the dyrt
Lee D.
West Des Moines, IA
Joined September 2018
Pleasant and affordable place to camp

We arrived just before 5pm on a Sunday at the end of October and had no problem securing a site. If you are over 65, you pay the same for a site with water and electric as you would for a primitive site ($16). Compared to other states, this was a pleasant surprise. Many sites back up to the lake and have generous sized concrete pads. Most we saw appeared level. Our picnic table was down a hill by the water so it was a hike to it but very pleasant for eating. I would imagine that at other times of the year staying here might not be so pleasant (heat and humidity plus we saw the remains of some HUGE ant hills). No fire rings but it looks like previous visitors may have built fires in the sandy area near the beach. Bathrooms were reasonably clean but they don’t have soap. I also don’t understand why there was one across from site 12 and one more not far down the road but for the last half of the loop, there weren’t any (except for one that had a closed sign and appeared to be more “rustic”). I’m guessing that people in those sites have fully equipped RVs. Good cell service for Verizon in the campground. Nice hiking trails - we liked the Outcroppings Trail. Evidence of the work of the CCC in the Park, especially the swinging bridge. Overall, a pleasant stay.

Nice campground with nice hiking trails

When I called Saturday morning to check on availability for that evening, I was told only primitive sites were available which would have been ok for a one night stay but upon arrival, we were told you had to pitch a tent for the primitive sites (we don’t have a tent and sleep in our van). However, a number of improved sites had opened up so we were in luck. All sites are gravel and appear to be fairly level and ours was likely the most level we’ve been in for awhile. Picnic table and fire ring at each site. Many families with young children (fun to watch them ride their bikes around the loop). Bathhouse was clean and I appreciated the HOT water! Coin laundry. The North Alabama Japanese garden is a nice short walk and there are a variety of hiking trails (I would recommend the Stone Cut Trail for a moderately challenging hike).

Perfect for our stay in GSMNP!

GSMNP is so huge, it is difficult to decide where in the park to stay. Elkmont is sort of centrally located and has trails from the campground (although we drove to other trailheads). This busy campground is huge with loops A-N. We stayed in Loop A and although our site did not back up to the creek, we could easily hear it. Good spacing between sites. Clean bathrooms with cold running water and a utility sink. No internet, showers or hookups but for $12.50/night (with 50% senior discount), you can’t beat the price! Firewood is available for purchase in the park and it was the best wood we’ve ever bought. Our two bundles had our fire going for well over four hours. Although the campground is huge and full, it was very quiet.

Great park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

You can’t beat the location of this campground, located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stayed in Loop D which has a brand new bath/shower house with six individual stalls with a bath/shower combo. The only thing missing was soap dispensers (I had to remember to bring soap every time I used the bathroom). Very nice and large dishwashing sink. Loop D is for tents so the driveways were small. We were able to fit our 17’ camper van but anything larger might not fit. Park personnel were very friendly and helpful. Wish firewood was available to purchase at the park as we didn’t buy any ahead of time. (You are permitted to pick up downed branches which was new to us). No electric sites and spotty internet but great hiking trails. Recommend the Boone Fork Trail but be prepared for many stream crossings!

Great state park in WV

This was our first stay in a state park campground in West Virginia and it was a great stay. Arrived during a steady downpour and rented a cabin for the first night but camped the second night. Two loops - one with electric sites and one without. Very reasonable rates - $25 for electric ($22.50 with senior discount) plus you don’t need a state parks sticker as you do for other states. Rates are also the same for residents and non-residents. Not all sites are level and some are very close together (which would be good for people camping together). Inside sites have no privacy between them; some of the outside sites have some trees offering privacy. Flush toilets and showers plus coin laundry. Bathrooms were clean but although the showers appeared to have new shower heads, they were a bit sketchy looking (shower shoes would be a definite). Very limited cell service but WiFi is available in the lodge and cabins. Great hiking trails.

One of the best WI state parks!

The good news about camping in the “off” season is fewer crowds; the bad news is that many of the perks (concessions, boat rentals,etc) are not available. After summer during the week, the only campground available is Quartzite (I believe there are two others plus a group campground). The bathrooms in Quartzite were new and very clean. Trails are plentiful and some are quite challenging but offer fantastic views. Trails are well marked. We were there on a cold, cloudy day but I think it is the best time to visit.Of all the Wisconsin State parks we have camped in recently, Devil’s Lake is the best!

Great park in Door County

Peninsula State Park is a huge state park with five campgrounds with over 400 sites (not including group sites) and it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to stay. Our decision was narrowed down somewhat because two of the campgrounds were closed for the season. We camped in South Nicolet along Nicolet Bay for two nights. Our first night was on the water but because heavy rains were forecasted, we relocated to another site closer to the bathrooms for the second night, putting up with the “hum” for a closer dash in the rain. There is so much to do in the park itself and Door County in general. However, we were here during the week in October so while the campground was quiet, bicycle and boat rentals were not available. Many great hiking trails. My only beef is that Wisconsin State parks charge more than many other states and, in general, facilities are not always as well maintained (bathrooms were a little dated and not the cleanest but sufficient for a campground). Still - this is a great place from which to explore Door County!

Feels a little neglected

After reading all of the wonderful reviews, I was a little underwhelmed. Perhaps it is because we arrived after a rainy period. Many of the sites in the A Loop were flooded or muddy and there was only one site occupied. B Loop was a bit better and there were a few more people there. Some sites in the A Loop overlook the river valley through trees but they are directly over railroad tracks so you will hear loud trains. No flush toilets but for pits (A Loop has sinks and a shower), reasonably clean. However I would not choose sites closeby because the fans are quite loud. Bison viewing road was cool and leads to the rebuilt granary (all that remains from a mill). Waterfall (across the street and about a mile from campground) is nice. Unless you hike the Minnesota River Bluff trail, you could easily see the bison, granary, and waterfalls in half a day, making this good for just a one night stay.

Easy access to a great park

Banning is located just off I35 but you would never know it; unlike other parks close to highways, we didn’t hear any road noise at all. Small campground (34 sites including one cabin, about a third with electric). Some sites (18-34 especially) offer great privacy. Clean bathrooms. Great hiking trails (although the Wolf Creek Trail between the split from High Bluff and the falls is not marked and can get a little confusing to navigate). The Quarry Loop Trail is also interesting and you can pick up an interpretive map.

Nice state park on the St Croix River

The campground here is small (37 sites) but nicely situated along the St Croix River. It is also near Route 8 so you will hear road noise. Electric sites on inside of the loop; non with river view. Nice clean restrooms but the over the sink mirrors are for giants! (There is a full length one.) Not sure why they were placed so high! River Trail is nice and the potholes area fun to explore. Camp clubhouse with a stone fireplace and stocked with games and books was a nice addition.

Great for biking

Bear Paw is one of two main campgrounds and the one closest to Lake Itasca. Sites are spaced a good distance apart but most are back to back so limited privacy. Bathrooms were very clean but no hooks. Wide paved (some boardwalk) bike paths but not as good for hiking. Unpaved trails are not accessible from the campground on foot. Driving along Wilderness Drive (or biking it) is beautiful, especially in the fall. A visit to the Headwaters is also a must (we walked on the paved bike path to get there; it is closer to Pine Ridge campground). There is a gift shop and small cafe there (food is expensive and mediocre). Large park and very beautiful and well maintained roads and bike path. Very limited cell service (Verizon).

One of the better Wisconsin State parks

Although this may be one of the older state parks in Wisconsin, it has been well maintained and updated. Two campgrounds (plus an indoor and outdoor group camp). We stayed in Wisconsin Ridge where, with one exception, you need to choose function over view; we chose the views. For one night, this was the right choice! (The interior sites have electric). Note that some sites are very small. Concession stand in the summer and weekends in September and October. Bathrooms were large but lots of paper debris on the floor (we were there on a Monday so perhaps it had not yet been cleaned from the weekend) Large tiled shower rooms (individual) with a chair but NO Hooks to hang towel or toiletries from. Would have liked to go on the hiking trails but the mosquitoes were still bad. Next time - we will be back!

One of two choices for camping on Madeline Island

Sites were generous in size and most had trees for privacy, however there are only 60. Pit toilets but only one bathhouse with showers situated between the two campgrounds. Only two sinks and showers and when it is busy, this is not enough (I waited more than once to wash my hands). Boardwalk along Lake Superior leads to Big Bay Town Park, the other option on Madeline Island. Both are about five miles from town, easy to bike to but not walkable. Quiet hours were not enforced when we were there -there was a loud party going on across from our site that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. Recommend you take a boat ride to explore other islands.

Nice wooded non electric sites

Good sized wooded sites with trees providing reasonable privacy. Flat area for tents but not all “driveways” are level which, unfortunately, we discovered in site 33. We slept with our heads lower than our feet in our camper van. Except for the handicap accessible sites, all are non electric (Twin Valley, the other campground has these). Bathrooms were clean but a little dated. Didn’t see hooks in the shower stalls. Nice hiking trails, especially Lost Canyon and Stephens Falls. Good cell coverage.

Great location on Lake Michigan

Sites (135 family, 68 of them electric, 2 group sites and one teepee) are generous in size with varying amounts of privacy. Two loops have bathrooms with flush toilets and showers while two just have pit toilets. Bathrooms and showers were clean with expected light water pressure. There were also laundry facilities, something I’ve not seen before in a state park campground. Trails, a small marsh boardwalk and the dunes cordwalk provide a nice exploration of the area. We were there on a rainy weekday in September and it was quiet but I expect that would not be the case on weekends and in the summer.

An unexpexted gem

With the rain and the proliferation of mosquitoes, we were wandering around southern Wisconsin without a plan when we stumbled across this county park. 50 sites, many with electric and very reasonably priced ($25 for electric/$18 non which includes a $2 senior discount). Spaces are generous in size although no privacy between them. Bathrooms are very large and clean. Showers but didn’t use so can’t comment on their condition. Dishwashing sink! Adjacent to the Lake Farm SRA and several multi-use trails. Note that it is in the flight path of the airport so you will hear planes.

Nice hiking and waterfalls

Two campgrounds in this state park - South and North but only a total of 56 sites between them, 23 of them with electric. Saw it was filling up even on a weekday in September so made a reservation but still could not get an electric site. Sites were generous in size and most has good separation with lots of trees. Nice hiking on the North Country Scenic Trail to Red Granite Falls and the Doughboys Trail to see the park’s namesake falls plus another and a cascade. We came from camping in Michigan State parks which are much nicer so we were a bit spoiled. My rating would have been higher if there was a bath house with showers in the North campground; the pit toilets were ok but it was too long of a walk to the south campground where there are flush toilets and showers. They were ok but not great (not as nice as Michigan State parks). Lots of hungry mosquitoes as it has not gotten chilly yet so bring bug spray! Very spotty cell service.

Another great Michigan State Park!

There are four choices when camping at Tahquamenon Falls State Park: rustic and modern Rivermouth, Hemlock, and Portage; this review is for Portage. Portage is the most popular campground, due most likely to the closeness to the lower falls. We arrived on a Sunday in September and it was almost, if not entirely, full. The other campgrounds had more availability. Easy access to the lower falls via a boardwalk and then you can continue on to the River Trail leading to the Upper falls (where there was a brewery!). This is a challenging hike but if you go in the summer months, there is a shuttle. There is a gift shop and snack bar with delicious ice cream. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the bathrooms and the shower rooms. Michigan State parks earn extra marks for their recycling: paper, plastic,aluminum, and best of all - propane canisters. I wasn’t sure what “returnables” meant so it might be good to explain. Sites were generous in size but the interior ones did not have any privacy separation, the only reason I am giving this a four star rating. Try and snag an outside site for more privacy.

Large and clean campground

There are are three options for camping at Holland State Park (this was confusing before we arrived and then it made sense). The Beach campground is (duh!) closest to the beach although you do not have a view of it and it is a large, paved parking lot where RVs are lined up like diagonal dominoes with no privacy between sites). The Woodstock and Pines Loops are about a mile from the beach and there is a paved path along the beach road for access. We stayed in Pines (newer) and the bath house is the cleanest I have ever seen in a state park! Sites are level, some are paved and some dirt; some have 30 amp and some 50 amp. No sewer or water. If you don’t have a reservation, best to arrive before 5pm or you will have to use the dreaded yellow phone to register (cannot do same day on line or cell phone check in after 5). $33 does not include required state parks pass ($9 daily or $32 annual). We stayed on a weeknight after Labor Day and had no problem securing a site but I imagine it is quite busy during the summer and on warm weekends.