Date of Stay: August, 2012
If you are seeking a place to enjoy Michigan in all its lake glory and wilderness solitude, then Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground may not be the place for you. If you are seeking a densely populated campground where your kids can race their bikes on the interior roads and paths; if you enjoy having cars, motorcycles, and golf carts cruise past your trailer frequently; and if you don’t mind very low electric power, then Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground is the place for you. We spent 5 days here with an absolutely stellar view of the Lake and access to the beach. However, our lake front site did have a heavily used, mostly gravel road between us and the Lake. Our gravel site was bordered with trees and bushes and had room for our awnings, a picnic table, a fire ring, and space for our tow vehicle. The campground is on an electric cooperative so when the temps are high, electric consumption is up and you don’t have enough voltage to safely run your air conditioner or refrigerator, you are just out of luck. When we arrived at least 6 clerks were working the walk-up check in windows. Ours was not the most welcoming clerk; no smiles and no welcome to Mackinaw Mill Creek from her. The campground does need better directional signs and maps, and a more efficient traffic flow. Throughout the day, the bathrooms stayed decently clean despite the number of guests. Any lack of cleanliness was on the part of the guests who used the facility. We chose not to use the campground showers since we prefer more than a shower curtain separating us from the next person. Our expectations were set quite high from the videos we watched on the campground web site. Our stay did not meet those expectations. Earlier reviews are spot on for this campground. One in particular mentions that you need to know why you are thinking of staying at Mackinaw Mill Creek. That advice is so true. These two retirees with no kids, who enjoy the peace and solitude of nature, don’t rank it so high. Other guests may find that a stay here gives their kids the time of their lives.
Date of Stay: October, 2010
This campground is actually closer to Choctaw, OK than Oklahoma City. The campground buildings, sites and grounds were very clean and well maintained. We were escorted to our site which was spacious and quiet. The site was gravel and reasonably level. The hook-ups we used were in good working order (30 amp electricity, water, sewer). Wi-Fi was adequate. The restrooms were kept spotless. The campground advertises that it has cable. However, we were not able to get clear reception. All of the stations except 2 or 3 were too fuzzy to watch. Campground staff tried to resolve the problem but could not. We had no problems with cable reception at other campgrounds on our trip. We’ve stayed in several other campgrounds since our first review of Oklahoma City East KOA in 2008. Our 2010 rating is based on the criteria we’ve applied to other campgrounds with a similar quality of services and facilities. Limited retail, restaurants, and groceries are available in Choctaw which is about 8 miles north of the campground. Many retail, restaurant, and grocery options are available in Midwest City which is about 10 miles west of the campground. When you are approaching the campground from the south, the KOA entrance sign is tucked back and up from the road and the drive apron is very steep. Be careful of a tendency to turn into a neighborhood street just before the campground entrance. The campground entrance will have the big KOA sign; the neighborhood street will not. Also, the two truck stops at the intersection of Choctaw Road and Interstate 40 were not open for business when we were there in October 2010, so refueling options are limited. The truck stops suffered storm damage earlier in the year. We will stay at this campground again.
Date of Stay: October, 2010
We made our reservation online through the KOA website and asked for a site tucked away from the railroad tracks. When we arrived we had to wait to turn off the road into the campground because of the RVs that were queued up to check in. The line moved quickly and we felt welcomed. Our reservations were in order and we were escorted to our site. The interior roads were tight to negotiate with our 29 ft travel trailer but manageable with the help of our escort. We did not have a problem with low branches. Our pull-through site was reasonably level and not right by the railroad tracks. The services we used worked well (30 amp electric, water, sewer, WiFi). We did not need our air conditioner and did not experience low electric power. The laundry facility was excellent. It was very clean, nicely decorated, and had good space for folding clothes. The washers and dryers were large, clean and efficient. The lounge next door had current reading materials, comfortable seating, and nice table and work spaces. We had the impression that care was taken throughout the campground to provide nice touches without cluttering. The general atmosphere in the office while we were here was busy yet pleasant. The bathrooms were also clean. We knew the campground was not right by retail and restaurants so we brought our dinner with us and ate in. We heard the occasional train and whistles yet they did not keep us up at night. We do use earplugs. We had considered staying at this campground several times yet were hesitant to do so because of the mixed reviews, particularly related to train noise. For us, train noise was a not an issue and we enjoyed this overnight stay on our journey back home. We plan to stay here again.
Date of Stay: October, 2010
Our reservations were in order. The hosts were welcoming and escorted us to our site. Interior roads and camp sites were gravel and dirt. Some of the turns were tight for our 29 footer yet no worse than we’ve experienced in other RV parks. Our site was level and the services we used worked fine (30 amp electric, water, sewer, WiFi). The bathrooms by the office were old yet spotless and a newer bathhouse on the grounds was also very clean. The grounds are heavily treed and have a nice walking trail. The RV park is not right by retail and restaurants. We drove the short distance to Lebanon for dinner at one of our favorite catfish/barbeque places at Exit 227 off Interstate 44. In terms of road noise, we were aware of trucks and cars running over the rumble strips on Interstate 44 more than just straight road noise. The rumble strips seem to be particularly close to the edges of the driving lanes. We did not need our air conditioner on this stay. We’re thinking the road noise will be less noticeable when we do have the white noise from the air conditioner. We often travel across Interstate 44 and have added Happy Trails RV Park to our list of RV parks that are convenient overnight stops for us.
Date of Stay: September, 2010
Lynnville Park is a small little park in Warrick County that seems to be a popular fishing and camping place for folks who live in the area and a home base for visitors to the county. The park has 24 modern sites and at least 30 primitive sites. We agree with the previous positive reviews about the park setting and proximity to a lake. The park does host regional dirt bike events. However, no bike events were scheduled during our stay. The campground host was extremely friendly during our reservation process and stay. Our site (#6) was gravel and was not level (especially side to side). We could have pulled in from either end of the site, however, one end was on a significant slope. Utilities were placed so that we had trouble reaching the sewer connection. For the first time in our three years of camping, we needed a longer sewer hose. Our connections are on the rear curbside of our 29 ft. trailer. Since the site was very wide we were able to park our trailer at a sharp angle and then reach the dump connection. Once hooked up, services worked well (30 amp electric, water, sewer). Bathrooms were old yet very clean when we arrived on Friday. They did not appear to have been cleaned again before we left on Sunday morning. However, they were still in decent condition except for mud on the floor from a rain shower on Saturday morning. We had no WiFi or Internet connectivity which was not an issue since we knew about the lack of access ahead of time. AT&T reception on our iPhone was fine. The outside lights around us were extremely bright at night. Based on the gyrations we had to go through to hook up at our site, we’re giving a 6 rating. The rating would have been at least a 7 if the hook-ups were more accessible. The park was a convenient distance for us to attend an event in Mount Carmel, IL. We would possibly stay at this park again. If we do, we will bring a longer sewer hose and check to see if any dirt bike events are scheduled.
Date of Stay: May, 2010
While we were there, the campground was still a KOA. However, the owner mentioned that the campground was in the process of changing over to a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park as part of its strategy to be a destination campground. We met our daughter and granddaughter for a long weekend and to attend an event in Bonner Springs, KS. They stayed in a cottage while we stayed close by in our trailer. Our reservations were in order; check-in went smoothly and we were escorted to our site. The campground had several activities for kids that our granddaughter enjoyed. The jumping pillow was a big hit along with the swimming pool, bird watching, and hay ride. The common grounds around the campground were pleasant, well kept and nicely landscaped. The owner, hosts, and staff were helpful and friendly. Our site was reasonably level. The width of the interior drives that led into the sites and the sites themselves were a bit tight. During our stay, there was a water outage that lasted a couple of hours. We did notice some low water pressure. We had to rely on our Smart Phone more than Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity. We heard trains often yet they were not a problem for us. Based on some previous reviews, we were prepared for much more invasive train noise than we experienced. The campground seemed to fill to capacity during our stay. As more campers arrived, the bathrooms could have used a little more attention and cleaning throughout the day. We would stay at this campground again.
Date of Stay: May, 2010
The entrance road to Cottonwoods RV Park separates the children’s playground and swimming pool from the main park area. Because children need to cross traffic on the main entrance road to get to the playground, the RV park has installed speed bumps on that road. While we appreciate the need to protect the safety of the children, the speed bumps could be a better design. They are a vertical drop like driving off a street curb. Even when our truck and trailer were barely moving, the trailer was significantly jolted as it came off the bump. As we crawled over the speed bumps, water splashed out of our toilet, a wall partition was jolted out of place, paint was scratched as the partition moved, and screws came out of the trailer interior. We were barely moving. Our reservation was in order, the host efficient but not particularly welcoming, and no escort service was provided to our site. The interior roads are asphalt and turning radius in the part of the park we were in was tight. The site we were in was short so we had to park our tow vehicle at an angle in front of our trailer. Several vehicles were parked on either side of the road making navigation harder. Our site was gravel and level and had a picnic table on a concrete pad. The trash can at our site had a rusted out bottom. The water and sewer hook up for the site beside us was close to our picnic table. The 30 amp electric was barely adequate when the air conditioner compressor came on. Water, sewer, and Wi-Fi were adequate. The bathhouse and laundry facility were clean and serviceable. The park was nicely landscaped and maintained. The park and its buildings seemed cramped – too much squeezed into a small parcel of land. Another part of the park had larger sites that we assumed were set aside for rigs larger than our 29 ft. trailer. We do not plan to stay at this RV park again. We are attending an event at the fairgrounds adjacent to Cottonwoods in July. We are driving over from a campground in Danville, MO for the event rather than chance the speed bumps and tight interior spaces of Cottonwoods again.
Date of Stay: April, 2010
This park is easily accessed from Exit 23 off Interstate 55 near Edwardsville, IL. Our site was in the back of the campground so we had beautiful views of open fields that will be cornfields later in the season. The site we were in had just enough length for our 29 ft. travel trailer and 20 ft tow vehicle. The site was level and had good thick gravel which proved to be a good thing since serious storms rolled through while we were here. After the storm, a brilliant double rainbow appeared for several minutes. Mud was not an issue after the heavy rain. The WiFi was weak and often not available. The owner explained that the Internet Service Provider restricts band width. Our cellular service was good so we could track the storms and check e-mail on our smart phone. Bathrooms were very clean. Water pressure was decent. Campground was very nicely landscaped and maintained. Had we planned many outdoor activities, we would have found the noise from the interstate bothersome. Inside our trailer, the interstate noise was not an issue. The setting was an interesting contrast. We had views of pastoral green fields and open sky on one side of us and views of the interstate with its buzz of activity on the other side. We didn’t perceive the hosts as being rude. They came out to welcome us as we pulled in, were interested in knowing about us, and shared information about the nearby towns and events. The hosts did not stay in the campground office all day; however, any time we needed to reach them, we could. Our experience was a positive one and we have already made plans to return. For our purpose, this campground is a good overnight stop when we are enroute further west and also a good home base when we go to events just outside of downtown St. Louis.
Date of Stay: October, 2009
This review relates to our experience in the Main Campground at Compton Ridge (versus the North Campground). We stayed at Compton Ridge four nights as part of a rally with about 18 trailers. A couple of years ago, we had stayed at Compton Ridge also as part of a rally as the campground was in transition from private ownership into franchise ownership. Our experience then was so negative that we decided we would not camp at Compton Ridge again. Well, the ownership has changed and this park is back to private owners who have a strong on-site presence. When our rally organizer talked with the new owners, they wanted to do what was needed to earn our business again. We couldn't have asked for a more accommodating and gracious experience. The customer service was above and beyond our expectations. Our reservation and check-in went smoothly. The facility, amenities and services were much improved. The showers and bathhouses were spotless and warm on the cold Autumn mornings. Our site was level and easy to set up. All the services worked as promised. The campground was landscaped with Autumn colors and theme. The whole experience was most positive. This time, thanks to the new owners, I will say that we will return to camp again at Compton Ridge.
Date of Stay: June, 2009
Timberline is an older campground that still captures the camping spirit of an earlier time. During our stay, many of the campground guests came in pop-ups and tents as well as smaller travel trailers and cab over truck campers. Because it is an older campground, the sites and interior roads are more conducive to smaller RV's and trailers. Sites are smaller and the turning radius in the campground can be a challenge. Open space that is easier to access is set aside for the larger travel trailers, motor homes and 5th wheels. Timberline appears to have repeat visitors who have been coming to the campground for several years. The campground has several farm type buildings and a wide variety of mature shade trees reflecting its original use as a boys’ ranch in the 1940’s and transition into a campground over the years since then. Large grassy areas, pavilions, and group fire pits are scattered throughout the campground. Our pad was gravel and level while on a slope to facilitate drainage from rain water. Our site had shade, a picnic table on a concrete pad, and a fire ring. The services we used worked well (30 amp electricity, water, sewer, Wi-Fi). The two bathrooms with showers under the main office were clean and air conditioned. The freestanding bathhouse by the pool was not as clean during our stay. The doors to the bathhouse don’t easily shut tight so they are often left ajar and bugs and flying insects get into the building. The toilet stalls in the main bathhouse are extremely small and tight. During our stay, the trash dumpsters filled up quickly and stayed full. We did hear sounds from the trap shooting range occasionally yet they were not bothersome to us especially inside our trailer. Timberline is participating in an effort to convert cropland into conservation cover for butterflies, birds and cleaner water. The result is that a portion of the campground has lush plantings of grasses and wildflowers that attract several varieties of birds and butterflies. The campground is very much in a country setting yet within a 10 minute drive from West Des Moines and other communities with a wide variety of services, restaurants, grocery stores, and retail.
Date of Stay: June, 2009
Good overnight stop for us. Our back-in site was level and we didn’t have to unhitch our tow vehicle. The sites around us had a decent amount of space between them. The campground is an older, established campground that has been in the same family for several years. It has gravel interior roads, good grass coverage, and mature trees and shrubs. The services we used worked well (water, electric, Wi-Fi). The campground has common water hydrants that are centrally located and can be a bit long to reach from some sites. Bath and toilet facilities were very clean though the facilities were older and not well lit. The host was welcoming and our reservation and check-in went smoothly. The mile of Forevergreen Road leading to the campground is rough in patches. We would stay at Colony Country again as an overnight stop or as a destination.
Date of Stay: May, 2009
Ladybug is a very nice private RV park and campground with new owners who are making improvements to the facility. It is ideal for an overnight stay or as a destination campground. All the services we used worked well (30 amp electric, water, sewer). The sites are gravel and grass and nicely spaced with fire rings and picnic tables at each site. The bathhouse is functional and clean. A pavilion and newly renovated swimming pool are on the campground. Open fields, treed areas, and a nice pond are also part of the landscape. Even though the campground does not offer Wi-Fi or television service, the nightly rate is a good value for the amenities and setting. The campground does offer a pleasant country and park setting that is easily accessible from Interstate 44 (exit 203) and Historic Route 66. The nearest retail, groceries, gas stations, and restaurants are in Cuba (Exit 208) or St. James (Exit 195). We have found Ladybug to be a good midway stopping point when we travel across Missouri. The hosts are friendly, hard working, and attentive. We will definitely be repeat visitors to Ladybug.
Date of Stay: May, 2009
This is an RV park that is part of the casino and horse racetrack. Most campsite pads are light gravel and dirt. The park does have a few paved sites. However, they were reserved for the weekend’s event competitors and vendors. This review is about the gravel and dirt pads. Site drainage and standing water are an issue when it rains; dust is an issue when it isn’t raining. Sewer connection was a broken pipe sticking out of the ground. Wi-Fi connectivity was weak and sporadic. Water and 30 amp power services that we used were adequate. Check-in is inside the casino. The RV park does not take reservations. The park appears to be a secondary operation to the casino and does not appear to have designated park staff. RV site pads are located on either side of the main access road to the casino and racetrack. The RV park access roads can be used as overflow parking by the casino and were during our stay. During race events, traffic to and from the casino can be heavy. We attended an event that was held at the casino but not related to horse racing or casino activities. During our stay, site work had begun to convert the RV park into a franchise campground. The bathhouse was available yet under renovation. The women’s side of the bathhouse was clean; the men’s side was not. A new playground for children was completed. However, no special child-friendly activities and events appeared to be offered. We would not actively recommend this RV park as an overnight or stopover unless your main objective is to be close to the casino and racetrack events.
Date of Stay: April, 2009
Whittington Woods Campground is another private campground that is being brought back to life by hard working new owners. Whittington Woods is a new name and its new owners have made dramatic improvements. The owners have brought grass back to the campground and restored a woods-like setting to the landscaping. They’ve put fresh gravel at site pads and reworked service hookups. All the services we used were excellent (Wi-Fi, water, sewer, 30 amp electric). Some sites are available in more open sections of the campground for big rigs and for satellite reception. Tent sites are also available. The RV sites were level, well graveled, and nicely spaced. Distances are a little bit long for some service hook-ups at some sites. An extra length of hose or cord for water, power, or sewer connections may be needed. We stayed at Whittington Woods as part of a rally event. The hosts were helpful and gracious as they worked with the rally coordinator and participants to make the event pleasant and successful. The new hand laid stone fire ring and the spacious pavilion are ideal for group activities in any weather. The bathhouse facilities were being upgraded and were clean and available. As we left, the new swimming pool had been completed and was being filled. The campground is easy to find at Exit 77 off Interstate 57 and about 1/2 mile towards Benton on Hwy 37. With the woods as a buffer, interstate noise was not intrusive. The campground has a great proximity to Rend Lake and the lake activities, to the Artisan Center, local wineries, antique shops in Benton, and events in Du Quoin, IL. We will definitely be return guests to Whittington Woods. The campground is a great destination place for rallies, family reunions, and social gatherings as well as overnight stops.
Date of Stay: April, 2009
An earlier RV Park Review suggested giving Aurora Oaks a try because the campground is under new ownership and the new owners are working diligently to bring the campground back to life. We stayed at Aurora Oaks based on that review and we absolutely agree. This campground is a pleasant place to stay. We rated the facility a 7 primarily because the bathroom/bathhouse hadn’t been renovated when we were there and did need attention. The results of the new owner’s efforts to improve the facility and plans for expanding services will earn it higher ratings in the future. The campground is quiet and away from traffic. It is convenient to several attractions without being on a major highway or thoroughfare. The entry drive is on the north side of the road. The campground sign and street sign are posted yet not glaringly obvious. The sites were adequately spaced though somewhat out of level. We used our leveling blocks so leveling was not an issue. The campground is in the midst of the beautiful hills and lake country of Western Kentucky. All of the services we used worked fine and were reliable (30 amp electric, water, sewer, Wi-Fi). We used a pressure reducer for the water supply which had excellent water pressure. When electrical storms rolled through one night, the hosts turned off the Wi-Fi server to prevent damage to the system. The server was immediately brought back up after the storm. Aurora Oaks has a helpful and attentive host family. Periodic activities are held for the seasonal campers. Overnight (non seasonal) campers are welcome to join in. We will stay at Aurora Oaks again and do recommend it as an overnight stop and, even more, as a destination.