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National and State Parks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore- Upper Peninsula, MI

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Let me tell you about a place voted one of the 50 most scenic places in America. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore lies in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior. The park is 42 miles long and encompasses some of America’s most beautiful lakeshore. Pictured Rocks was the first National Lakeshore in the National Park System when it was designated in 1966.
The park has many camping options in three campgrounds from remote walk-in camping to level cement pad sites. All sites are rustic, offering no electric, water or sewer, but all campgrounds have solar powered potable water spigots. All campgrounds are restricted to a max single vehicle length of 36 feet and 42 feet for combined rig/trailer. What the campgrounds lack in amenities the park makes up for in breathtaking beauty.
A favorite adventure among park guests is to through hike the North Country Trail which spans the entire 42 mile length of the park. The trail connects you to all of the major sites of the park through several side trails. A hiker could easily spend a long weekend or even a week hiking the trail and exploring the park.
For you waterfall lovers there are three beautiful falls in the park, Miners Falls, Munising Falls, and my favorite, Sable Falls. The falls are all natural and unaltered, with viewing areas and paths to each. Keep in mind that each site has considerable elevation change and numerous steps, so mobility limited folks may have issue reaching some points along the trails.
This park impresses me for several reasons, not least of which it combines my loves of the Great Lakes, Wilderness, and Geology. The park is called Pictured Rocks for a very good reason. If you drive to Munising, MI just outside the park you can charter viewing trips that will take you along the most scenic portions of the park. The scenery here is painted by the Munising Geologic formation which sits atop the Jacobsville Sandstone formation. Because of all of the minerals in the rock and soil in this area the rocks take on beautiful staining patterns. An added bonus is the abundance of Agates on the beach at the Grand Marais end of the park. The sandstone is eroded away in many areas making for impressive formations like Miners Castle and the many shoreline caves. This stretch of Lakeshore is treacherous and has taken many a vessel. Most of which can be seen by chartering a glass bottom boat tour of the lakeshore. Other shipwrecks are still accessible from shore, a few still protrude above the water. Lately the explosion in popularity of kayaks has caused boat traffic to increase drastically, but beware, the Park service and Coast Guard are called regularly when boaters approach too close to the sheer cliff faces.
You cannot leave the park without witnessing the magnitude and beauty of Grand Sable Dunes. The sand formation at the edge of Lake Superior is impressive in its scale, but do not let it lull you if you are not in good shape, remember if you walk down the dune there is no easy way back up, you get to hoof it up several hundred feet of very loose sand.
The campgrounds are actually open all year long, and many Yoopers take advantage of winter to snow machine in to the campgrounds for a very remote camping experience. Another unique winter experience is attending the UP200 Sled dog race, which is a qualifying race for the Iditarod race in Alaska. The race starts in Marquette and proceeds to a turnaround point at Grand Marais, traveling through 200 miles of Michigan’s most remote and wild country.
Much has been said about this park, and all of it true. It is awesome in its scale and breathtaking in its beauty. It can also be dangerous because of the wild nature of much of the park. So use caution, but do not let it stop you from exploring one of the most beautiful places in America.
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Renew your soul at the Mason Tract- Lower Peninsula, MI

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There are few places in the eastern United States today that offer the silence and solitude that the Mason Tract provides. Near Grayling, Michigan, in the northern Lower Peninsula, the George Mason River Retreat, as it is officially named, is without a doubt a bucket list worthy destination for naturalists and fishermen/women alike. Automobile industry giant George Mason routinely traveled to northern Michigan to escape the hustle and bustle of Detroit in the 1930’s. After purchasing 1500 acres of wilderness from fellow auto magnate Clifford Durant, Mason would take every opportunity to flee to the “northwoods.” Just prior to his death in 1954 Mason offered the State of Michigan his land on three conditions, that the land be held as a permanent game reserve never to be sold or loaned, that camping would be banned, and that the state had only two years from his death to decide. His foresight has preserved a wilderness tract of land along one of the most pristine and productive trout streams in the world.
The Mason tract has since expanded to include 4700 acres on both sides of the South Branch of the AuSable River. The tract has a dozen miles of hiking trails that range from easy to moderate. But let there be no doubt, the main reason why people come here is because of the fishing.
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The tracts location, in an already remote area of Michigan, and the size of the preserve ensure that when you leave the parking area you will be transported back to a time before the electronic distractions of our world. There is an attractive sign at the entrance to the tract that sets the tone for your adventure, it reads “Sportsmen slow your pace…..Ahead lies the fabled land of the South Branch. Here generations of fisherman have cast a fly on one of the great trout streams of America. Hunters too have roamed these hills in the solitude so bountifully offered. The land is rich in tradition and stands ready to renew your soul. Tread lightly as you pass and leave no mark. Go forth in the spirit of George W Mason whose generous gift has made this forever possible”
Although there is no camping in the tract, at the north end, near M72, lays Canoe Harbor State Forest Campground. The campground is rustic, and offers only small sites, ideal for tents or small (25 feet or less) campers. There are vault toilets, and hand pumps for water, but it has direct access to the tract and to the South Branch of the river, along with 10 group sites that are for groups canoe camping.
Keep in mind that no wheels of any kind are allowed in the tract, no carts, no bikes, no vehicles, only shoes. If you plan your morning you can rise early and take a quiet walk along the river accompanied only by the sounds of the river flowing over deadheads, loons at its edge, and trout rising to take a fly. The Mason Tract always delivers on its promise to renew your soul!
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Wompatuck State Park, Massachusetts- a must stay

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Trying to find a campground close enough to sightsee in Boston seemed to be a nearly insurmountable task based on our preliminary research. There were simply no campgrounds or RV parks in the Boston area. We began to look on the outskirts of the city and were happy to find Wompatuck State Park in beautiful Hingham, Massachusetts, about 19 miles southeast of downtown Boston. The park is a former Navy ammunition depot and sits on over 3,500 acres that closed in 1965. As you drive around the park, you can still see many of the 100+ bunkers now filled and covered.
Although we needed a site over the weekend and made reservations at the last minute, the park has over 260 sites and we were able to reserve one for our 31 ft class c RV.

The sites only have 20-amp electricity but water spigots abound around the park and there was one just a few sites down from us. There is also a dump station as you enter the campground which has fresh water spigots to fill.

Once we entered the park, we had to drive nearly another mile before reaching the campground entrance. Luckily, the road was paved and not in too bad of shape and there were no low-hanging branches to deal with. Check-in was a little slow as they ask you to provide a lot of information, including your pet’s rabies certificate number and administering vet information.

This park is huge! The roads are designated by letters of the alphabet and go all the way to “Z.” Once we found our site, K1, it was easy to back in and get set up. The sight was level enough that we didn’t have to use any of our levelers. Since we were on a corner, we had no neighbors to one side and our neighbors on the other side were far enough way to give us plenty of privacy. There was some trash around the site which we discovered was common for the Massachusetts state parks we stayed in. We used an adaptor and plugged into the 20-amp pedestal. Although the outlets were a bit loose, we had no electricity issues during our stay and ran our AC the entire time.

Our site was about 5 sites from the public restrooms and showers. The first time we used them, they were quite clean, the water pressure was decent and the hot water was great. The second time we used them, they were not clean and appeared to not have been cleaned in over 24 hours. We didn’t use them again after that.

The park was very quiet with few kids and few dogs. It is a great park to bicycle in with several trails, including a 12-mile paved bicycle trail. It only took us about 30 minutes to drive into historic downtown Boston from the park on a Sunday morning so it’s a perfect launching point for sightseeing in the big city. It’s also close enough for a visit to Cape Cod in the opposite direction. We would definitely stay at the park again and recommend you do so when in the area.

Tobyhanna State Park, Tobyhanna, PA- a big hassle

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Finding a campground in the northeast that will accommodate our 31 ft motorhome over the Labor Day weekend almost left us spending the holiday in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We don’t have anything against Wal-Mart parking lots, or those of Cabela’s or Cracker Barrel, but the heatwave that this part of the country was experiencing, and a recently discovered oil leak in our onboard generator, meant that we really needed to stay somewhere with electricity.

As full-timers, weekends and holidays are simply days of the week to us. We’ve never paid much attention to a calendar to actually plan far enough ahead to ensure we don’t get stranded because of all the weekend warriors flocking to local campgrounds and RV parks. That’s exactly what happened this particular Labor Day and we found it nearly impossible to find a site. Using our trusted AllStays iPhone app, we stumbled upon a park in eastern Pennsylvania that had 140 sites and electricity.

Tobyhanna State Park sits on 5,440 acres and use to be an artillery training range. In fact, visitors are warned that if they should find any rusty, unexploded ordinances, to leave it be and contact park officials immediately. Not coincidentally, the park is located adjacent to the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

I quickly logged onto our Reserve America account in hopes of finding an available site for Saturday and Sunday nights. Luckily, we stayed at a Cabela’s in Connecticut Friday night so we only needed lodging for 2 of the 3 holiday nights. I lucked out and was able to secure a nice site with electricity. I had forgotten that state parks in Pennsylvania only allow pets in certain designated sites and somehow didn’t indicate that we had a dog when I made the reservation. That little mistake almost put us back into a parking lot for the weekend!

Upon our arrival, check-in was quick and easy – right up to the point that I said we had a dog. The friendly check-in staff’s face turned somber and she immediately picked up the phone. I was told that our site, #17, was not a pet-permitted site, which is kind of ironic since all the sites around #17 were. The staff member asked me to wait for the park manager, as the park was completely booked and they had no other pet sites available. Additionally, park staff were busy “chasing” a bear out of the campground thanks to campers who had left food out.

I returned to the RV to wait and to research our other lodging possibilities. After waiting for nearly 30 minutes, we set out in the Jeep to find the park manager, who never responded to the office to speak to us about our predicament. When we finally found her, she was adamant that dogs were not allowed in our site. After more discussion, and a phone call to the adjacent state park, she determined that we had nowhere else to stay and agreed to bend the rules this once. She warned us that if she received any complaints about our little poodle, we would be asked to leave.

On our way to the site, we stopped at the dump station and filled our fresh water. We felt the park’s water had a very chlorinated taste so we suggest that any you plan on using for cooking or drinking be filtered. The station has two tanks you can dump into, as well as trash and recycling bins. Our site was spacious and private, even though it was directly across from the public bathrooms, showers and laundry room. The site is next to the dog area so if you’re not a dog lover we suggest you reserve a site further down the loop.

Codorus State Park in Hanover, PA- What a lovely place to stay

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Trying to find a reasonably priced campground near Baltimore seemed nearly impossible. Although we prefer to camp at state or county/city parks, we were willing to stay at a privately owned campground closer to Baltimore so that we could visit with friends. Unfortunately, we weren’t willing to spend the money to do so, as the few campgrounds we found were, to us, quite expensive.

Although there were Maryland state parks closer to the city, none of them could accommodate our 31 ft class c motorhome. So, we decided to stay in a Pennsylvania state park located in the southern part of the state and approximately 30 miles north of Baltimore.

Codorus State Park is huge and sits on 3,500 acres in York County near Lake Marburg. The lake is known for its abundant fishing and is regularly used by sail boaters, motor boaters and kayakers, but does not allow swimming. The park has three picnic areas, a marina, a swimming pool, and a disc golf course. There are also numerous trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. We used the park as a launching point to sight see in nearby Gettysburg and Baltimore. Both were easy drives from Hanover.

The campground has 198 sites with only 93 of them having electricity. There is no water supplied to specific sites but there are several fresh water spigots located throughout the park. We filled our fresh water at the dump station on the way in. From what we observed, the wooded and shady sites tended to be quite unlevel, narrow and rather short. We had to try three different sites before we found one that was level and long enough. There were several sites located in a grassy area that seemed to be longer and more level, but there was absolutely no shade to these areas and it was hot during our stay.

Each site has a power pedestal, a picnic table and a fire ring. As with all Pennsylvania state parks, there are only a few select sites that allow pets so if you have a dog be sure to reserve the correct site. In our experience, they are very strict about their pet rules.

Because we camped at the park right after Labor Day, we practically had the place to ourselves. Despite this, we were admonished by one of the camp hosts for not having our receipt displayed and for allowing our friends to park their vehicle at our campsite. He wasn’t the friendliest fellow but other staffers we dealt with were.

The bath and shower house, which was located just up the road from our site, were clean and well maintained. The showers had hot water and good pressure. We also kayaked from two of the park’s beaches and found them clean and well maintained.
We enjoyed our 3-night stay at Codorus State Park and would definitely stay there again if ever in the area.

Lamoine State Park- Lamoine, ME- Perfect base for exploration

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Lamoine State Park, located on Maine’s beautiful Frenchman’s Bay, was the perfect base from which to explore Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor without paying the higher prices at the private Bar Harbor area campgrounds. It was easily accessible from coastal route 1 and also from US route 95.

Although we could have made reservations, we decided to just show up on a Friday night in late August and hope for the best. We were lucky! The park had a nice corner site which could accommodate our 31-ft class C for two nights. Be aware that the park’s 61 sites can only accommodate RV’s up to 35-foot in length.

The park offers seasonal camping, has a boat launch area, and provides views of Mt. Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. Although the park can be used year round, it is only open for camping between May 15 and October 15. The park has three hiking trails, one of which led us to a tree house, complete with a climbing rope. It also had stairs, so don’t fret if you can’t climb a rope!

The boat launch area has a lengthy rocky shore which you can walk along. There were several boats moored in the bay, providing the picture perfect Maine coast photography opportunity.

The check-in process was easy and park staff were very friendly. We dumped and refilled our fresh water on the way in, as the park does not have any hookups at any of its sites.

Although our site was on a corner, it was rather awkward to back in to and we barely fit, even though it was one of the larger sites in the park. Once in, it took most of our levelers to finally get level, but the site was beautiful. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring and the sites are rather close together, although we were separated by some small trees and bushes. Overall, the park was very quiet, even during non-quiet time hours.

The park’s bathrooms and showers were maintained immaculately. I rarely use public showers when we are on the road, but the private showers here were so clean and roomy that I opted to break my habit. The water pressure and temperature were perfect!

As mentioned previously, we explored the eastern half of Mt. Desert Island from the park, as it was any easy 20-minute drive to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. We would definitely stay at the park again and highly recommend it for anyone who wants to experience Bar Harbor during the day and a quiet, woody retreat at night.

Upper Manistee River State Forest Campground- Worth a visit!

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If you find yourself lucky enough to be driving through the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan I highly recommend you take the time to explore the Upper Manistee Campground, you will not be disappointed. This area of Michigan led the nation in timber production for the first decade of the 1900’s and the huge White Pines still adorn the landscape. As you approach the campground you will notice that you cross over the picturesque Manistee River. The river winds its way from Manistee Lake all the way to Lake Michigan, and was one of the main routes by which timber was transported out of the interior of the peninsula. Although the heyday of logging is long behind this area the remnants can still be found.
This gorgeous campground is tucked along the west bank of the river just south of County Road 612 in Michigan’s Crawford County. I must warn you that many large bus type rigs may not be able to access this site simply because of the tight turns and low hanging limbs, but the camp sights are more than capable of handling larger rigs if you can get them to the site. The campground has 40 sites, 10 of which are walk in, tent only, sites. The entire campground is first come first serve, no reservations, but unless you arrive on a holiday weekend you should have no trouble finding a site. There are several manual hand “pitcher” pumps for water, and vault toilets so you should be prepared for rustic camping or be self-contained. One of the most pleasing aspects of the campground is the proximity to the river. The Manistee is utterly impressive in its beauty. The waters are gentle and generally shallow, making for great swimming in the summer heat. Keep in mind though the water can be bitingly cold outside of July and August. Even on the busiest of holidays you can always find a swimming hole in the river and feel like you have it all to yourself. If you plan to visit be sure to bring your Fly rod as you will be sleeping alongside one of the best trout fishing rivers in the lower 48. The Manistee only stays under the radar because of its ultra-popular (rightly so) neighbor, the Au Sable River.
I highly recommend this site to travelers that have a secondary vehicle to explore with. The surrounding area is filled with little historical gems like the extinct town of Deward. Deward was the site of a company town and one of the largest sawmills on the upper river. Today nothing is left but crumbling cement foundations overgrown by nearly a century of ferns and pines. More information about Deward can be found through Michigan State University at http://geo.msu.edu/extra/geogmich/deward.html
If paddling is your thing, the river makes for a beautiful float and, depending on how far upstream you go, can be somewhat advanced. Due to the raw nature of the river, with overhanging limbs, fallen trees, submerged obstacles and tight bends; life jackets are recommended. If you do not own canoes or kayaks, or just want someone to drop you off and pick you up I highly recommend Shell Haven livery at www.shel-haven.com or (989) 348-2158.
The campground is located 8 miles southwest of the tiny town of Frederic, Michigan. The easiest way to get to the campground is from I-75, get off at exit 264 and head west into Frederic on County Road 612. The road takes a slight jog in Frederic, then continue west for about 7 miles to Goose Creek Road, a dirt road on the left. Head south on Goose Creek road and the campground will be on your left. The GPS coordinates are LAT 44.750264534800003 LONG -84.8393611507. The campground is $13 per night. I promise after one night of falling asleep to the song of a whip-poor-will and waking to the song of the loons, you will not be disappointed!

Muskellonge Lake State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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For the intrepid traveler I offer you Muskellonge Lake State Park, in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. While the trip to the campground is gorgeous in and of itself, this campground is among my all time favorites for location. Nestled between Muskellonge Lake and Lake Superior you are indeed reminded that you are visiting Michigan, the Winter, Water Wonderland.
This campground is large at nearly 150 sites and includes electricity hookups and a dump station, along with a boat launch and a playground. I will admit that the camping is not entirely private as some sites can be close together but the location and activities more than make amends. I am partial to this site because I am a rock hound and there are few places that I have found better agates than along this section of Lake Superior shoreline. If you arrive in mid-September plan to participate in the Rock On Agate Festival, more information available at http://www.scenicpathways.com/rock-on-agate-festival/
If agate hunting isn’t your thing there is a hiking trail at almost 2 miles long, and should you choose to stay in July you will be privy to the blessing of the berries! People flock to the area to pick wild blueberries, but don’t let that alarm you, this area of Michigan is so remote that there will be no problems finding your own private blueberry patch and chowing down! Did I mention the boat launch? If you have a rig capable you can launch into Lake Superior and take a shot at bringing in a haul of whitefish, after all you are just east of Whitefish point! Bring along your dive gear if you have boat as this area is littered with shipwrecks ranging from exposed to 200 plus feet deep. Please keep in mind that Michigan law regulates artifacts among the wrecks, and none should be disturbed. Also many of the wrecks are considered Technical due to depth so please ensure you have the proper training and equipment.
While staying at the Campground if you travel south a short distance you will run in to Deer Park, an old logging community and home of Deer Park Lodge. I recommend you stop in and visit with the proprietors Mike and Monica. Mike’s depth of knowledge for the area is unparalleled and he may share with you a choice fishing hole on Hemingway’s Two Hearted River, or a secret berry patch ripe for the picking.
One of my favorite excursions is simply driving the old logging roads through the forest, you are deep in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula though so remember to be cautious, you are a very long way from help should you get in to trouble. If you do wander off the main roads do so quietly and you may be rewarded with sightings of Moose, Black Bear, Deer, and even Cougar, and I can almost guarantee Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles if you cast your eyes to the sky.
If you are up for a drive travel east to Whitefish point and visit the old Coast Guard Life Saving Station and Lighthouse. This is also the sight of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Museum, which holds the remnants of the great Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck. No matter which direction you travel from the campground you will find adventure, whether it be a shipwreck 200 feet down, a beautiful old lighthouse, or agates on the beach, there is something for nearly everyone at Muskellonge Lake Campground!

Umbagog Lake State Park, Errol, NH- Nice place

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Finding campgrounds in the northeast for our 31 ft class c had proved to be difficult, so we were ecstatic when we found that the Umbagog Lake State Park, in Errol, New Hampshire, had a site that could accommodate our size. The park is located a mere 2 miles from the Maine state line and sits on beautiful Umbagog Lake, hidden in the northern woods of New Hampshire. It has 27 sites with water and electricity, 3 cabins, 23 remote sites, a dump station, a swimming area, showers, a washer and dryer, and a small store. We paid $35 for our one-night stay.

Upon arriving, we were assigned to site #2, a large site with a picnic table and fire ring. It was so big that we could have parked TWO of our rigs next to each other. The electric box and water were slightly elevated and several feet from the site pad and our electrical cord had to be fully extended in order to reach the pedestal. The water pressure was good and we had no issues with the electricity during our stay.

The main part of the park is rather congested and situated in a very tight circle right on the lake shore. The swimming area was roped off and rather shallow – so shallow that a group of kids was actually playing a game of kickball – in the water. We did not use the dump station during our visit but getting turned around after using it looked to be a challenge, as there wasn’t a true “loop” to follow in order to drive out of the park.

The park is one of the only ones we’ve stayed at that had a washer and dryer. Each only cost $1 per load, which we considered a steal. The park is dog friendly and had several clean up stations containing plastic bags so you could pick up after your pooch.

The park rents kayaks, canoes and rowboats and has several boat docks available for you to tie your boat to or fish from. You can actually paddle to the remote camp sites or pay park staff to take you there via boat if you make reservations to do so prior to your arrival. Park staff will even deliver firewood to your remote site once you are settled.

Although there are many signs in the area warning you to look out for moose, we did not see any during our drive or short stay there. We did overhear our neighbors say that they had actually seen 2 on the day we arrived. The area is great for bird watching, as we were told by park staff where to see osprey and bald eagles.

If you have Verizon as your wireless carrier, you will not have cell phone service at the park or in any of the nearby towns. Even though it was crowded during our stay, once quiet hours began it was extremely quiet and we slept well. We would definitely stay here again if we could get our same site or a cabin.

Brighton State Park, Island Pond, VT- Save your money

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After spending the past year RVing in the west and Midwest, we decided it was time to venture east. We quickly learned that the northeastern part of the country does not seem to be as RV friendly as were other parts of the country, especially when it came to larger rigs. While traveling through Vermont, we had difficulty finding campgrounds or state parks that could accommodate our 31 ft class C, as many state and federal campgrounds either don’t allow RVs or limit their length to 25 ft or less. During the weekend, those few parks that can accommodate larger RVs fill up quickly so I suggest you make advanced reservations when possible and pay close attention to additional fees when doing so.

After calling several state and federal campgrounds and being told they were all full, we were finally told that Brighton State Park, in Island Pond, VT, had a site for us. The park is open from Memorial Day weekend through the Columbus Day weekend and is located on the shores of Spectacle Pond, which, to a Texan, looked more like a lake than a pond. The park has 6 cabins, 61 tent/RV sites and 23 leantos for rent. There are no services at the tent/RV sites so be prepared to dry camp. There is a dump and fresh water hose located at the park office so you can prepare for your dry camping adventure. We paid $30 for a site on the water for our one-night stay.

After dumping and filling our fresh water tank, we ventured to our site. The pavement road ended and we were immediately on a narrow, windy gravel road with low-hanging branches. I quickly noticed that I saw no other motor homes at any of the campsites, which were mostly occupied by tents and small trailer campers. As we rounded a curve and counted the posted numbers to our site, I immediately knew that there was no way I was going to get backed into the site. Although it was plenty long enough for our rig, the narrow driveway sat between two large birch trees, giving me maybe 1 to 1 ½ feet of clearance on each side of the rig.

I quickly decided to pull into the site, which turned out to be a bad decision. Due to the large amount of erosion on the road, there was a trench leading into the site as a result of rain runoff. Once my rear dually wheels hit it, the back of the rig hit bottom and I was stuck. Luckily, we were able to use our levelers to get out of the trench and except for some dirt and gravel on our tow bar and in our generator exhaust, we had no additional damage.

Once in, we noticed the site was not very level and it took some time to get the rig leveled out. Although there were trees immediately in front of us, we did have a slight view of the pond and it was beautiful.

I immediately went to the park office and told them that our site should not have been rented out for a rig our size and told them we would need fill dirt for the trench so that we could get out the following morning. We were assured that they had fill dirt and would have someone come by the site in the morning before we left.

We had no idea how we were going to get out of the site with the two trees, the trench and the narrow road but decided to explore the park and deal with those issues later. The park has a nice little sandy beach for swimming. The water was cool but not too cold and the bottom of the pond was sandy with no weeds. You can rent kayaks, canoes or paddle boats at the park, as well as at the day use area which was located just down the road.

After taking a dip in the pond, we built a fire in the nice large fire pit. The site also had a picnic table and had been raked prior to our arrival. We chatted with our friendly neighbor, who spends 6 weeks every summer at the park in her tent camper. Although the park staff never addressed it, we learned that we could use our generator from 8:00 am – 10:00 am and again in the evening. The park was very quiet overnight and we enjoyed the sounds of a loon as we drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, we were anxious to figure out how we were going to vacate our site via the narrow driveway between two trees. The park employee with the fill dirt did not arrive until after 10 a.m. – and only had 2 buckets of dirt for our use. He indicated that the park knew the road had erosion issues and were “planning” on fixing them. He dumped the two buckets of dirt and rock and left. Using our levelers, it took us nearly an hour to get out of the site, inching back and forth until we were finally square on the road and able to drive out. It was one of the most frustrating experiences we’ve had in over a year of full-time RVing.

We would not return to Brighton State Park in a motor home but would consider camping there in a tent or small trailer. We thought that $30 for a site without any services was expensive, but we did enjoy how rustic the park was and the swimming area. If you have Verizon as your cell phone service provider, you will not have service at the park.