Sarah H.

Omaha, NE

Joined June 2016

First to Review
Clean and Friendly off I-29

My husband and I tent camped one night at this park. We arrived around 8 pm and even though the office was getting ready to close, the woman behind the counter was very kind and helpful. She helped us with finding our spot and with getting firewood. Our basic tent site was lakeside and had a fire pit and picnic table. The site was so well maintained it was hard to find small sticks for kindling.

The grounds have private bathrooms with toilets and showers. There are two nice playgrounds and a swimming pool. Most campers were enjoying fishing in the small lake. Kayaks were available to rent for a small fee. Kids enjoyed riding bikes around the flat roads.

This is a great spot off I-29 to set up camp and have a rest. It's also a good spot to take young kids fishing.

Popular Park Tucked Away In The Hills

My husband and I tent camped overnight at Wallace State Park. Woodsy tent camping sites were spacious and private. Large camping pads are lined with wood chips and are comfortable enough to sleep on without an air mattress. Covered picnic tables have an extra shelf for storage convenience. Even after setting up the tent and camping chairs there was still enough room for lawn games or for little ones to run around.

Wildlife was abundant in the evening. We saw many deer, frogs and squirrels. At dark, nature sounds were unbelievable with songs of bullfrogs, owls, and flying creatures of all sorts. Be sure to bring bug repellant.

Campground 1 had clean vault toilets, but the bath house near Campground 2 was even better. Showers were clean and in their own stalls with locking doors, shelves and ample hooks. The water got nice and hot and the shower heads were even and held good pressure. This bath house was seriously the best one we have ever visited and we have used dozens.

For entertainment, there was a bustling playground, winding nature trails, horseshoes, lake swimming, and fishing. There was also a well kept laundry house with a dishwashing sink attached. Campground hosts and park rangers were friendly and busy keeping the park in great shape. Overall, this is a really nice place to camp!

Gear Review: Lighthouse 250 Lantern and USB Power Hub We decided to try out our GoalZero lantern instead of our usual larger lantern. The lantern is compact enough to fit in a small bag with other electronics and is very light in weight. This saved us a little extra room which is a bonus since we take all of our camping trips in a tiny little Prius C. The Lighthouse 250 would be a good contender for bringing along on a backpacking trip, but you would want to pad it with some kind of protection as it seems that some parts might not hold up to a lot of banging around.

We used the lantern 2 nights in a row without charging it and the battery life indicator still had over 1/4 of its power left. On this same charge, wee tested the phone charger by hooking up an iPhone 4 to charge for 10 minutes with the light on full turbo. The 10 minute charge boosted the phone's battery 12%. The hand crank charger was a little awkward, but would be sufficient in a pinch. Had we needed more power, we could have easily plugged the attached USB cord into our car charger. We don't usually pony up for electric sites, so on extended excursions, the Nomad 7 Solar Panel is a gadget we would consider purchasing.

The directional lighting feature of the lantern came in handy for having dimmer light closer to sleeping times and brighter light for reading/boardgames in the tent. In the end, we will definitely bring the Lighthouse 250 lantern with us on future trips, and will leave our bulky older lantern at home.

Happy Go Lucky Campground

Our family of four tent camped for three nights in this happy go lucky campground. This campground seems to be popular for group camping and is a great place for socializing. Although the grounds were busy, the densely tree-lined sites provided privacy. Campsites are just a short walk from a calm cove of Puget Sound and our family had a great time playing in the water each day. The grounds, including bathrooms, were well maintained and the kids enjoyed taking part in the junior ranger program. Our family camps often, and Penrose stands out as one of our top experiences.

First to Review
Easy Family Camping Near Omaha

Our family and another family shared a primitive tent site near the back of the park. We were first and foremost impressed with the freedom we had in choosing our site. Tent camping here is non-reservable, but once you enter the park, you may choose from any spots containing a fire pit outside of RV loops. Tent sites range from lake-front, to playground side, to more private sites on the outer rim of the park. We chose a large, private site at the back of the park. This site was well maintained and had enough space to easily accommodate two families of four. We even had a picnic shelter all to ourselves. Our site was lined by woods and farmland and had a good view of a small pond. The night was full of exciting animal noises from both the nearby farm and pond. Vault toilets were a short walk away with clean shower facilities just a few loops away. The kids enjoyed riding bikes up and down gravel roads, looking for frogs, and playing on the playground. Canoe and paddle boat rental is extremely reasonable. Hiking trails near the park entrance are rugged. The staff was incredibly kind and easy-going, yet attentive. Just a short drive from neighboring towns, this is a good starter campground for families with younger kids. We hope to return in winter to check out the camping cabins.

First to Review
Traditional Prairie Camping

Our family of four tent camped one night at an electric lake front site. Sites are close together, but we had no neighbors so we had our privacy. The outhouse style bathroom was clean, but flies were abundant. The grounds were well maintained and DNR staff was very helpful. They even helped us with a small bike repair. The kids enjoyed biking and swimming. The whole family enjoyed prairie wildlife such as a blue heron, geese, bald eagles, frogs etc. The hiking trails were well cut out and offered views of the lake, woods, and natural prairie. Showers, no wake boating, and fishing were also available. We would have been happy to stay a few more days!

Rural Nebraska River Camping

I have camped in this campground multiple times in different configurations including tent camping in a lager group of friends, with a small group of friends in a pop-up camper, and tent camping with small children and pets in tow. Camping here is primitive, so expect to get dirty and be ready for mosquitoes.That said, every time I have visited, I have had a blast. The area is beautiful Nebraska sand hills and prairie. You can even hear coyotes at night. The main attraction of course is tubing/canoeing the river. Local outfitters work with you to ride the shallow Niobrara river to the campground, and then will pick you up further down the river the next day. There are other campgrounds in the area, but I prefer to stay here because of the waterfall. The campground can be busy, but that has never disrupted our stay. Bathrooms and pay showers are basic, but clean. There is a general store at the main entrance and staff are helpful.

Easy Access to Freeway

This campground was a last minute overnight stop on a long road trip. It was very close to the interstate and also very close to a railroad, which is not good if you are tent camping. Sites are well maintained and very close together. Bathrooms and showers were clean. This would be an ok place to stop and sleep in an RV that can block out the noise.

Fun Inland Waterfalls

We tent camped two nights at Silver Falls. Tree lined campgrounds were well maintained. Sites are close together and the grounds are very social (which we like). Ranger led evening program was educational and interactive. The highlight of the trip was the 8+ mile hike to explore 10 different waterfalls. The hike was easy enough for our seven year old to complete, but tough enough to wear us out. We very much enjoyed a swim with other families in one of the final falls. The drive from Portland was gorgeous! It was nice to get a glimpse of rural Oregon.

A Fun Family Stop

Our family tent camped at Nehalem for three nights as a stop on a much longer road trip. This is a good campground for socializing. Our kids had the opportunity to play for hours on the big playground located at the center of the camping area. We also enjoyed general beach activities. The views on the beach are amazing! Listening to the waves at night was a treat. We took full advantage of the coffee shops and burrito joint in Manzanita. After being on the road for days, it was nice to be able to walk into town for supplies and explore on foot. Grounds and restrooms were well maintained and staff was always available and friendly.

Family Fun by River

Our family of four camped four nights and never ran out of things to do. Campgrounds were well maintained. Shared bear boxes were provided and pretty well respected by fellow campers. We had no bear encounters during our stay. No showers, but pay showers exist nearby. Our kiddos spent hours wading and playing in the shallow river that runs by the edge of the campground. They also enjoyed earning their Junior Ranger Badges. Ranger led talks at night are worth your time. There is plenty to keep you busy within walking distance from this campground, and other Yellowstone attractions are just a drive away.

First to Review
Family Fishing, Hiking, and Mountain Biking Mid-West Style

Our family tent camped one night, but we wished we would have stayed longer. Sites and restrooms are well maintained by friendly staff. This campground can fill up very quickly (we learned the hard way) and when full, sites are close together. At less busy times, more secluded and more open sites are available. The trails , both hiking and biking, are rugged enough for a thrill, but can be tame enough for kiddos. We have visited this campground twice on our travels west, and are sure to visit again!

Boating and Camping

This place is gorgeous with its flat grassy camping area, distant hills, and lots or water and sky. Tent camped along the waterfront with friends. Spacious campgrounds were well maintained. Spent our mornings fishing for walleye, our afternoons were made up of great boating, tubing and water skiing. The nights were filled with stars. Went with friends this time, but am eager to bring my family for another visit.

Clean and Well Maintained Campgrounds Near Adirondacks

Family of four plus one dog tent camped one night after being disappointed by Lake George tourist traps. We welcomed the well-maintained spacious wooded campgrounds. Lots of sites to choose from allowed for privacy. Firewood system was one of the best I've seen. You can fill a large burlap bag with your choice of logs for about $7. This made it easy to choose a fire bundle balanced with kindling logs and large logs. Bathrooms were well maintained, but showers used push in knobs (like the kind in older school bathrooms) that last about 30 seconds per push causing the water temperature to fluctuate. Not my worst camping shower, but was not enjoyable. The trails and lake made for a full day of natural outdoor fun outweighing the weird showers.

Primitive Camping in Custer

Our family stayed in a walk-in primitive tent site located on a woodsy hill at the top of Custer. Campsites have a decent amount of privacy, but you are still aware of your neighbors. Portable toilets were available at the bottom of the hill near the parking lot with shower facilities a short walk away. Showers and laundry facilities were well maintained. Sylvan Lake is beautiful and provides a full day of activities without having to drive anywhere else in the park. Our family enjoyed hiking, paddle boating, and swimming with gorgeous scenery all around.

Good Camping in The Badlands

Our family of four tent camped two nights in the Cedar Pass campground and the views are unbelievable! The sky is so open we watched a rainstorm pass by to the south of us, but never felt a drop. The campground can become crowded at times so try to choose a site on the outer edge of the grounds. Covered picnic tables were greatly appreciated since shade is sparse. Day hikes and evening ranger led programs are well worth your time. The kids also enjoyed making friends playing on the gigantic rocks outside of the amphitheater. Campground and bathrooms were well maintained. A cool experience all around.

First to Review
Nice Midwest Campground off I-80

Our family enjoys tent camping at Kent Park because the sites are grassy and open, but more private than many Midwest campgrounds because they are lined with tall prairie grasses and trees. We stayed during an Iowa Football weekend, attended the game in nearby Iowa City, and then enjoyed the rest of our weekend exploring the ponds and trails in the park. Prairie life makes for good photo ops and bird-watching. Restrooms and campsites were clean and well maintained. We will definitely be back!

Cabins and Tepee Camping or Day Visits

Four stars instead of five because we prefer camping with our own equipment which isn't a feature at this park. Our family camped in a tepee which was set up on a platform before our arrival. Our kids very much enjoy hiking along and through the rocky creek in the middle of the park that leads to a tower overlooking the Platte River and surrounding farmland. The outdoor pool and paddle boats are also fun. In all, this is a low-key park for getting outdoors with the family.

A Good Starter Campground for Kids

We live a short drive from Mahoney and have taken advantage of its convenient tent camping. Campgrounds are well kept. Sites are open and grassy and bathrooms are clean. Kids activities are endless with playgrounds, a water park, mini-golf, ponds, trails, horses, etc. One thing that stands out is the interactive Melodrama offered most evenings. Kids of all ages boo, cheer, and throw popcorn. Winter brings activities such low cost outdoor ice skating, a massive indoor playground, and a sledding hill. Cabins and a lodge are available.

Friendly Family Fun Off the Beaten Path

Our family of four tent-camped two nights on the way home from the Black Hills. It's rural Nebraska at its best! A very social campground with flocks of kids biking, playing hide-and seek, and just running free. With several lodging options, this hidden gem seemed to be a place where family and friends meet up to get away. During our stay we enjoyed an interactive rodeo, swimming in the indoor pool, and a history lesson including Native American culture as we toured the grounds. At night the stars were spectacular, and the morning chuck-wagon breakfast was treat. We would love to go back for the annual pow-wow! If you are touring western Nebraska or South Dakota and don't mind beautiful open drives and busy friendly campgrounds stay here!

Acadia is Amazing!

Since the campground is closing this fall to renovate I will focus mostly on what the park has to offer. Our family of four plus one pet was impressed with the transportation system provided by Acadia in partnership with L.L Bean. Free buses are pet-friendly which allowed for maximum exploration. Activities within walking distance from the campground included hiking, beach combing, and picnicking. Waking up to see the beautifully painted sky over the ocean at sunrise is well worth it! Rock climbing and various boat excursions were also available. Southwest Harbor neighbors the campground and has adorable coffee houses and restaurants. Also, be sure to seek out one of Ms. Frances' blueberry pies from the Quietside Cafe. Hoping renovations keep walk-in woodsy sites, but update bathrooms and maybe include showers, although a clean pay facility exists a mile towards Southwest Harbor. All together, the gorgeous geography, National Park Service and kind neighboring towns made tent-camping in Acadia an outstanding and affordable experience. This will not be our last visit!