Author Archives: mbnorthrup

First Campground FAIL

After departing Lancaster County, we were slated to head to Lake Raystown resort, a lovely lakeside resort in western Pennsylvania. It offered lake activities, a show boat, a water park, and there was mountain biking in the vicinity. The only drawback was the the sites offered only water and electric (no sewer), but we could deal with that for a week, provided there were bath houses and a dump station. Jeff had booked a 50 amp, Premium Extra Large, Red Carpet site. Sounded great – what could go wrong?

The resort itself is out of the way, forcing us to traverse narrow, winding and hilly roads to get there. Fortunately, Jeff is an expert driver now and we arrived uneventfully at the guard station. We were handed our car tags and a map. Now usually the person in the office will give us explicit instructions on how to navigate to our site, where best to unhook our toad, etc. I had to ask for that information – and that was probably my first clue that, just perhaps, things may not go smoothly. We were given directions and suggested that we unhook on the road just in front of our campsite. OK, off we go.

Let me explain that this campground is Very Hilly. Campsites are terraced in rows up the hillside and the single lane, one way roads around the campsites is correspondingly hilly, We needed a flat spot to unhook. We proceeded according to directions and came to the place we were to turn — a narrow, hairpin turn that our big rig couldn’t possibly make without backing up, which you cannot do while towing. We bypassed our turn, eventually found a reasonable place to unhook, parked the bus along the side of the road, and drove the truck to our campsite to reconnoiter. Our site was plenty big enough, so fine. We went back, picked up the bus, drove back down and around again to the narrow turn, made it after pulling up and backing up, and drove on to our site, backing into the space. Success!

Uh, not so fast. Our assigned site was ridiculously unlevel. Like, several percent grade unlevel. Not only back to front sloped, also side to side sloped! They made a huge campsite by throwing a bunch of gravel on the hillside, but didn’t bother to level anything. We were camping down a hill. To approach level, we would have had to jack up the front about 3 FEET which wasn’t possible. So we hopped into the truck and went to the office to assess our options.

We had arrived on Labor Day, so the park was fairly empty on the Monday, but was fully booked for the upcoming weekend. They offered us a site that is normally closed after Labor Day, but said they could keep it open for another week. It was a big rig concrete pad site. Sold! We raced back up there to review the site and ….. the prior occupant hadn’t vacated yet (it was after 3 pm and check out was 11 am). He was nice, we politely asked him to vacate (but not rush), and he promptly did so. So a bit later, we headed over to the new location.

Did I mention this park was Very Hilly? The concrete pad was level, but the single lane road in front of the pad is not level. Jeff pulled up the motorhome, positioned himself, and began backing into the site. I always spot him because he has a number of blind spots, especially while backing. As he approached the pad, the rear end of the motorhome dipped lower and lower on the slope, until I frantically waved him off! Our Blue Ox tow bar was about to scrape due to the slope. He pulled back up, and we removed the tow bar accessory from the back to give us a few inches. Backed up again – no good. The road was too sloped for the bus to make it.

So Jeff thought he would flip the motorhome around and come at it from the other side. That involved much maneuvering and a long stretch of backing up, but finally he came at it from the other direction. Back, back, back, scraaaaaape — STOP STOP! The hitch scraped. He pulled up and tried yet a different angle. Back, back, back, scraaaaaape STOP STOP! This time the engine pipe scraped the pavement. There was just No Possible Way for us to physically get into this site.

Defeated, we drove the motorhome back to the original site, hopped into the truck and drove back to the office. By now it was after 5 pm and we had spent nearly 3 hours mucking around, trying to find a suitable site. The office stated they had no other options for us, but would give us a full refund. Since it was late and we had nowhere else to go, we asked to park in the original area for the night, and they agreed.

The electrical outlet was way, way at the back of the site, but by pulling out all 50 feet of our electrical cord we were able to at least plug in for the night and save running the generator. Fortunately, we had plenty of water on board and empty holding tanks, so no worries. We scrambled to find alternate last minute camping accommodations and was able to book a KOA near Cleveland.

The next morning, I had to hold the tea kettle while it was heating, because it kept sliding toward the front edge of the stove. Ridiculous slope.

So, this was our first complete campground fail. Their website sure sounded like it was big rig friendly, but it is NOT. The roads are narrow, with turns that are too sharp, and the campsite slope was unworkable for a rig of our length. Maybe they have other sites that are better, but I didn’t see any. It’s just as well — they didn’t have ANY full hook up sites (no sewer connections) and the shower houses were few, far apart, and not that nice. I don’t see how they could adequately service that many campsites with so few bath houses AND no sewer hookups.

On the plus side, it was a beautiful wooded setting. In the one night we were there, we saw a groundhog puttering around and several deer. If we had a boat and a small rig, it probably would have been great.

But, not for us.

Campground Review: Country Acres Campground, Gordonville, PA

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Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Country Acres Campground
  • Dates of stay: Aug 22 – Sep 7, 2020
  • Location: 9850 Minyoung Rd, Ravenna, OH 44266
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $59.46 /night
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: 2 weeks limit 
  • Accepts mail / packages: yes
  • Cell reception: ATT good
  • Website: www.countryacrescamping.com
  • Pros: Clean, big rig friendly sites
  • Cons: a little pricey, limited amenities

Full Review

Country Acres offers a lovely campground right in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish Country. A sizeable campground with over 180 sites, only about a dozen are truly big rig friendly with 50 amp full hookups. These are located at the front end of the property with a layout sufficiently roomy for the largest rigs.

Our back in gravel site was level and spacious. We didn’t even need to use leveling blocks at all, for the first time in weeks. Our full hookups (including 50 amp electrical) appeared new and worked perfectly. The sewer drain actually flowed downhill of our rig, which was awesome. The cable TV connection was strong and provided around 75 choice channels.  Being in civilization (for a change), our ATT signal worked well, and the free/open campground wifi also was quite usable. Our site was satellite-friendly as well for our Direct TV.

The campground amenities included a coin laundry, swimming pool, dog run, meeting pavilion and three bath houses. I absolutely loved the bath house nearest us — new, clean, beautifully tiled, and spacious. It was absolutely the nicest bathroom I’d seen since Disney.

The company that owns this campground also owns other motels and businesses in the area. One of their perks is a free bus tour of Amish country, which I highly recommend. (No cost for the tour, but the drivers do work for tips). Due to the length of our stay, we also received coupons for the nearby Bird-in-Hand restaurant for either a free breakfast or $9 off any meal per person. We used it for the lunch buffet, which covered more than half of our check.

The cost wasn’t nominal at nearly $60/night, but it was a flawless stay. The site was great, the bath room was beautiful, the office staff was friendly, and it put us right where we wanted to be. Worth it.

Bottom Line: Great park in a great location.

Pennsylvania – Amish, Philly, and more

So far this year, my favorite area to visit has been Pennsylvania Amish country and its environs. As mentioned previously, I feel a certain kinship with the Amish sect as a result of my Plain upbringing. So, settling in for two weeks in their area felt very comfortable.

Our very first stop was the sweet town of Hershey. We stopped at the Hershey Chocolate World complex and took the historical trolley tour. I’m always interested in learning how successful people became successful. To me, Milton Hershey was particularly interesting not only because he became successful from nothing, but because he failed several times before becoming successful. By the time he started the business that would eventually spin off into the big Hershey chocolate company we know today, he was a three-time failure that no one would lend money to except his aunt (who mortgaged her house to give him start up capital). Hershey believed in helping workers in all aspects of their life, so built a model town, selling houses to his employees at cost. Times have changed, of course, but it must have been a remarkable place to work back then. Hershey and his wife couldn’t have children, so they founded a school for orphan boys, to provide them a home, an education and a trade. The school still exists today, although it is for needy boys AND girls, not just orphans. After losing his beloved wife, Hershey essentially gave his wealth to the Hershey Foundation, that continues to fund the school and other associated good works today. Just remarkable.

Back in Amish country, I happily took advantage of a free bus tour, provided by the campground. Our driver was a delightful Mennonite lady who was born of Amish parents (they became Mennonite when she was a child) and who also taught in an Amish school for a number of years. She proved to be an excellent tour guide as we drove the bucolic countryside, making a couple of shop-stops along the way.

I already knew quite a lot about the Amish culture and lifestyle, but a couple of things surprised me. For example, I didn’t know how much tobacco was still grown in the area. A labor-intensive endeavor to grow, pick and dry the tobacco leaves, it is nevertheless a significant cash crop for the area. Along with the usual cows, horses, sheep and goats, I was also surprised to view camels (for milk) and deer (farmed for venison). I had no idea the Amish were cultivating such exotic products. We traveled through several square miles of territory in which there was no electrical service – period. It had never been needed so electrical lines were never run there. And it is unlikely that any will ever be needed since the Amish tend to hold onto their farmland. Nearly 95% of children that are born Amish stay in the lifestyle, so the sect is constantly growing and seeking new land and new occupations. Just fascinating! We indulged in traditional Amish cooking and treats – pie, cake, cookies, kettle corn, and fresh pretzels! Yum!

We even took in a stage show — the first one for us in this COVID time. The show was at the Bird-in-Hand Theater, entitled “The Gut Life”. The theater limited attendance to half capacity (or less) and spaced the seats for each party so that everyone was suitably socially distanced. Masks were required, guests were dismissed after the show by rows, and there was no actor “meet and greet”. The show itself was a two person play. The premise was that this was an Amish married couple that had invited you (the audience) into their living room. They reminisced about their life, sharing about the Amish way of life. It was funny and entertaining and the music was well done. I do love live theater and it was so refreshing to be able to attend a show after all this time!

We also took a couple of day trips into nearby Philadelphia, to explore one of the oldest cities in America. Many landmarks, such as Independence Hall, are COVID-closed, but we could view them from the outside. We peered through glass at the Liberty Bell. We wandered around, drooling, at the Reading Terminal Market. We indulged in an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich. We were able to tour the Museum of the American Revolution, a well-laid out display that very logically explained the factors leading up to the War, and the sequence of events. It was the second best war museum I’ve seen (in my opinion), second only to the World War II museum in New Orleans.

Philadelphia is a grand old town, but it is looking tired and dirty. Homeless people are blatantly evident, and an entire tent city has been established in a park near the museum district. Attempts by officials to deal with these issues simply aren’t working. We felt safe enough during the day, but I’m not sure I’d want to wander around after dark. It’s a shame, really. By late afternoon, we headed back out to the clean and safe countryside.

Continuing with the historic theme, we visited the historic sites of Valley Forge and Gettysburg. Gettysburg was simply massive, with an enormous number of monuments. The visitor center movie, cyclorama and museum provided a historical perspective of the site before we took ourselves on the self-guided auto tour. The scene now is so peaceful, it’s difficult to imagine such a bloody battle taking place there. War is such a waste.

Our two weeks here just flew by! But all too soon, it was time to move on.

Campground Review: Lake George RV Park

Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Lake George RV Park
  • Dates of stay: August 14-23, 2020
  • Location: 74 State Rd 149, Lake George, NY 12845
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $135/night (weekly rate)
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: none (closed in winter)
  • Accepts mail / packages: did not ask
  • Cell reception: ATT good
  • Website: www.lakegeorgervpark.com
  • Pros: tons of amenities, nice big rig sites
  • Cons: roads can be tight, very expensive

Full Review

Lake George RV Park is a destination family RV resort with almost too many amenities to list. But here goes: several pools, an onsite water park, fishing pond, bike trails, paddleboats, fitness center, tennis and basketball courts, horse shoes, coin laundry, trading post, cafe, arcades, movie theaters and even a theater with live shows. ALL of these are included in your RV site fees, which for us was a hefty $135/night! That ranks up with one of the most expensive site’s we’ve ever had, including Disney! Due to COVID, some activities and facilities were not available. But even during COVID, a few live theater shows went on, with limited admission, mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.

Our site was a large gravel pull through. The single lane, one-way road was tight getting to our site, but once there, we were able to pull in with no problem. The large site was fully long enough for all of our vehicles, and reasonably level. It was full hookup (50 amp) and included cable TV. It was not satellite friendly though, but there were enough cable channels to serve our needs. The campground wifi was usable for basic needs, as was our ATT hotspot. One nice perk was the daily trash pickup from our site.

Another free perk was trolley transportation around the park. We had our bicycles for transportation, but I could see how a trolley would be nice because the resort is HUGE and hilly.

We went to some of the shows and used the bath house facilities which were modern, clean and nice. You can catch a bike path just outside the RV park which leads to Lake George (the town) 4 or 5 miles away. Just keep in mind that it’s primarily DOWN to the lake so it’s mainly UP back to the RV park. The Outlet Mall shops are only a couple of miles up the road.

If we had young children, this would be a fantastic place to vacation. The water park alone was spectacular for an RV park, let alone the ice cream shop, free paddle boats, and free family-friendly variety shows. We didn’t take advantage of most of this, but seeing happy children at play was very nice.

Bottom Line: Quite expensive, but amenities galore – especially for families with children.

Lake George, NY

After spending time in the relative wilds of Acadia National Park, White Mountains of New Hampshire and Green Mountains of Vermont, emerging into the touristy busy-ness of Lake George was almost disorientating. Lake George (the town) located on the shores of Lake George (the lake), in the mountains of the Adirondacks, reminds me very much of Gatlinburg. It has outlet malls, a downtown strip of shops and eateries, and lots of touristy things to do.

The area is also rich in history, being the site of Fort William Henry which was active during the French and Indian war and also featured in the novel “The Last of The Mohicans”. The original fort existed only for 2 years – built in 1855 and burned down by the French in 1857, then rebuilt in the original footprint in the 1950s. A replica was also built in North Carolina as a set for the Last of the Mohicans movie. We toured the 1950s rebuilt version, complete with living history interpreters.

We bicycled to and through the town, and took a lake cruise with the Lake George Steamboat Company. Lake George was where the rich and famous of New York came to play and build expansive summer homes on the lakeside. We cruised by several of the remaining mansions and weaved through the surprising number of islands. Most of the islands are part of the New York park system, available for picnicking and camping.

Farther up in the Adirondack mountains lies the Ausible Chasm, a water-carved gorge. Boardwalks and suspension bridges allowed us to get up close and personal in the narrow chasm. In non-COVID years, an adventure ropes course and rafting would be available.

Still farther north, in the highest mountain section of the Adirondacks lies Lake Placid, home to two winter Olympic Games (1932, 1980). We visited the ski jump training center to watch young hopefuls train by jumping, spinning and flipping into a bubbling swimming pool. We also rode a cable car up to the top of the mountain, then took an elevator to the tip top of the 130 meter ski jump. We walked out onto the platform to peer down the view a jumper would see just before they committed to the deed. No Thank You!!

Lake George gave me a much-needed dose of civilization after weeks in the boonies. We were able to shop and dine, in a responsible and socially-distant manner. It felt good.

Next up …. Pennsylvania Amish country ….

Campground Review: Abel Mountain Campground, Braintree VT

Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Abel Mountain Campground
  • Dates of stay:  8/7-14/20
  • Location: 354 Mobile Acres Road, Braintree, VT 05060
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $34.29 / night
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit:  none (closes in winter)
  • Accepts mail / packages: did not ask
  • Cell reception: ATT fair
  • Website: abelmountain.com
  • Pros: moderate price, has big rig sites
  • Cons: bath house closed due to COVID

Full Review

We chose this spot as a park near the Green Mountains. We were given one of their big rig capable sites in a satellite-friendly location. Our enormous back-in grassy site was reasonably level and included full hookups (50 amp electric) and cable TV. Our ATT signal for internet was only fair, The office gave us wifi codes for three devices, but the wifi strength at our location wasn’t workable. We made do with our anemic ATT hotspot. Between the cable TV and our satellite dish, we had plenty of TV to watch. The campground has a number of amenities including a pool, pavilion for activities, basketball park and coin laundry. They also have two bath houses, which were closed for the 2020 season due to COVID. It seems ironic that the pool was open, while the bathrooms were closed. (So, just pee in the pool, my sister quipped on our weekly family Skype call! LOL) We were stuck (once again this year) using our own facilities including our semi-functional shower. Overall, the campground consists of about half seasonal residents and about half are sites for overnight travelers. In normal years, the campground organizes a number of activities and entertainment but — COVID. Of all the campground we visited so far during the pandemic, this was the only campground that called us ahead of time to find out where we were traveling from. Since we had just spent two weeks in a low-incidence area (White Mountains of NH), we were allowed to come. Otherwise they would have cancelled us due to the Vermont traveler quarantine restrictions. The campground suited our needs for our brief week stay, although not having bath house facilities was an inconvenience. In normal years, that wouldn’t be an issue. After our prior campground in New Hampshire, I WAS grateful to have 50 amp electrical service as we experienced some unseasonably hot weather during our stay. Bottom Line: Decent campground for the area, book early if you need a big rig site.

Campground Review: Twin Mountain RV Park, Twin Mountain, NH

070Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Twin Mountain Motor Court & RV Park
  • Dates of stay: 7/24/20 – 8/7/20 (2 weeks)
  • Location: 554 Route 3 South, Twin Mountain, NH 03595
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $34.71 / night (with Good Sam discount)
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: closed in winter
  • Accepts mail / packages: yes
  • Cell reception: ATT fair
  • Website: tmmcrv.com
  • Pros: Moderate price, friendly owner, long gravel site
  • Cons: 30 amp service, no bath house

Full Review

Finding a suitable campground (for us) in the White Mountains proved challenging. Most in this area are older parks, not designed for big rigs. This small campground won out due to its location, layout and openness as seen via satellite. We were confident we could maneuver our beast around it.

Our site was well-packed gravel – nice and long. We put blocks under our front wheels and manually operated our jacks to achieve a decently level state.  The site included a fire ring and picnic table. The good news is that there was good water pressure, sewer hookup (a bit uphill, but not too bad), very nice cable TV service, and the site was satellite friendly. The negative is that it was only provided a 30 amp hookup.

The total facility consisted of a small hotel, cottages, and a modest number of RV sites. The property recently changed hands, and the new owner couldn’t have been more friendly. He not only accepted packages, he DELIVERED them, right to our door!  Our AT&T hotspot reception wasn’t good, but the free campground wifi was surprisingly usable. Being there during the height of Covid-19, however, meant that the laundry, pool, rec room, and playground facilities were closed. And the campground doesn’t have a bath house at all, catering only to self-contained RVs, even in normal times.

The biggest hassle for me was dealing with the limited 30 amp service. Our stay included some unusually hot weather and being able to run only one AC unit wasn’t optimal. On 30 amp service,  you have to choose which energy hogging device you want to use — either you can run an AC unit, OR cook something, OR do laundry. Had the weather been typically cool, it would have been easier to manage.

This location is somewhat remote – you are about 30 minutes from Gorham with its Walmart and shopping/dining options. The place was very quiet, partially due to its location and partially due to low occupancy during these pandemic times. The cost was reasonable at around $35/night, with the Good Sam discount.

I wasn’t really enamored with the area, so not sure I’d be back in any case. But the new owner has big plans to renovate, including upgrading the electric to 50 amp. Worth at least checking out if you want to stay in that area.

Bottom Line: Big rig friendly layout, friendly owner, and decent site – but only 30 amp service and no bath house.

New Hampshire and Vermont

Leaving Acadia National Park, we began our long slow westward trek toward our winter destination of Tucson. First stop – New Hampshire White Mountains.

The high point (literally) of the White Mountains is Mount Washington. There are three ways to ascend to the top — via train, road, or on foot (hiking). We lucked into a clear day and opted for the motor trail, a steep winding and narrow road to the peak. Signs posted at the fee station state “If you are afraid of heights, you may not enjoy this driving experience”! The lower section isn’t so bad, but the upper sections can be very narrow (especially for two-way traffic) and there are NO guardrails! I have to admit, there were sections that I hid my eyes, so it was a good thing that I wasn’t the driver!

The peak offers 360 degrees of spectacular views. Known for some of the most extreme weather on earth, we experienced it on a (relatively) warm and only slightly breezy day.

Also while in the area, we rented a Razor and went 4-wheeling (my first time). Although tooling around in the vehicle had its moments, and it was nice weather to be outdoors, it’s not a sport I could become passionate about. And at the end of the dusty day, we were absolutely filthy! I think we ended up throwing Jeff’s white technical shirt away after two washings couldn’t remove the dirt stains.

The White mountains offers abundant hiking, but I found hiking in the northeast to be uber steep, rocky, and generally Not Fun. Jeff took on an epic Franconia Ridge hike and declared it to be one of the most fabulous view hikes ever, but it was too strenuous for me to attempt at my current fitness level. Even he hobbled for three days afterward! Maybe one day, when I’m in better shape.

Moving on from the Whites, we headed into verdant Vermont farm country. A highlight there was a visit to a maple syrup farm. It was out of season to see the harvesting of course, but we could walk up to their sugar maple grove to view the network of tubing that is used (in conjunction with low vacuum) to extract the maximum maple sap with the minimum effort. Vermont requires maple syrup to be “graded” based upon color and taste: Golden, Amber, Dark and Very Dark. The sugar content is identical, but the color varies depending on the weather and time of year the sap is collected. We were able to sample and I found the taste was surprisingly different. The lightest (golden) only delicately tastes of maple, while the very dark tastes dense, almost vegetable-like. I like Amber and Dark the best for cooking and pancakes!

We rode the motorcycle around and over the Green Mountains and explored the local ski resort of Killington. Killington offered summertime downhill mountain biking which he took advantage of – twice!

After our short Vermont stay, we continued west and south into New York.

Campground Review: Timberland Acres RV Park, Trenton, ME

069Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Timberland Acres RV Park
  • Dates of stay:7/17/20 – 7/24/20 (1 week)
  • Location: 57 Bar Harbor Rd, Trenton, ME 04605
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $53.95/night (with Good Sam discount)
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: none – closed in winter
  • Accepts mail / packages: did not ask
  • Cell reception: ATT ok
  • Website: www.timberlandacresrvpark.com
  • Pros: close to Acadia, big rig friendly
  • Cons: a little pricey

Full Review

This park advertised itself as being big rig friendly, and it was. Easy to pull in, easy pull-through long gravel sites, and easy out. No complaints there!

Our site was easily long enough to accommodate our rig and toad. We were in an open section, which made it satellite-friendly. The 50 amp electric, water and sewer hookups worked well. The sewer was slightly uphill for us, which doesn’t seem to be unusual these days. Our site was equipped with a fire ring and picnic table.

This park has quite a few seasonal sites / residents. Even with Covid, there were a few organized activities, mostly for the kids. In non-pandemic times, I expect there are a lot more planned activity options. We partook of a special campground dinner – choice of roast pork or chicken with 3 sides for $15 each. I had no quibble with the sides (baked beans, cole slaw, mac N cheese and cornbread), but the meat portion was extremely stingy. I got a single chicken drumstick and Jeff got about 3 ounces of tough pork. I guess it was a fundraiser for the park, because it certainly wasn’t a value meal!

At this park, most of the amenities were open — coin laundry, bath house, pool, and playground. The inside rec room and arcade were closed due to the pandemic. The only amenity I used was the bath house, which was clean, tiled and in good condition. Our AT&T hotspot got just OK reception but the free campground wifi was usable. Our satellite TV reception worked perfectly which was good because there was almost no over the air TV stations available and no cable TV hookup.

The best aspect of this park was its proximity to Mt Desert Island and Acadia National Park. The Park entrance and Bar Harbor were only about 20 minutes away. The town of Trenton also offers shopping and dining options. There are closer campgrounds to Acadia, but none we saw that were as big rig friendly as this one.

Bottom Line: Large, big rig friendly site near Acadia park.

Campground Review: Wassampki Springs Campground, Scarborough, ME

068Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Wassampki Springs Campground
  • Dates of stay: June 19 – Jul 16, 2020 (4 weeks)
  • Location: 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME 04074
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent
  • Cost: $56.25/night (monthly rate)
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: none – closed in winter
  • Accepts mail / packages: yes
  • Cell reception: ATT decent
  • Website: wassamkisprings.com
  • Pros: great amenities and location
  • Cons: a bit pricey, bath house could use updating

Full Review

This large campground is located only about 20 minutes from downtown Portland, and is perfectly positioned as a base to explore Southeastern Maine.

Our site is located in an open grassy newer area of the facility, which makes it both big rig and satellite friendly. Our long gravel site was hard packed and reasonably level. The full hook ups included 50 amp electrical service, water, sewer, and a robust cable TV hookup with nearly 60 stations. We could pull in over the air channels from Portland, as well as our normal satellite TV channels. Our ATT hotspot wasn’t bad, since we were near civilization, and the campground wifi wasn’t bad. Our wide site included a picnic table and fire ring. It should be noted that the grassy areas could become flooded after heavy rains – it didn’t drain quickly.

The centerpiece of this campground is its freshwater lake, used by (paying) day guests as well as campground visitors. The lake was bordered on two sides with wide sandy beaches and sizeable swimming area. The lake was also large enough for small non motorized craft such as kayaks, Standup or canoe. During the hot summer days of our stay, the lake area could be quite busy with day visitors.

The campground has quite a number of seasonal visitors and permanent units. Normally, this type of campground would be my ideal — tons of planned activities and amenities. But …. Covid. For the most part, planned activities were canceled, although there were occasional bands that played outdoors so as to observe proper social distancing.  I did attend one session of weekly bingo at the Rec hall, but was uncomfortable with the lack of mask wearing indoors and didn’t go back. The store was open, but the Snack Bar was closed. I did use the bath houses, but found them to be aged and not particularly esthetically pleasing. Think “old school” summer camp with cement floors and walls, and old wooden dividers. Because of the volume of visitors, they frequently had swaths of tracked in sand from the beach. They were perfectly usable, but not my favorite bath houses out there. The campground also had a laundry facility, picnic area, horseshoe pits, volleyball court, playground, and one lone pickleball court.

Wassampki Springs offered a great location for exploring the area. The amenities and shopping of Portland were nearby and we explored little Maine towns up and down the coast. The staff and guests were friendly. We received several packages during our stay with no problem – just picked them up at the office.

Our cost averaged about $56/night, which is about right if all of the activities and amenities are open and ongoing. With the Covid restrictions, it seemed a bit pricey for what you actually got. I would give it another go, in a post-Covid world.

Bottom Line: Nice base for exploring Portland area, some facilities could use updating.