The Dyrt Pro

Old Greenwich, CT

Joined January 2021

Just. Perfect.

This Army Corps of Engineers campground has everything, magnificent views nearly all of them lakeside, spacious sites, picnic tables, firepits, dark starry night skies, power and water hookups, dump station, clean bathrooms, swimming beach and 20+ miles of nature trails.

During my March stay the hot water was not working in the shower. That happens, nbd. There was nothing else that didn't delight me. The USACOE sets a standard for excellence at Petersburg Campground.

Busy, for a good reason

Even in winter, Fort McCallister campground was nearly full and for the most part with large, really large and really, really large RVs.

With spacious sites the campground looked like a city for all the metal and the assorted camping accoutrements that vacationers brought with them; screened-in porches, mood lights, freestanding canopies. At first, this made us worry about raucous evenings round the campfire but the campers were quiet and polite and our fears were unfounded.

Fort Mccallister is a clean, well-tended park with lots of things to do, fishing, boating (including kayaking) biking, hiking and exploring the adjacent Fort Mccallister historical civil war site. (Note: admission to the fort is pricey and not included in camp fee, but still worth visiting.) There is a playground.

Sites are level and have water and electric hookups. Many are shaded by pines and Spanish moss creates an atmospheric touch. Sites do not view the river, but it is a close walk to get to. A dump station is at the camp exit. Bathrooms are immaculate including 2 showers for each gender, and heated during winter. A laundromat is also on premises as is a small book exchange by the boat dock. A second bathroom serves the tent sites.

Good for an overnight

This campground boasts a market and shop and sits on a bend in a creek on the outskirts of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Beyond those amenities I can't see what would prompt vacationers to stay at this place. Mostly it has the look of a residential community.

I sought shelter here during a snow storm. I could sit out the inclement weather hooked up to power and the camp's ample wifi and get some work done. The coin-op laundry was good for getting my clothes washed.

The owners did not clear the snow at the camp sight or on the walkways to the bathrooms and laundry room. I found a shovel and did it myself. At about $40 a night it seemed overpriced.

Showers are hot and the heat works well. Some consideration could be given to making space for the toiletries and changing area needed for showering. On the upside, the camp's hosts have placed several bird feeders on the property and between that and the surrounding woodlands and water supply, you'll see many interesting birds: Eastern bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings among them.

Clean convenient and charmless

If you need a place to stay for the night, Scenic Drive RV Park is a good option. That said, this is not a quaint or charming camping experience.

It is a large parking lot with level sites, all hook-ups, clean bathrooms, hot showers and a pleasant host. There are no attractions you can walk to. There is no place to go without a car. You are perched close to the highway. The host, Max, is quite pleasant and takes good care of the property.

Abounds in charm and hospitality

My stay won't likely be like yours. First, I drove in while Mississippi was under a blanket of snow. All the roads in Holly Springs and the rest of the state were treacherous with packed snow and ice following a week of unseasonably frigid weather across the southern midwest.

That said, the 2 rangers working at Wall Doxey went out of their way to set me up with a parking place in the practically empty campground, putting me in the youth camp, finding me an extension cord to hook up to power and allowing me access to the group camp for a bathroom and shower.

This was necessary because many areas were either in the middle of renovation, inaccessible or out of service due to frozen pipes. To say these ladies went out of their way to get me situated is an understatement. They were heroines!

The camp has loads of retro charm. A big mid-century lodge, picnic area, swimming lake, frisbee golf and a 2 mile hiking trail around the lake. I enjoyed a walk thru the snow and the comfort of having a safe and caring place to stay during my trip through Mississippi.

I suspect it will be the same for you even if your visit is under far different circumstances.

Nature and industry up close

This city campground is staffed with friendly and personable folks who seem to love there jobs and this park.

Most camp sites are located along a busy channel across which is a Navy shipyard so you see military and freight watercraft coming and going. In addition, military helicopters fly fairly low overhead well into the night. I love all things aviation including the fighter jets that also made appearances two of the days I stayed here, your experience may differ. As campgrounds go, the amount of noise from these machines is somewhat unusual.

The beach is long, beautiful and the dunes are populated by an assortment of sea birds, herons, pelicans, terns and gulls among others. They put on quite a show.

The lettered sites are a 5-8 minute walk from the bathrooms and showers which are clean and well lit. The numbered sites are clustered closer to the bathrooms with a more undisturbed view of the bay and dunes. Sites 23-26 have the best views. All sites have fire rings with cooking grills (nice!) Picnic tables and electrical power. Many sites are not level.

There's a surprisingly well-stocked nature center with interesting exhibits for all ages. Definitely worth spending time in.

A multi use trail links the park to Amelia Island making it possible to hoof or bike there and leave your rig at the site. I'm told it's a 10 mile trip.

Definitely worth a stay if you like your nature delivered with a heaping dose of military industrial sights and sounds.

Good Port in a Storm

During the extreme winter weather in Oklahoma in February 2021, I ducked into the KOA Lake Eufaula to wait out the storm. While the office was closed, Lindsay was available by phone to answer all my questions and James, a resident caretaker was also on hand.  The campground offers all expected amenities, wifi, power, clean and warm bathrooms with shower, a dishwashing station and playground and public outdoor sitting area. They also provide propane fills. Bless James for pumping the propane for me in that extreme cold. 

Due to the storm, the camp store was closed and water hookup was not available.  The area was not plowed but I was loaned a shovel to clear the area around my campervan and the path to the bathroom. 

I get the sense this is a popular place in good weather located near a large recreational lake. Unfortunately, I was hunkered down and in a bit of a panic about the weather, it was -3 degrees during my 24-hour stay, so I did not get out to see it or enjoy what the area has to offer. Overall my impression of the place was a good one.  Note, it is located directly behind I-40, trucks can be seen and heard from the camping area.

Beautiful location on the edge of City of Rocks National Preserve

The relationship between City of Rocks National Preserve and Castle Rocks State Park is still not clear to me as this campground appears on the National Park Service website, although it is an Idaho State Park. That said, the park rangers seem to work cooperatively. This campground is delightful. Located about a 7-mile drive/walk to the entrance of City of Rocks, Smoky Mountain Campground is situated above the valley providing a wonderful view from many sites including space #19 where I parked my campervan.  I believe the walking distance to the reserve could be shorter by taking any of the hiking trails from the campgrounds rather than going along the paved roads which first go away from the City of Rocks then back up again, making a big "U". 

During my one-night stay in February, water, showers and bathrooms in the campground were closed for the winter season. A very clean, pit toilet is located in the equestrian parking lot across from the campground entrance. The distance from the campsites to the bathroom will vary from quite close to about 1/4 mile max. And during the winter season, there won't be much competition for the spaces close to the bathroom, as I was the sole user during my time there. 

In addition to the breathtaking views, the sites offer privacy from 3 sides though all face the loop access road. There are picnic tables, fire rings and electrical power. I did not note if water was available as it would have been shut off in February in any event.  There is a dump station about 1 mile down the road toward the exit. I do not know if it is open in the winter.

Check-in during the off-season is accomplished by envelope collected at the entrance or directly to the ranger who came by in the morning to check-in. The rate was $27 per night. Definitely worth the money to stay in this tranquil campground so close to the magnificent City of Rocks.

Exactly what you want a National Park Campground to be

I spent one night in the City of Rocks National Reserve Campground. Nabbed spot 15 - the best one I saw - which had fantastic views from the front and back of my campervan. Sweeping view of valley and mountains beyond from the front, massive rocks through the window over my bed. There is a picnic table and fire ring on the nearly level site which is also very private, tucked away as it was between large rocks.  I camped in February so I could have been the only camper in the park that night, though there are campsites extending up the main road for what must be half a mile, so there is room for many campers both RV and tents. I saw no one other than the ranger during my stay. The bathroom is a pit toilet, very clean and supplied with paper. There are no amenities like power or water at the site. I left my campervan parked and hiked all around the reserve. Million dollar views for dollars a night.

Full amenities, clean, friendly

I was an off season guest at this RV park in February. I was very impressed by the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness of the park including the restroom and campsites, and the amenities; market, water, electricity and Wi-Fi.

This is not the campsite you go to to be alone in nature, as there are many large RVs here that appear to be home to permanent residents. That said, it is walking distance to a state park and recreational lake and there is a beautiful running/walking trail along the river directly behind the RV park. The campground also has a pool that obviously was not open during my stay. There is also a playground and pavilion for gatherings. I suspect this is a very popular campground in the summer.

I had work to do the night of my stay and the following morning and I was dazzled by the speed and reliability of the wifi.

This campground has a quirky charm and was perfect for my one night stay on my road trip across country.

Everything a campground should be

Celebration Park is the perfect campground for basic boondocking (with bathrooms). It is remote and wild with non-stop views from every site and many outdoor activities nearby. At the entrance to the campground, there is a visitors center, many picnic tables, fire rings, an interpretive walk, and access to the riverfront. This is where the bathrooms are containing a single sink, electrical outlet and two toilets. No showers are available. The bathroom was exceptionally clean when I stayed there. The park adjoins BLM land. There are no hookups for power, water or sewer. Potable water is accessed from the bathrooms and spigots near the entrance. The camping area goes on for at least 1/4 mile along the river and more sites are away from the water. 

Some reviewers mention the bugs. Yes there were swarming gnats when I visited in February, not unbearable, but worth noting if that bothers you. Also note the wind coming down the gorge creates some showy sandstorms. (See video) Hey, it's the outdoors.

The county park is located on the Snake River Gorge about 25 miles from the nearest town. It is located on the northern fridge of the Morley Birds of Prey Sanctuary. You will awaken to the sound of the ducks and geese and can watch hawks and ravens soar on the winds rushing through the gorge. This is not the best place for watching the raptors, as I learned on staying there. Swan Falls south about 15 miles is for wildlife viewing, nevertheless, there was plenty to see and I spent two nights there. 

A walk up away from the river takes you to a large lake and you can also cross the historic rail bridge to the other bank of the river and climb to the top of the gorge. Excellent place for stargazing, but avoid the sites closest to the visitor center where the lights interfere with prevent perfect darkness.

Charmless and pricey but not without its plusses

The Baker City Motel has turned its back parking lot into an RV park that appears to be largely composed of long-term residents. It is charmless with trailers and campers wedged closely together on what was a muddy surface on the night I stayed there. That said, the park delivers on its promises with good electrical connections and robust wifi. The bathroom which includes a shower was clean and spacious. Though segregated by gender, on the morning I waited outside the ladies' room for the occupant to vacate, it was a man who exited leaving the smell of cigarette smoke behind. If you're tired and looking for a place to park and sleep, maybe catch up on some emails, this is a suitable choice, close to the city center. But you won't want to stick around for the atmosphere. Oh, and at $35 a night, I found it a bit pricey.

Lovely spot right on the river

I enjoyed my night at this campground. The spots by the river offer lovely views. Those in the interior, not so much. There were many large rigs here. The walking/running trail at the back of the campground is in good condition and meanders along for 3 miles, 1.5 in either direction from the campground. The bathrooms are clean, warm, showers are hot. Mirrors and an electric outlet let you use your hairdryer in the spacious bathroom. I hooked up to 30 amps and it worked great. Water was off during my stay. There is okay wifi, better than I expected, but a little slow. I checked in using pay by envelope after consulting the board at the entrance for available spots. Grocery, gas, a brewery and a cafe were nearby. I stayed in winter, but a nice beach is right next door. There is a playground in the center of the camp and a huge frisbee golf course off the trail. Kids will enjoy the woodsy areas off the hiking path.

Quiet, scenic with the romantic sound of trains passing through in the night. I highly recommend.