Our 2011 Campground Reviews

Here you will find reviews of the campgrounds we visited in 2011.

For more information on how we choose a campground and on our review criteria, go to our Main Campground Reviews page.

These reviews are shown in the order we visited the campgrounds during the year. To see campground reviews by state with the most recent visits at the top of the page, go to our Main Campground Reviews page and click on the state by state links.

Also, note that these reviews indicate a "Journal Site" number. This number corresponds to the number of the stop since we began our adventure and also to the number on the Map Of Our Travels on our Journal page. You may be able to find more information about the campground or the area by clicking on Our Journal and locating entries for the dates indicated for each campground.






Direct Links To 2011 Reviews Below

Cedar Key RV Resort, Cedar Key, FL - January 2011

Chassahowitzka River Campground, Homosassa, FL - January 2011

Private Residence, Bradenton, FL - January 2011

Lake Manatee State Park, Bradenton, FL - January 2011

Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL - January 2011

Private Residence, Goulds, FL - February 2011

Private Property, Key Largo, FL - February 2011

Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park, Flamingo, FL - March 2011

Gulf Air Encore RV Resort, Ft. Myers Beach, FL - March 2011

Private Residence, Pinellas Park, FL - March 2011

Low-Key Hideaway, Cedar Key, FL - March 2011

Reed Bingham State Park, Adel, GA - March 2011

Whitetail Ridge Corps of Engineers Campground, West Point Lake, LaGrange, GA - April 2011

Private Residence, Chatsworth, GA - April 2011

River Plantation RV Park, Sevierville, TN - April 2011

Defeated Creek Corps of Engineers (COE) Campground, Cordell Hull Lake, Carthage, TN - April 2011


Journal Site 173: Cedar Key RV Resort - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: December 29, 2010 - January 2, 2011
Location: About 6 miles east of Cedar Key on the "Nature Coast" of Florida in the big bend of the Gulf Coast between the northwestern panhandle and the Tampa area. On Florida Hwy 24 about 15 miles west of U.S. Hwy 19.
GPS Coordinates: 29.21759N 82.97019W
Our Site Number: 11
Reason Selected: We had heard good things about Cedar Key and wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, we were both under the weather. Rather than go to a public campground without hook-ups or another RV park, we chose this one with full hook-ups and more spacious sites.
Setting: This is a pretty typical RV resort layout with nice wide roads and long, paved sites. But the mature palm trees and Live Oaks adds a bit to the overall feel of this rural RV park. The road noise is noticeable from Hwy 24, but it quiets down at night. There is another RV park across the side road and just woods to the rear of the park.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. This is one of the newer parks in the Cedar Key area and it was built for big rigs with the intent to sell lots.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric (actually up to 100-amp electric).
Laundry: Nice laundry facilities.
Price & Discounts: $30.00 per night, but discounts for weekly, monthly, and seasonal stays.
Other Factors: Again, this RV park was built with the intention of selling lots. It looks like the money for development and marketing might have run out, but the first phase of the resort is pretty nice. There isn't much to do around the resort, and the fact that it is 6 miles from the town of Cedar Key is a drawback. The website it lacking for a resort, but it's okay. Rooftop satellite depends on the site. There are lots of sites where it will work fine, but it won't in many. Tripods can usually find a hole.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
This is really a pretty nice RV park. It deserves a reasonable score and might be worthy of an 8.0. The downsides for us were 1) the sites back up to each other so, although the sites are well spaced side-to-side, they are too close in the rear, and 2) it's just too far from Cedar Key and other things to do. We like rural public campgrounds, but they usually have on-site nature activities and that doesn't exist here in this private resort.

Cedar Key RV Resort


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 174: Chassahowitzka River Campground - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: January 2 - 9, 2011
Location: About 7 miles south of Homosassa on the central Gulf Coast of Florida off of U.S. Hwy 19.
GPS Coordinates: 28.71172N 82.57624W
Our Site Number: 7
Reason Selected: This was the only reasonably priced public campground we could find for exploring the Homosassa/Crystal Springs area. A bonus is that it sits on the Chassahowitzka River for some paddling.
Setting: This is heavily wooded "old Florida" type campground with pines and Live Oaks. One side backs up to a quiet residential area, while the rest of the campground is bordered by woods. The sites are pretty close together, closer than we usually find in a public campground.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: This is another campground that I wouldn't call "big rig friendly". There are some sites that are easier to get in than others, but it's still a little tight. Doable, but proceed with caution and you may have to go in the opposite direction of what you think. NOTE: It's a bit confusing to know where to go. The campground is visible on the left, but the campground/park office is down the paved road to the right. Fortunately, if you go to the right, you can make a wide turn to get back to the campground.
Hook-ups: Most sites have full hook-ups with 50-amp electric, but some of the nice sites just have 50-amp electric and water without sewer. There is a dump station on the way out.
Laundry: Decent laundry facilities.
Price & Discounts: $25.00 per night for full hook-ups; $23 for water & electric only. Weekly and monthly rates are available upon request. We got a weekly rate and, with tax, it came out to a little over $23 per night for full hook-ups.
Other Factors: This is a Citrus County Park and the rates are quite reasonable for the area. There is a very nice camp/river store and there are canoe and kayak rentals on the spring-fed Chassahowitzka River. A bonus was that several manatees were hanging out at the boat ramp/dock. The website is better than most private RV parks and many state parks. Staff was very nice. Rooftop satellite wouldn't work in most sites, and finding a hole for tripods isn't easy.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
The campground itself doesn't have the "it" factor, but it is very reasonably priced for full hook-ups in this area. We bumped it up a half point for value and for river access and manatees. :) As I mentioned before, some of the sites without sewer hook-ups are bigger and, in my opinion, better. This is a great park to set up base camp for exploring Homosassa Springs and Crystal River, but it's a bit of a drive to both. There are several RV parks that are more convenient to the attractions, and I think that's why more people choose the more expensive RV parks. But if we come back to the area, we would choose Chassahowitzka again.

Chassahowitzka River Campground


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 175: Private Residence, Bradenton, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: January 9 - 16, 2011
Location: Residential area on Palma Sola Bay west of Bradenton, FL.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Driveway
Reason Selected: Visiting good friends and a good place to attend the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa.
Setting: Subdivision in Bradenton.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Big enough. :)
Hook-ups: Water and 20-amp electric.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Great friends with a boat and lots of game-playing.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We always enjoy a few days with our buds. :)

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 176: Lake Manatee State Park Campground - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: January 16 - 19, 2011
Location: About 20 miles east of Bradenton and 10 miles east of I-75 on Florida Hwy 64.
GPS Coordinates: 27.48161N 82.34632W
Our Site Number: 24
Reason Selected: Our friends in Bradenton had more guests arriving so we needed to vacate their driveway. However, we were still waiting on a couple packages to arrive, so we couldn't go far. This was the best public campground within an easy drive of Bradenton.
Setting: There are two very nice "old Florida" loops with palm trees, palmettos, Live Oaks, and Spanish Moss. The sites are nice and big with lots of vegetation separating the sites, therefore there is good privacy. The sites are not on the lake.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes and no. The sites are plenty large for big rigs, but the roads are a bit narrow they make it tough to get enough swing room to back in to the sites.
Hook-ups: All sites have 30-amp electric and water. There is a convenient dump station on the way out.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $22.00 per night plus tax; Florida residents over 65 get half price.
Other Factors: Staff was extremely friendly. Campsites in the winter book up fast in Florida State Parks. They do set aside 10% of their sites for walk-ins, but your timing has to be good. This is how we got in to this park. Rooftop satellite is dependent on the site. Many sites have trees that would block the signals. Tripods may or may not do the trick, but most likely will.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
We really enjoyed our stay at this park. We liked the large, private sites. Also, there was a good deal of wildlife with birds, armadillos, gopher tortoises, deer, and more. In addition, there were some decent places to walk and bike and we could've launched our boats on the lake if the weather had been better during our stay. We didn't initially feel the campground had the "it" factor, but after a few days we ultimately deemed that it did. :)

Lake Manatee State Park


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 177: Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: January 19 - 30, 2011
Location: The Midway Campground is midway betwen Naples and Miami on the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) in south Florida.
GPS Coordinates: 25.84987N 80.98913W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: I've been trying to get to the far south of Florida for the winter for years. And this campground has long been a chosen destination. We had visited it back in 2006, but this was the first time we've made it back. In addition to the warm weather, we were looking forward to exploring both Big Cypress National Preserve and the western Everglades.
Setting: This is a campground out in the open with a few palm trees for shade. There is a small, elongated lake in the center and nearly identical back-in sites on each side of the lake. The back of the campground is wilderness, but the campground entrance is right on the busy U.S. 41, so road noise is pretty constant. Campground roads and sites are paved.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. The sites are all back-ins and a bit close together, but not bad. The one issue is that the sites are not angled but are perpindicular to the road. So backing around the palm trees can require you to get off pavement to have enough swing room. The western side of the lake tends to be softer off the pavement than the eastern side if it has been raining.
Hook-ups: All sites have 50/30-amp electric, but no water or sewer. There is a place to take on water, but the pressure is terrible and it takes a long, long time to fill a tank. There is a convenient dump station on the way out.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $19.00 per night; Those with the America The Beautiful Senior or Access Pass get half price camping fees.
Other Factors: Camphosts were extremely friendly. Campsites are all first-come, first-served, and with only 26 sites, timing has to be good in the winter to get a site. There is a 10-day maximum stay. Website lacks good info on campsites. Rooftop satellite is no problem. Campground is only three miles from the Big Cypress Preserve Oasis Visitor Center. It's about 20 miles west to Everglades City for supplies and about 20 miles east to the Shark Valley Unit of Everglades National Park.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
We maxed out our stay at Midway and really enjoyed exploring the area. There were so many nature activities. As for the campground itself, it gets high ratings for value and warm weather, but based on just the campground itself, it's really not all that great - certainly no "it" factor. However, it gets an extra half point because it's only $19 in south Florida in the winter. Heck, that might be worth a full point. :)

Midway Campground, Big Cypress National Preserve


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 178: Private Residence, Goulds, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: January 30 - February 10, 2011
Location: Residential area in Goulds, FL south of Miami.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Back Yard
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friend. Also, made arrangements to leave rig there while flying to Boston to speak at the Boston RV Show.
Setting: Fenced yard behind avocado grove and house in plant nursery capital of Florida.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty large. :)
Hook-ups: Water and 50-amp electric.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Great weather and close enough to day trip to the eastern Everglades.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We enjoyed the great weather and spending time with our hostess. :)

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 179: Private Property, Key Largo, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: February 10 - March 1, 2011
Location: 8 acres of bayfront property on Key Largo.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Parked in access driveway
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friends that were caretaking the property for the winter months.
Setting: Jungle-like property with small, beach looking out over Blackwater Bay.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Access and turnaround only. :)
Hook-ups: Water only.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Free with some provided manual labor to help clean up the property.
Other Factors: Great weather, great friends, and waterfront.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
Even though we were parked without sewer and electric, our solar panels and generator did the trick, and we really enjoyed the great weather and spending time with our hosts. :)

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 180: Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: March 1 - 8, 2011
Location: The Flamingo Campground is located 38 miles into the eastern unit of the Everglades National Park south of Homestead, FL in the southern tip of the Florida mainland.
GPS Coordinates: 25.13814N 80.94162W
Our Site Number: 26, T Loop
Reason Selected: The Flamingo Campground has been a goal for a long time and it was a must for this winter. We've spent winters in other parts of Florida, south Texas, and Arizona. This year, we wanted to try the southernmost reaches of Florida including the Everglades.
Setting: This campground is out in the open with a few sites getting the benefit of some shade trees. The T Loop is set out like many private RV parks with several cross roads with numerous pull-through sites. Flamingo is truly out in the middle of nowhere at the very end of the park road. It doesn't get any quieter.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. The T Loop is designed for trailers and large motorhomes. The other loops have a few sites for bigger rigs, but most of the pads aren't long enough and RV wheels are supposed to stay on the asphalt.
Hook-ups: There are 41 sites in the T Loop that have 50-amp electric, but they don't have water or sewer. All other sites have no hook-ups at all. There are bathhouses, a place to take on water, and dump stations.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $30.00 per night for electric sites; $16 for all other sites; Those with the America The Beautiful Senior or Access Pass get half price camping fees. NOTE: There is a $10 entrance fee into the park and a $3 per kayak/canoe launch fee collected at the entrance.
Other Factors: Several canoe trails and a few hiking trails in the area. There is a marina where you can rent canoes, kayaks, or power boats. There are also boat tours and several ranger-guided programs each day in the winter. There is a cafe at the nearby lodge. The lodge and cafe were heavily damaged by Hurricane Wilma several years back, and only the cafe has re-opened. The website is rather weak on providing detailed information. Ninety of the 254 sites can be reserved, BUT you cannot reserve a specific site, only a spot in the campground. Rooftop satellite is no problem. The marina store has some staples, but it's best if you arrive fully stocked.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
If you aren't into nature and wildlife, there is very little to do at Flamingo. But the beauty of it for us is the quiet and the nature (including one of the few places to see American Crocodiles) and being out in the middle of nowhere. The sites are really well-spaced and they are huge in the T Loop. Those factors allow us to give the campground an 8.0 even though it really isn't particularly special. The $30 for electric is high by our standards, but very reasonable for south Florida in the winter. There isn't much in the way of shade or privacy. Still, any future wintering in Florida will most likely include a stint at Flamingo. :)

Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 181: Gulf Air Encore RV Resort, Ft. Myers Beach, FL - Overall Rating: 4.0

Dates: March 8 - 11, 2011
Location: In the town of Ft. Myers Beach in southwest Florida. NOTE: It's nowhere near the actual beach. Off Summerlin Drive which leads to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
GPS Coordinates: 26.4898N 81.94105W
Our Site Number: 40
Reason Selected: Just needed a place close to Linda's mother's winter condo in Ft. Myers. This was the closest place we could get in for a few days to visit.
Setting: A very tight RV park with several permanent and seasonal park models with a few very tight RV sites mixed in. No character and the term "resort" is quite a stretch. Narrow paved roads with grass/sand sites.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: No. Very narrow roads and tough to back into any site.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric.
Laundry: Yes, decent laundry.
Price & Discounts: $53.00 per night plus $3 resort fee. Various specials for monthly and seasonal and "off-season" rates. We got a "Buy 2 nights, Get 1 free" special. Prices for this RV park are simply ridiculous.
Other Factors: Close to beaches and all kinds of shopping. Rooftop satellite not an issue. Cable available. The weather in the winter is the only possible draw to this park in our opinion.
OVERALL RATING: 4.0 (out of ten)
This is exactly the type of camping we hate. Tight roads with sites on top of each other at ridiculous prices. In the past, when visiting friends and relatives in Ft. Myers, we've stayed outside of town and driven in. We'll go back to that as we certainly won't be staying at this place ever again.

Gulf Air Encore RV Resort


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 182: Private Residence, Pinellas Park, FL - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: March 11 - 15, 2011
Location: Residential area in Pinellas Park, FL west of Tampa Bay and north of St. Petersburg.
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Our Site Number: Back Yard
Reason Selected: Invited to stay by RV-Dreams friends.
Setting: Large back yard beside fenced area behind warehouse.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty large. :)
Hook-ups: None.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Just good friends.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
We enjoyed the spending time with our hosts. :)

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 183: Low-Key Hideaway Motel & RV Park, Cedar Key, FL - Overall Rating: 7.0

Dates: March 15 - 24, 2011
Location: On Florida Hwy 24 just a mile east of Cedar Key, FL on the "Nature Coast" of the Gulf side of Florida.
GPS Coordinates: 29.15253N 83.03097W
Our Site Number: 2
Reason Selected: We were invited by RV-Dreams friends Pat & Cindy Bonish to join them for a few nights on our way north to our Spring Rally in Tennessee. Pat & Cindy are managing the Low-Key Hideaway Motel, RV Park, & Tike Bar for an indefinite period.
Setting: Five very close together sites on a very narrow strip of land leading to Cedar Key. The sites all back up to a marshy, mangrove bay.
Guidebooks: None Used
Big Rig Friendly: Sort of. A few sites will accommodate big rigs, but you have to stop traffic on FL 24 in order to back in.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric in some sites and 30 amps in other sites.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $35.00 per night; $210 weekly; $500 monthly.
Other Factors: The main factors are simply Pat & Cindy. They are great folks and they make staying at Low-Key fun. Their personalities and local knowledge along with sitting around the Tiki Bar make the close quarters and road noise worthwhile. Oh, and the gorgeous sunsets as well. :) Rooftop satellite is not an issue.
OVERALL RATING: 7.0 (out of ten)
This is not exactly the type of place we would normally stay. In fact, if not for Pat & Cindy's hospitality, we would likely have rated this place a 6.0. But we got to experience Cedar Key like locals and had a lot of fun. I can't give the RV park any higher rating, but if you get a chance to snag one of the RV sites and spend some time, it's worth it. :)

Low-Key Hideaway Motel, RV Park & Tiki Bar


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 184: Reed Bingham State Park - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: March 24 - 28, 2011
Location: In rural south central Georgia about six miles west of I-75 (Exit 39) and just off GA Hwy 37.
Our Site: 30
GPS Coordinates: 31.16776N 83.53702W
Reason Selected: Looked like a nice stop on our way from Florida to Tennessee for the 2011 RV-Dreams Spring Rally.
Setting: A 46-site campground with two loops. Most sites have a combination of shade and sun. It's wooded with Live Oaks, but certainly not thickly wooded. Paved roads with dirt/sand/gravel sites. Campground is bordered by woods and open fields. It is not close to major highways and is very quiet.
Guidebooks: None Used.
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. Easy enough to maneuver and there are some large sites, including big pull-throughs.
Hook-ups: All sites have 30-amp electric and water, but some sites have 50 amps. There is a dump station on the way out of the park.
Laundry: There is a washer and dryer at the bathhouse.
Price & Discounts: $28 per night plus one-time $5 park entry fee/parking pass; Seniors over 62 can get 20% off camping fees.
Other Factors: In the Georgia State Park system, all sites are reservable, but you can't reserve a specific site. The sites are first-come, first-served among those with reservations. There are seven miles of hiking trails, lots of road for biking, a 375-acre lake for boating/fishing, and there is a nice paddling run on the Little River (which is impounded to create the lake. There is a boat launch that is part of the park upriver and then you paddle into the lake. Kayak and canoe rentals are available. Staff was very friendly. Rooftop satellite depended was site-by-site. Generally, a tripod would work fine.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
Another great Georgia State Park. We hiked, biked, and paddled and watched nice sunsets over the lake. Note, the campground is not on the lake, but lake access is a short walk or bike ride. We liked the sites on the outer side of the camping loops and we preferred Loop 2 over Loop 1. Most sites, but not all, are well spaced and the sites on the outside of the loops provide large yards and great privacy. Many sites in the campground wouldn't have the "it" factor, but those with the larger "yards" that backed up to or faced the woods did. It's a great stop for a few days if traveling I-75 in southern Georgia.

Reed Bingham State Park


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 185: Whitetail Ridge Corps of Engineers (COE) Campground, West Point Lake - Overall Rating: 9.0

Dates: March 28 - April 4, 2011
Location: In west central Georgia near the Alabama line. Just a few miles west of LaGrange off GA Hwy 109.
Our Site: 18 - It's HUGE with a great view!
GPS Coordinates: 33.01652N 85.18063W
Reason Selected: We were looking to visit with some friends in the LaGrange area as we headed north through Georgia. Since we are partial to COE campgrounds, this looked like a great place to stay.
Setting: A wooded campground with loops on a couple peninsulas jutting out into West Point Lake. Almost all sites are either lakefront or lake view. Far from busy roads and just beautiful.
Guidebooks: None Used.
Big Rig Friendly: Yes. No problem for most big rig drivers.
Hook-ups: All sites have 30-amp electric and water. Bathhouses aren't necessarily convenient. There is a nice dump station on the way out.
Laundry: There is a washer and dryer at one bathhouse.
Price & Discounts: $24 per night; Those with Federal America The Beautiful Senior or Access Pass can get 1/2 price camping.
Other Factors: Decent number of non-reservable sites. Site spacing and views are wonderful. Only one hiking trail, but we never wanted to leave the site. Boat ramp within the campground or you can launch kayaks and canoes from you site if you have one on the water. Staff was very friendly. Rooftop satellite was usually blocked by trees, but generally, a tripod with some long cables would work.
OVERALL RATING: 9.0 (out of ten)
This was one of our favorite all time sites. I was close to giving it a 9.5. Had it had 50 amps or sewer, I probably would have bumped it up. Anyway, our site in particular definitely had the "it" factor. There are several other very nice sites in the campground, but we didn't see any we'd rather have.

Whitetail Ridge COE Campground on West Point Lake


Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 186: Private Residence, Chatsworth, GA - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: April 4 - 8, 2011
Location: In northern Georgia not far from the Tennessee border.
Our Site: Driveway
GPS Coordinates: N/A
Reason Selected: We were invited by another RV-Dreams friend and we accepted his offer since it was right in line with our route to the 2011 Spring Rally in Sevierville, TN.
Setting: Open driveway but looking out at Fort Mountain.
Guidebooks: None Used.
Big Rig Friendly: Worked for us.
Hook-ups: 50-amp electric and water.
Laundry: Yep.
Price & Discounts: Free!
Other Factors: Just a nice, quiet place to join friends and prepare for our Rally.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
Our hosts took great care of us and we had a wonderful time.

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List



Journal Site 187: River Plantation RV Park - Overall Rating: 8.0

Dates: April 8 - 21, 2011
Location: Far east central Tennessee about nine miles south of I-40 (Exit 407). Between I-40 and Gatlinburg on US 441.
GPS Coordinates: 35.85378N 83.56362W
Our Site Number: 441
Reason Selected: Selected to hold our 2011 Spring Rally due to conference facilities, on-site catering, and central location.
Setting: Typical RV park with rows of side-by-side sites. On busy US 441, but road noise tempered by driveway down into park below the level of the main road. Bordered on two sides by the Little Pigeon River. Gravel roads with mostly gravel sites. Not bad considering the area development and traffic, but still no our preferred setting.
Guidebooks:None used.
Big Rig Friendly: No problem at all. Wide roads, nice big sites, and lots of pull-throughs.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30-amp electric in half the park; the other half is full hook-ups with 30-amp electric.
Laundry: Yes, nice laundry facility and reasonable prices. Four washers and dryers.
Price & Discounts: April - November: $30.50 for full hook-ups with 30 amps; $33.50 for full hook-ups with 50 amps; $35.50 for riverfront sites with full hook-ups; $49.50 for extra wide riverfront Signature sites with landscaping and concrete pads. Prices are lower in winter (December - March). Though not listed on the website, monthly and seasonal rates are available. Check with office for other discounts.
Other Factors: Very easy to work with for our Rally. Staff was friendly and even got us discounted tickets to shows for our group. Rooftop satellite is no problem in most sites but there are some sites with trees. The website is pretty good. With no stoplight at the entrance, it can be tricky getting in and out. Fortunately, there is a left hand turning lane into the park from US 441 going south. Close to all major attractions along the US 441 corridor going through Pigeion Forge toward Gatlinburg. Traffic can be easy or horrendous. Walmart Supercenter less than five minutes away.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
Though this type of RV park isn't our cup of tea, we have to admit that it is a nice place to stay in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area. We were provided a Signature Site on the river as hosts of a Rally, so that certainly influenced our rating as did the success of the Rally. Perhaps, if we were in an interior site, we would have rated it a 7.5. No "it" factor and it's not somewhere we would have ordinarily chosen had the facilities not been perfect for our Rally. However, but it probably deserves a pretty good score as RV parks go.

River Plantation RV Park

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List


Journal Site 188: Defeated Creek COE Campground, Cordell Hull Lake - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: April 21 - 28, 2011
Location: North central Tennessee about 65 miles east of Nashville and 15 - 20 miles north of I-40 (Exit 258). Follow the signs to Carthage and then to the campground on Cordell Hull Lake a few miles farther.
GPS Coordinates: 36.30098N 85.91165W
Our Site Number: 16
Reason Selected: Heard about this COE campground from an RV-Dreams reader, so researched it and decided it would be a great stopping point on our way to speak at a conference in Bowling Green, KY. We choose COE campgrounds whenever we can.
Setting: Typical Corps of Engineers campground with wooded sites on the lake or with lake views. Unlike most COE campgrounds, there are numerous full hook-up sites on the lake and they are a bit closer together than most COE sites. Still, it's away from any major highways so it's very quiet with wonderful water views.
Guidebooks:None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Numerous big rig sites. One-way roads aren't real wide, but they are large enough. Also, there aren't many roadside obstacles so having swing room for backing into the angled sites usually isn't a problem.
Hook-ups: 63 sites have full hook-ups with 50/30-amp electric; the rest of the sites have water and 50/30-amp electric only. There is a convenient dump station on the way out of the campground.
Laundry: Yes - one washer and dryer.
Price & Discounts: $26.00 for full hook-ups; $24.00 for water/electric sites. Those with Federal America The Beautiful Senior or Access Passes get half-price camping.
Other Factors: Staff was friendly. Rooftop satellite can be a problem in the many treed sites, but there are a few that will work. Tripods with enough cable can usually work. There is a marina and a cafe just outside the campground entrance. It's about 10 - 12 miles to a Super Walmart. Bathhouses are clean. Deer along the road to the campground and lots of birds for the birdwatching enthusiasts.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
We love COE campgrounds and this is no exception. I will say that we have been in four or five that we like better. Those have sites with a bit more privacy and better spacing. But it's hard to beat a COE campground out in the middle of nowhere with full hook-up sites on the lake (even if they are a bit close together). Our Site 16 wasn't a full hook-up site and definitely had the "it" factor. It may be one of the best sites in the campground. There are a few others that have enough privacy, spacing, and views to have the "it" factor as well.

Defeated Creek COE Campground, Cordell Hull Lake

Back To 2011 Campground Reviews List