Date of Stay: May, 2006
St. Andrews contains two campgrounds, Lagoon and Pinegrove, both of which border the Grand Lagoon on the north. The sites within the Pinegrove campground provide more privacy than the Lagoon campground, with short palm-like plants acting as barriers between sites - in some cases, to the extent that you cannot see your neighbor. The sites actually on the lagoon provide the most privacy; internal sites that back up to another site vary in how private they are. None of the sites are excessively large, but none are tiny either. If you have booked site 141, criticized by an earlier reviewer, don't despair - we stayed on sites 140 and 141 with another family and both sites were very good sized and we felt were set up exceptionally well for two families travelling together. ((The earlier reviewer must have intended to mention another site, because there are only two sites together and there are no sites across the road from 140 and 141.)) Park and campground security is excellent, with controlled access and at least one uniformed ranger on duty 24X7. If you like laying on the beach, this is the place for you, with about a mile of sugar-white sand and gentle surf. There are two beach areas within the park itself, with the western-most (the one closest to PCB) less crowded. PCB is literally outside the gate, but the truly hectic part of town is about five miles away. Our only complaint was that the bath house nearest us, though an almost new structure, was beyond filthy. We arrived the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and left the following Tuesday, but the bath house nearest us was cleaned only on Monday and Tuesday - not at all on Saturday or Sunday - and even then not cleaned very well. With the park filled to capacity, that is unacceptable and lowered my rating two notches, to 7.
Date of Stay: August, 2005
Clean, well maintained campground in the Land Between the Lakes. Staff was outstanding, the most helpful of any campground we've visited, and are on-site 24X7. Sites are assigned when you enter the campground, but you can change before setting up. One thing I liked was that they had a map posted on the check-in building showing all sites that were already full, and readily told you the pros/cons of any site that was still open - as I said, great staff! They also give each camper a flyer showing activities scheduled for the next few days so you can participate in hikes, bands, etc. Interior roads are paved, sites are level and have an ample "living area" of gravel. Most sites are electric only, but water is available throughout the campground; a limited number of sites have electric/water, and a few have full hookups. Shade varies from site to site. Best showers of any campground I've been to; just wish they had private dressing areas. Access to the campground is restricted via a gate - something we really liked - and security staff patrols the campground around the clock. Recreational opportunities within the campground include a swimming beach, fishing pier, boat ramp (lots of boaters!), basketball court and softball field; numerous other activities are available within LBL itself. Paris Landing State Park is 5 miles from the gate, and has an excellent golf course with very reasonable rates. There is a small camp store on-site, and ice, firewood and tick repellant are available 24X7 through the check-in point. Nearest grocery store is a Piggly Wiggly in Dover, 11 miles from the gate; there is a WalMart SuperCenter and Kroger in Paris, about 25 miles from the gate. Good cell phone coverage throughout the campground.
Date of Stay: July, 2005
Excellent campground with countless opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities. Pads are asphalt and very level, with generous "living areas" of gravel. All sites have shade during at least part of the day, and many of them are completely shaded. Site privacy is very good for the majority of the sites. 50A service is available only at a few selected sites; 30A is the norm. Even over the Independence Day holiday weekend, when the campground was 100% full, the bathhouses were immaculate and well stocked with paper products. The campground cleared out the morning of the 4th, and was less than 20% full the next night. As far as we could tell, there were no laundry facilities within the campground. The swimming pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11AM - 7PM each day, and a family pass is just $6 for the entire length of your stay. Pool passes must be purchased at the entrance to the campground. Swimming is also available in the river itself. The stables within the park no longer offer guided trail rides, but my daughter rode with Southeast Pack Trips about 15 minutes away and said it was much better than the one in the park anyway. (I am not affiliated with Southeast Pack Trips, I just believe in passing on good information!) There is a pay phone available next to the check-in booth. Verizon wireless worked well within the park; Cingular did not. Ice is available at the bookstore (9AM-4PM) in both block and cubed forms. Limited firewood is available at the stables (8AM-5PM). Other than that, you will need to go to either Oneida or Jamestown, each about a 30 minutes drive. If the park had a little more in the camp store arena, this park would get a solid 10; but a 9 is still pretty good. We will definitely return - this fall!
Date of Stay: June, 2005
Natchez Trace State Park has three different campgrounds: Campground 1, Campground 2, and Pin Oak. Campground 1, also called Cub Lake Campground, has approximately 25 sites, about 7 of which overlook the small lake below it. Sites were level, well-maintained, and shaded, with an ample "living area" of fine gravel; all had 30A electric and water. Picnic table and fire ring were provided. The lake had a small swimming beach, and rented fishing boats and pedal boats. Unfortunately, the bath house was a mess and badly needed to be cleaned; hopefully this is the exception rather than the norm. Campground 2, referred to by the park rangers as the "primitive" campground, is in a wooded vale and is very secluded. Some sites have electric and water, some do not, and not all sites are level. The sites were all good sized, but the road through the campground is very tight and winds between trees. Do NOT attempt to take anything over 20 feet into the campground, or you will have big problems. Didn't check the bathhouses for cleanliness, we just drove through to see how it looked. We did not go past the Pin Oak RV campground, but that is the one other reviewers have mentioned as being devoid of trees. The park ranger told me it was essentially a field with electric/water/sewer hookups and a line or two of trees. It is also the furthest from I-40. There is a campstore within the park, but selection is limited and prices are high. They did, however, have all s'more ingredients! Overall, CG1 was a very nice campground and, if the bathhouse had been clean, would have rated a 9. We will return at least once and if the CG1 bathhouse is clean will make it a regular weekend spot.