Date of Stay: July, 2015
This is a resort park. Although it was quiet at night (they announce the quiet hours times each day) it's not quiet and peaceful during the day. It's jam-packed with activities for families. There are several playgrounds, jumping pillows, miniature golf, four swimming pools, water slides (for an additional fee) and a spectacular splash pad that will keep kids young and old (like 40 something old!) occupied for hours. Trash is picked up at your site three times a day; the camp store has a little of everything but a gallon of milk cost $5.99 so it can be pricey. The snack stand was OK but limited and it seemed like they kept running out of things, especially the ice cream flavors. The arcade was poor. Many of the games were old and out of order, and the elderly woman who staffed it actually argued with us when we lost two tokens in one of the machines. You can also rent pedal carts and pedal boats. The sites are nicely sized and although there's no real privacy, there's decent separation and numerous trees to afford some shade. The shower stalls were clean. Softened water would be nice (at this price) but not a big deal. Golf carts were numerous but at $55 a day with a two day minimum, we declined. We were in site 543 and although we could hear the interstate, it didn't keep us up at night. Perhaps those in a tent would experience otherwise. We will probably return next summer because the kids had a blast.
Date of Stay: July, 2015
It's the beach that makes this place special. Otherwise, it's an ordinary Michigan State Park. The beach is wide, clean, and expansive. The water temperature during our mid-July trip was 70 degrees. The one modern restroom / shower house was always busy so occasionally there was a brief wait for an open shower but they were nice: single / family occupancy with privacy. The facilities were reasonably clean but with the building being right off the beach, it would be nice if there was an additional cleaning around dinner time because for those of us that like to take pre-bed showers, there was some sand and mud (not a big deal though.) The park has (one) mile-long hiking trail and that's about it. There's a small playground near a second, public access beach but not one in the campground; perhaps one will be installed where the old shower house was, across from site #193. In addition to the old shower house being removed, so has the water spigot at that location so disregard any maps that show otherwise. Firewood can be purchased in the campground at $6 for a fair-sized bundle and there's also a vendor who makes evening visits that will deliver to your site larger bundles ("rick"?) for $30. There is a nice canopy of trees throughout. The thing that left us less than impressed was the site arrangement. True to Michigan State Park form, there's no real pad for your camper, so many people set up any which way, which resulted in less privacy for others and lent itself to large groups and parties, particularly on the weekends. It was pretty ridiculous on a Saturday night with tons of cars parked everywhere and loud noise until just after midnight. We wish Michigan State Parks would better identify where and how campers are supposed to be parked in order to prevent this. Otherwise, there tends to be some campers that are partially set up in other people's sites.
Date of Stay: June, 2015
A good place for what we used it for- a home base to explore Cincinnati. The sites are clean and long enough for 40' + units. The full hookup sites offer no shade; the sewer connections are not flush to the ground and are near the front of the sites. This causes some logistical issues if your sewer hose isn't long enough and also tends to allow waste to accumulate in the hose until you "help it along" by repeatedly lifting and lowering your hose to overcome the raised sewer connection. Yes, we have hose ramps but for the distance we needed to traverse they were pointless. There's also no privacy between sites. On the positive, the sites are well maintained and kept clear of trash. As for the one shower house, it's obvious that it's inadequate with its three shower stalls for a full campground. Most times I visited there was some sort of wait. Not only that, but there is NO privacy in the changing area. The shower area could also use a little deep cleaning because although the showers themselves were clean, the walls and ceiling were growing what appeared to be some mold and mildew. As for the rest of the facility, there is a well equipped camp store that even has soft-serve ice cream and delivers pizza to your site! Firewood was a little pricey- 5 pieces for $4.69. There are nice paved and unpaved walking trails and a splash pad (for an extra fee) that the kids loved. You can also rent boats. There's even a farm with a small petting zoo and pony rides (also for an additional, modest fee.) Plenty of golfing in the area as well. We would return but this is not what we consider a destination park to enjoy the great outdoors. The campground just has a suburban feel rather than natural. For what we used it for, it was comfortable and worth the money.
Date of Stay: October, 2014
Very pretty park with large, mature trees and Spanish moss everywhere. The sites are nicely spread out although some are a little tight to get into due to narrow roads with trees right on the edge of the road. Nonetheless, we saw everything from a small tent to massive class A's so there's something for everyone. We had a full-hookup site. You select your site on arrival so when we arrived at 5 PM (check-in is 1 PM) only two sites out of a possible 17 were available (on a Wednesday!). We were guaranteed a site since we had a reservation. Our AT&T cell phone had a usable signal but sometimes it was weak. Cable TV is available for the full hookups only however we received 16 or so channels over the air. Each bathhouse has laundry facilities, and there is a nature center. There are also several walking trails. Savannah is a quick 15-minute drive while a Kroger supermarket is about 5 minutes away. There are also a few pizza places that deliver to the park. Firewood is a little pricey at $6 a bundle from the camp store, which has very limited provisions. There is an entrance gate that closes at 10 PM, however they give you a code to operate it after hours. Most of our stay, the weather was dry and cool so mosquitoes were nonexistent. Once it got a little more humid, they returned but not so bad that it spoiled our stay. The nearest beach on the ocean is Tybee Island which is about a 35 minute drive. This is a very nice facility and one we would not hesitate to return to.
Date of Stay: October, 2014
Lots of private, heavily shaded sites under a canopy of pine trees. Typical COE park where you're in nature rather than in a parking lot. Those on the lakefront have great views and a deck that overhangs a small ledge which makes for a great campsite. Site sizes vary so plan accordingly. The restrooms were dated but clean. There is also a laundry room at each restroom, which is a nice amenity. Although there was the occasional train whistle, it was over quickly and the campground was very quiet- no highway noise, etc. Downtown Atlanta is only 40 minutes away so this would be a great base for exploration of the city while still being able to enjoy the great outdoors. Our AT&T cell phones had strong signal and we received several TV channels over the air.
Date of Stay: October, 2014
Exactly what we expected. Convenient to the interstate (but traffic noise is an issue), small, tighly-packed sites (our 34' barely fit with the tow vehicle attached), ultra-clean bathrooms and a nicely stocked campstore. Staff was friendly and they pick up your trash during the day. The water pressure was very low and the cable TV signal got snowier as the evening progressed, as though there were too many users. The channel lineup was very good with nearly 30 channels offered. The Wifi was very slow. The workout room, while a nice concept, was useless as it contained equipment that looked like it was from a yard sale and not suitable to work out on! There is a very nice playground and pool area. There is also a nice laundry room. Our sewer connection was oddly placed at the front of our site so we just barely reached even with a 10' extension but most other sites seemed to have them in the right spot. This place is OK for an overnight but if they want higher reviews they need to offer more spacious sites and improve the amenities that they already offer. I feel that in spite of some of the positive things this KOA has, we overpaid due to the shortcomings.
Date of Stay: July, 2014
This is a very busy park during the summer. The beach is very nice with a concession stand and lifeguard protection. There are also miles of walking trails in and around the dunes. On a clear day you can see the skyline of Chicago across the lake. The nearby town of Chesterton has many stores and restaurants. There's also a train station at the entrance of the park (with freee parking) that has scheduled service to Chicago. As for the campground itself, the sites are all paved and many are long enough for large fifth wheels. The sites are electric only but there are several water spigots scattered around the park that you can fill up from if you run out. Just be sure to bring a water thief since there are no threads on those spigots. There are also two water fill stations (with threads) as you enter the campground. We were disappointed to see that many large trees have been cut down since our last visit. Perhaps the ash borer is to blame. As a result, many previously shady sites now receive a lot of sun and there's not much privacy between sites (although spacing is OK.) Since this is such a busy park, even on weekdays during the summer most sites are occupied so it has a parking lot look to it with the absence of some of the trees. If you like a social atmosphere with plenty of families, this is the place for you. If you want a more private, secluded, quiet environment, then I recommend the National campground just to the east. Although it has NO hookups, it is very pretty and in a dense forest with a modern restrooms and showers. As for this campground, the restrooms were cleaned daily (the family restroom was closed permanently which is irritating); there are two playgrounds; cell reception is good; TV reception is spotty; there is a campstore open until 9 or 10pm with the basics; sand is everywhere (you're around sand dunes after all); we never saw a Park Ranger drive through but most campers observed quiet hours beginning at 11pm. We would return because of the beach and the park is well run, it's just not the prettiest campground. With all the other families and two playgrounds, our kids had a blast.
Date of Stay: May, 2014
Very well maintained campground. Bathrooms were exceptionally clean. There was decent separation between the sites as you would expect at an Indiana State Park. The sites are also paved and several are full hookup. The sites themselves were not as long as we'd like. Although they're all listed as 45' long, some seemed a little shorter and some were longer. Do your homework and you might be able to park in front of your rig rather than alongside it. There is no campstore but the town of Charlestown is nearby with groceries, gas, and places to buy firewood. With its proximity to Louisville, KY over the air TV provided many channels clearly and cell / data coverage was strong. The park itself is very large with some very pretty hiking trails that include streams, overlooks, and small waterfalls. We really enjoyed our stay here. One drawback is there is no beach or swimming pool or even a splash pad for the kids. Our kids were playing with a water spigot one day and the host asked them to stop. We understand why but wish there was something to cool off with on a hot day for the kids. Another drawback, as a previous reviewer stated, is the ticks. We found one or two on our kids every day. The grounds are mowed regularly so not sure what else can be done.
Date of Stay: October, 2013
This is our fourth visit over the past six years and I'm happy to say that it remains a great place to camp. The restrooms and showers are still very clean, the facilities are well maintained, and the beach is beautiful as ever. A few things to mention: The playground equipment was replaced with a crumby swing set and the Wi-Fi was virtually impossible to stay connected to or even find, and we were in a site right next to the restroom where presumably the Wi-Fi antenna was located. These "issues" were hardly that as we will surely return. If they could install sewer connections and concrete slabs for all the sites I would rate it a "10."
Date of Stay: October, 2013
An OK place to overnight during your travels. Just bring what you need because it's basically in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing else at this exit, not even a gas station. The sites are close together (think KOA-style) although there are several mature trees for some sites if you want shade. The site was fairly level. The sewer connection was near the front of the site so you may need a long sewer hose if you have a long camper. The cable TV was bad (only about five channels, very snowy and not high def.) Over the air we received about three stations for a total of about 10 channels. The camp store has extremely limited provisions, just a few cans of soda and that's about it. The owner was friendly enough. The playground is not much, basically a small swing set; however it's in a nice-sized field for the kids to run around in. I would have rated this park a little higher if the restrooms were cleaner. There are three individual rooms with a toilet, sink and shower in each. One room smelled like urine, and all three needed more aggressive cleaning. While the floors and countertops looked like they were cleaned regularly, the back of the entry doors in all three had what appeared to be years of crud that needed to be wiped off. Light fixtures and one countertop were broken. There was also only one hook to hang your things and it was on the other side of the wall alongside the toilet. Basically, it's time for the restrooms to be redone. Also, the sites looked like they could use a little sprucing up. There was dog waste in a couple of spots in our site, the utility pole light was burned out, and some of the sites had markers where the numbers were missing or falling off. I don't mean to make this place sound terrible, because it's not. It's just not as nice as many of the other places we've stayed at. For an overnight it's fine.
Date of Stay: October, 2013
This is a great place to stop overnight. It's just not what I consider a destination park. The sites are very close together (in typical KOA fashion) and it's right next to the interstate so it can be noisy. We were in a site close to the interstate however once inside our camper it wasn't a big deal. The gravel site was mostly level, however I did have to raise one side of the camper up. The sewer connection is near the front of the site so you may need a long sewer hose if you have a long camper (we did.) The Wi-Fi was sometimes unavailable and the cable TV is sub-par (not high def and only about half the channels they advertise.) Fortunately, were were able to receive several channels over the air. Cell phone coverage is excellent. The restrooms and showers were extremely clean and looked very new. There's also a 24 hour laundry and lounge with TV in the shower house building. A nice playground is fenced in next to the shower house. The camp store is well equipped. The staff was friendly. There is a truck stop and Shoney's at the same exit so it's a convenient place to stop. We would not hesitate to stop overnight here again and judging by the number of campers I would recommend reservations.
Date of Stay: October, 2012
This was our second time staying at Hardin Ridge in three years and we are just as pleased as the first time. The campground has replaced a few more of the shower houses and restrooms with modern buildings that have individual shower stalls and they are all clean. There are still only 13 sites with water hookups, that would be something that could improve. There is also only one playground in the camping area (Blue Gill Loop) as opposed to two in the past. Regardless, this is still a beautiful park. None of the sites back up to each other and are very well separated with dense forest. It seems as though this is an unknown campground because the nearby state facility (Paynetown) had many more campers with a campground that is not nearly as pretty. If you are looking for someplace quiet and truly surrounded by nature, this is a great place to go.
Date of Stay: April, 2012
A very nice park with many nice sites. The entire park is on a peninsula surrounded by Defeated Creek and the Cordell Hull Reservoir. Our site, #75, was a large pull through facing the water. It was a beautiful site and just across the street from the playground. Most of the sites are spacious; however, many of the full hookup sites are rather close together with little or no vegetation between them. Nearly all of the campground is populated with old growth shade trees, but unlike typical COE parks, the only ground cover is mowed grass. It's a nice touch and gives the families plenty of open spaces to use. There are two different playgrounds in the campground itself with another one in a nearby picnic area. The bath house in our loop was dated and not cleaned all too well. We arrived during a busy weekend and noticed cleaning crews there on the following Monday morning but didn't see them again before we left on Friday. The floors were wet literally for a couple of days as though they were cleaned with a garden hose rather than a mop. I don't mean to give the impression that the bathrooms were filthy because they were NOT, I'm just saying that they could have been cleaned better. On the plus side, our bath house had hand soap. There was also a much newer bath house in another loop that couldn't have been more than a couple of years old, so I suspect that the park will be replacing all of them in due time. There is no camp store, but firewood can be purchased just outside the park for a reasonable price, and the nearby town of Carthage has a Super WalMart in addition to another grocery store and a few restaurants. There is also a marina just outside the campground gate that rents pontoon and other boats for a fair price. The folks that own the marina are a nice family and worked hard to earn our money. Our AT&T signal was adequate but was an "off-network" tower so data usage was very limited, and in fact, was turned off by AT&T for my iPhone after I exceeded 100mb in usage. TV signal for over the air was decent; we received approximately 10 channels. We saw a large herd of deer every evening in and around the campground. No racoons though! We would definitely camp here again and would not hesitate to recommend this place to others.
Date of Stay: October, 2011
Beautiful campground in a perfect location. Asheville, NC is just a few miles away and you are in the middle of numerous cultural and natural attractions yet in a deep, pretty forest. We stayed in one of the few full hook-up sites. Sites were nicely separated with lots of trees and underbrush. There are also many other sites that have water and sewer only (strange no electricity) and primitive sites. We arrived on a Saturday night and although the place was full it was very quiet. There are many, many hiking and biking trails that leave from or are very close to the campground. While there is no camp store, they do sell ice and bundles of firewood on site. AT&T cell service was very weak at best and usually not available. We received approximately a dozen TV stations with our over the air antenna. The restrooms were new (with the exception of one in the "Hardtimes" loop) and while OK, I was not impressed with the cleaning. Although not filthy by any means, they were clearly not thoroughly cleaned daily, particularly the showers in the "Lakeside" loop. Not a huge deal, but I've seen stronger efforts at other campgrounds. One thing I was surprised to see was hand soap in the bathrooms. What a concept! One other minor complaint is the lack of playground equipment for the children. A few hiccups aside, I would strongly recommend this campground, and will not hesitate to stay here again.
Date of Stay: May, 2011
Compared to other C.O.E. parks we have stayed at, Lithia Springs was somewhat of a dissapointment. The main reason was that the sites were small and not level. Perhaps this campground was developed back in the day when most camped with pop-ups or tents, but by today's standards the sites generally had short, narrow pads. Our 26' camper did fit nicely into site #6 (pull-through) but many others were too small. Although the full hook up sites were plenty big enough, there were only eight of them and two were occupied by campground hosts so I'd imagine that obtaining one of these sites would be difficult during busy periods. If you're thinking about reserving a "buddy site" do yourself a favor and just rent two sites side by side. The buddy sites are a joke as they look to be one normal sized site divided in half. The restrooms and showers were fairly clean but old, dark, and dingy. Also, there were only two shower stalls for each loop so that may be an issue as well. There is one playground for the entire park. The equipment is suitable for children 5+ years of age, in my estimation. There is no camp store but the town of Shelbyville is only three miles away and has a Super Wal-Mart and several other shops and restaurants. A generous bundle of firewood can be purchased nearby for $10. Ask the hosts for directions. Speaking of the hosts, we found them to be very friendly and helpful. The park itself is relatively flat with plenty of old growth trees and the beautiful Lake Shelbyville. The park is also pretty quiet with the exception of a distant freight train. If our travels take us to the area again, we will consider staying at Lithia Springs. However, we would not consider this place a destination, but rather a three day relaxation type of getaway, if that makes any sense.