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Saturday, June 19, 2010

MOUNTAIN TOP CAMPGROUND, TARENTUM, PA

Our Site at Mountain Top Our Opinion: Neutral, though there is much to like about this park.  Be sure to read our comments at the end of this review.

Date of Stay: June 17 through 19 , 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Highs in the upper 80’s,  upper 60’s, mostly sunny. 

Site Description:  This campground is a mom and pop operation on the very top of a hill, with great views in all directions.  It’s difficult to tell how many sites there are, but probably more than 100.  Almost all the sites are on grass (a few are graveled), with water and electric hookups at the back of the sites.  I don’t know how many sites have 50 amps vs. 30 amps.  Sites are not defined by anything other than the location of the utilities, and are incredibly spacious.

View of Mountain Top The campground was about ¼ full when we arrived.  The owners live in a home on site but weren’t here, so we picked one of the few graveled 50 amp sites and backed in.  Leveling took a board under each front tire and jack.

Some sites have picnic tables.  No fire rings, but you can build your campfire right on the ground (and can purchase firewood on site).  As usual with eastern RV parks, several of the rigs appear to be “seasonal” (left permanently to be used on weekends) and other rigs are stored.  I’m under the impression that the owner has a honey wagon he will use to pump your tanks when necessary, but we didn’t use this service, and didn’t see a dump station.  It looked to us that everyone drained their gray water to the back of their rig and down the hill, so we did the same.  Very sensible.

Rate: Standard rate is quoted at $40/night.  Considering the road to get here and the lack of sewer, I don’t know who would be willing to pay that!  Passport America is accepted without restrictions, except for special events (they used to hold bluegrass festivals here), so we paid $20 night. I believe they also give Escapees 50% off.

A view of the surrounding areaPhone/radio/TV:  We are within sight of a Verizon tower, so the signal was exceptional and the aircard blazing fast.  No WiFi, no cable TV.  No obstacles for satellite dishes, and 15 digital channels come in via the air antenna.  Three local NPR stations from Pittsburgh, including 90.5.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: It is a winding climb up a hill to get there - once on the mountain top, lovely views of green, green and more green in all directions.  Trees ring the park, but most sites are in the open.

Lighting/noise:  Dark and quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: No favorites here - make your selection based on the view or sun exposure you prefer.  Tent camping is allowed; we saw some tent campers in a grove of trees on the edge of the campground.

Hiking/Walking: The park is large enough for a nice stroll, but not sufficient for exercise.  We found a nearby rails-to-trails bike/hike trail for walking (the Freeport-Barton Trail), about 6 miles away in Freeport. 

Nice site at Mountain Top Comments:  We wanted to love this park, as it has so much to offer: reasonable proximity to Pittsburgh, huge sites, wonderful owners, mellow atmosphere.  The problem for us:  the voltage dropped so low on warm afternoons that our EMS box (Energy Management System) shut off our electricity (shuts down at 103 volts).  We could have bypassed the box, but didn’t want to damage our appliances.  This was with fewer than ¼ of the sites full, so I can only imagine what happens with more campers.  It was a big disappointment to us, because we really enjoyed this park otherwise… but no A/C when it is sunny and in the upper 80’s doesn’t work well for us!

3 comments:

Dawn and Denise said...

Thanks so much for your reviews. I love reading about the places you visit. Keep up the good work

Andy Baird said...

There's a dump station near the main house/office. I didn't experience voltage brownout problems when I stayed there in September of 2009, even during a fairly hot spell, but there were very few rigs there at the time. I'm about to spend an extended period there in June and July, so I guess I'll find out what the power situation is like.

Laurie and Odel said...

Hi, Andy (I "know" you through Judy and Gary). Thanks for your comment - let us know how the power works out when you get there.