Large State park near the ocean that was very busy. We stayed on a Sunday night and on a Monday night. On Sunday the whole campground was packed. Monday night was much more calm.
Site was good. Fire pit was made of rocks and was larger than most campgrounds.
Bathrooms were fine… could have been a little cleaner but I think that has to do with the sheer volume of people camping at the time.
The lake front beach is nice. It's small and doesn't get that deep but it was a nice change from the cold ocean water.
If you want to hit the beautiful and nearby East Beach… go early and bring cash. There are limited parking spots and they fill very quickly. We arrived at 9:45am and the lot was full.
Pretty small campground. Kind of expensive for how close the sites are. I think we paid +$40 for one night. It's very nice to be right on the river which is why we chose this campground online.
Our fire pit was in a depression near the river but it was sloped in a way where you couldn't put chairs near it so we ended up sitting on the ground which was a little uncomfortable. Firewood bundle was $8 and was kind if damp. Took a long time and a lot of work to get it burning.
Could hear the road noise pretty much from everywhere in the campground. Not remote at all if you are looking for deep woods kind peace and quiet.
We were welcomed by a lovely little house used as the Ranger station. A fire kept it warm and cozy. The ranger was very pleasant. We bought some fire wood for $6 a bundle… there was a private seller down the road selling it for $4.
Easy check-in. We reserved the last available site and it was near the bathroom which I wasn't that excited about but it was actually quite nice.
Nice bathrooms. Nice Shower building. Good wash-sinks.
Our site appeared to be the only one with 2 fire pits. One of them was a nice cooking/barrel type of set-up that all the other sites had. The second was an older stone and cement pit with a back wall that was perfect for sitting in front of on a chilly October evening.
We arrived late (which we seem to do a lot!) Self check-in was easy.
Sites are nestled within the dunes. You can hear the waves from your spot. Bathrooms were fairly clean. Showers were a little tough to use. Not enough hooks and very small.
The beach is beautiful. Big waves and strong currents made it a little scary with our 7-year-old but we still had a great time. Only stayed one night and I wish we had at least 2 days or more.
I made reservations online and it said you would be assigned a site on arrival. We were driving fro about 500 miles away so we knew we would be arriving late. I called the reservation number to check on the late arrival procedure and they informed me that if we arrived after 10pm that they close the gates and we forfeit our site.
This is not stated anywhere on the GA state parks reservation website nor in the confirmation email. I did find it on the Red Top Mountain specific site tucked into one of the general description paragraphs.
Anyway I called the information number and was able to find the Assistant Managers phone number and called them. They said that they have a gate but it's usually open. Arriving late was not an issue. He said to grab our packet of info from the registration booth and then choose any open site. He stressed to try to be courteous to other campers when arriving so late.
We arrived after midnight. Grabbed our packet then headed into the campground. Long story short… we couldn't find an open site. We drove around and around, which we really didn't want to because it was so late. In the dark it was hard to see the markings and some sites had long driveways so you couldn't see if it was taken or not. We would have to get out and walk into the site only to find it was taken. After 40 minutes of looking, and feeling like we were disturbing the whole campground we left and got a hotel for $67 about 10 minutes north of the campground.
The next morning we went back. I told the clerk/ranger what happened. She was pretty unsympathetic. She just said to go into the campground now and find a spot for our 2nd night of 2-night stay. She advised us to attach our name card to the site number post and leave some of our gear at the site so it was clear that the site was taken. We did that. We attached our reservation card to the post and left some of our camp chairs and a table at the site. We then headed into Atlanta for the day.
When we returned around 8:30pm we found that our site now had a huge camper parked in it and all of our stuff was gone. You got to be kidding me! This time we called the manager. Apparently, they do a sweep of the sites and mark whose names are on each site. He soon found our name on a totally different site. The people with the trailer had moved our reservation ticket and all our stuff to a different site and taken the site we had reserved. Very rude. By this time is was past 9pm and dark… I didn't want to argue anymore. So we just set up camp at the other site which was fine…just not as nice as the one that was swiped from us. The manager did end up crediting us the first night and 25% of the 2nd night for all the trouble.
Anyway… sorry for the rant. Needed to vent.
The park was nice. Well maintained. Wish we had more time to check out the lake. The cicadas were very loud! If you are a light sleeper bring some ear plugs. It was also very hot and humid but that's camping in July in Georgia.
The drive in was spectacular. Skyline drive lives up to it's name. It was hot and humid the day we arrived but the humidity was reduced as we headed higher into the mountains.
We arrived after the registration booth had closed but the self check-in instructions were clear and easy to follow. I made the mistake of forgetting to look at my site number before dropping the registration card into the mail-slot. I had to look up my confirmation email from recreation.gov which took a while because the cell phone service(Verizon) is spotty in the park.
Camp was clean and well kept. Lot's of families and kids. There was a small blue-grass band playing at one site and it made the whole campground resonate with pleasant music. They played right up until quiet hours at 10pm. I thought it was sweet… maybe other people would think otherwise.
On our way to buy fire wood (which is available at the Lodge - open 24-hours) my son spotted a black bear. It was just off the campground road not more than 50 feet from the nearest campground. it seemed to keep to itself. We also saw several deer eating grass amongst the sites.
Bathrooms were clean. Showers were clean and there was enough that you didn't have to wait long.
In the morning we hiked the Dark Hollow Falls trail just outside the campground. It was fairly steep but short enough that my 7-year-old was able to do it. Cool waterfall at the end.
I would visit again.
We arrived late and in the dark. It was easy to find and on GPS. We had made reservations online and our site was marked with a tag with our name. Pretty Location. We saw deer near the entrance road.
Bathrooms were a little dirty. Filled with spiders and other bugs. The doors were propped open and lights were on. I didn't mind but my 7-year-old son was a little creeped out.
At 7:30am the groundskeepers were weed-wacking and leaf blowing so that was pretty annoying and definitely didn't enhance our peaceful morning in the woods.
It's best asset is it's proximity to DC.