|Booked|||||7 places|||||21 nights|
|Camped|||||5 places|||||15 nights|||||1462 km|
|Coles Creek State Park (Waddington, NY)|
May 19-23, Loop A South, Site 57, 30A 117VAC.
This year saw our annual May 2-4 group camping event hosted at Coles Creek State Park in New York for the first time. Lots of friends, old and new, came to camp for a weekend of food, fun and amazing weather.
This trip was special to us for another reason... the first time camping in our 2012 Rockwood 2701SS travel trailer, which we picked up from the dealer the day before. We spent some time cleaning and puttering, and I installed a new power tongue jack with the help of some camping buddies.
On Sunday I spent some time with a couple of the guys doing a man craft - making fire starters from egg flats filled with shavings covered with melted wax from old candles liquified in a double boiler on a camp stove. We were running low since we last made a batch and now we've got enought to last us for years.
- Location - Close to home.
- Sites - Large with well maintained grass, easy access.
- Bugs - there were almost none!
- Weather - just about perfect for the four days we were there
Not so good:
- Dump station lineup - We pulled out relatively early and did not have to wait but our friends were blocked in their site by the lineup. The dump station is too close to the sites we were in and the route does not accommodate those who want to leave the park without dumping.
We'd come back for a group event but would bring a portable waste tank to do most of our dumping the night before. And we'd pick a site further from the dump station so we wouldn't get blocked in.
|Bon Echo Provincial Park (Cloyne, ON)|
June 10-12, Mazinaw Lake - Midway CG, Site 201, 30A (VAC not measured).
We've tent camped at Bon Echo before but this was our first time back with a trailer. Despite some difficulties setting up and some marginal weather we had a very good time. Dawn's folks camped in the next site over in their brand new Class C motorhome.
- Location - Beautiful setting with lots to do and not too far from home.
- Site - Huge with lots of room for kids to play and explore.
- Wood - For once, the Ontario Park wood was well seasoned and not soaking wet!
Not so good:
- Pad slope - Steep towards the back of the site (though if we had parked the trailer nearer to the road we'd have been fine).
- Weather - Cool and cloudy with a little rain.
This is a beautiful park in a gorgeous setting and we need to come back for a longer stay.
|Riverside-Cedar, Parks of the St. Lawrence (Morrisburg, ON)|
June 30 - July 3, Riverside West CG, Site 293, 30A 119VAC.
We're big fans of Parks of the St. Lawrence and though we've visited friends at Riverside-Cedar, this was be our first time camping there. A very nice park with a wide variety of campsite types. We camped with friends over Canada day and had a great time kayaking, swimming and just hanging out.
- Location - Beautiful park and region and less than an hour from home.
- Site - Across from a large open field that's fun for sports or games.
Not so good:
- Camp store - prices were higher we would usually expect, even for a camp store.
|Charleston Lake Provincial Park (Lansdowne, ON)|
August 26 to 29, Bayside CG, Site 254, 30A 114VAC.
Our fourth trip to Charleston Lake was a great one. Dawn and I agree that this is the closest nicest park to home. Also worthy of mention is Twist's Outlet, a general store just south of the park in the town of Outlet. Reasonable prices, dry wood (lumber or split), great ice cream and super friendly staff.
- Location - Beautiful park just two hours from home.
- Site - A good size with access to the water (good for views but not boating or swimming). Easy parking; 4" slope to the curb side.
- Beach - The Bayside CG beach is fairly large with good sand and is weed-free and shallow quite a ways out. Motorboats are not permitted in this section of the lake.
- Hiking - We did the Quddity trail this year and the views from the lookout are beautiful.
Not so good:
- Flies - about the size of common houseflies and non-biting, but once they're around you're always brushing them off.
Love Charleston Lake - we'll be back .
|Robert Moses State Park (Massena, NY)|
September 2-5, Loop 029-066, Site 47, 30A 114VAC.
Whaddaya know - we scored another waterfront site! This park is easy to get to at about an hour and a half from home. We crossed the border at Cornwall and were expecting long weekend delays in both directions but there was no waiting coming or going.
- Site - At least two hundred feet deep, grassy with gravel pad with easy access to water and a great view of the western approach to Eisenhower lock on the seaway.
- Weather - Sunny and warm during the day, cool at night.
Not so good:
- Campers - there was a group down the road who thought it was great fun to expose everyone within five sites in either direction to their music, karaoke and swearing. On Saturday night they were visited by security, which did little to dampen their enthusiasm. After a visit from the park police they quieted down. Why they weren't evicted from the park is a mystery to me.
- Roads - Either under construction or soon to be. Very rough.
- Signs - Not nearly enough of them.
Unfortunately, the behaviour of other campers tainted our experience. I understand that people like to party on long weekends but there's no reason to ruin it for others. The lackluster enforcement didn't help. We won't hurry back.
|Sandbanks Provincial Park (Picton, ON)|
October 6-10, Woodlands CG, Site 639, 30A 117VAC.
Closing the season with family Thanksgiving at Sandbanks has become as much of a tradition as opening the season with a group camping event on Victoria Day weekend. Friends joined us too this year with their daughter and the girls had a great time together. We enjoyed wide fluctuations in weather, from swimming in Lake Ontario on Friday to huddling around the day-long campfire on Sunday.
- Site: 639 is easily accessible and plenty big enough. We'd camp here again.
- Area: I've said it before but it bears repeating: There is lots to do in beautiful Prince Edward County. We toured around on a rainy Saturday to a distillery, two wineries and a lavender farm.
- Company: Friends and family make camping better.
Not so good:
- Zilch! Well, it COULD have been warmer on the weekend...
Another great Thanksgiving weekend at Sandbanks goes down in history.