief visit, we can see why so many people say this is one of their favorite campgrounds in Florida. Make those reservations way in advance, and enjoy your stay at this gem in the Sunshine State!

See you at the campground!

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