Date of Stay: May, 2009
First time staying here. It was recommended and was very nice. Sites are large and spacious. Most are well-kept up seasonals. People were very nice here. Campground is very large and very spread out. You could camp here in gravel, in grass, on the creek, on a stream, etc. Pool is small but nice. They have a few good activities each day, as well as an arcade, store, pond, waterfall/creek, activities center, horseshoe pit, hiking trail, and 2 playgrounds. Loved $5 homemade breakfast option on Sunday. Price is excellent for area, a good 10-15 dollars cheaper than most others, which is why we will come here often. They do not allow any babies or children who are not potty trained in the pool, which is the first I've ever heard of that, although rules were very comparable to other campgrounds we've stayed in otherwise. They keep a person at the entrance the entire time the store is open to direct traffic and control visitors. Owners and employees were nice. The price alone will keep us coming back!
Date of Stay: July, 2008
We stayed at this 2nd Knoebels campground because it has full hookups. It was 4-5 miles from Knoebels, and an easy drive, although unlabelled, to get to the amusement park. Reservations were simple and easy to get even a few weeks before. Person on phone was always pleasant. Internet directions were easy to follow. Was confused when got to campground because there was no sign indicating where office was located. After driving in a circle for a few moments, we finally stumbled on a small sign in the interior of the park. There were also no sign to Knoebels, despite this being owned by the amusement park which we thought was odd. Found office. No clear parking for truck/camper. Had outdoor reservations window but no one came to it when we waited. Eventually registered inside. No discussion of rules, quiet hours, location of trash receptacle, etc. Most roads a combination of dirt/gravel. Campground looked dated and was not maintained very well. Grass wasn't cut the entire time we were there (4 days), and it needed to be, for example. Reminded me of typical state campground. Playground was small, homemade and not very good at all. One very big plus was the small lake they had. It was pretty with the swans/geese on it. We had a lake view for a few days, which was nice (until another camper came along). You could fish it but not swim in it, which we thought was odd. There are no RV sites lake front, only tents. Neighbors were noisy-maybe because quiet hours were never discussed. We probably only stay here again if we had a large group, or a combination of tenters/rv'ers because of limited rules and no extra fee for larger families. Typically for price of $38 in a private campground you get more amenities, like a pool/lake swimming, better store and playground, etc. Around the corner was J & D campground, which was way nicer looking, and had a few more amenities like a mini golf course and pool. We'd probably stay there...
Date of Stay: June, 2008
We have stayed here many times in our own RV. This weekend we rented a "deluxe cabin", which we chose from a variety of photos on their website. We got there and discovered that they had a couple different types of deluxe trailers, which we weren't told about when we made reservations, which we were not pleased about. We were reserved in a much older, non-deck park RV. Lot was nice (beautiful view) but muddy. They clearly were trying to amend that problem because grass seed and hay were everywhere. There were gobs of problems with our unit: both doors were broken (one didn't work/one was horrible to open), blinds/shades were missing throughout, burners didn't all work, musty/sewer smell was awful, etc. But worst of all? We woke up in the middle of the night to bathroom being covered with rain water-RV roof vent wasn't there. To give credit were credit is due, I called for assistance and they arrived within 20 minutes. They ended up fixing the problem that night, and again the next day when it blew off again. Owner/staff was very concerned about my problems, and did offer me a discount of $45 to cover my problems, which was nice customer service. I have had friends stay in other rentals and they were happy so I do believe this was a rare occurrence. It was, however, awful, and $45 credit doesn't make-up for it. We tried to save the weekend but it was hard as you were constantly reminded of unit problems. When we did check out,we were annoyed with maintenance person who interrupted conversation we were having with reservations specialist to make sure he stated that he didn't receive multiple phone calls about problems. I replied that given our short stay we called about emergencies and made do with everything else. He stated that had he been told he could have fixed them. While I agree we could have called once every hour when we discovered something new, I would have had to be there when they were fixing inside issues, and honestly didn't want to! In my opinion, this unit should have been throughly inspected and fixed prior to any reservations being accepted in the unit, and not put on customer! We'll camp here again however (although probably in our own unit!). If you rent a unit just ask lots of questions at reservations time. I think most of the time you won't be disappointed. Another note to owners/staff: We have gone here numerous times and recommended this place to many friends, mainly because of huge number of amenities and activities staff. However, this year, our favorite activities director (Kari Ann!) was not there and was replaced by individuals who clearly should not be doing this job! They lacked patience, would get frustrated with just a small handful of kids, and often were yelling at kids to "behave". It was embarrassing and many parents were complaining. I have no problem with staff disciplining my children softly or appropriately when there is a safety issue, but this was unnecessary. Owners may want to get some feedback from other campers-I'm not sure we'll keep coming back if we have to deal with the new activities staff. They were never meant to work with children!
Date of Stay: October, 2007
Was very popular holiday halloween weekend. Very busy but didn't feel crowded. Had smaller sewer site but most here are bigger than in other parks we've stayed at. Minimal trees between sewer sites (basically you are in large grassy area). A little dissapointed in lack of management visability outside store. We've stayed here 3 times this summer and on all 3 we've had instances where it would have been nice to see owners/staff circulating more. There was no control, for example, of noise past quiet hours. Teens, mostly of seasonals, also were rude and inconsiderate (noisy, dropping litter constantly, playing on little kids' playground, etc.). Facilities are great except for 3 bathrooms. They all need to be gutted and rebuilt. I was very glad we had a bathroom in our unit-Two don't even have running water! Store is well stocked. Staff was a little curt at times due to halloween haunted house activities, shooing us out of store and making it clear we and others were in their way, when store was still open. My advice: Close the store during haunted house if you don't want traffic! You peeved off more than one of us. Halloween activities were nice on Saturday. Wish had Sunday am event as well as Friday night movie. Halloween "party" before trick or treating was a joke-please add a few cookies and do prizes for costumes. We were released before 3pm stated start time and no one was at their campers! Needed to stay on schedule and have staff ready to open door to event rooms at stated start times-they were regularly late. Haunted house was awesome. We loved that they did an event for the kids and for the adults. Didn't like that we couldn't go in with our children (they were led by staffer). Also annoyed guests had to pay both $3 fee to visit and $6 haunted house fee. Why not just charge $6? Candy bar bingo was fun, would have been even better if rude teenagers were controlled or kicked out. They were screaming, throwing wrappers, and being just plain inappropriate. Overall, nice weekend for the cost. We'll visit again. A couple of improvements could make this place shine and this weekend even better!
Date of Stay: August, 2007
Really enjoyed our time here. Beautiful location. We stayed in N row and enjoyed ourselves. Some sites are spacious, some are not. Have a great full spa right on site and a huge store with all the amenties. Wish they had a cafe or place to buy food items other than snacks-seems big enough for it. Owners were very helpful and present. Quiet hours were enforced. Love that they have a lifeguard at all times and 2 pools (one is heated and one is not-you've been warned!). Pools do need to be cleaned out more often for their use. There was lots of sediments in the pools. Wish they had a hot tub! Need more bike rentals and expanded game room. Devoted to doing activities for individuals with disabilities, which we support. However, be forewarned, that these weekends are a little busier and kids present can be a little more needy. We had a tough time in the pool one day when my wife was hit twice hard by an angry large teenager with a disability. The nice thing is that they bring in some wonderful activites during these weekends. The weekend we were present they brought in a dinasaur researcher who did a presentation with real fossils! Very impressive activities this weekend. We will certainly return.
Date of Stay: August, 2007
Decent, average state park. Sites were actually quite large in B circle. Most were grass and had shade. There were 2 bathrooms in our circle, which probably wouldn't feel like enough on a weekend (a total of 3 showers). There are no water hookups but dump stations are easy to get to and water spigots are everywhere. Camp staff was very helpful at check-in and incredibly friendly. They even volunteered other open sites in case we wanted to switch, which was very nice. Our campsite was a little dirty, with lots of beer bottle caps and scraps of paper. This campground is only 3 miles from Darien Lake Amusement park, great if you want a day getaway but bad if you camp during a concert weekend. On the campsite next to us they had 4 cars and 9 people and 3 tents and were playing loud hard rock music all day and then came back loudly after 1 am, as did many others. We'd stay here again, but during the week and not during a concert. There is a large 12 acre lake with a nice sandy beach, and some trails. Bathrooms were decent and more modern than some I've seen although they didn't have a garbage can even in the bathroom (carry in-carry out park gone too far?).
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Love activities, although they don't change enough. We are getting tired of going here because of that. Bathrooms are always clean,which is great. This is the 2nd time going here this year where we overheard the owner talking negatively about his staff. On one occassion teenage worker was publicly humiliated, while his mother defended him, in front of the store, and many people by the owner. It was awful to see... Love the small pool and wading pool, activities, great playgrounds, stocked store, gameroom, etc. Pond is still disgusting. We play in the sandy beach but do not go swimming in the pond. Also desperately need to create more trails-they are pathetic in comparison to other campgrounds, and stock pond. Fishing is terrible, despite having 2 large ponds and a fishing contest frequently! Activities staff as always are fantastic. I am so impressed by their energy and committment. Change things up, idea wise and we'll return!
Date of Stay: July, 2007
POSITIVES OF THIS KOA: very clean restrooms, decent size store with most items you'd want or need, some weekend activities, variety of site options available (i.e: gravel, patio, pond, wooded, etc.). Many pull-thru sites and big rig sites. Free good quality wifi. Picnic tables in decent shape and fire pits for every site. Great small homemade obstacle course and short children's zip line in rear of park. Decent playground and cute canoe sandbox. Well-maintained and decently priced laundry facilities. Short drive from the campsite to Culinary Center, beach, water park, and vineyards. Clean, small pool (cold though!). Free blue wheeled tote can be borrowed from store for your use if you are not on a sewer site. Another plus-many more sewer sites than typical in campgrounds. NEGATIVES OF THIS KOA: Condescending owner, employees and overall generally poor customer service-present as friendly at first but we, and all others around us, were constantly being "warned" to not do this or that, even when we weren't to begin with! Example of this: bought net for child in store. Owner asked what was it for-I thought it was just friendly communication until he reminded us to not "move rocks", "take frogs from pond", etc. Another example: we rented a peddle bike and was warned 3 times to "not go too fast". It is as if they do not trust anyone to behave. Quiet hours are 10 pm, which was too early in our opinion. We'd just get our fire going after dark and have to go inside shortly afterward as this park is silent by 10 due to owner patrol (some might love this!). We wish it was 11 pm as in most parks. Another pet peeve-we didn't discover until after we got there that they have NO activities and cafe is not open during the week, which wasn't obvious on the site. We would have stayed at a state campground had we been aware of this given the price. Speaking of price, expect to pay for everything: Mini-golf was old, beat-up course and we each paid $3 dollars-with no score cards even available. Visitors are $3 dollars apiece, and be prepared for them to also be lectured about rules. You also must pay an extra $3 for each person in your family over 2 people per day (for our children, we paid an extra $42 dollars for the week). 75% of the RV sites are very close together. Be prepared to run water or sewer lines under RV's, etc to reach, and/or have utility poles near picnic tables/awnings, etc. If you do happen to get a bigger site, they'll charge you $3 dollars extra per day. Because this park is near the thruway, there was TONS of traffic at all hours-the site next to us had 5 different people in the 7 days we were there. The dumpsters are also only dumped once a week when they needed to be dumped 2-3 times per week. They were overflowing and smelly and are in the front of the park. They also park people EVERYWHERE in this park, including within 5 feet of playground, arcade, pond, and golf course! Someone else had commented on this and I couldn't believe how true this was! It was unreal when busy! We couldn't even find room to play bocce ball and frisbee unless we went into the unoccupied tent sites in the rear of the park. No food, except ice cream bars and slushies and some limited beverages available during week. Long waits always in store. Each of the 2 bathrooms are closed 2 hours per day in prime time (i.e: 10-12 and 12-2). Arcade is very outdated and my children and others lost lots of money in it. I told the office once and it took 45 minutes to get my money returned, and only after being questioned for a few minutes by no fewer than 3 employees separately about how'd I'd lost it! I was only asking for my child's .50 cents to be returned-it was ridiculous! They also refused to tell me when I made my reservation what site they'd given me, and I couldn't find a site map anywhere online, which is a first for me. Flies were very bad at this park and I can only assume it was due to the poorly maintained pond-it was filled with algae and weeds and difficult to fish in. We had to buy fly strips (conveniently sold in store!) just to eat dinner outside. They had some activities on Saturday (pancake breakfast for $5, craft for $2, ice cream for $1-2, free coffee, free zip line, free hayride, bingo for $1 per board, and wine tasting (unsure of cost) but most cost extra. Additionally, they don't print out sheets with activity times and costs listed so you must either write it down yourself (ia: copying it from office where it is posted or listen attentively to not-loud-enough announcements made when activities occur. Overall, we were disappointed and probably won't return despite clean facilities.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Located in rural area but extensive things to do within 30-45 minute drive, including fishing, hunting, wine tours, shopping, boating, etc. Park is small (maybe 125 sites) but pretty. Mostly filled with seasonals. Multiple shaded sites and a few grass sites. Great playground area and 2-3 activities a day. Some themed weekend activities. Great fishing in 3 ponds. Store is fairly well stocked for its size. Also have arcade, heated pool, mini golf (not great quality and expensive), basketball court, and volleyball net set-up. Initial site they put us in would have required major parking job for our stated 30 plus ft trailer. Requested sewer site and didn't have to try to park between all those trees. All sewer sites are not private and on the grass. All non-sewer sites are in the woods with narrow roads and minimal sun. Owners wouldn't allow usage of rugs outside RV's in grass area. Offer sewer emptying service for $10 if needed. We hear they have GREAT halloween weekends-they are already booked so we will try for 2008! We will stay here again. Children loved nearby activities and playground.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Pretty entrance and easy to find with clear attractive signs. RV sites were very close together, and seemed crowded. Lots of shade trees. Recreation program but limited (1-2 things a day young children would want to do). On-site spa and wellness center, recreation hall, 2 pools. Don't allow golf carts. Have some pedal carts and a store. All sites have fire ring and picnic table. Many sites had concrete slab for table on them, which we liked. Owner was very, very kind and seemed eager to please. Overall, nice campground but very expensive for amenities and size of lots. Over 50% of sites are seasonal, (well-kept up but seasonal).
Date of Stay: June, 2007
We adored this campsite. It has the beauty of the area but the amenities you want, especially with children. Lake is private and large enough for real kayaking, canoeing, etc., which you can rent cheaply. Wildlife is everywhere to see (yes, even bears!). Keep your food in your car and dump your trash before bed as you are told and you'll be fine. Bathrooms are the cleanest and nicest I've ever seen. They are cleaned often by diligent staff, as are campsites. Beach is wonderful with deep sand. Love outdoor movie theater. Right next to water park but you wouldn't even know it. They do offer a free shuttle and combined ticket pricing. We adored this campsite and will definitely go back. They have many rentals including adorable sleeping cabins and full lakeside cabins also.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
This is a favorite campground of our families. Please understand, however, when you go here that this is not STATE camping. It is a campground that is busy and full of children. Since we have young children, we love their large playgrounds, golf cart rentals, pedal cart rentals, and 12 hour a day activity schedule. We can choose to participate or not. You will spend considerably more here than at other campgrounds because of the options-be forewarned! They do have a $15 bracelet you can get for the length of your stay that gets each child unlimited pedal cars, paddle boats, and mini golf. Remember to bring your bike helmets-their's is limited and old, and you will get scolded if your child isn't wearing one. The activities staff is delightful-fun, entertaining, and patient! RV sites are very close together, and are on a hill. Most will require quite a bit of leveling. Limited sewer sites are available, and are typically high traffic areas. They have mini golf, an arcade, a heated pool, great very clean restrooms, full time activity schedule, 2 playgrounds, theme weekends, 2 ponds, a beach, and many things to rent (golf carts, paddle boats, mini golf, peddle carts, etc.). My kids adored it!