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Wow, such an amazing camping experience! We boondocked with our 36ft motorhome right on the beach.
$12 to get in and stay as much as you’d like. Busy on weekends but very quiet during the week.
They allow driving on the beach here from access #5 and north of it. Watch the tides, best to get in & out when the tides are low. Some areas had very soft sand. We got stuck coming in but were able to get our using our leveling jacks and shoving things under the tires but on the way out we got barrier way deeper and needed assistance getting out using a truck that pulled us with towing straps.
Good for tents, or small rigs or medium size rigs that are prepared for an adventure… not for newbies!
We spent 5 amazing nights here on the beach, and can’t really beat camping right on the sand, with the sound of the waves and lots of sunshine.
The remarkable area of this park lies not in it's campground loop. The loop is pretty, lovely even, and it looks like a lot of other campgrounds on a beautiful lake. But take a walk along the lakeshore trail and see the cabins, dance hall, and steps constructed by the CCC and you'll be transported back in time. In 8.5 years on the road, I've never been more tempted to go inside than by these simple, lovely, stone structures. Just a bed, small kitchen, table, and a bathroom complete with vintage rustic decor, and that's all you'll think you ever need. So adorable!
But this is a campground review so let's get back to it. The campground seems like the perfect bustling summertime holiday vacation spot. It's set up more like a city park with lots of open space and grass, than individual sites carved out of the woods. Walking around during winter, you can imagine the families gathering at the water, renting stand-up paddle boards, playing volleyball, or chasing a frisbee into the water. It has a reputation for being a place where families gather year after year, and I can see why. There are electrical/water sites as well as tent only sites right by the water, which really have the best location in the park. The bathroom is a little dated, but functional and clean with hot showers.
Brownwood is within a 20 minute drive and has all the services of a modern suburban city. There are several trails throughout the park, but getting out on the water seems to be the focus of this park.
This is camping the way we like it -- rustic, beautiful and inexpensive. And, there was no one there in January, despite the state parks being packed! We had the place completely to ourselves, with the exception of a few fisherman.
For $5 a night you can camp at any one of the dozens of sites scattered around the lakeshore. Lots of space in between sites and most with beautiful sunrise/sunset views. Each campsite has a picnic shelter above the table for shade, and rain, a grill and fire ring, plus your very own trashcan – never saw all that before in such an inexpensive park but there you have it! No hook-ups in the park, so bring your solar panel for some electricity if you need it.
The lake is used mostly by local anglers, but I can imagine it gets pretty busy during the summer months when the lake level is at its highest. The only bathrooms were centrally located near the diner/ campstore/ RV Park/ gas station near the boat launch. So, if you are out in the campground, you'll want to bring your own method. The folks were great there and let us use the wifi for a few hours.
There’s not much in the way of trails in the immediate area of the lake, except the dirt roads. A word about the dirt, it is mostly clay which when saturated with rain water will form the most exceptionally sticky mud to coat the underside of your vehicle. It comes off, but wow, only with some strong encouragement and a high pressure hose.
The closest towns with grocery stores and other services are Balanger and Menard, but you can get a few things including drinking water, ice, and drinks at the camp store.
This camp ground was atrocious and we left several days early. Site#2 had a profound odor of sewage coming from the restroom. The restrooms were dirty and several faucets were broken and leaking. Flies were swarming everywhere from trashcans and trach bins that did not have properly fitting lids. People outside the park have dogs that bark ALL NIGHT LONG, and that is no exaggeration. If you are in a tent you will get NO SLEEP. We had a next-door-neighbor in site#3 who showed up and immediately began to start a fire even though there was a burn ban in effect. We called the front desk to inquire if perhaps the burn ban had been lifted and were told no, and that the camp staff would come to take care of this. The camp staff did come by, only to actually laugh and joke with the people in site 3, who stopped their fire, but then continued to have the open pit fire after she left. These same people also allowed their dog to run loose with no leash. The next day these people left their dog in their camper while all of them drove off and exited the park around 11:30 a.m. They left the windows of the camper down and the dog barked for 2.5 hours. We called the camp staff again after the first 30 minutes of solid barking, and the woman who answered actually stated,"I don't know what I can do about that, as we have never had anyone complain about a loud dog before." During this time we heard repeated gun shots close by the park perimeter, and then we heard one round actually whiz over our head. So that was enough for us, and we left at 2:30 p.m., two nights early. NEVER AGAIN. We will NEVER stay at at COE campsite again. They are filthy, dirty, UNSAFE and the staff absolutely do not care about your enjoyment or safety, nor do they follow county ordinances. We will be informing the Corps of Engineers office about this visit, so perhaps the staff can be properly reprimanded. This review will be posted EVERYWHERE that Sowell Creek Park has an internet presence.
Lake Brownwood State Park. We had a great time over here, not the biggest park but still very enjoyable we rode our bikes a lot there are a 3 miles bicycles, trail plus a hiking trail, and a few small trails around the park. The RV sites are not very private but still, it was a good time, because of the rain the previous nights we were able to do a fire finally. It seems like a good place for fishing there were plenty of people doing that also.￼
This RV campground is beautiful and away from any road or city sounds and light pollution. This would be 5 stars but there are very few full hookup spots with sewer. Go to Recreation.gov to reserve your spot. If your in the area you won’t regret the stop!
I was here to stay for 3 days due to some work. This was a park close to my work location. So I choose this RV Park. I don't regret my decision. As I was a good decision to stay. Free wifi, Clean Washroom that very important. Good environment.
Keep it Happy Camp RV Park