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It gets 2 stars because the staff was nice but the park looks run down. Every site needed mowing (no rain so no excuse) and the site next to us was blocked off because of a water leak for quite some time, algae growing on the water. Trees need to be trimmed. It is easy on easy off of 75. ‘45 MH
Wow. This park is phenomenal! It is so beautiful. The canyons are breathtaking and the staff is so helpful and friendly!
Pets are welcomed and many people had theirs. So if your pet doesn’t like crowds or other pets it would be best to leave them home. Also it’s a decent walk very steep and at times strenuous so elderly people or pets may want to stay at the top. (We slipped multiple times going down.)
Make sure you take a cash to get in the gate or you will have to go to the visitor center.
We plan to go back and camp but I believe you have to hike to the camp sites.
Stopped here to camp overnight on our way down to Florida from Ohio. Arrived around 9:30 and was able to check-in after hours via a box with an envelope next to the office. Only us and a few other people so it was pretty quiet. The restrooms were very clean and well lit, and in this current covid time going to a public restroom can be dicey so I appreciated that.
It is right next to the highway, which is quick and great if you’re just pulling in for the night. We camped in a truck but if you’re a tent camper you will be hearing the dull roar of the expressway all night if that bothers you!
This place is HUGE!! As others have said, the sites are a little close together and there's some traffic noise, but neither bothered me very much - I was real close to the road too, so not that bad at all. I was quite comfortable the two days I stayed here. They have a little convenience store with camping gear you may have forgotten (or didn't know you needed!), souvenirs, food, and other essentials. The bathrooms are nice and there are some on-site fun to be had with a basketball hoop and playground.
Site #52, full hookup site, slightly unlevel but generally a good site.
Park has a museum and war time tank and aircraft. Large field where local airplane hobbyists come and fly their models. Campground was quiet, and very dark at night. We did see some wildlife roaming as we ventured out in to the park.
The hosts did a good job of keeping the restrooms clean. I don't recall seeing any park officials driving through the campground.
Campground is at the back of the park, so not a lot of outside traffic. Fishing and boating, Restaurant and bar not busy at all.
I will say it was pricey, $60/night
We camped here with our Cub Scout Pack for the weekend. Loved the museum and outdoor aircrafts and tanks! There was a easy walking trail to and from the pioneer camp. The highlight was for sure the railroad that is right next to the camping area. The passenger train comes through twice a day and it so neat to see up close. Pioneer campsite is not well marked from the main road, but that may be on purpose.
We stayed at the Pioneer 1 campsite. The entrance is about a half mile down a winding curvy road from the main entrance and comes out of nowhere. This is a message to anyone considering renting from Pioneer Site 1 or 2: the road is not paved and meant for a vehicle with 4 wheel drive. If you have a small car, it is likely to get some damage from the drive in. The road in has became very eroded away, so use caution. The site is awesome. 1 and 2 are probably at least a .25 mile away from each other, so you don’t need to worry about your neighbors. Has a great fire pit, canopy and 2 picnic tables. Also comes with a pit privy, so bring some toilet paper and flashlights are a must. The privy does have solar lights outside and inside, but won’t last all night.
As far as the canyon, it’s absolutely amazing. Pictures do no justice. Walking sticks are helpful. There is quite a ways of small streams that you have to walk thru to get to 1-5. Wasn’t too deep as long as you watch where you walk. Remember where you hike to you have to go back. The walk back up is a little tough, but just make sure you have water.
Overall great place to camp and hike. Only thing to note is that road into the pioneer campsite area. Luckily we had a big truck but our neighbors had a small car and couldn’t imagine what that road did to their car.
This place seemed so unreal. It was so beautiful and well kept park. The views were spectacular and the park was very clean. The staff and rangers were all really nice and helpful. This is definitely a park to check out of you are in the area. Can’t say enough good things about it.
We stayed at these two campsites for a long birthday weekend. The sites were fairly level and backed up to one of the finger coves off this lake. That ended up having pros and cons… The bugs and gnats were bad in early September on several of the nights there. It have water, cable, 50/30 amp electric, fire ring and picnic table. The site were spacious and very clean. It was an on and off rainy trip and water did come through the site because the site was off an incline. It was a slight walk to the bathrooms and they were very clean although needed a bit of upgrading. The host came up to greet us and make sure all was good with our stay. We bought firewood for $5 a bundle of 5-6 piece. There was golfing and a large swimming pool at the resort that we did not use. You could also rent pontoon boats, kayaks and canoes to explore the lake. One drawback was no sewer hookups. So you have to allow an extra hour to dump and go. We did not like having to ration water usage during out trip. This was a one and done for us as the gnats were a real turnoff and no sewer hookups. So many other parks to explore.
Overall, there was some good views and inside the canyons was pretty cool. We hiked in on Friday and stayed at campsite 4. You hike down from the visitor center and turn right at the creek bed and hike along that. It will be muddy and about an inch of water in some places, so were some waterproof shoes. We saw one snake in the creek bed(not sure what kind, but wasn’t a copperhead) but that was it. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. After you follow along the creek bed there’s a small wooden bridge on the left followed by a steep incline. At the top is campsite 6 which has a wooden shelter and is probably the least private. Campsite 5 is down a short path off the trail(maybe 25 yards). Campsite 4 is on the left side of the trail and pushed about 10-15 feet off the trail. Campsite 3 is on the right and also about 15 feet off the trail. Campsite 1& 2 are down the trail on the right, but we took the left path to the white blaze trail so we didn’t see them. Campsite 5 is the most secluded. The campsites are spread far enough out that there’s plenty of firewood laying around. Looked like all the campsites had a grill over the fire pit. We brought our sawyer, but there weren’t any water sources nearby. Saturday the high was 74 and a beautiful day.
We started seeing hikers passing our campsite around 8am. We hiked on the backcountry trail to the white blaze trail and took a right where there’s some old abandoned cars. From here to the visitor center there are a few really good lookout points to the canyons. We stopped by the bathrooms by the playground which were super clean and there’s also water fountains to fill up at. We went down into the canyons which are also muddy and had about an inch of water. The canyons we’re pretty packed with tourists so we only did a couple(I think 1& 3). We got back to the campsite around 1 and probably saw a group of hikers every 10- 15 minutes until the about 5pm. I saw some wild boar from a long distance, but other than that we didn’t see anything else.
Overall, it was a good hike and camp with some cool views, but once is enough and we probably won’t do it again.