Who prefers provincial/state type parks rather than campgrounds?

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by KeatesCamping, May 17, 2019.

  1. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Always. It's not camping if we aren't in the woods. No parking lot camping for us.
     
  2. Tulip

    Tulip Active Member

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    We stayed one night at Battery Provincial Park in NS- on the shores of Bras D'Or Lake - it was beautiful and we wish we could have stayed longer. The site was large and there was some shade - lots of huge trees around the edge of the site. I'd recommend that one - and it is pretty central. We plan to go back one day.

    We tried to camp at Meat Cove but it is first come first serve and the sites were taken so we scrambled and ended up camping in a private campground (McLeods) and it was a field with 5th wheels parked about 10 feed from each other with all the lights and gizmos - it looked like the dollar store exploded. Not my idea of camping. The tent sites were tucked around back and were actually quite lovely. It was right on the ocean which was the draw.

    We also stayed at Porter Lake Provincial campground in NS. We were tenting and had a walk in site which was right on the water which I love. It was lovely but not super shady. I do remember the RV sites having more trees. Might be worth a look.

    I really want to do another east coast trip with the pup specifically to spend more time in NS. It was my favourite province. Maybe next year.
     
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  3. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    The awesome thing about Michigan's state park campgrounds is that they're user funded. For $11 bucks per year, you get access to all of our state parks, and that $11 is easy, because it's tied to our license plate tabs. Camping, of course, is extra, but those fees are entirely reasonable. Not having to worry about appropriated funds is just great. My only complaint is the toilet paper supplier.
     
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  4. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    That's a neat set up, in Virginia I pay $36 for an annual senior pass for state wide access to the parks; daily entrance I think is $4, & $5 on the weekends... the camping fees aren't bad, but I like the $11 deal...thinking VA has the same toilet paper distributor as well lol
     
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  5. hammb

    hammb Member

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    My fellow Ohioans bitch all the time about the prices of Michigan State parks but I don't get it. An out of state annual pass is like$30 or so but the parks are so nice. Ohio has some nice state parks but they're not nearly as nice as the Michigan parks, imo.

    Personally I wish Ohio would charge some larger entry fees as well and put that money into the parks.
     
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  6. kgesiako

    kgesiako Member

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    Our favorite sites have always been state parks. If we are doing a big trip we will stay at a Koa for the one night stays, that way we can relax in the pool after a long drive, but our destination is always nature. We also always look at satellite photos of the campgrounds before we book. They always have great pics on websites then you get there and find it’s one spot they took pics from! So we pull up the satellite and match it up with their site map and can usually find where the best sites are.
     
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  7. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    You just have to go to the right parks :grin:. I have hit state and provincial parks all over the US and Canada, some good, some not as good. Sometimes the state/provincial park is lacking in amenities or site quality. Other time they cater to a specific type of camping group, like campers who are there to water ski or golf. Personally I miss the water/electric sites of the southeast US, but understand why the don’t have them farther north.

    I have found it helps to do research on a park AND be able to roll with the punches when your research was wrong. The worst campgrounds I have been in are private ones.
     
  8. Beekeeper1

    Beekeeper1 Member

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    The WV DNR tried to charge an annual user fee in 2017. It was to begin with seven state parks and expand to others has they saw fit. The governor stopped it as soon as he heard about it. Apparently someone at the DNR came up with plan without consulting with anyone in the statehouse. The governor found out about it the same way everyone one else did, by reading about it in the newspaper. He said the people of WV didn't need the added expense so our parks are still free for everyone (instate or visitors) to use.
     
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  9. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    I like the idea of free parks, but I'm a little afraid of them. I've not visited a state park in WV; I hope they're nice. I'd worry about the appropriate funds issue without user fees. Here in Michigan one of our newest state parks is Belle Isle State Park (no campground). It used to be a City of Detroit Park, with free entry. Because Detroit mismanaged, well, pretty much everything, the city buffered its coffers during bankruptcy by leasing the island to the Michigan DNR. While no longer free, it has been improved so, so freaking much that I hope it doesn't revert to city control ever. Sometimes "free" tends to attract people who don't place any value on the thing that's free.
     
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  10. RollTide30

    RollTide30 Member

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    We prefer state parks here in GA. Most have plenty of space at sites and between sites, trees around, and plenty of hiking and other things to do. We can reserve our favorite sites now that the parks have all gone to site specific reservations. The prices are not bad either($28-$36/night). Being a veteran I get a pretty good discount on the Friends of State Parks annual pass which gives me 2 free nights of camping, a parking pass, and 10% off all purchases including camping too. The 2 free nights of camping and parking pass will pay for the pass the first time out. Most SP in GA have a lake or some form of water and some have beaches on the lakes. I'm pretty sure they all have water/electric and most have a few full hookups. I don't care for a lot of the private campgrounds because of no privacy and sites being packed on top of each other. There are some private ones in the north GA mountains that are pretty nice.
     
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  11. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Nice! My state only does nice things for veterans if they're disabled. At least Lowe's likes us.
     
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  12. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I do most of my camping in State Parks or Fed Lands. Oklahoma gives a $2/night age discount
     
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  13. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Camping I like state parks. Living in camper like right now I depend on commercial campground. Homeless glamping
     
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  14. DerekCamperDad

    DerekCamperDad Member

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    I tend to do a mix or Federal, Provincial and private campgrounds. Depending on what we want to do in the area and the amenities of the campground. With the kids (2, 4 and 6 years old) I like to have some distraction for them right in the campground. Playground, pool, river or lake, big open field etc.

    Being right by the mountains we're lucky. Tons of camping within a 2 hour drive.
    This year we are visiting, staying close to home in Calgary, Alberta.
    Mt Kidd, private campground. Sites are nicely spaced with tons of trees between them.
    Boulton Campground, Provincial Park. Awesome place, sites far apart, lots of hiking in the area.
    Dinosaur Trail RV Resort. Private campground. Bit of a parking lot feel, but it's all on grass. Sites close to each other but not so close it's annoying. In the badlands, but it's down in the river valley so we pick a site with lots of trees for shade.
    Aspen Beach, Provincial Park. Also sites that are far apart. Right on Gull Lake. Has a beach which is awesome for the kids.

    Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more trips in.
     
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  15. Limmer

    Limmer Member

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    I like provincial parks. We have never booked a private park as generally they look like parking lots to me. There are a few provincial parks that have the same but we avoid those. Pretty spoiled living an hour away from Muskoka though. We have at least 10 top notch parks within a 2 hour drive of us. Plus we prefer lakes to pools for swimming and we like to fish, kayak etc.
     
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  16. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    While we tend to prefer to camp in public campgrounds, they aren't any more all the same than are private ones. A lot depends on when they were designed, where they are, and so on. We've been in badly managed public campgrounds, and some really nice private ones. At least it's easier these days to do research ahead of time, with online resources such as the Portal, campsitephotos.com, satellite imaging, and the like. Nature gets the best of some campgrounds - for example, there are a few that once were nicely treed and very pretty that have now been clear cut due to insect infestations. Bushes and grasses are growing back, but they are far more open than they once were.
     
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  17. Redbird234

    Redbird234 Member

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    The campground we stayed in near Halifax had field area but also a treed area. It wasn't fancy, the pool was clean, had a nice playground, the bathrooms were clean but old but Halifax was great.
     
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  18. Andy G.

    Andy G. Member

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    I prefer state parks to private campgrounds. Most of the private campgrounds (but not all) around here seem to be overrun with loud drunks driving golf carts, huge over-lit campers that look like Las Vegas at night, and constant noise.
    That is not camping to me.
    State parks have bigger campsites, more trees, places to hike, and nicer people.
     
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  19. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Active Member

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    So far all of our camping has been in State Parks they offer the right mix of amenities and space for us.
     
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  20. daveo1289

    daveo1289 Active Member

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    Our group and we prefer the state parks here in NYS. We have camped at the KOA in Watkins Glen before. It has out-priced itself to us. The state grounds are as clean if not cleaner than the KOA and much more reasonable priced. While it's true we have to make our own fun so to speak, it's also the fact the sites are larger and the grounds better for what we want in a campground.
     
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