Pipestem is one of the Great State parks in the country. The staff was very friendly and helpful in letting us drive around and choose the site we wanted. We did notice that many of the sites are not real level so if that matters, you need to be more selective. We were able to get local channels on our antenna and using a dish is a little trickier because of the trees. The best sites are the curved pull-throughs on the last road to the south. Going to Hinton right now was a problem due to extensive roadwork and blasting going on at Bluefield down the hill. They had a special going on during the month we were there, half-price on the sites. We appreciated them telling us about it because it saved a lot of money, and they didn't have to.
We stayed here ten years ago and thought it was expensive, but couldn't believe the $ 75/night rate they ask for now. They are involved in construction of a large portion of the older sites, and availability is very tight, so we were forced to stay at their patio sites which are at least $75 a night. They ARE very nice sites, although you can hear the freeway noise nearby. Be sure to call and ask if the ongoing construction is done before arriving. This is a super convenient site for the Grand Ole Opry but you will pay a lot for location. WiFi worked intermittently. We did like the nice outside patio with furniture, however.
The new lover's leap area of the campground is among the nicest you will ever see. Just a delight. Huge level sites with plenty of open space, laundry available in the clean rest rooms. The older RV campground has more uneven sites. After you check in, you must go up a very steep hill with a turn up a steeper hill. We disconnect our tow car both going up and coming down. You are camped on top of the Natural Tunnel, which is an amazing sight to see. After the busy summer season, the chairlift to the bottom only runs on weekends. we heard train whistles but they were pretty distant and didn't keep us awake. Ten years ago, there were many more trains, but now, since the coal business has dropped off, there are just a couple of trains a day. A nearby town will even deliver pizza to the campsite, which was fun.
A very large campground along the Kentucky River. We were allowed to drive around and select our own site. They have huge influxes of people into the park for special activities, and during the Halloween season, they have lights at night and other displays that can draw thousands of people. Big rig friendly with many level sites to choose from. Cell service good and we were able to get our satellite dish to get a signal, as we were not parked in the trees. Downside is that the park is adjacent to a very noisy road with trucks using braking coming down the hills. there is also a huge cement plant adjacent to the park, that starts up early and goes all day. It was shut down at night during our visit.
We found this park suitable for a quick overnight stay. Very few facilities and not real attractive, but for a big rig, easy to pull through sites. Freeway noise very close. There is a market you can walk to from the property. Very level sites. Turning into the park can be very difficult, after coming off the freeway. You need to immediately get over to the left to turn right after the Motel 6. During rush hour, traffic is backed up in front of your turn and you have to hope somebody will let you turn through.
One of the great hidden gems of State Parks. Whenever we go through Oklahoma, we try and stay here. Beautiful sites in a hidden canyon with easy freeway access. The one problem big rigs have is the very, very steep curved hill that drops down into the park. We always disconnect our tow going down and coming out. The ranger said when leaving to have someone drive the tow car up to the top and block the road coming down so you don't meet another vehicle. It's that steep. We have a 40 foot motorhome and this is pushing the limits of what can get down there, but it's worth it. We were able to get a signal with our satellite dish and there is cell service.
Very nice park without many of the extra amenities we wouldn't be using anyway, but quite often end up paying for at other parks. As a pilot and train buff, I enjoyed watching the skydiver's land through the weekend. The park is on a beautiful section of the Ohio River with a path and steps down to the banks of the water, on the other side of the grass strip, and some close up barge traffic you can watch. Very little air traffic, only from the sky diver's aircraft. We also liked the fact that there is a CSX rail line bordering the park with occasional trains through the day. Curiously, the engines seldom sound their horn here for the crossing. There aren't picnic tables at the site, but again, it's a good, quiet and safe place to park. There are very large shopping malls several miles away that have everything you need. We came in for one night and stayed almost a week. And enjoyed antique shopping in Huntington. They say a helicopter pilot once came in to stay for a night and ended up staying 7 months. Very pleasant experience.
It's always difficult finding a good RV park when you are touring wine country. Although this one states Big Rigs Welcome, this is one one of the tightest parks to get in and out of. We couldn't even turn in the entrance and had to stop, unhitching our car and blocking everybody. Even though they have the name "Sonoma" in their title, Sonoma is at least 1/2 hour or 45 minute drive from this small RV park, located in town, surrounded by apartment and condo buildings. Healdsburg and the wineries to the North, just as far. I should mention that the manager of the place is the nicest guy and does everything he can do to make it work, and get the rigs in, but he is working with what the owners have given him. Just a big rig will fit in a space, doesn't make it big rig friendly. If you could drop a big rig into the space with a helicopter, things might work better. Many rigs were not even capable of making the turns once inside the park, and had to leave going back through their empty space. Parking for your vehicle is tough also, unless you get one of the dual spaces that are extra wide. I did like the dual location of dump drains, one near the back of the coach and one mid-station, to accommodate different hookups. The recreation center seemed very old and dingy. There was a long-term area for the park, blocked off by a entry gate. We would not stay there again because of the severe space limitations and congestion. Because of the economy, and gas prices, I don't think anybody will ever build a really nifty RV park centrally located and easy to get to in the wine country. We've tried the Napa Country Fairgrounds RV park several times near Calistoga, and that's ok, but when we were there, the help leaves around 6 and farm workers would come in, use the showers, then eat dinner and sleep in their cars, one of them parked right behind our RV. I wonder whether that still goes on? Thank you.