Date of Stay: July, 2013
I have used the services of the resort for a couple decades now and since I have reviewed other campgrounds for the RV community, decided to add this one. Hands down, the Resort offers the most complete RV/camping/boating experience on the lake. It has location location location and while the most expensive, gives you the most that mimics well, true resort locations. On the plus side: If you can tow your camper or boat, you can use it there. They can accomodate all shapes and sizes. There never seens to be an availability issue with power and water. you have bath houses within a reasonable walk and they do try to keep the hoodlums at bay. Most sites are very large and all have the requisite fire ring and table. Trash service is daily and they give out free supersize bags. There is a free launch ramp and parking for campers and the bay by the Birch campsites offers reasonably protected water, shallow and perfect for standoff mooring. There is even a free cable hookup with what appears to be basic cable channels. For other items, any service you can imagine, is available. For the best use of your camping dollar, and IF you want to be ON the lake, set the parking brake here. Now the caveats: There is no such thing as a sewer hookup. They offer a pumpout service which is $9 at 2013 prices and seems to get to you in the same day if you reserve in the morning. There is cell phone service, if you are AT&T. It seems that unlike everywhere else in the USA, verizon and AT&T do not allow roaming connections here. If you are at the resort, you have AT&T and 4G with 3+ bars. If you leave the resort north, by Nancys Campground the service is gone and is replaced by Verizon. If you have verizon you have coverage and 4G with 3+ bars and this holds all the way to the dam. There is internet service via wifi for laptops - IF you goto the reservation desk. They advertise wifi in the campgrounds, but I have never found it to work. Yes, you *can* connect to the router, but the system gives no internet services - no gateway is found. Each year I ask why and each year I am told (regardless of who does the telling) that the 'storm' knocked it out and the tech is waiting for a part. It appears that for those who need WiFi for semi-working vacations the connectivity is advertised, but the infrastructure is not present. Given that the website is often 1-2 years out of date it would seem its not any callous intentions but rather: they don't know how to set it up. A business opportunity for any IT industry campers to make a pitch.... Transient dockage: The resort has the only unlit, unmarked dock on the lake. The free campers dock/launch, while nice, is a hazard for most boaters at night. If there ever was a wishlist item... The restaurant: for well over 20 years I have either boated from the northern end, or walked from the campground to this restaurant. In days of old, it was a great place and even in the early 2000's it was a great place with great chefs and great menus. When Ms Patt was in charge of the restaurant years ago, we talked at length about her strategies and plans to make it a wonderful experience. Well she moved on and so did the restaurant, such that I would rank it: avoid at all costs. Bad service, bad food, bad selection, bad prices. It has been getting worse and worse and we gave it one last shot and found not one good thing to say about it. the gas dock: The resort has 1 of 2 gas docks on the lake. Yes you pay more than going to sheetz, but if you are 20 miles from your ramp and low on gas, there you go. This gas dock is also open SIGNIFICANTLY later than the one at 7points. However, the advertised hours are up to 8pm. If you arrive from 7:30-7:45pm, you will be turned away. The operators of this depot are not boaters and do not adhere to any maritime creeds. If there is a dance under the tent, the 'kids' running the show will count out the pumps up to 1/2 hour early to get to the action, leaving you dry. Unacceptable. This sticks in my craw as I had to, at 7:45pm, beg and plead and offer to pay more than advertised price to get the 'manager' to reopen the pump so my brother could just get a few gallons in his boat to ensure a return trip to snyders run. Reservations: difficult to deal with, difficult to make. Since the resort only allows check-in/out on certain days, you oft cannot get perfectly vacant cherry spots, or you have to move from site to site. Poor inventory management. Which is a shame given that most hotel reservation systems in the US sell their services on a professional level. To sum it up, the highs are the camping experience. There are many websites that critique campgrounds for the RV'ers and this ranks high, the lows are food and boater services to the point of avoidance. Will I return to the campground? Already paid for my 2014 spot. The boat holds 50 gallons and the RV has a full kitchen so I can work around the other parts.
Date of Stay: April, 2013
We hosted this campground as part of the USACOE volunteer program in summer 2011 and have stayed there many times previously and since. This is a well hidden zero services park on the tip of the Allegheny National Forest, adjacent to the Tionesta river and is even part of the flood plain. For your $10 a night you get a spacious site, most of them are well shaded, half of them abut the Tionesta river, a picnic table, and a fire ring. You get use of a water spigot to fill your tank, a dump station, and a restroom house with toilets and sinks. No water hookups, no electric hookups, no sewer hookups, no WiFi, no cell coverage. Perfect. This is a very popular site among the 'boondockers' and is first come first served. All the sites have level ground and only 1 or 2 tops might give pause to leveling a long trailer. You can easily drive 1 minute to a famous redneck bar, or 3 minutes to a camper store, or 20 minutes to a small town with a grocery store and gas. Otherwise, you are isolated and we try to keep it that way. The wildlife howls at night and passes thru, the fishing is great, and they sky is open. There is a swimming hole approx 5-6 ft deep above the entrance which is usable even in late summer when the river is down to damp rock. The Tionesta river is a drain for the ANF and is fed by few springs or wetlands, hence it can run too shallow for even a kayak. But in the spring it runs over its banks. There is not always a campground host to direct you where to go, but if you have 30-40 minutes to spend you can get to about anything you want. No booze allowed and no fireworks and the sheriff does patrol. This is also located near ATV trails and is a stop for a twice yearly ATV 'tour de forest'. Definitely off the beaten path and definitely worth it.