Suzy W.

Jennings, FL

Joined May 2018

writer, consultant, adventurer

Enormous campground with something for everyone

I stayed here for Wanee music festival in 2016 so the crowds were not representative of non-event camping, but whether for an event or simply a relaxed trip, this campground is huge and has a wide variety of camping options from cabins to hook-up sites to primitive field and forest camping.

The river was a wonderful way to relax and cool off. The shuttle to the river was great as it is quite a walk depending on where you're camped. From the outer reaches of camping to main stage for music (or the restaurant/store/etc) could be a 45 minute walk. I was maybe 25 minutes from main stage and less than 10 from showers. I sometimes lucked into free golf cart rides from passersby.

Facilities were relatively well-kept for such a large festival with constant demands on toilets and showers. It was very dusty and if it is dry when you're there you may want to cover your face with a bandana if you'll be walking down the dirt roads much. Staff were very helpful, friendly, and available.

Plan to explore! There is a small lake, various paths criss-crossing around, a bat house, the Suwanee river, and a disc golf course among many other sites/activities. Will definitely return for other festivals but would also camp here when there isn't any special event for a quieter getaway.

Convenient for going out in VB when hotels rates are too high

I stayed here to go to a concert in downtown Virginia Beach when high-season hotel rates made booking a room too pricey. These RV/KOA-type campgrounds are not my personal preference and cost as much as a cheap hotel room if traveling alone or as a couple. However, if these campgrounds are your thing, I think this would be very nice one. Booking online was simple and office staff were friendly. Finding my campsite in the Sherwood Forest section was a little confusing but my site ended up being ideal--close to the main road to walk out for an Uber to the show and a little farther from the other campsites than other sites. It was pretty busy with Boy Scouts for my two nights and I felt it was not a party atmosphere.

Bathrooms were a fair walk from my campsite. They needed some cleaning and not all of the showers were functional at the time (some seemed to be missing fixtures), but there were good mirrors, electrical outlets, and a dry changing area with bench and hooks for each shower stall.

There is a nice walking path one may take out to the main road where there are gas stations, restaurants, and general city stuff. I didn't use it, but I believe the walking/bicycle path also leads 2 miles to the beach. Campers may also use a designated parking lot at the beach. I was a little too early, but come Memorial Day weekend (probably through Labor Day weekend) there is a municipal bus that stops right in front of the campground and goes to various tourist attractions and to the main downtown strip of bars.

It's music festival camping, so know that going in

Like another reviewer, I camped at Lee's during a Phish run at the nearby Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). I had to park about a mile from my tent because I arrived on Saturday, but my car was close to the convenience store just outside the campground. Payment is cash only; you hand them cash, they put a wrist band on you, and then you fend for yourself. There is no record of your stay, which has its pros and cons. There are no defined campsites so it is simply a crazy hodge-podge of tents and a lot of tip-toeing between tents trying not to trip over guy lines. It is partially wooded, so shade and trees for hammocks are available if you arrive early. The main benefits of staying at Lee's are the low price ($25/person/night), the shuttle service to SPAC (I think it was $15), and the festival atmosphere with a Shakedown Street, food vendors, and many late-night campfire jam sessions.

I'd say the main downsides are not enough porta-potties and that they get very, very bad quickly with such a large crowd. I think by Sunday everyone at the campground had a stomach bug and all treatments for such were sold out at the local convenience store. I did actually take a shower in the one very small facility with showers and flushing toilets, but, again, they are very unkempt.

Although there seemed to be a fair amount of security folks at main intersections to help with directions, once off the beaten path it was very, very dark and easy to get lost. As a girl walking a mile to my car alone at 3am, I was certainly concerned for my personal safety as some areas become rather deserted between the main camping areas and the more perimeter parking or main road where there is a convenience store. If something happened to you here, no one would know as there is no written record of you being there and the campground doesn't even know your name. That may be a plus if you'd like to stay off-grid, but does pose some safety issues. Some festivals are more tightly controlled than others and I would say the atmosphere here was on the more free-for-all end of the spectrum with a sense that there was no law enforcement presence whatsoever (other than assuming there are undercover narcotics officers at these events). That, too, has its pros and cons… I don't care about whatever folks are buying, selling, and using for their personal enjoyment, but the sticks of dynamite being set off were concerning and it really only takes a wayward sparkler to set a tent ablaze.

If you're staying here for SPAC shows, I would pack your earplugs, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, arrive as early as possible so you can park your car near where you pitch your tent, and then embrace the craziness.

It's what you expect

The benefit of a brand, whether Hilton, Motel 6, or KOA, is knowing there will be a certain level of consistency. If KOAs and similar campgrounds work for your group, then this is probably a very good one. People have different preferences about camping, there is something out there for everyone, and "to each his own." KOA-style campgrounds are not my thing, but that is about my personal preference. I ended up at this campground because the national and state parks I had hoped to visit were already fully booked, so I made do in a pinch.

This campground appeared well-maintained, garbage and recycling areas were easy to find, and bathrooms were clean. I find the prices at these campgrounds to be very high for a single person or couple (as much or more than a cheap hotel room), but can see the affordability if traveling with a large family or group. The sites are right on top of each other, so there is no privacy or quiet. The weekend I was there was a busy one with lots of noise from adjacent kids and a large group of bikers. For families, there seemed to be many activities for kids and a swimming pool. As with most tourist destinations, the gift shop will set you back a pretty penny but they have a large range of items from knick-knacks to local beer and the things one might forget or need in a pinch.

I had to drive to get into the town of Harper's Ferry and to do an easy hike and swim, but it is well worth leaving the campground to see the area, which is quite scenic and historic.

A nice spot to get a little off the grid a couple hours outside DC.

I only stayed one night, but plan to return for a longer stay as it was peaceful and scenic. The campground is free, open from late April through December, and campers may stay up to 21 days. However, there are no online reservations or staff in the area; I would want to have a back-up plan in case all sites are already taken.

Check-in and check-out are accomplished by filling out a 3 x 5 card at the entrance and placing it in the slot for your campsite. At the end of October, only 4 of the 15 campsites were occupied so I was able to select one spaced out from other campers for privacy.

The campsites are arranged on the outer perimeter of the loop drive, with a vaulted toilet outhouse and a pump water spigot located within the center island. (I did not use the water, but have read elsewhere that it may come out looking rusty, presumably from the mineral content). Campsites had enough space between them to feel private but close enough to feel that local bears would (hopefully) pass us by. Each campsite has a long parking area (not pull through), a cleared area for tents, a picnic table, and a fire ring and lantern pole. There is no electricity at the campground.

The road approaching the campground is not comfortably wide enough to pass oncoming cars (though I did not encounter any) so I would take it slow, especially around the many bends. My cellular reception cut out along one of the forest roads well before reaching the campground; I will have a compass and written directions in and out handy when I return.