Campground Recommendations?

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Campground Recommendations?

Postby minstrel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:59 pm

OK all you Texans.....I am planning a trip to Gulf Shores AL in May and will be looking to stay my 2nd night somewhere in the southeastern quadrant. Do you have any particular campgrounds you like? It will just be for one night, but I do like my electricity and nice hot showers. I know...picky, picky, picky.... :roll:
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby Java Jack » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:07 pm

Hello,

I have only had my trailer for a few months so still early in my camping around Texas. While not in South East Texas, here are a couple of parks in Central Texas that are really good. Here are a couple reviews I posted elsewhere.

Pedernales Falls:
Located between Dripping Springs and Johnson City, Pedernales Falls is a great place for the outdoor enthusiast and family camper. From south Austin area, it took us about 35 mins to get to the campground. The Campground is clean, most sites have plenty of tress and shade and there are plenty of hiking trails for all levels.

The campground has primitive sites as well as developed sites with Electricity and Water hook ups. The are single car wide but most are deep enough for an RV or Travel Trailer. Some sites are more wide open with sparse tree coverage while others are more secluded with lots of trees.
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There are about 70 sites total for the campground but it can fill up quickly so reserving in advance is a good idea. There is wood and ice available for purchase if needed but no local store for grocery items if you forgot anything.
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The restrooms are cleaned daily and have shower stalls. They are within walking distance for most sites but they do have a few parking spaces by each bathroom in case you don't want to walk to them.

The park has a number of nature activities for the outdoor enthusiast. There are plenty of hiking trails for all age ranges. Some trails may be physically demanding while others are easy. The walk to the falls is fairly easy with stone steps down to the river front. Though the steps can be a bit steep for the less mobile but no more challenging that your typical stairway in a residential home. However, there are no handrails on those steps. The falls are one of the highlight features of the park and are quite beautiful but this is obviously subject to drought conditions.

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There are equestrian trails for those that have horses. There is also a bird blind for those that enjoy bird watching. We saw a number of cardinals and several other species though we are far from experts on the subject. There is a swimming area but we did not make it down there to check it out.

Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your perspective but expect to unplug during your visit there as cell reception was challenging at best in the campsite. We did manage to get 1 bar if we stood in the street in front of our campsite and could get emails/texts as well as make calls but surfing the web is not really an option. So it can be good in that it forces you to enjoy the park more and your electronics less but if you need good connectivity for some reason, you will be challenged to get anything at this park.

Overall, this was a very nice park and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great place to camp and enjoy nature.

Guadalupe River State Park:
Overall, great campground in central Texas between Austin and San Antonio. About 1.5 hour drive from Austin and 1 hour from San Antonio. 2 main camping areas, Cedar Sage and Turkey Sink along with walk in camp sites for tent campers that is close to the river front.

Sites are clean and have lots of shade. Cedar Sage is primarily for tent camping and small trailers (teardrop and tent trailer size). Turkey Sink has larger spots for bigger RVs and travel trailers. Turkey sink also has lots of trees and good shade coverage but not quite as much as Cedar Shade as they need to allow room for larger vehicles. Both Cedar Sage and Turkey Sink have water and electricity hook ups. Sites also have fire rings (which can be used when there is no burn ban) as well a tables. They also provide a pole for hanging lanterns by the table.

Bathrooms are clean and well lit and also have shower stalls available. There is also a dump station for RVs that want to empty tanks before leaving the park.

There are some nice walking/hiking trails that are also open to mountain bikes. There is also a horse trail for the equestrian campers. Most trails lead down to river front.

I forgot to get pics of this park.

Jim Hogg State Park (Cedar Breaks is also close by and similar to Jim Hogg):
OK, here is a brief review of the park...sorry did not get that many pictures but did get some video.

http://youtu.be/I9ISBJGzlUk

Overall, park is clean and staff is friendly. The campground hosts made regular passes through the grounds to ensure things were going smoothly.

Bathrooms were clean (not spotless, but not smelly either). Bathrooms also had a couple of shower stalls with hot water. However, the bathroom closest to us was closed as they were replacing the septic tank. We had to walk to the upper restroom so it took a little longer than you might want.

Lot's of big RVs, 5th wheels, etc. but folks were friendly. It was mostly retired folks but there were some young families and even a few tent campers.

Water at the lake was really low but even so, it is still a huge lake.

Sites were paved with both electricity and water. Some had a lot of tree cover while others had very little to no trees. Each site had a designated fire ring and separate BBQ stand. Sites also had a covered picnic table. No recreation area that I could find (basket ball courts, volleyball, playground, etc.).

They did have a dump station on site right as you exit.

It was close to grocery stores, etc. in case you needed anything yet you still felt like you were away from the city.

Hope these help.
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby lrrowe » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:29 pm

Good report. Thanks. I hope I can get to many other areas with my CT. And I think I am building a bais towards drones. There was nothing wrong in this video, but fo my way of thinking, I think the potential for privacy invasion is huge.
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby Java Jack » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:50 pm

lrrowe wrote:Good report. Thanks. I hope I can get to many other areas with my CT. And I think I am building a bais towards drones. There was nothing wrong in this video, but fo my way of thinking, I think the potential for privacy invasion is huge.


Thanks. The parks were pretty good. I like Pedernales, Guadalupe and Cedar Breaks the best. Jim Hogg was OK but too sparse on the tree coverage. I prefer more trees/shade, etc.

I don't own a drone, that footage was provided by a camp neighbor. Not to hijack the thread but I do understand and agree about the concerns of drones. However, I think there is also an unrealistic expectation of privacy in a public space. People were taking video and still photos at Pedernales Falls with complete strangers being caught on camera and no one had any concerns. Yet if a drone were the fly over, it get's everyone upset.

Security cameras are all over the place and no one pays them any mind. So I don't understand why people get concerned over drone footage in public. Your likeness and movements are tracked by cameras, cell phones, phone calls are logged, etc. on a daily basis, privacy is a disappearing concept. It is quite sad when you think about it.

I get that there needs to be very strict laws about flying over my backyard and filming or flying out side my window but if I am in a public space, it should be treated like any other photographic device with the exception of greater safety regulations and disruption of natural habitat. There needs to be laws that ensure people are not endangering others by bad piloting skills, etc. or not harassing wildlife. I think you should be allowed to fly them in public and in state/national parks within boundaries.

In fact, I would argue it is a great way to draw attention to our natural wonders...people are drawn to imagery and providing more amateur imagery that is stunning and beautiful could entice more people to support our parks and natural wonders.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and those that don't.
Regards,
Java
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Blog: http://cre8tiveapps.blogspot.com/
Video: https://youtu.be/TLLFt3vzFoA
Sill Images: http://imgur.com/a/EE0zC#0
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby minstrel » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:15 am

Thanks for the recommendations....I will keep them in mind for next time I am in TX. For now, I made a reservation at Lake Livingston State Park. The driving distance was good and the pictures looked nice. I will let you know how it is.....I,m only there for the one night so won't get to explore much.....but who knows? If I love it, might go back on my way home...
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby 2bits » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:42 pm

What do you like? Thick trees with privacy or open areas with fields? Lakes or prairies? Tall trees, small trees, rocks or dirt? Sights to see or just a nice camp site? We typically camp at state parks and the facilities are always well kept.

There is actually vintage trailer rally at Lake Livingston April 17th with only 6 sites left. It is three close camping loops all together in an open clearing (AKA no private treed sites but there are other loops I think as well). I went to last years gathering there so I can share some photos. I didn't use the facilities as my camper at the time had a shower. Here's a couple of pics, very clean park.
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby 2bits » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:50 pm

Here are some photos of Wolf creek park at Lake Livingston!
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby minstrel » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:11 am

Love the pictures! :D I also love the trees and grass. Don't see much grass around in the desert campground in AZ! Can't make the gathering in April...but am excited about my first long (2-week) trip in May!
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby Java Jack » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:51 pm

Thomas,

That place looks really nice and it is right next door to Sam Houston Natl. Forrest where you can ride dirt bikes. I may have to check it out soon.
There are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and those that don't.
Regards,
Java
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Blog: http://cre8tiveapps.blogspot.com/
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby 2bits » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:28 pm

It was a very clean and nice park but if you are not with a group, it would seem annoying to me since the sites are small and no trees between. I hope you like your neighbors! With the vintage trailer rally, it works out great because it's more like a car show where you want to see everything and you do like your neighbors!
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby RZRBUG » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:49 pm

Liz, I suppose you already have your place picked out for Gulf Shores, but if you're looking for a place to camp, I highly recommend Gulf Shores State Park. It is huge, across the highway from the ocean, some waterfront sites, several nice shower houses, walking and biking trials nearby, store, swimming pool, free beach access included. I did see one alligator in the lake and a couple of copperheads, but you'll find that almost anywhere in the area. I also recommend a trip to Fort Morgan, a short drive from Gulf Shores. Of course, there are lots of state parks in the area, so you have a lot to chose from. Have fun and be safe. Be sure to pack your suntan lotion. 8)
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby minstrel » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:13 am

Actually, Larry, I already made reservations for Gulf State Park and have a waterfront spot! My friend I am visiting lives about 1.5 miles from there so should be perfect... I'm not a fan of 'gators or Copperheads....but was told that the salt water keeps them away. So I am hoping I don't see any of those near my campsite! :frightened:
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby Vedette » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:32 pm

Cove Palicades SP Culver Oregon
Conconully SP Conconully Wa.
H..l, any campground in Washington????? ;)
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the Farm is nice too ... in the heart of the Beautiful Okanagan Valley B.C.
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby RZRBUG » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:20 pm

The two copperheads I saw were in the middle of the road or a paved walking/bike path; in plain view in plenty of time to spot and avoid. Stay out of the weeds and the bushes, and you'll be fine...and keep the little four-legged buddy out as well. I'm sure your friend is more familiar with the area than I am and will have good advice. BTW, I could not connect to Wi-Fi in the park, but good signal at the office.
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Re: Campground Recommendations?

Postby minstrel » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:29 am

Vedette.....the Pacific Northwest is absolutely on my wish list....but probably won't happen this year. I'm having fun dreaming of all the places I want to see.....! :)
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