Date of Stay: May, 2014
This was our second time camping here. It is close to home for us but has a lot to offer. The campsites are spacious, the bathrooms are very clean and showers had plenty of hot water and nice water pressure. There is a nice playground in the campground and a couple of others in the rest of the park. They have a lake for fishing (bait for sale at ranger station: $3.75) Kayaks, row boats, canoes, and paddle boats for rent for $13/hr. The only downside to the site was the electric couldn't handle our fridge (we didn't even try the AC). The circuit breakers tripped when we turned on the fridge. The water hookup was far from where we parked the camper on the site and we didn't have a long enough hose. We plan on coming back again this year.
Date of Stay: August, 2013
Very nice park. It's kept very clean; the bathrooms were small but clean. The showers weren't the best but few campground showers are like home anyway. It has a playground and Frisbee golf and there is a small waterpark mostly suitable for younger kids just 1/4 mile out of the campground (just $4.00 per camper -- $8 if you aren't camping there). We enjoyed the short walk to the bay just down the hill from the campsites at the end. They have kayak and canoe and paddleboat rentals there also. Their rates are for families of 4 -- additional kids are 2 or 3 dollars a night extra. I'd definitely stay here the next time I'm in the area.
Date of Stay: September, 2007
This campground was not as bad as I was expecting based on reading these reviews before I arrived. However, I did camp there off season so it wasn't too crowded. I can imagine that in the summer, the campers are pretty crammed in there. Although I got a great deal through the "hot deals" link on their website, I probably wouldn't go back here again without the $99 for 4 nights deal. I did book my reservation online (which the website says you have to do to get the deal), but when I checked in, they told me the charge would be $160, NOT $99 because I have 5 kids with me. They charge $3 per night, per child. The confirmation I printed out said the charge is $99, it also noted correctly that we were checking in with 2 adults and 5 kids. I had to speak to the 'supervisor' who said it must be a mistake that the website only charged me $99 but he would honor it. This is probably good news if you are just a couple -- it probably limits the number of FAMILIES and kids but I always thought of camping as a family activity. Why the big extra charge is a mystery to me especially since they had absolutely no activities for the kids and the kids didn't cause any extra expense for the owners. Okay, besides that I'll give the pros and cons. First the PROS: convenient location 10 minutes to Williamsburg, 3 minutes to Walmart, nicely stocked camp store, most sites are wooded, heated pool is open until Oct. 15, fairly clean baths (except for moldy showers -- a bottle of Tilex would do wonders) CONS: Most sites are quite un-level (but that's what levelers are for), lots of gravel and dusty dirt throughout, pool was warm enough but full of bugs (they don't skim it), only SIX toilets and SIX showers per gender in the entire campground (175 sites! I can imagine how crowded these get in the summer!), unreasonable extra fee for each child. The normal price here is $45 to $60 per night (for 2 adults). Next time I'll stay at the State Park in Newport News for $25/night and same distance to Williamsburg.
Date of Stay: July, 2006
Obviously that Aug. 05 review was written by the campground owner: no mention of their experiences there yet touting that it's convenient to Land of Make Believe (at least 90 minutes away!). Anyway, I DID camp here just this past weekend and we liked the campground. Not the absolute best, but still above average. I had no problem with the size of the pool as another reviewer did. They were probably 90% full or more and the temps were in the 90's but my family didn't feel the pool was overcrowded. The pool was cloudy and had way too much chlorine. Unfortunately the owners don't enforce the dog-on-the-leash rule and my kids were scared to death as we were approached by two large dogs roaming the path to the pool. The dogs were owned by a seasonal camper so I'll bet the campground owners are aware of them. I also had VERY loud neighbors past midnight, but no security, no owners in sight checking on what goes on at night. On the positive side, the sites are larger than average and most were shaded. The whole forest ground was covered with gravel but at least we weren't right on top of our neighbors. The store is very well stocked, prices are reasonable. The little pond did have quite a few fish (small sunnies) and they were easy to catch, even for my 5 and 7 year old daughters. Like someone else mentioned, the pool is quite a hike from most of the campsites (except for the seasonals). The bathrooms were clean but had no paper towels or soap. There were only, I think, a total of 4 men's showers and 4 womens showers in the whole campground. And they weren't in the bathrooms, they were near the pool and near the store -- far from most campsites. The water was hot in the showers, but only one temperature: HOT! Too hot for my son. And hotter than I'd want as well. No sewer hookups and the honey wagon doesn't run on weekends; not very convenient. The kids activities were pretty good on Saturday -- hay ride, Christmas crafts, Santa, movie. Mini golf is 1.50 for kids; shuffle board, free with $5 deposit, we couldn't find the tennis courts! As you can see, we had some minor problems with it, but still rated it fairly high. It is better than average. Oh, and you must check out Ringing Rocks County Park about 2.5 miles away. Bring your hammers, you hit the boulders and they ring like bells. Only 2 places on Earth where rocks like this have been found!
Date of Stay: July, 2006
We just returned from camping here for the July 4 weekend. This is the most crowded campground we've ever been too. I can't believe how tight they squeeze in all these big rigs. I only counted about 4 or 5 tent campers, about the same amount of pop ups and the rest were HUGE fifth wheels or A class rigs. I wish we went back to Spring Gulch instead this year. We thought we'd try a something different but were very disappointed in how tight the campsites are. They did have plenty of activities -- hay ride (without the hay) horse shoe tournament, bingo (mostly adults, a kids candy bar bingo would have been nice) a band, karaoke, dj, and pool games. However I was very disappointed that during the band and dj at night there was plenty of drinking and smoking. Okay, I know it's legal to drink and smoke but if this is a "family friendly" campground, maybe the adults could have had a good time without pouring shots, drinking beer and chain smoking in the lodge with all the kids. It really got out of hand and we had to leave before too long because the room was so smoky (and we didn't think the excessive, flagrant drinking was too appropriate given the mixed ages). If it weren't so crowded and if I didn't feel we were out of place by bringing the kids, I'd like this place a lot. As it was though, unfortunately, we won't be returning.
Date of Stay: August, 2005
I'm not normally picky at all about campgrounds, but when I read all of these glowing reviews of Spring Gulch, I thought it must be "Fort Wilderness North"! Boy was I disappointed. Okay, if it didn't get such unanimous positive reviews here, I'd think it was a fairly nice, average campground, which it is. But for the life of me I can't figure out why everyone is so in love with this place!? The bathrooms were nothing to write home about; a little worn and old but mostly clean, the showers were dimly lit and a little moldy. The bathroom nearest to the lower pool was absolutely filthy, I guess they don't get to that one to clean it as often. The sites up on the hill that everyone raves about is at such a steep incline that you better be pretty proficient at driving that rig to get up there. Those sites were heavily wooded but it is a major pain to drive up and down the hill for the activities or the store. It's impossible and dangerous to walk it. Oh, and the hot tub is up there. I passed on it, with 400 campsites and a small hot tub, it was way too crowded to enjoy a soak with so many people in it. Oh, then they charge and extra $2 per child over age 6. Why I do not know. It is not because they have crafts and activities for the kids, because you have to pay for the crafts as well. Even the Candy Bar Bingo game we had to bring our own candy bar to put in the collective prize bin. So we brought 4 Hershey bars and left with nothing. Each person brings 1 candy bar and the winners receive 4 candy bars. At $.75 to $.95 a candy bar at the expensive camp store, I think they do that just to make a little more profit. The campstore is nothing great. Average size, not very well stocked and very expensive. Bug spray $7.99, sweatshirts $35, candy $.75 to $.95. The pools were supposed to be heated, but they were pretty chilly. The game room was in a run down building with about 6 big garbage dumpsters behind it. The pictures on their website are not from this campground. Like the picture of the ladies doing aerobics. There is NO aerobic studio here. There is a small weight room. That is what they call their "day spa" because you can also get a massage there for $55. Their website tries to call this a camp a "resort." It's just a bunch of hype that I fell for, as it is not any better than most and is not nearly as nice as others. On the positive side: it is a fairly clean campground, and they have quite a few kid's activities. The activities co-ordinators are a retirement-aged couple who keep the kids occupied with fun things (it seems the husband is more into it than the wife. She can be a little cranky I thought). We enjoyed the Karaoke as well as the two man band. They have some delicious Turkey Hill Ice cream in the camp store for $2.25 a cone with lots of great flavors. There is a nice modern playground. All in all, it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't say it makes my list as places I MUST return to. If we are in the area again, we'll probably check out one of the other campgrounds. Don't believe all they hype, it's just a regular, decent campground.
Date of Stay: June, 2005
I camped there in June 05 in a pop up camper in a 'primative' site -- no water or elec. They were pretty well booked so that's all they had available at the time we reserved. The bathrooms were very clean but crowded -- especially the ladies room. HINT: use the bathroom at the pool, it's a walk (or ride there) but it's usually empty and has 2 showers in it and is rarely used outside of pool hours (10 to 8). The sites were very level and good sized. About half were heavily wooded (and a little muddy) and the other half were very sunny but nice and grassy. This park is much smaller than its sister camp at FrontierTown but I like it that way better. I was dissapointed that there was absolutely no internet access or wi-fi but there is a public library just about 5 minutes or so down the highway in Berlin that has 3 internet computers you can use to check e-mail etc. We were disappointed that many of the activities that everyone brags about here were cancelled. We showed up for several with our 4 kids and no one else was there and no activities took place -- the activities that they actually had were pretty good though. Some of the staff could be a little more friendly. Most were very friendly and nice. There was this one staff member that was just about everywhere and was lacking in the personality department; i.e. apparantly you have to be at least 14 to be in the pool without a parent present (no life guard) so instead of gently explaining it to the younger kids he was saying "how old are you? OUT, get out of the pool, no one under 14 allowed!" I felt bad for the poor kids that were treated like they did something wrong. Overall, a better than average campground, but call ahead for reservations as they do fill quickly.
Date of Stay: June, 2005
We camped here for 5 days in June 2005. The campground is fairly clean, bathrooms are clean but older and nothing that great. The shaded/wooded sites were very muddy, the sites in the field were better. The gravel roads and campsites needed a few inches of new gravel as it looks like it hasn't been done in quite a few years. During the weekdays we found that there were quite a few construction worker sharing tents throughout the campground. I guess they were working in the area during the week and were far from home, however, it didn't make it feel like a family campground, and my wife was a little put-off by it. When the weekend came, the construction crews left and more families came. Many came with there dogs and apparantly the teenagers working at the office there are not going to enforce the leash rules so most dogs roamed free. One van full of 4 or 5 construction workers would park at the bathroom and let their Rotweiler roam around the bathrooms while they showered. My small kids are afraid of dogs so this made for a very unpleasant experience. Our neighbors were up and talking and partying past 2 a.m.-- office closes at 8 so there is no one to report them to -- not that the 17 year olds working there could do much. Oh yeah, the police did patrol the park 2 or 3 times during our stay -- in fact they made a drug bust one night, that was not something I've seen while camping before. Just shows the type of people that this campground attracts. Overall, the campground was worn looking, had no rules enforced (either quiet time or leash laws), our site was very muddy as most of the gravel was worn away, the sites are very unlevel so bring your leveling blocks. If you value your safety and a family atmosphere, this one isn't for you.
Date of Stay: August, 2004
This has to rank as one of the worst I've EVER been to. It's a shame. Filthy, run down, and old. You see the pictures on the website? Those are from 1970 -- look at the cars and the clothes and you can tell. Then go to the campground and you'll see it hasn't been cleaned or updated since 1970. That "lake" they have there is disgusting. You couldn't pay me enough to swim in that. It looks NOTHING like the picture anymore. Words can't properly convey how bad this place is. Do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from this one!
Date of Stay: August, 2004
I camped here with my family and, contrary to what the previous reviewer wrote, I thought all those seasonals were a BIG eyesore -- I wouldn't even call them 'seasonals' I'd say they were 'full timers' and this is their mobile home park year 'round'. It is family friendly in that they do have lots of activities for kids (as do most campgrounds) but most of the full timers were retired and there were very few kids there. It felt like we were in a retirement village or a mobile home park. It was cramped, unkept, muddy, and VERY FEW available sites that were NOT for full timers. This one won our family's vote for least liked campground all year.
Date of Stay: August, 2004
I've been here as a kid, 30+ years ago so I thought it would be fun to bring my kids here. The campground looks good and the sites are spacious, however, the prices seem a bit outrages -- 31 for water only isn't bad, but $8 more ($39) for electric PLUS ANOTHER $2 if you want to use your A/C -- okay the price is getting up there BUT now they charge for each and every kid you have over the age of 3 -- So I paid an extra $12 a nite on top of the 39 just because I have 4 kids!! I paid over $50 a nite then they wanted another 25 cents per kid for the hayride!!! Okay, I can afford the quarter but it just really seemed like cheap penny-pinching on the part of the owners. Oh yeah, the firewood is a real rip-off too. Charge a flat $35 to $40 a nite and let us parents bring our kids without raking us over the coals. It made me feel like they were discouraging family camping. We won't be going back.
Date of Stay: July, 2004
I've checked out MANY if not most Cape May campgrounds and this one is by far, my favorite. It is true what the previous poster said about a lot of seasonals and I've been yelled at by a cranky old woman in a seasonal for going 5mph, but this is still a great campground for the following reasons. Normally, I don't like the seasonal type places but that's because usually the seasonals seem run down and more like a homeless shelter but this one has beautiful newer mobile homes for the seasonals that I guess you buy or rent there. So it's a big step up from the run-down "lake lurie" seasonal homeless shelter up the road a 1/2 mile. The second reason I like it is the FRIENDLY seasonal families we've met there. Decent people with kids and they use this place as their SUMMER homes NOT their only 'home' they own. Third, they DO have great summer activities for the kids -- the director is a seasonal mom that stays with her family here all summer. We went for "Christmas in July weekend" and the kids made Christmas decoration crafts, played games, went on a hay ride, got a present from SANTA himself! We couldn't ask for a better time! The seasonal activities, being run by a mom that lives there, seem to be way better and more involved than most campgrounds that have a park employee doing the minimal possible activities. Fourth, the entire campground is immacculate and most sites are wooded and fairly private -- maybe slightly small but the abundance of trees and privacy make up for the slightly tight squeeze on some lots. The sites are a lot more private and nicer than those at Holly Shores down the road and, as small as they are, they are still bigger than those at Holly Shores. Fifth, the bathrooms are the cleanest you'll find outside of Fort Wilderness. Okay, they are closed for cleaning sometimes at inconvenient hours, but at least they are cleaned several times a day. Sixth, this campground is just a couple miles to downtown Cape May and the beach. Not a bad ride at all unlike some campgrounds that are 15-plus miles from Cape May but still bill themselves as a "Cape May Campground" like Big Timber Lake. Seventh, the game room, ice cream/snack shop, and gift shop were all clean, fun, and reasonably priced and I found all the employees friendly. Ninth, even when it's full, the winding roads and open spaces never make it seem crowded. One downside to it was the pool seemed to smell and the water was a little 'slimy' -- the kids had fun, it seemed clean but something was wrong with the water when we were there I think. Maybe not enough chlorine? I don't know. Despite that, this is still the only place in Cape May that I will even CONSIDER camping at.