We camped here this past weekend (Labor Day 2013) and had the best time. The park itself has a great deal to do, with a hiking trails, nature center, biking, birdwatching, history, cave tours, and more. They have the best camp store we've ever encountered: fully stocked with just about everything you can imagine (fresh foods of all kinds, RV supplies, activities, snacks of all stripe, a wide variety of cold drinks, even camp cookbooks! Our site (#16) had a steep grade, they called it 'extreme' but we could not level out. The entire spot, except one small patch, was hard packed dirt and the vehicle area was gravel. (A bit dusty since it had not rained in some time.) Water was easily reachable, located between out site and the site just next door, and the electric hookup was immediately next to the parking area. Our electric tested out and worked perfectly, (not often the case) and the water was clean and fully functional. The sites appear to be kept very clean and in good shape all over the park. We saw park staff in repair vehicles working on the bathroom once and repairing a faulty pedestal in another spot. Housekeeping cleaned the bathrooms twice a day when we were here: very impressive! Although the facilities were not new, they were very well kept up with and in great shape. Firewood was $4.25 per bundle at the camp store, and although we didn't buy any, they have plenty of ice on hand at reasonable prices. I'm not sure if the bicycle rentals were reasonable or not, but given the prices for everything else I'd say that they were completely fair. The bikes themselves were in good shape and there were a good number to rent. For those interested in activities, the pool is huge, clean, and very inviting, the nature center is very well laid out with a good deal of literature and signage, in addition to very friendly staff. The hiking trails are well marked and offer great variety (waterfront, old growth forest, Karst topography features, etc.). The short cave tour is by flat bottom boat and is well worth the $3 fee (arrive at 9am to book whatever time you want, they sell out early and you can only book for that day.) The historic village is in amazing shape, had plenty of staff on hand when we were here, and is truly beautiful. If you like CCC history (as I do) this is a great place to visit: the CCC did quite a bit here and it shows. Park staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we were very positively impressed with them given the extreme load on the park during the holiday weekend. They have two dump stations (located at the camper check-in as they often are) to speed exiting, but the line was quite long given that the park was at full capacity for the holiday. We don't use them so I can's speak to their condition, but at a glance they appeared to be clean and well maintained as far as I could tell from 5 feet away. We have added this park to our top parks list and plan to return regularly. It's a fantastic park with so much to do, great staff, and great camping!
We stayed for two nights and had an excellent time! The park is obviously popular, and we found most all of the sites were booked once we arrived (we made reservations and about 65% of the spots were booked one month ahead of our visit.) The park staff were very courteous and all facilities we used were clean and well cared for. The power pedestal was a standard type, in good condition, and our’s had no issues at all. There was heavy tree cover over the entire loop where we stayed (Loop E – 222) and the parking pad (gravel and grass) was completely level despite the rolling terrain in the campground area. There was a great deal of open space around our site, which would have allowed for just about any sized awning or temporary structure to be setup. We had a standard picnic-type charcoal grill, which was nice, that was in good shape, even if it was a bit full of ashes. The bathrooms were very clean and in older, but perfectly good condition, had a good number of facilities so that even with the loop fully populated there was no waiting. An especially nice thing that they had in our loop was a dish-washing sink that the camp host maintained (he was located in our loop and was a very kindly older gentleman.) He took great care to make sure that people did not wash their dishes in the lavatories and clog them up, even going so far as to provide a scouring pad for those without their own (we passed, but it was nice of him to keep one handy.) The park office sold wood but we did not purchase any so I’m not sure how much they charged per bundle. The park roads were all well maintained, but somewhat heavily traveled at all hours, and the staff were all friendly and courteous at all times. We only saw trash on the ground on one of the more obscure trails while we were there – the rest of the park was pristine as far as that goes. There were deer - everywhere - in the park the whole time we were there. There is a large conference center on site, which hosts a nice gift shop and a buffet (all three meals!) if you want a break from camp cooking. We ate at the dinner buffet and enjoyed it greatly. The trails were fairly well marked and there was plenty to do in the park. We were there for two nights and were able to hike all the trails, see four huge waterfalls and do a lot of wildlife viewing. There is also an exceptionally nice nature center that has a good selection of books, pamphlets, exhibits, etc. that is worth a visit. We put this park on our “must visit again” list and would recommend it to anyone.
We stayed for two nights and despite the large number of reservations, there were not that many other campers in the park. The facilities were well used and showing their age, but mostly clean. Our electrical hookup had some issue – one half of the 15amp duplex outlet was damaged (not uncommon I suppose) but the other worked just fine. In the past, the park has had issues with power supply, especially during the hotter months of the year, but they recently removed electrical service from a number of sites and improved the wiring – we had no issues at all with it while we were there. The grass around our spot was well maintained (not too tall, etc.) and there was a decent amount of space between us and our neighbors, although there was nothing to block the view between spots (not that big of a deal to us, but some people don’t like that.) There was also plenty of room to setup equipment on either side of the space, play games, etc. The fire pit was in good shape and was not overly filled with trash or ashes from previous campers. The parking space, as well as the park roads, well paved, but were showing a good deal of use (and abuse), although nothing that would cause an issue – no potholes, etc., just a lot of cracks and rough edges. Ours was completely level, which was nice, and from what I could see all the others were like this as well. All of the spots where we were were were pull in – back out, but there could be pull-through spots elsewhere in another loop. We did not have an issue with this since our camper is a van conversion and fairly easy to maneuver. The bathrooms were clean and in reasonably good condition, although the showers looked fairly old and were showing a lot of rust in places. The bathroom nearest us had a fair number of facilities (showers, toilets, sinks, etc.) but I can see people queuing up if the park were full. The park sold wood, but we did not buy any so I’m not certain how much they charged. There were numerous locations to get water (but no hook-ups in our loop), to manually dump waste water (buckets, etc.) and trash. The staff were all friendly and courteous at all times and we never saw any trash or litter of any kind on the ground while we were there, in any part of the park, but we never saw more than two park employees the whole time (and no camp host.) There were some small trails between the loops and a short trail that led to a large lake (the main attraction in this area), but little else to do in the park itself. We did visit a nearby park to do some hiking (Caesar Creek Gorge) and there is a very quaint little town just down the road from the park that is well worth a visit. If you like to bicycle there is a rails-to-trails path just outside the park that is also very, very nice. We enjoyed our stay, but I’m not sure if this is a park that we would go back to unless it was along our path on a longer trip and we just needed to stay overnight.
We stayed here over Memorial Day Weekend and even with the packed park and numerous once-a-year campers the park staff were exceptionally polite and all facilities we used were clean and well cared for. We were unable to get an electric spot due to making late reservations, so I can't comment on the electric hookups, but our spot had no issues at all. The grass had been recently cut, but with a wide space of tall grass between the spots on either side of us, which was nice. There was also plenty of room to setup a 10’x10’ screen room on one side of our camper, and lots of room on the other side to play bocce. The fire pit was in great shape and was not overly filled with trash or ashes from previous campers. The parking areas in the non-electric loop lots were all gravel, but not overly dusty. Ours had a slight slope, especially toward the road end, but this was easily dealt with and the slope did not cause any issues. Most of the other lots in the park appeared to be mostly level to completely level, as far as we could see anyway. There are a few pull-through spots in the non-electric loop, but most were pull in – back out, and at a slight angle to the road, for easier backing in. We did not have an issue with this since our camper is a van conversion and fairly easy to maneuver. The bathrooms were clean and in great condition (we only used the non-electric loop restrooms), had a good number of facilities (showers, toilets, sinks, etc.) so that even with the full park we never had to wait for anything. The park sold wood ($5.50 a bundle), there were numerous locations to get water (but no hook-ups in the non-electric loop), and trash containers were both large and well monitored. The park roads were all well maintained, and the staff were all friendly and courteous at all times and we never saw any trash or litter of any kind on the ground while we were there, in any part of the park. The nature center was small, but well laid out with lots of interesting information to see and decent literature (checklists, info about the area, history, etc.) The trails were all well marked and there was plenty to do in the park. We were there for three nights and were able to hike all the trails, see four waterfalls, play games in camp, and do a lot of wildlife viewing. Many people rode bicycles around the campground area, and a few rode on the park roads. Speed limits were 30 on park roads and 15 in camp. We put this park on our “must visit again” list and would recommend it to anyone.