While we stayed at the Horse Cave KOA, we stayed our second night in a Treehouse! (It was really more like a cabin on pillars made to look like a tree trunk/branches.)
We really enjoyed our stay here. It had a nice firepit and seating underneath the cabin. Inside hosted a queen bedroom, a full kitchen (with plates, cups, utensils, and cooking pans/pots), couches, TV, fireplace, and a loft with two queen beds. The back porch had a nice table, views, and grill. The best part was the full bathroom!
It was definitely a nice space to relax in and we really enjoyed the back deck. The kitchen table was more like a folding table and chairs, so we ate on the porch most of the time. It was a good space to spread out and have our own areas.
After the Red River Gorge, we traveled over to the Mammoth Cave area. We stayed at the Horse Cave KOA. When Ben and I saw that they had a certain type of cabin, we knew we needed to stay at least one night in it. Growing up, we were part of the Oregon Trail generation so, of course, we decided to stay in the Covered Wagon cabin!
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It was definitely an experience. The wagon was temperature controlled and had an air conditioner unit. The space slept 4 people: one queen-sized bed and a set of bunk beds. As you climb the stairs and open the door, you have the bunkbeds to the left and a small table, and two chairs to the right. There were a couple of stairs to get to the queen bed area. There was a small nightstand area on either side of the bed with outlets to charge your phone.
In front of the bunk beds, there was a mini fridge and a microwave. The space also had an outdoor fire pit with chairs and a propane grill.
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There was a grocery store within a 20-30 minute drive, so we were able to go to the store and make dinner on the grill. It was nice to have the mini-fridge so we could have groceries to make our own food. For dessert, we of course had s’mores!
It was nice sitting out and enjoying the night. There was a farm in front of us, so we watched the cows for a while, and saw some bats flying around once it was night.
The downside to the covered wagon cabin was the lack of a bathroom. We weren’t too far away, but it is a downside when you get up during the night and have to leave the cabin to use the bathrooms.
For our vacation this year, we wanted to stay in some unique homes. Something that would really stand out in our memories. Our first stop was in a container home. Ben had played with this idea for a tiny home for a while now. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived; it actually had a nice layout and use of space. (YouTube video link)
The house was pretty private. You could hear some road noise and neighbor’s music, but couldn’t see them through the leaves. It was a pretty short drive to the park, a little under 20 minutes. The house was a comfortable space, seemed just like a cabin. It had a great fire pit area with wood holder and hatchet, bag chairs for fire pit, deck with chairs and a small table, a wooded lot with a few trees that worked for hammocking, propane grill, plates/cups/grill tools, AC, washer/dryer, a couple of games and a fun puzzle. The cabin also had WiFi and cable. There was a Kroger grocery store and a liquor store within about a 20-minute drive. There were several places nearby that sold firewood.
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The drive was pretty easy, but at the end, it is a narrow road that has a few hills. The driveway itself was off of a sharp right turn. The owners did a nice job explaining how to get there though and even had a fun alligator sign to mark the correct turn. The very last bit up to the parking area was a pretty short steep climb. The cabin only had one thin blanket per bed. We could have used more blankets, but luckily we still had our soccer game day blanket in the car. The owner did say to bring additional if you get cold easily, but we didn’t think there would only be two. There were only a couple of blinds in the bedrooms. The bedroom Ben and I stayed in only had blinds on one window, the one closest to the street (at the head of the bed) did not have any covering. If the trees were not as full of leaves, there may be a chance someone could see down into the room. Although the grill and firepit allowed for cooking, the kitchen itself only had a hotplate and a microwave for cooking. Bring bug spray! This is more for the entire area, but we all got bitten (even the one that is normally not bit). You may want to bring a flashlight, as it gets very dark at night around the cabin. This one is more specific to us, but there was poison ivy everywhere (cabin and general area). There was some right next to the cabin stairs, etc. The Red River Gorge area also has a plethora of poison ivy, so I would recommend long socks and/or pants if you are allergic.
For our stay in Michigan, we stayed at Kampvilla RV Park in Bear Lake, Michigan. It is an independent campground. For our stay here, we had full hook-ups for most of our stay, but had to switch to electric-only for the last 3 days. We had made our plans a little too late (4 months before) with the 4th of July holiday to get full hook ups for our whole stay. When we checked in, they gave the boys a Kampvilla postcard, sticker, and temporary tattoo.
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The campground had a heated pool, rec room with a washer and dryer, a patio with foosball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, sand volleyball, badminton, a playground, basketball hoops, and a pool. The equipment was left out (instead of having to go up to the office), so it made it very easy to play. There was another shed with a washer and dryer a little bit further into the park. It had a drive/path through the woods to tent sites, so it made a nice walking path.
There was ice ($3) and firewood ($5) were available for sale. You could pay at the office or in the drop box attached to the firewood shed.
Everyone was really nice at the campground. They had a lot of nice amenities and were pretty close to local attractions and grocery stores. It was about 30-33 minutes to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park Visitor Center. We would stay here again.
The check-in area was not well laid out for larger RVs. It looks like you used to be able to pull straight forward, but now they have you turn into a parking lot. It has not been redesigned for larger RVs. The campground itself has a pond and a lake. There was a laundry room, a few planned activities, a basketball hoop, Snack Shack, putt-putt, playground, and a pool. Fishing was allowed in the pond and lake, but no swimming. The lake by the office had boats available for use. There were also horseshoes and a small baseball diamond.
The laundry room had a lot of machines. There was no change machine, but I was able to get change at the office. Washers were $1.75/load, dryers were $1.50.
The Snack Shack had some ice cream products, shaved ice, and some drinks. It was only open on the weekends when we were there.
Our hotspot and phones worked…kind of. If it was cloudy we lost a lot of reception on all 3 networks. Some spots were better than others in the park for getting a signal. We ended up buying the campground WiFi for the week ($19.95). Phone calls seemed ok for the most part, but internet was definitely spotty.
The campground did have a lot of nice amenities. The boys really enjoyed the putt putt and basketball hoop. It was a nice destination campground and there were grocery stores within a 20-30 minute drive. Cleveland was about an hour drive and Cuyahoga Valley National Park was also about an hour drive.
NOTE: The campground was included in our Thousand Trails membership, but charged us a 50 amp fee at check-in (not stated ahead of time).
The campground had a camp store, laundry room, paddle boat and banana bike rentals, two pools (1 cool, 1 heated), basketball hoop, pickleball, horseshoes, and fishing ponds. Garbage was placed at the end of your site and was collected.
The campground was located on Grand Island New York. There was a grocery store (Tom’s) close by, a dollar store, post office, and several restaurants on the island. It was about a 15 minute drive to Niagara Falls State Park and a 18-20 minute drive to Buffalo. The one thing to know is that every time you leave the island you will be charged a toll. There was a Tim Horton’s and Adrian’s down the street (just about walking distance). There was also a go-kart/arcade/batting cage/putt-putt within walking distance.
There was a change machine in the laundry room/arcade area, which were located on the bottom side of the office building. It was a nice laundry room with plenty of machines. There was also a book exchange shelf in the laundry room.
The smaller pool by the office was the “cool” (aka unheated) pool. There was a dog park, bike and boat/kayak rental, and playground located here as well. The larger pool towards the back of the campground was the heated pool. There was also the basketball hoop, pickleball court, jump pads, and rec building/planned activities were back here. The one thing I did not like was that there was no parking for the larger pool. All parking spots were parked “Cabin Parking”. It wasn’t a horrible walk from our campground, but would have been nice to have pool parking spots for guests who have mobility problems.
You could fish in the pond as well, but you were not allowed to swim in it.
Sites were pretty nice. Each had a fire ring and picnic table. There was not a lot of shade though. This campground had two sewer connections per site! Both were on the same side, but were spread out. It made it nice for being able to choose how to place the RV in the site. The campground also backed up to an Amusement Park (Fantasy Island), but it had been closed. It looked like at one point the train ride stopped directly at the campground. There were tent camping spots, as well as several different types of cabins. There were a few geese and lots of killdeer birds around the campground.
The campground also teamed up with a local tour group to allow campers to see Niagara Falls, ride Maid of the Mist, and tour Cave of the Winds. The tour bus picked up at the campground. We found it to be more expensive than just paying for the Maid of the Mist tickets, Cave of the Winds, and parking at the State Park. However, it is a good option if you do not have a separate vehicle and want to tour the area.
This campground wasn’t too far from a working maple syrup farm, a National Historic Park and Site, the Quechee Gorge, and New Hampshire.
The campground had an office camp store, laundry room, playground, a dog park, a fishing pond, and a pool. Trash was placed at the end of your site for pick-up. Recycling could be placed in a separate bag for pickup as well. The office sold ice, firewood, and bait. There were banana bikes for rent. They did a nice job communicating by text!
The KOA was 18 minutes from Sugarbush Farm, 7 minutes from New Hampshire, and from 4 minutes from Quechee Gorge. It took 18 minutes to get to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. There were two Walmarts at 8 and 18 minutes away, and a Hannaford’s 9 minutes (in New Hampshire).
We stayed at the Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort near Bar Harbor, Maine so we could visit Acadia National Park. This is part of the Thousand Trails network, but was not included in our membership. It was on the same island as Acadia, so it was conveniently located.
The laundry room was under the backside of the office. Washers and dryers were $2/load (quarter machines, no change machine). Each site had a picnic table and a fire pit. There were some nice views of the water and the campground was large enough to get a nice walk in. The campground had free WiFi (standard campground level), but it was a nice feature for a Thousand Trails campground.
The campground had a pool (not open yet while we were there), an arcade, playground, camp store, and a laundry room. The arcade was only open on the weekends Friday to Sunday 9am-8pm. It was older, but the kids still enjoyed it. The games were $0.25 per game, except for the ball crane machine at $0.50. There was a change machine in the arcade. The laundry room charged $2 per load for both the washers and the dryers and were coin operated, but there was not a change machine in the laundry room. The laundry room was open during office hours. The camp store sold ice for $2.25 and firewood for $5.25.
Most of the sites had trees for shade. It looked like most of the sites were pretty level, although there were a few that were on part of a hill that could be harder to level a RV. The campground was large and made for some nice afternoon walks, especially since the tent area was empty while we were there. It faces the ocean, so if you get closer spots, you could have some great views.
Bar Harbor was 15 minutes, Acadia National Park was 10-11 minutes away (to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center entrance). There was a grocery store in Bar Harbor called Hannaford’s that was 15 minutes away, and Walmart was located in Ellsworth and was 15 minutes away.
SIDE NOTE: The campground used well water, so it did have a bit of an odor to it that we were not used to. We just used our awesome Berkey* and filtered all the drinking water. The Bar Harbor area gets its water from Eagle Lake and wells, nearby Seal Harbor from Jordan Pond.
We stayed in Rochester, Massachusetts at a Thousand Trails campground called Gateway to Cape Cod.
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The laundry room was open. Laundry machines ran off of credit cards or an app. Washers costs $2.75/load, and dryers cost $2.50/load. The camp store was open but was limited in their selection. The store sold ice for $2/bag and firewood for $7/bag. The pool was closed (supposed to open Memorial Day). The campground was located behind a neighborhood, near a cranberry farm, and had a walking trail that led to a lake.
The campground was within a 15 minute drive to grocery stores (Walmart and Target) and some restaurants. There were several homes nearby that sold firewood (we found one for $5 for soft wood and $10 for hardwood). Cape Cod was about an hour way, Salem was about 1.5-1.75 hour drive, Plymouth Rock about a 30 minute drive, and Boston about an hour.
Sites were decent sized with lots of trees. Sites were a first come/first serve policy, as with most Thousand Trails. Some of the turns were tight with larger rigs. The interior roads were also a little rough with potholes. The rest of the campground seemed pretty well maintained and the campground staff was nice. There was visitor parking by the office that many people took advantage of. However, with the visitor parking and the island, it made leaving tricky for larger rigs. We had to drive down the campground, turn on one of the other lanes to work our way out.
The campground offered quite a few pull-throughs and some back-ins. The back-in sites seemed mostly along the edges of the campground. Many of the pull-throughs were very long. We could have stayed hooked up to the truck it was so long. They were a little on the narrow side though. There were plenty of trees throughout the campground, so once the trees have all their leaves, I’m sure it will be quite shaded.
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The campground had a laundry room and office/store. However, the store was closed for COVID. You could walk up to the check-in window to buy ice ($3/bag) and firewood. The campground had a sister site, Timothy Lake North, whose amenities you could also use (per the website, we did not go).
Laundry was $2.00 for washers (or $2.25 for super wash) and $1.75 for dryers. The laundry room was limited to 1 person at a time and you had to check out the key from the check-in window. Reservations were not accepted. They did not have quarters/change machine, although the machines were quarter run.
Our Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were spotty around the campground and the mountain areas. We ended up paying for the campgrounds WiFi for the week to make sure we could connect for work and school. Even their internet was spotty at times. It was also not a very fast internet.
The campground was 12 minutes from Super Foodtown grocery store and 16 minutes from Price Chopper grocery store. There were several restaurants within a 20 minute drive. The Delaware Water Gap was also close (12 minutes to a close trail or 25-30 minutes to the hike we went on).
Getting There: I would take it slow on these roads. The roads are pretty narrow to fit two cars (especially one being a truck and RV) around some of the turns. The roads are hilly and twisty as well.
If you enjoy quiet with no electronics and lots of nature and hiking, you may enjoy this location. However, everything was closed in the campground (not including the laundry room) and there was just not a lot of things to do besides hiking (or kayaking if you had your own). We would not stay here again. If things were open, maybe it would have been a different experience.
SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:
Our rating: 2 out of 5 hitches
Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile (all of our connections were slow/spotty depending on where we were in the park)
RV Sites: Pull-through and Back-in (grass)
Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Yes
Amenities: picnic table/fire pit/grill at sites, playground, pool (closed for season while we were there), shuffleboard. (Paid for cable and WiFi)
Tent Camping: No (sister site Timothy Lake North does)
Full Hook-ups: Yes
Food On-Site: No
Camp Store: Yes, closed due to COVID
WiFi: No free WiFi, Paid WiFi (a little slow, not what I would call high-speed internet)