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This was a very nice, well maintained campground. The staff were extremely polite and helpful. We stayed from Aug 11-14, 2020. The pool was nice on a hot humid day. They have gem mining. You buy the bags of dirt in the camp store. The bathhouses are all very new due to a recent hurricane and they were kept clean. The dock/pier was picture perfect as the sunset over the Neuse river. The playground and jump pad looked like they would be a lot of fun but were closed due to Covid 19 restrictions. They had horseshoes and Gaga-ball that were open. They had 2 fenced in dog parks and a dog washing station. We chose this campground for it’s location near historical downtown New Bern and we would definitely recommend it to others. They have RV sites, tent sites and cabins.
Tent sites with electrical hook ups right beside the river. There is a fish cleaning sink and a pier to fish from also. Small cabins are for rent here as well. This facility has one of the cleanest pools I have ever been in. Very well kept bathroom facilities with a laundromat as well. Very friendly staff and guests here as well.
The great thing about this campground is that it offers a peaceful setting no matter whether you are camping in your travel trailer, a tent, or as a group. As a leader of the Boy Scouts and the Royal Rangers, I have camped here many times in large groups. We even had a campout here with about 300 boys. As a group campout, there was lots of room for activities planned by our leaders—paintball, scavenger hunts, and evening campfire services. With that said, one of my latest campouts was just with a group of friends. I think the best fun was fishing, although I really like kayaking on the lake. At this campground, you don’t have to worry about driving in tent stakes if you are camping in a tent. The soil is sandy, and the ground is usually covered with pine straw. When I wanted to build a campfire, there were plenty of sticks and limbs to start and build a campfire. There is a swimming beach, but I would be careful about where I step since there is sometimes goose poop on the sand. You can also rent canoes and pedal boats. There is a hiking trail as well, but make sure you have waterproof shoes if it has recently rained. The trail beside the lake gets really muddy. The price is reasonable, and the staff is friendly. This is a laidback campground in a rural area, so if you are in need of supplies, you’d better bring them with you. The bath house has a concrete floor, but it is well-maintained. I have camped at this campground over a dozen times, and it never gets old. That’s why it’s one of my favorites.
I’ve known about this campground for a long time, but I never got a chance to camp at it until now. It was long overdue. The campground has pull-through and back-in sites. The sites are level and most have 30/50 amp hookups, as well as water. There is also a primitive tent camping area. You can choose to stay along the river or next to the woods. There are viewing platforms to look at the river, trails, and at least three ponds in which you can fish. There is not a swimming pool or an arcade pavilion, but there are a lot of things for children and adults to do. The campground is along the Neuse River, and it is part of the Neuseway Nature Center complex. The Nature Center has a variety of live animal exhibits, and across the street there is a planetarium and science center. Also included on the premises are a playground, a fossil dig, a picnic shelter, and a small train in which visitors can ride. You have to register at the Nature Center, which is about a hundred yards from the campground, and the fee was$20.00, which I thought was very reasonable. The host was one of the nicest hosts I have ever encountered at a campground. He answered all the questions we had, and he walked us to the bath house to make sure we understood how to enter the code to unlock the door. There are some drawbacks to the campground, although not many. It is a long walk to the bath house from the campground, but our host said that they are trying to get a bath house within the campground itself. The reason it has not been done sooner is because the whole area is in a flood zone, and they have to figure out the best way to have bathrooms there. The waters from the Neuse River have covered the entire campground and Nature Center complex more than once and almost every year. With that said, you will want to make sure the river has not flooded before you decide to go. It rained the entire time we were there, so we didn’t get to enjoy many of the outdoor opportunities, but I enjoyed seeing the river and the animal exhibits. However, there is a lot more to do across the bridge into Kinston. With a short drive of three-tenths of a mile, you will be on Herritage Street. Over the last three decades, the city of Kinston has been in a steady decline in population, and the crime rate has increased. However, city leaders have been bringing things back to life. This campground is right across the river from Herritage Street, which has a nationally known restaurant(The Chef and the Farmer), the only full size Civil War ironclad replica in the world, a successful brewery(Mother Earth Brewery), and many other eclectic shops and parks. For breakfast and lunch, Lovick’s Café is a great choice, and it has been in business since the 1940s. It is most famous for its dough burgers. For some people, this might be a two star campground because it doesn’t seem to offer much. Others, including myself, would rate it five stars because it has a little bit of both worlds—nature and civilization(Herritage Street). I will give it only four stars because I’m trying to be objective, knowing that people looking for campgrounds want swimming pools, game rooms, Wi-Fi, etc.
I think this is only the third time I have stayed at a cabin at a campground, and it was all right but I like tent camping better. Because of the intense heat and health concerns, we chose to stay in a cabin here. I wish I had taken more pictures of the campground, but my buddy(seen in the photos) and I are photographers who look for scenes of beauty. It’s not that the campground was not“pretty,” but when you are this close to New Bern, there are better things to photograph. There’s Tryon Palace, Union Point Park, the historic Confederate cemetery, the fireman’s museum, the Pepsi Cola museum(New Bern is where Pepsi was born), etc. The New Bern KOA is perfect in every way. The sites are large with full hookups, Wi-Fi, cable TV, etc. It has all the amenities of a top notch campground that you would expect from KOA. I have stayed at several KOA campgrounds, and they all seem to have the oversized chess; and I have never seen anyone playing it with seriousness. They have two pools, a pavilion, a bouncer… and I could go on and on. IF you want to spend your time at the campground, there is so much to do that you don’t need to go anywhere else… HOWEVER… Did I mention New Bern and Tryon Palace? You can’t come this close to New Bern and not go to Tryon Palace. The campground is located on the shores of the confluence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers. Since they join here, you seem as if you are closer to the ocean. It looks more like a bay. There is a really nice pier at the campground beach for fishing, and the KOA here has outdoor boat rentals. There is also horseshoes, pedal bike rentals… Did I mention there is also New Bern and Tryon Palace? Seriously, the New Bern KOA is about the best campground at which I have stayed, but my buddy had never been to New Bern. There was more to see. If you go, make sure to make reservations. New Bern is a historic town with lots of vacationers during the summer. Looking for something to eat? My favorite place to eat in New Bern was Captain Ratty’s, which has great clam chowder. However, New Bern has lots of other great places to eat as well. The downtown area is also a great area for shopping. Back to the campground… the first time I stayed at the New Bern KOA was over thirty years ago, but it has grown in size and amenities. Now, it is more like a resort than a simple campground.
I have only visited this campground one time & I did not stay the night! There is lots of space to walk and play, ride bikes, etc. There is a really nice pool with a store up front and they have cabins from what I remember. I would go back again IF I didn’t already live in the surrounding area lol