Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

If you would like to know more about me, or contact us, click on "Who are We?" (to the right). For more information about what you can expect to find in these reviews, click on "About These Reviews". Finally, a note about the photos: hover your cursor over a photo to read the caption, or click the photo to enlarge it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Our Opinion: Rave!  This is everything we like in a campground.

Eagle Ridge Peninsula from Deer Run Campground Date of Stay: April 25 through 29 , 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Mostly sunny, breezy, spring weather.  Cool nights.

Site Description:  Fifty-two FHU campsites (yes, sewer, too) are arranged in two loops, each on a peninsula jutting into a lake.  Many of the sites have 30 and 50 amps, but we did see some that had just 20/30 amps.  Roads and sites are paved, and most are long and level enough for big rigs.  Spacing is typical for a state park - some sites have more space and privacy than others.  All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. 

Most of the park is forested, but the trees have been sufficiently thinned in the campground to provide views of the sky and lake.  Sites in the Eagle Ridge loop seemed to be in slightly better condition.  The Eagle Ridge loop has a bathhouse with showers and a laundry room; the Deer Run Campground has a playground.  There is an on-site host and a dump station. 

Site 36 in Eagle Ridge Campground Rate: Premium sites, on the water’s edge with 50 amp power, are $22/night, no discounts.  Standard sites (some have 30 amps, some have 50) are $18/night - or $14 with a Golden Age pass.

Phone/radio/TV: Moderately strong Verizon signal; phones worked fine, aircard varied from slow to fairly speedy.  Our roof-top satellite worked in our site (36), but would not have in most because of the big trees.  We received half a dozen stations on antenna.  NPR is available at 90.3.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  Elevation is under 1,000 feet.  Gently rolling with many trees.  Views are of neighbors, green trees and a lovely lake.

Lighting/Noise:  The only thing I would change about this park: a few large streetlights come on in each loop at night, shining way too brightly.  Very quiet at night.

Favorite Sites:  Site 36 (a premium site) worked well for us, as we were able to pick up the satellite signal.  Others that would likely work for big rigs with roof mounted satellite dishes: 30, 34, 35, 37 in the Eagle Ridge Campground, and 3 in the Deer Run Campground (all are premium sites), and 3 is the shortest.  Sites 26 and 18 are exceptionally long and private (both premium).

Our patio from site 36 Eagle Ridge Loop

Hiking/Walking:  This park has a few miles of nature trails for hiking, and many more miles for mountain biking.  Plenty of paved, lightly used roadways for walking.

Comments: What a lovely campground.  Golfers: FREE greens fees for campers at nearby Pontotoc Country Club – just take your campsite receipt for unlimited play!  Close to Tupelo and the Natchez Trace Parkway (less than 10 miles) for sightseeing and hiking.  We would return.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Site 80, Monte Sano State Park Our Opinion: Recommend, but getting to it is a tiny bit challenging.  If you have a big rig, it’s probably not worth for just an overnight or two.

Date of Stay: April 20 through 24, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Very mild, pleasant, sunny spring weather, until the last day – when the weather turned “severe” with thunderstorms and possible tornados in the forecast.

Site Description:  Monte Sano state park campground has a mix of primitive and developed sites.  Of the 89 developed sites, 19 are FHU with 30/50 amps; the remaining 70 have 30 amp E and water.   Most sites can accommodate large rigs - sufficiently long AND sufficiently level.  All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. 

The campground is heavily forested.  Roads are paved, sites are gravel.  Each loop has a bathhouse with showers.  There is an on-site host, a playground, and a dump station.  Access to the campground is controlled by a gate with a combination keypad.

Hidden in the trees Rate: Rates here vary by day of the week, utilities, and convenience (pull-throughs cost more than back-ins).  Seniors get a 15% discount.  We stayed in a 50 amp FHU back-in for three weekdays, 2 weekend days, and got the senior discount, paying $106 plus change for 5 nights.

Phone/radio/TV: Very weak, spotty Verizon service meant phone calls and internet access was unreliable or non-existent.  Heavy forest meant trouble for our roof-mounted TV satellite, but we received half a dozen stations on antenna.  NPR is available on 89.3.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  Though the campground is flat, it’s hilltop location requires a climb up a winding road.  Heavy forest provides privacy and shade in the campsites. Our view is of trees and a few neighboring RV’s. 

Lighting/Noise:  Very dark, very quiet at night.

Stone cabin in state park Favorite Sites:  Site 80 worked well for us, but many other sites would have been fine.  We were pleased to have FHU.

Hiking/Walking:  This park has 21 miles of trails, from easy to strenuous - plenty of good walking or mountain biking.

Comments: The campground is just a small part of this large park, which includes a large picnic area, a stone lodge building, several trailhead parking lots, a viewpoint that is part of the Alabama Birding Trail, and 14 rustic cabins with screened porches, A/C, and great views. Conveniently located to downtown Huntsville.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Old Section of Raccoon Valley Our Opinion: Neutral.  A friendly, reasonably priced park convenient to Knoxville, in the midst of reconstruction.

Date of Stay: April 16 through 19, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Sunny, mild spring weather until the day we left (when it rained).   Cool nights. 

Site Description:  This park will soon double in size; reconstruction of an older section of the park was underway when we visited, with a few of the newly remodeled sites open.  We spent our first three nights in site 7 of the old section (28 sites, mostly pull-throughs).  Roads and sites are gravel, with grass and mature trees.  FHU, 30 and 50 amps.

Our last night (after taking our MH out for repairs) was in site 54, one of the newly opened sites (41 new sites, mostly pull-throughs; 12 back-ins are indicated to be dry camping on the park map).  At this time, the gravel roads and sites are quite dusty, due to construction.  Again, FHU, 30 and 50 amp. 

We were sorry to see how sloped our site in the new section was… we weren’t able to level completely.  Our neighbor, a 42’ motor home, had the same problem.  I know the park was anxious to get new sites opened for business, but visitors will be disappointed if these sites aren’t re-graded (they have already been graveled and compacted).  

Two of the new pull throughs

Our neighbor’s tires were off the ground.

New pull through sites Tires off ground

Site sizes are typical of a commercial park, with most pull throughs just long enough for a 40’ motor home and towed, and wide enough for slides and awnings.  Each site in the old section has a picnic table - too bad your neighbor’s sewer hookup is in the middle of your “yard”.

Scoopy in site 7 of the old section. The office/clubhouse is being expanded; laundry and showers are available.  The pool was closed when we were there, probably due to the dust from the construction.  There is a small fenced dog run.  Dump station on-site.

Rate: Escapee members pay $16/night plus tax, which included electric.  Non-Escapees pay $23/night plus tax, including electric.  Given the park’s proximity to Knoxville, this is a very good rate, especially for Escapees.

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong signal for our Verizon phones and aircard.  No obstacles for satellite TV in our sites; we also picked up a few local stations on our antenna. Tengo Internet provides WiFi for a fee - we didn’t try it.  NPR on  91.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Elevation is around 1,000 ft. in hilly terrain.  Views are of neighbors, tall trees, and green hillsides. 

Facing new Sites at Raccoon Valley Lighting/noise:  A few “streetlights”.  Quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: Not much difference here.  We would pick based on the length of the site - and try to find a level one.

Hiking/Walking: Although we didn’t see them, a reader mentioned hiking trails on the south side of the park.  We visited the numerous, long “greenways” for walking in Knoxville.

Comments:  Nothing special about this small campground except the very friendly reception and good price.  Brandy gave us each a heartfelt hug on our arrival and departure.  As usual in an Escapee park, a social hour is held daily at 4 pm.  We will return anytime we want to revisit Knoxville, and look forward to seeing the park after reconstruction is complete.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Site B-29, Warriors Path State Park Our Opinion: Nice park, but NOT recommended if you have a big rig.

Date of Stay: April 13 through 15, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Highs in the low 80’s, lows in the 40’s.  Plenty of sunshine.

Site Description:  Warriors’ Path campground is very pleasant for tents and trailers under around 30 feet, but we can’t recommend it for big rigs.  Of the 94 sites (of which only 74 were available when we stayed, because one loop was still closed for the season), no more than half a dozen (if that) can accommodate big rigs.  During our mid-week stay, we saw several 40+ plus rigs circle the campground and head back out.

We arrived on a Tuesday and lucked into one of the sites that is both long enough and level enough to (barely) accommodate us, B-29.  All sites have water and at least 30 amp electric.  Again, we were lucky with our site, which had both 30 and 50 amps.  Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.  Roads in the campground are paved and narrow - one lane but not necessarily one way.  

Typical sites at Warriors' Path The campground has 2 restrooms, one with showers which we didn't investigate.  There are two dump stations, neither particularly convenient for a big rig.  There is also a large playground.

Rate: We paid $20/night for W and 50 amp E.

Phone/radio/TV: Great Verizon service for phone and aircard.  The campground is moderately wooded, but we managed to get our roof-mounted TV satellite to lock on, and picked up a couple of stations on antenna.  NPR is available on 89.5. No park WiFi.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This is a very hilly state park, including the campground.  Beautiful, large trees shade many/most of the campsites, and many of the campsites have views through the forest to the river.  Sites are not particularly private.  Our appealing view is of trees, grass, a restroom, the playground, and several other RV’s. 

Sites along the ridge road. Lighting/Noise:  Lights on the restrooms at night; quiet once the campers settle down.

Favorite Sites:  B-29 worked for us (technically, we are a 38’ MH - I think this site is too small for a 40’ MH).  C-74 appears to be the largest site. Sites cannot be reserved.

Hiking/Walking:  LOTS of trails, from easy to strenuous - plenty of good walking.

Comments: The campground is just a small part of this large park, which seemed more like a county or regional park - heavily used by the locals.  The park includes a golf course, Olympic-sized swimming pool, stables, trails, marina, soccer fields and fishing piers.  Too bad the campsites are so small - though we enjoyed our stay, we don’t recommend it for big rigs.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Our Opinion: Rave.  A small, quiet, beautifully maintained campground convenient to Asheville, NC.

Heading up the hill at Mama GertiesDate of Stay: April 8 through 12, 2010

Weather During Stay:  After an afternoon rainstorm on our first day, the weather cooled, then gradually warmed into the low 70’s.  Cool nights, sunny days.

Site Description:  This small campground (26 RV sites, 6 tent sites, and 5 camping cabins) is built on terraces on a steep, wooded hillside.  There are twelve 50 amp FHU sites; seven 30 amp FHU sites; and seven 30 amp W/E sites.  All sites have a picnic table and fire ring.  Cable TV and fast WiFi is included.

Most sites are gravel (a few are concrete) and are very level - but approaches are steep and turns are tight.  I would not recommend this campground to RV’ers who lack confidence in their driving skills!  The manager helps with skillful, patient parking directions  - we watched him guide two LARGE fifth wheels into spaces next to us.

Scoopy in Site 24The tent sites and camping cabins deserve special mention: roomy, level, adjacent to a burbling stream, surrounded by rhododendron bushes for privacy, and well separated from the RV campsites.  A separate bath house with tiled showers and restrooms serves these sites.

The entrance to the campground, next to the office, is gated.  The office building includes restrooms, showers, a spotless laundry and a camp store.  A dump station is on site, but would be difficult to access in a large rig.

Rate: Mama Gertie’s participates in CampClubUSA, two nights maximum, paid in cash.  We paid $19.50/night for our first two nights in our 50 amp FHU site.  We got a 10% Good Sam discount on the remaining three nights: $35.10/night.

Phone/radio/TV:  Weak signals for our Verizon phones and aircard.  No obstacles for satellite TV in our site, but this would not be the case in most sites.  No problem, cable TV is included.  We used their excellent, dependable WiFi.  NPR on 88.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Elevation is around 2,000 ft. in mountainous terrain.  Terraced sites on a steep incline.  Views are of neighbors, tall trees, rhododendrons and other shrubs.  Very appealing. 

View at Mama Gerties Lighting/noise:  A few “streetlights”.  Very quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: We were on the highest tier, at the upper end of the park, and liked our location – which would be even better in a 5th wheel with a big back window (great view down the hill).  For a big rig, site 22 would be a favorite - a concrete slab on the end of the top row of five sites.  In a small rig, I’d pick a pull-through.

Hiking/Walking: Whew!  Going up and down the hill in this park is real exercise.  Signs in the common rooms of the “main building” at the bottom of the hill offer rides back to your space if you don’t want to walk up the hill!

Comments:  This small, quiet, pretty campground is located about 8 miles from downtown Asheville, near to all sorts of attractions, both natural and man-made.  A large grocery store is about a mile away.  I hope we can return someday. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Main road from entrance to campsites. Our Opinion: Recommend.  A very well maintained campground, convenient to Charleston.  This would be our choice when we visit Charleston again.

Date of Stay: March 31 through April 6 (including Easter weekend), 2010

Weather During Stay:  Very pleasant springtime weather, highs in the low 80’s with reasonably low humidity.  Cool nights. Pollen falling thickly.

Site Description:  This level, grassy, pleasantly shaded campground has around 200 sites - some appear to be tent sites, some W/E, and most FHU with either 50 or 30 amps.  Some have concrete slabs, but most are gravel or grass.  Most sites are pull-throughs, some shaded, others in the open.

We specifically asked for an open site for our rooftop TV satellite (no cable TV here).  Our site, 006, was a long, wide, gravel site with a patch of grass between us and our neighbors.  Each site has a sturdy picnic table.  All sites, no matter what the utilities or surface, were roomy and well maintained.  Roads are paved.  Speed is controlled by frequent speed bumps on the long main road of the park – quite annoying and very effective.

Site 006, Oak Plantation Campground This is a very large campground, with lots of grassy recreational space separate from the camping area.  Most sites are well back from busy Hwy 17, while the front of the park is mostly common area: swimming pool, a small fishing lake, a fenced dog run and a playground - along with a large private home and the namesake oak trees.

Rate: With a Good Sam discount and taxes, we paid just over $30/night. 

Phone/radio/TV:  Strong signals for our Verizon phones and aircard.  No obstacles for our satellite TV in our site - but be sure to request an open sky if you need it.  Half a dozen stations on the antenna.  No cable TV.  WiFi available, but we didn’t try it out.  NPR on 89.9.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a flat, grassy, partly forested campground at sea level.  Views are of neighbors and tall trees.

Typical row on a crowded Easter weekend. Lighting/noise:  Typical commercial lighting at night - not horribly bright, but not as dark as we like.  The campground is well back from busy Hwy 17, so traffic noise was not noticeable to us. 

Favorite Sites: Not too much difference between the various sites, other than trees and the services at each site.  No particular favorites here.

Hiking/Walking: It is easy to get quite a bit of walking exercise in this very large park.

Comments:  Oak Plantation is a convenient park for seeing the sights of Charleston.  Coming from the west, you arrive at the park just before hitting the worst of Charleston’s dense traffic, but trying to make a left turn into or out of the park is dangerous (or impossible) during the afternoon commute.  A nice, large Publix grocery store is a block away.