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Category: Tent Campgrounds

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks & National Park Week

April 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks & National Park Week

More than 282 million people visited America’s national parks in 2012, an increase of more than 3 million over 2011. It was the sixth highest annual visitation in the history of the National Park Service, despite nearly 2 million fewer visitors as a result of park closures caused by Hurricane Sandy. Since 1916, the National Park System has recorded more than 12 billion visits. There are familiar park names in the Top 10 lists. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York lost nearly 1.2 million visitors from 2011 because of Hurricane Sandy yet still made the Top 10 list of most visited National Park Service sites. Most Visited Places of the National Park System (2012) 1. Blue Ridge Parkway (15,205,059) 2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (14,540,338) 3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (9,685,829) 4. George Washington Memorial Parkway (7,425,577) 5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (6,285,439) 6. Lincoln Memorial (6,191,361) 7. Natchez Trace Parkway (5,560,668) 8. Gateway... [Read more...]

Georgia on My Mind: Cumberland Island Turns 40

November 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Georgia on My Mind: Cumberland Island Turns 40

Cumberland Island National Seashore recently (October 23) celebrated its 40th anniversary. Access to Cumberland Island is by a concession operated passenger ferry, The Cumberland Lady. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved When President Richard Nixon signed federal legislation creating the national seashore off the coast of Georgia in October 1972, it culminated what Park Service officials said was “a long and complex process of obtaining support from various individuals and groups to make Georgia’s largest barrier island one of America’s national parks, reports nationalparkstraveler.com.” Before the National Park Service acquired most of the island for a national seashore, 90 percent of it was the private domain of Lucy and Thomas Carnegie (brother of Andrew) and their descendants. The Carnegies bought the island in the 1880s and built five mansions on it during the next two decades. The most superb house was the opulent 59-room, Queen Anne-style Dungeness on the island’s... [Read more...]

Camping in Rose Valley

November 17, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Camping in Rose Valley

Rose Valley has an incredibly easy, short, and beautiful hike to the bottom of the 300-foot high Rose Valley Falls.  Go a few days after rainfall and you will experience the falls more full, complete with rushing water at the lower and hopefully upper falls.  Just a mile-long round trip, the hike takes you to the bottom of the lower falls, with options for some more extreme hiking to the bottom of the upper falls.  During the hike, you have to cross a stream and may have to boulder-hop if the flow is up. Just 15 miles north of lovely Ojai, off Highway 33, Rose Valley is a spectacular section of the Los Padres National Forest.  Go for an afternoon hike or for a weekend-long camping trip.  At an elevation of 3,450 feet, the Rose Valley Campground consists of a peaceful 9-site single loop of campground sites, serenely shaded by cottonwood trees.  The sites are pretty primitive with just fire pits, BBQ grills, and picnic tables.  Three small, stocked lakes are nearby as well as the Ojai... [Read more...]

Camping with Kids II

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Camping with Kids II

Petting zoos, swimming pools, water parks, play structures, and so many more amenities are offered at numerous KOA campgrounds across the nation.  These Kampgrounds of America (KOA) are the ultimate family-friendly campgrounds that also have unbeatable specials, such as camp one night, get the next night for free.  This is an especially common promotion at the local KOA we frequent.  One of the local Moms groups I am involved in actually plans their bi-annual camp outs around this exact deal.  It turns into a weekend-long play date! With fun teepees to sleep in and lots of other family-friendly options, including an exhilarating zip line, cozy cabins, and some kid-friendly play structures such as climbing walls, parents can look forward to taking their kids camping at such sensational campgrounds.  Knowing how important it is for kids to get outdoors with their parents, KOA’s have even been known to offer free camping just for kids for a given weekend.  For example, this year for... [Read more...]

Camping with Kids I

November 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Camping with Kids I

Camping with kids these days?  Where do you like to go? Adults with kids living in the home are more likely to go camping than those without kids, according to the 2012 American Camper Report http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/research.camping.2012.pdf.  This makes complete sense to me since having kids of our own; we try to go camping as much as we can each year.  We have always loved camping, even before kids we would go at least once a year.  But once we had kids, we realized just how important and fun it is to spend time outdoors, camping with our kids. Some of my very best memories as a kid are from the annual camping trips we took with my extended family.  Most of the families who went in those days had pop-up tent trailers and many came from LA and even further south so they usually wanted to escape the heat, crowds, and come to the beach; we always met up at Leo Carrillo State Beach (on the beach side).  The week we spent camping with the family always ended up being a solid... [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Traditions

November 9, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Thanksgiving Traditions

How do you spend your Thanksgiving weekend?  Camping in your RV, at the beach, in the mountains, or elsewhere?  Do you spend it with extended family or close friends? My family has some fantastic Thanksgiving traditions, including a 33-mile bike ride, a camp-out on the beach in the RV, basketball and chess tournaments, followed by a competitive race on the bike ride home (for another 33 miles). The weekend of fun begins on Thanksgiving Day when we meet up for a delicious turkey dinner, complete with tons of mouth-watering homemade side dishes.  My younger sister famously bakes these “Out-Of-This-World” Pecan and Pumpkin pies and we finish off the last hours of daylight with a basketball game at a nearby park, while the annual Chess Tournament takes us into the wee hours of the night.  The following morning, we get up early and take a brisk 33-mile bike ride, along the scenic Southern California coastline, to Carpinteria State Beach.  Those who choose not to ride,... [Read more...]

Bears, Boredom and Bullies

June 29, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Bears, Boredom and Bullies

Each spring our family makes an annual pilgrimage into the wilderness. This year, like most, we selected a cozy campground that sits tucked away in a mountain forest as our base camp and settled in for a few days of hiking and exploring. Our campfire provides a relaxing atmosphere at the end of each day’s activities. Spring is the perfect time of year for our family. The weather is sunny and cool, wildflowers are blooming and showing off a thousand vibrant colors, and wildlife is out in abundance. The happy melodies of songbirds provide a wonderfully calming musical backdrop as we hike, stopping frequently to photograph the many splendors that the forest offers. Wild Animals Enjoy Springtime Too During the first day of our trip while hiking we enjoyed watching a pair of gray squirrels dancing to the music of a ruby-crowned kinglet as he roosted atop a lodgepole pine.  At lunchtime we made our way back to camp just in time to see a black bear lumbering his way through a nearby meadow,... [Read more...]

Hey Dad…Can We Go Camping this Weekend?

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey Dad…Can We Go Camping this Weekend?

There’s something about camping, from tent, tent trailer, and pop-up camper to diesel pusher and luxury fifth wheel trailer that makes it more than the sum of its parts. Hey, Dad, let’s go camping…to Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved You’re not just looking for a place to spend the night or weekend or to hide out from the rain—you’re buying into a lifestyle. It’s taking in the fresh air of the great outdoors. The RV lifestyle is about freedom, and it’s a complete 180-degree turn from the hectic pace of everyday life. When you arrive at your campsite it doesn’t matter if the Yankees lost a double header or the Cowboys were defeated in overtime. It’s is a relaxing pleasure to park in a beautiful location and go fishing, take a walk, or simply relax by the camp fire. Camping is a great way to get to know your family better and to meet new friends. Once you get away from all of those distractions at home, you have a great opportunity to really... [Read more...]

Bear Attack Reported at Arizona Campground

June 1, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Bear Attack Reported at Arizona Campground

An Arizona woman was injured this morning (May 1) when a bear ripped a hole in the tent where she, her husband, and their dog had been sleeping at Ponderosa Campground in Tonto National Forest, just off Highway 260 about 10 miles east of Payson. Grizzly bear attacks tent. (Source: Thomas J/travelooce.com) The attack occurred around 4:30 a.m. After tearing open the tent, the bear reportedly stuck its head in and clawed at the 74-year-old woman, leaving her with bruises and a laceration on her scalp. She was treated at Payson Regional Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries and released. The woman’s husband and dog were not hurt. A large adult bear had recently been seen hanging around the campsite dumpsters. A wildlife manager with Arizona Game and Fish Department visited Ponderosa Campground yesterday looking for the bear, but it was not found. A culvert-style trap was set. The wildlife manager talked to the campground host about precautions, and all campers were informed... [Read more...]

Get Back to Nature in Custer State Park

May 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Get Back to Nature in Custer State Park

Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota has unimaginable scenery, rustic lodges, cabins, and RV and tent campsites that are open year-round.  You’ll find a variety of offerings, including camping cabins, horse camps, primitive campsites, modern campsites and group camping facilities. Camping fees are collected daily and are based on the number of camping units in your party.  Each campsite at Custer State Park has a gravel or paved camping pad, a fire grate and picnic table. Electric hookups are available in most campgrounds and all but a few offer flush toilets and showers.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day, park staff give evening presentations at several campground amphitheaters.  These talks often give campers insight into the park’s history, wildlife and natural surroundings. Custer State Park’s free roaming buffalo have been known to occasionally wander into the campgrounds. These majestic—but wild—animals should be treated with respect and visitors should... [Read more...]

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