Ithaca, NY: Spruce Row Campground

Discussion in 'New York' started by TKnecht, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. TKnecht

    TKnecht "Disposable thumbs make me specialer than most peo

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    Aug 3, 2008
    On paper, Spruce Row sounds very nice, and it gets, if not great rankings, at least reasonable ones. On the surface, it deserves them. But, the reality belies the print.

    The physical area is wonderful: trees, blue skies, undergrowth, undulating ground; the Finger Lakes area is beautiful. The campground is divided into loops, or areas; some are open, and some are under trees. We were on grass, under very tall trees; there was no undergrowth, but the sites were spacious, and, anyway, we had no immediate neighbors, so we did not feel at all cramped. Our closest neighbors were to our left, perhaps 60 yards away, and they extended further to the left, wrapping around and up and over a slight ridge to a populated area that seemed rather permanent. More about that in a bit.

    Just behind those most immediate neighbors lay the property line and a neighboring cattle farm whose cattle liked to congregate near the campground at certain times of day. Perhaps they liked the company; they certainly were vocal enough.

    Our neighbors were...interesting. It seemed as though this campground was the closest many of them had ever been to civilization. One of the...gentlemen...was terribly fond of yelling and dropping the F-bomb on his toddlers. Ahh, machismo. The rest seemed content to yell and shriek at the slightest perceived offense.

    OK, the possibility of occasional troglodyte cretins exists most anywhere you go; we were unlucky. But, there's more:

    The campgroundĀ’s water, though technically not harmful, is undrinkable and unusable. Rust-colored, it is tainted by the sulfur content of the ground. It has a mild odor, but the taste is INESCAPABLE: nothing you can do will mask it. It WILL RUIN ANYTHING you try to make with it. IT IS NOT USABLE! AT ALL. You will need to bring bottled water with you.

    Bath facilities: While technically clean, the bath facilities are rather...primitive. The bathhouse, with flush toilets and showers, is passable. The problem is that the bathhouses are not conveniently located. We had to drive to the closest one.

    There was a pit toilet facility closer to us. Even for stalwart campers, it was a challenge. I was seriously considering digging a slit trench next to the popup....

    The only people we ever saw in the office were high school- (or young college-) aged kids; never an adult, never anyone who seemed to be in charge.

    The three days around the lakes were wonderful; the three nights in camp made the days seem even better, I guess. Spruce Row is a campground to be avoided, unless all alternatives are unavailable. If that's the case, TAKE WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Need2Travel

    Need2Travel Rhode Island

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Thanks for the review - I wish more people posted them, we all know how great the campgrounds are that the rally events get held at (as everyone gives and posts pics) and yes you were good enough to point out the 'bad neighbors' are a risk anywhere and moved on to the facility and overall experience itself, as not good for one person/group - might be 'alright' for someone else (aka pit toilet vs bathrooms); however, not being able to use the water - that is a key thing to know before arriving at any (private) campground. - Nice Job, and thanks again for taking the time :)

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