Cyndi H.

The Dyrt Pro

Panama City, FL

Joined January 2021

Walking distance to the museum

Our stay from 3/17-18, 2021 includes a tornado watch. Staff are friendly and gave us instructions in case a tornado develops. This is a small open campground with some road noise from route 565. Sewer and water is included at the sites. The Space and Rocket Center is about a half mile away using the sidewalks.

Tombigbee Barges Up Close

Site 129 is directly on the water with a front row seat for watching the boats and barges. Another pleasant COE campground with friendly and helpful staff. Our stay from 3/14-17/21 is overcast with the threat of tornadoes the evening after we depart. The weather discourages us from paddling, but we enjoy walking through this 176 site campground. Bathhouses and grounds are clean.

Planes, Barges, Motor Boats and Paddlers

Our stay at site 82 from 3/12/21-3/14/21 is filled with the sounds of people working and playing. Sites are nicely spaced. During the week, we enjoy watching pilots from the Columbus Air Force Base honing their skills. The barges, more frequent during the day, have the occasional after dark run. They are fascinating to watch and quite pretty at night.

We paddle in the area by the campground. Almost all motor boaters are very thoughtful in reducing their wake. Many people are fishing, some are catching and some families are out in pleasure boats cruising on the waterway.

If you enjoy hiking make sure to grab a map and walk around Kennedy Lake (more like a pond) and the primitive sites.

Barges and Planes

We enjoyed campsite 89 from 3/9/21-3/12/21. We launch and paddle from our site. The walking path is about 3 miles round trip from the the day-use boat ramp and playground to the campground end. Camp hosts are friendly and campsites are well maintained.

Boating, Fishing, and Walking

Our visit (3/6/21-3/9/21) falls during a busy school vacation week. We are on the water at Site 74. The site is small, without trees, and very close to site 73, offering no privacy. Some larger sites have trees, and offer water access. The water along this stretch of the Tombigbee Waterway is very shallow and even kayaks can run aground in the mud.

The walk from the campground to the picnic area offers a quiet (~ 2 mi round trip) and views of the lock and dam.

A Tombigbee View

Our 3/3/21-3/6/21 stay at Site 60 provides easy access to a fishing pier, walking paths and enjoyable sunsets. Sites are a comfortable size and located with adequate forrest canopy that provides shade for most. We enjoy several afternoon paddles on this stretch of river.

Outside the campground entrance the Underground Railroad Bicycle Trail goes along the road and continues to the lock for walking and peddling.

Welcoming Waterway Campsites

2/28-3/3/21 Site 44 Brisk mornings (40’s) and comfortable days (50’s-60’s). We share the campground with less than a dozen other campers. Campground staff and other campers are friendly. Park attendant Bobby Owen chatted with us each morning on our walks as he made his rounds. He answered questions and made suggestions. Many sites (43&44) are paired and close together. We see a variety of waterfowl and a few bass fishing boats. It is a working waterway and we observe barges each day.

Small sites, Friendly Neighbors

1/29/2021 This campground is spotless. Concrete pads are level and electrical hookup looks new. Our truck camper fits perfectly, but big rigs are a tight fit.

Although many sites are close together we found the other campers to be friendly, and interesting conversations abounded.

We saw the white squirrels. On our walk through the nature trails we saw a doe (not the resident white deer).

We were only able to get one night because the campground was full.

Rustic Fishing Campsite

We stayed 1/26-1/29/2021- first come only, but they usually have openings. Shell Mound’s boat ramp is busy from before sunrise to after sunset. The airboats are interesting to watch, and very loud. The bathhouse shows signs of age.

The Shell Mound archeological site is an easy walk from the campsite. We highly recommend exploring this large prehistoric shell midden rising 28 feet above sea level. It is believed to be the location of special gatherings for Native

Quiet Fishing Campsite

We visited Williams Landing on 1/30-2/1/2021. The camp hosts are friendly and accommodating. We are the only guests this weekend. The bathhouse is old, but clean. We are told the fishing boats can be loud in the early morning, but it is quiet during our stay.

On our final morning the bathhouse was still locked when we got back on the road at 8:00AM. Previous mornings it was unlocked at dawn. As we were leaving we could see the camp host watching TV.