Date of Stay: June, 2016
We always come to James Island in June as a large group of family and friends. This is also one of our favorite parks. We always enjoy walking and bike riding the many miles of trails the park has to offer. The park is always clean, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Most of the sites are level, easy to access and most are well shaded. Some of the sites hold water if it rains. Some of the sites are in need of having gravel added. The main roads in the campground are paved and the sites are packed gravel. Service is 50 amp, water pressure is good, tv gets about 12 OTA channels. AT&T cell service is good as is LTE. We did use the laundry facilities. The washers did ok but several of the dryers did not get hot enough to dry. Bath house was clean each time I visited. They could use a No Smoking sign in them as the urinals always had cigarette butts in them. We did visit McLeod Plantation during our stay. I did inquire if there was a discount for those staying at the campground, but there is not. (Both McLeod and the campground are owned by Charleston county) Bicycles are the best mode of transportation.
Date of Stay: May, 2016
Let me begin by stating, if you come prepared, your stay will be a great one. Yes, there are plenty of mosquitoes and No-See-Um's for everyone. We used a Thermacell and a large fan while sitting outside and had no problem. We did not have to use spray on insect repellent. There were a few things that I did not like about the campground; very few of the sites I saw were level but with a few boards it should not be a problem. Many of the sites had standing, stagnate, water either on the site or nearby, a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Our site, and those around us, had mud on the site. A little gravel on almost all of the sites would go a long way toward improvements. The roads are paved but can be very narrow in places. If you take your time you should have no problem. Some sites are a little tight to back into because of a few trees. We did have one issue with a large dog that was left outside all the time and barked non-stop. After several complaints, the rangers did make a visit which helped the situation. Overall, the staff we had contact with were very nice and knowledgeable. The wildlife within the park is unbelievable! Deer would walk right up to your campsite. If you are not careful, the raccoons will enjoy anything not properly stored. The beach is a short walk from any campsite and they are wonderful. Best of all, they are not over crowded. Park WiFi was ok if you were near one of the buildings. AT&T/LTE service was ok, usually 1-2 bars. 50 amp service was good along with water pressure. The park store was one of the better stocked stores for a state park. Aside from the usual T-shirts and hats, they had soft drinks, milk, eggs, and other grocery items. Overall, this really is a great park and we will return. I do wish they had sewer connections. They do have two dump stations. The park was clean and well organized. Each time I visited the bathhouse, they were clean and well stocked.
Date of Stay: December, 2015
** If you are coming from the Camden/Lugoff direction, there is a bridge out on River Road just a couple miles from the campground. The detour is a long one unless you plan ahead. I would suggest calling the park and ask directions. ** This was out third stay at Lake Wateree State Park. However, this was our first stay this time of year. We pretty much had the park to ourselves. One of the bath houses was closed December first for the winter. I mention this because if you use the facilities, you would want to stay closer to the first bath house. The park staff was busy cutting and trimming trees around the park and making other improvements. Park was clean and staff very friendly. Check in was very easy at the lake front store. We were only able to get 3 OVA TV stations and not very well. AT&T cell/LTE was ok. The hiking trail was a nice outing. Sites are all paved as are the park roads. Fire ring and table at each site. Overall, one of the better parks and a great place to stay.
Date of Stay: October, 2015
The nearest store is about 10 miles. The campground office is only manned for a couple hours each day so you may need to call ahead. Checkin was easy and staff we had contact with were all very nice. The park office does have firewood for $6 a bundle. No propane nearby. All of the roads thru the park are sand/dirt as are the sites. Most of the sites appear to be level with a few exceptions and all are very spacious with plenty of privacy. The site we selected did have a moderate grade to it and took some time to get our camper level. Some sites only have water connection for tent only. Some sites have new fire rings and new power poles. The lake is nice and they have boat and canoe rental. AT&T reception is poor as is 4G/LTE, but usable. The bathhouse was clean each time I visited. However, there was soap for washing hands, but no towels for drying. It appeared to have been recently painted. The park has a nice walking trail and there is plenty of wildlife to entertain. The only issue I had was that most pet owners did not pickup after them. One site, which appeared as if the people had been there for a while, could be smelled from the road as you walk by.
Date of Stay: August, 2015
I frequent the SC state parks and have found most to be very nice. That said, if it were not for the park activities, this would rank as one of the worst state park campgrounds. The campground is in need of a major updating. Very few of the sites are suitable for larger rigs. Most, if not all, of the sites are not level. The sites are gravel. The road thru the campground is paved but narrow and full of holes. Cell service (AT&T) is spotty at best. The main office for the park is not located near the main park. The campground store has limited hours. WiFi is available at the store during open hours but you have to be right at store. There is a washer and dryer beside store. The hiking trails are great. Bathhouse has had some updates and was clean each time I visited. This campground could easily be one of the best with a little work. As it is now, there is nothing inviting that would make me want to return.
Date of Stay: July, 2015
Campground is located next to the main highway in Maggie Valley, yet not a lot of noise especially at night. The park is mostly clean and workers were always busy taking care of the grounds during our stay. The sites are very tight, as in awning extending to to next site. Most of the sites are pull thru except those along the creek. However, the odd/even site arrangement has your door opening into your neighbors door. With the sites being so tight, If you don't know your neighbor before arriving, you will before you leave. Sites are gravel/grass and are mostly flat. They offer 50 amp service along with basic cable receiving about 50 channels. Water pressure is good. The laundry was clean and machines all appear in operating condition. The pool is small but clean. The campground does offer wifi for a fee. The bath houses were old and dated but clean. AT&T/4G/LTE service was good. The park is very pet friendly and everyone kept them in line. The campground is about 50% seasonal sites. The seasonal sites are not kept in one section but located throughout the park. Some were "junky" looking which gives the overall appearance of the same to the park. What did not help was the overflowing trash dumpsters which smelled. It wasn't one dumpster, it was all of them. It appears the owners are too cheap to have the trash collected more than once per week.
Date of Stay: June, 2015
This is our fifth time staying at JICP. Often times, we travel with a group of other campers. We really like the park and all it has to offer. If you have children, they will enjoy the splash pad and the water park. Purchasing tickets through the park office will save you if you are camping. The park is arranged very well and sites are all pretty much level. The roads are paved and the sites are packed gravel. There are some sites that may require a extra sewer hose as some of the connections are far back at the rear of the site. Most sites are well shaded, bathrooms are clean. Bicycles are the best mode of transportation within the park. There are several paved riding/walking trails as well. Now for the bad. The wifi sucks! It was not even sufficient for checking email. Reception with AT&T 4G/LTE is good. Several of the sites hold water and depending on the amount or rain, may be totally under water. While it did not rain during our stay, our site (#75) was a mud hole. Much of the site, with the exception of where the camper is parked, is low and did not dry. Unless you have mats, your door opens into mud. It appears that there has been little to no maintenance on any sites to improve this since our last visit. There are some sites that are shared. These sites are so close that if you do not know the person beside you, you will be well acquainted with one another by the end of your stay. The non-shared are well spaced with plenty of privacy. When inquiring about a stay for next year, we were told that as of January 1, 2016, they will no longer accept Good Sam. They do offer a Seniors discount if you are a well seasoned individual. Even with the negatives, this is a great park and we will stay again. We will just do better at selecting a site. If not for this, I would have rated the park higher.
Date of Stay: November, 2014
We arrived after hours and the park office was closed, so we setup on our assigned site. The site had limbs and leaves and required raking before occuping. Having not been here before and not knowing, getting into the site we booked was slightly difficult because of several trees. For someone with little or poor backing skills it would have been very difficult. Many other sites would be much easier. The road into the campground was narrow. If you were to meet another camper, passing would be impossible. We had some heavy rain our second day which left the road and our campsite muddy. It did dry quickly after the rain ended. Our site was clay/sand, electric and water in good order. The bathhouse was dated but clean. There was no hand soap or hand towels in the mens. There are many CCC era buildings and shelters within the park. There are some ruins from the CCC workers camp that are located near the park ranger's home. The park has many scenic walking trails varying in length and difficulty. There was a campground host but we never saw him. Park staff were very friendly and knowledgeable. The nearest store is about 13 miles away. AT&T cell/4G service is very good. Despite the negatives, we really like the campground and park. Our fall visit was both scenic and enjoyable.
Date of Stay: August, 2014
Price reflects Good Sam discount. The campground is in a location that allows you to easily explore the area around. Large trucks can be heard from the highway but is usually quiet by early evening. There is some type timber mill across the street that starts early morning. There is also a shooting range nearby as gun shots can be heard during the day. Check-in was easy and the staff was friendly enough. The grounds are clean and well kept. The roads through the CG are hard packed gravel. The sites are gravel as well. Most are level. The sites are a little tight. Our site (#58) held water after a rain that left several inches of water at our doorway. The campground Wi-Fi worked well but slow at times. AT&T cell voice service and 4G were good. The laundry had 4 washers and dryers, all in good working order. There are 6 bathroom/showers that are private, clean, and well stocked. There is a nice fenced area for pets to run. If you want a fire, there is a per day fee to rent a fire ring. When compared to other campgrounds in the Maggie Valley area, except the one next door, this one is somewhat over priced. If you have children, there is no play area, no pool or other entertainment.
Date of Stay: July, 2014
This is one of the best state parks SC has to offer! They have really spent a great deal of money in the development of the campground. For check-in, follow the signs to campground store/ranger station. The check-in process was very easy and the staff are all very friendly. The interior roads are all paved as is each site. Each site's parking spot is level. Each site has a large level patio area that includes a fire pit, picnic table, lantern stand, and a fish cleaning table which better serves as a place for a table top grill. The patio area is packed gravel which can be dusty. Accessing each site is easy even for the largest of rigs. The campground store is stocked with a few items including hats, t-shirts, ice and firewood, but little food items. The town of Calhoun Falls is only a mile from the campground. The town is small and does not have a lot to offer. AT&T service is very spotty within the campground. There is no 3G/4G anywhere in park or town. The park does not offer Wi-Fi. Rangers patrol the campground frequently and are quick to deal with noisy or rowdy people. The bathhouse, while older, was clean and well stocked. Campground 2 does have a washer/dryer at first bathhouse. The lake was quite with few boaters even on the weekend. Small black ants can be a problem if you are not prepared to deal with them. If you are new to the area, I do suggest you visit the Abbeville town square. Not only will you find great small town shopping on the square, you can also learn area history.
Date of Stay: June, 2014
Not one of our favorite places to stay. The drive into campground gives a misleading impression of the overall campground. Perhaps my expectations were too high. On two phone calls prior to our arrival, I requested a shade site and was assured I would have one. On check-in was told none available. The roads in the CG are gravel and easy to navigate even for big rigs. The back section of CG has long term sites, which are shaded, but many were not well kept and were junky looking. Our assigned site was a combination of grass and mud and did not dry out despite 90 degree daytime temps. Several of the sites around us had holes and in need of fill. WiFi worked most of the time but was extremely slow. I only visited the bathhouse once,it was well stocked but the floor had mud all over. There are geese and other animals that wonder about campground. While pretty to look at, they leave large droppings that are worse than what small dogs leave. Laundry was clean and all of the machines were in working order. AT&T cell service and 4G were good. Pool was clean. There are grocery stores within a couple miles and a Walmart within 5 miles should you need them. When next in the area, I will probably not stay here again.
Date of Stay: June, 2014
Overall, this is a GREAT campground! One of our favorites, as we have been here several other times. Check-in would have been a little easier however the guy behind the counter could not comprehend that my brother and I booked our sites together and I wanted to pay for my site separately and my brother pay for his. The guy seemed to go into shutdown mode when he became frustrated. Finally, I paid for both sites and worked it out later with my brother. The sites were reserved a year in advance. During that time the park increased their rates, which they charged us the new rate, not the rate the sites were booked at. The campground does have a store and is well stocked when compared to most. They do offer propane, firewood for $6/bundle, and bike rental. There is a grocery store not far from campground should you forget something. The park does have entertainment on select weekends and a pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings. The interior roads of the campground are all paved and easy to navigate even for big rigs. Each site is packed gravel. Our site, 25, did have standing water during rain and remained wet after. Most all of the sites are level and easy to back into. The bath houses was very clean and well stocked each time I visited. Wi-Fi is available but at times I was unable to get on. AT&T and 4G are usable with 1 - 2 bars. There is a water park and splash pad, both open to the public and can get a little crowded on the weekends. If you camp, discount tickets are available at the office.
Date of Stay: April, 2014
We really enjoyed the campground. With the large number of old trees, the campground is fully shaded. Site material is dirt with a large amount of leaves on top. Our site was spacious and level. Cable worked well. Water pressure was good and we had no problem with the 30 amp service. The store has propane, ice and a small amount of supplies. The rent bikes if you do not bring your own. You will want them to explore the miles of paved bike paths that traverse the island. AT&T cell service was good and campground WiFi worked without a problem. The only problem we had during our stay was it was at the time when the oak trees were dropping seeds. This was extremely messy and meant a constant cleaning of the awning and sweeping inside. Overall, a great place that we will probably return to.
Date of Stay: March, 2014
The park is small with only 25 sites. The park has undergone some major renovations and some are still in progress. The park has all new water lines and each site has 50amp service. The road in the campground and each site has been newly paved. They are in the process of creating a patio area for each site with a lantern pole and fire ring. It appears they are about 50% complete. The site we had was nice; although, a little difficult to back into because of several trees. The campground was quite during our stay with few open sites. AT&T cell service is good as was out MiFi service. There is no camp store and nothing close by. There is a museum, a replica one room school building, an old meeting hall and church, as well as some structures from the CCC era. I did not use the bathhouse so cannot comment. This is a great park for a true get a way!
Date of Stay: March, 2014
This could be one of the most beautiful campgrounds. What really kills it's beauty is the large amount of trees that have been cut and just left laying. Everywhere you look within the park and campground you see trees cut and left. There is one dump station for each section of campground. We stayed on the upper loop. The problem is there is only 1 dump station for 85 campsites. Once a line forms, it shuts traffic down so no one can pass. Come prepared as the nearest grocery store is 15 miles from campground. The campground does have a store stocked with Ice, soft drinks, firewood and a few other items. The check-in process was easy and the staff are friendly. Our site was located on the upper loop (Islanders Camp Circle) The campground roads and all of the sites are paved. Our site had a moderate grade but was easy to level. On some of the site's, the asphalt is broken from tree roots that make leveling a little more difficult. Each site has water, electric, picnic table and a fire ring. Sites are well spaced for privacy. There are several sites that are grouped that would be great for those traveling with a group. AT&T cell service was good with good 4G MIFI. Over the air TV reception provided 8-10 channels. The bath house was clean and well stocked each time I visited. Park rangers made rounds through the park at regular intervals. Our site was a lakefront site and the view was absolutely amazing.