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Old 12-01-2017, 06:41 AM   #57
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Here is a loop we rode last spring near Lum's pond.

https://www.strava.com/activities/999599248

We didn't think the traffic was too bad on this loop. We had spent the weekend camping at Elk Neck State Park. It is another good park for camping and kayaking, but decent biking requires driving a few miles to a ride start.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:26 AM   #58
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I'd say that in general, I'm more impressed by the way Virginia does state parks than Pennsylvania. That could just be a function of the ones we have randomly selected.



Bob

Bob

I enjoy living in Va but not their state parks. We are 40 miles from Smith Mountain Lake State Park and the camping there is a joke. Sites are a little small and close together and they are not even on the lake! Very poorly designed. You have to drive 2 miles to get to the lake. I asked the state park office about this and their response was that their rental cabins are on the lake. I might add that the state park owns 16 miles of shoreline on the lake.

For the best waterfront camping we go to the North Bend COE campground about 100 miles away on Kerr lake. This is a first class campground. One great feature is that if you donít need hook ups you can show up on Friday and find a site that is close to the water. Pm me for details.

Dan
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:29 AM   #59
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That Sheetz is where we ended up getting gas! We just had the truck though...

I'm curious what you like better about the VA parks? I've only been to Shenandoah (and it was fabulous!) but I didn't like driving around to find an open spot. Much prefer reserving a specific spot.
Hi

Based on a limited sample from each state, I find the VA seems to keep the parks better maintained. There also is a more obvious presence of workers around the park. Repairs appear to actually get done when this and that breaks. My guess is that part of this is that the PA parks we have been to date at least to the early 1930's and the VA parks we have been to are not as old.

I happen to like the "random" process on the campsites. I like the idea of being able to pick a site *or* go in the find a site pool even more. Trying to pick a site with near zero info ... not so easy. We try to travel mid week. Rolling around an empty campground looking at spots is part of the fun.

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Old 12-01-2017, 07:32 AM   #60
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We really enjoy North Bend Campground John Kerr Reservoir. It's an Army Corps of Engineer facility. Great private campsites, many on the lake, very nice paved bike trails, boat ramps, modern and well maintained shower/restrooms. One loop is open all year round with some electric sites available. Easy run out VA Hwy 58. We've had our AS 1 year and have camped there twice and are planning a winter trip.


I completely agree! It is probably the best lakefront camping place in the state. Most sites are reservable but they do keep a few available for first come. You can show up on a Tuesday or Wednesday and snag a nice site with electric and water. If you donít need hook ups you can show up on Friday!

Dan
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:02 AM   #61
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Hi

I would never argue that the state parks (in any state I've lived in) measure up to the COE sites. Some states do a better job than other states. None of them seem to be able to do as good a job as the COE.

Bob
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:29 AM   #62
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Hi



I happen to like the "random" process on the campsites. I like the idea of being able to pick a site *or* go in the find a site pool even more. Trying to pick a site with near zero info ... not so easy. We try to travel mid week. Rolling around an empty campground looking at spots is part of the fun.



Bob


Bob

I agree and it is part of the fun. We only make reservations when we absolutely have to and/or are familiar with the campground. At North Bend COE, we usually reserve a site but their policy is that they will allow you to move to another site if one is available. I like that.

Dan
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:32 AM   #63
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Ya'll are making me jealous! We're weekend warriors and try to limit 3-day trips within 150 miles...travelling without reservations is darn near impossible in this (over)crowded area. Retirement can't come soon enough...
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:39 AM   #64
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Welcome Blackdog. This is starting to look like a solid group.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:21 AM   #65
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Ya'll are making me jealous! We're weekend warriors and try to limit 3-day trips within 150 miles...travelling without reservations is darn near impossible in this (over)crowded area. Retirement can't come soon enough...
I agree for weekend trips just getting out of town (Baltimore or Washington) is the biggest challenge. The traffic on 495 on a Sunday night is unbelievable. When we camp we try to leave on a Thursday but that means taking a day off of work.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:56 AM   #66
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I agree for weekend trips just getting out of town (Baltimore or Washington) is the biggest challenge. The traffic on 495 on a Sunday night is unbelievable. When we camp we try to leave on a Thursday but that means taking a day off of work.
We usually camp every other weekend as we both work a 9-80 schedule. Leaving Thursday night makes a huge difference but we still try to avoid the *95's and the Bay Bridge when possible. Traffic, work, popularity of parks, etc., takes all the spontaneity out of camping. Sad, but we've got all of our trips booked into mid-July already...
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:26 AM   #67
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At our favorite/regular campgrounds, we generally make reservations as soon as we can (MD & DE: 1 year, PA: 11 mo. Federal: 6 months). That way we get the sites we like. Plus we can build other family/etc. activities around our camping dates. This is especially true at the beaches, as those sites get booked up early. We usually do 5/6 trips a year to the ocean. Of course, our reservation booking is mainly for the peak seasons, in the early spring and late fall we generally just pick one when we get there.

Sometimes we also bring our car along on our beach trips as there is nothing like driving with the top down along the ocean on a nice summer evening. This picture was taken just north of Delaware Seashore State Park, looking out over Rehobeth Bay on a perfect June evening last summer. For me, there is nothing like a sunset over the water.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:27 AM   #68
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Shenandoah River SP

We have been impressed with Shenandoah River State Park. Nice trails. Great scenery. Good canoeing. Great campground. It is also one of several VA State Parks that is open year round. Not too far off 81.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #69
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We have been impressed with Shenandoah River State Park. Nice trails. Great scenery. Good canoeing. Great campground. It is also one of several VA State Parks that is open year round. Not too far off 81.
Agreed. We will be back during warmer weather for some river fun. The dog loved it, we loved it and as you say it is a short drive from the burbs.

I'm working on a solo trip to LUMs Pond for some bike riding. I'll wait for this cold front to pass by first.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:53 AM   #70
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Ya'll are making me jealous! We're weekend warriors and try to limit 3-day trips within 150 miles...travelling without reservations is darn near impossible in this (over)crowded area. Retirement can't come soon enough...
Hi

We got spoiled rotten when we lived out in Kansas. The COE had a lot of great locations that didn't fill up. We were in tents so that helped as well.

Once we got back to the east, we hit exactly the problem you describe. Toss on top of it two jobs and strange schedules from each of them. That made it all very crazy to do much of anything.

Indeed, getting back to camping is one of the great parts of (finally) retiring. I got "pushed", but I'm glad it happened.

Bob
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