Finding the best RV routes, good campgrounds, friendly people, great local "Mom & Pop" restaurants and posting our RV route maps, reviews, tips, prices & photos both here and on our website – snowbirdrvtrails.com
Eagles Roost RV Resort is a short distance off exit 5 at 5465 Mill Store Road in Lake Park, Georgia. It’s only 134 miles from our last stop but we like it so well it’s worth the extra miles to the next stop.
Located just 5 miles from the Florida – Georgia Line it is a great jumping off point for any destination in Florida.
Why Eagles Roost? We like the tall old oaks that literally drip Spanish moss. Each site has a concrete pad that’s level and each is FHU – 30/50A, water and sewer connections. There is some distance between the sites and the Park is very easy to navigate.
There is a weekend Flea Market next door, a few outlet shops nearby and a Camper’s World just across the bridge over the Interstate.
Another reason we like the place is its nearness to good food at two places we really like. First is The Farmhouse Restaurant which offers some really good Southern food and their peach cobbler rates a quick 4 stars on our scoreboard.
If you enjoy Mexican food then you are in for a treat at the Rodeo Mexican Restaurant less than a half mile away. In addition to daily lunch (and Margarita!) specials, their menu offers some great combination plates that will make you think you have crossed the border.
Our next and last post of this 1,800+ mile RV Snowbird route will be after we settle into our New Port Richey Winter home to summarize the trip, tally our costs and add some thoughts about this route – but until then ….
Crossroads Travel Park is located at 1513 Sam Nunn Blvd. in Perry, Georgia It’s easy off/on I-75 less than ¼ mile from Georgia exit 136. It’s an older park but neat and well maintained. Access roads and pull-thrus are black-top with some grass between sites. Be sure to give your rig’s true size when making a reservation as some transient sites are on the short side. All sites are FHU with 30 Amp electric, water and a sewer connection. Each site has good free cable access and the WiFi – also free – worked well while we were here. The site pads do show wear from years of use and some unevenness but doable. They honor both Good Sam Membership and Passport America (for up to six nights).
The laundry and shower facility is clean. The pool was empty when we stayed here (late Oct).
Grillmasters BBQ shares the entrance road and is within walking distance from your camper. The restaurant offers a 10% discount to campers. The area’s most economical gas is also close-by. A Walmart, supermarket and all types of fast food places are just down the street.
Not a lot of local attractions but the State Fairgrounds (early October) and Agricultural Center are located in Perry. A drive through the countryside will take you past cotton fields and pecan orchards.
Mall shopping and major restaurants are in Warner Robins about 15 minutes North. The State Fairgrounds and Agriculture Center are just off the next exit South.
Only a couple of negative comments – The young fellow who checked us in was not as affable as the owner we spoke with to make the reservation. He was just going through the motions and was not a good cheerleader for the campground – maybe just having a bad day.
The other concern you should be aware of is the sewer connections are at the far end of the sites and it took us three slinky lengths to connect.
That said and aside from the minor “flaws,” the park is a good value and we would stay here again and also recommend it to anyone going this way.
Harvest Moon RV Park (a Good Sam Park) at 1001 Poplar Springs Road is in Adairsville, GA – about 60 miles North of Atlanta. This park has great reviews and we had to stop and see why and what the raves were all about.
This RV Park is an easy off/on from I-75 – just a quarter mile from GA exit 306. Whether it’s Greg, the owner, or Miss Pam that meets you at check-in, you will receive a good old Southern welcome (and maybe even a bag of freshly made popcorn!).
The park is small but well laid out with long pull-throughs to fit about any size rig. The sites are gravel and level with some grass and a picnic table. Each has FHU, 30/50 Amp, free good cable and free WiFi that the hosts even admit is spotty at best. We couldn’t sign on their WiFi during our stay.
Need to do laundry? It’s free at this park and that’s a first time find for us!
There are quite a few Seasonals in the Park but their sites are neat, showing some pride and they are a friendly group and many are here working temporarily in the area.
Adairsville, Georgia is another example of what can be found by asking questions or researching a little deeper. Adairsville began as a small Cherokee village named after Chief Walter (John) S. Adair, a Scottish settler who married a Cherokee Indian woman before the removal of the Cherokee in 1838. The Town of approximately 5,000 people describes itself as a “Norman Rockwell kind of a town.”
But on a closer look in the Town there are a couple of places of historical significance – the Adairsville Rail Depot Age of Steam Museum at 101 Public Square – built in 1847- it displays over 100 years of history. Visitors can tour the depot and discover Adairsville and the role it played in the Great Locomotive Chase (http://www.adairsvilleonthesquare.com/history). They have a three-day Great Locomotive Chase Festival annually in early October.
Just behind the Rail Station and Museum is the Historic Main Street District with many stores and shops in the century old buildings.
Where we might find a really good local place to have a bite is a question we always ask. We did note a Cracker Barrel, Waffle House and a couple of other fast food chains near the exit when we drove in. We did have dinner at the Cracker Barrel the first night but we wanted something more – something local.
One suggestion given us by our hostess (Miss Pam) was to try the lunch buffet at the Adairsville Inn Restaurant, a favorite among locals and located at 100 South Main Street. We tried it and found exactly what we are always looking for – real, homemade, down-home, Southern cooking to die for! You can visit their website at http://www.adairsvilleinnrestaurant.com/. The pricing once again makes it an exceptional value as well as being a really good place to have great food.
Adairsville Inn Restaurant is now on our Top 5 list of dining establishments that we’ve visited on our Snowbird RV Routes along with our other Super Stars – Sisters Restaurant in Dickson, TN , Shug’s Southern Soul Cafe in St. George, SC and Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs, VT. Find more of our “unbiased dining reviews” at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/diningreviews.htm.
We should mention that Adairsville is also home to “Character’s Famous BBQ” seen on The Discovery Channel’s “BBQ Pitmasters” show. It’s at 6419 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy.
All in all and in spite of the negligible noise from the trailer repair business next door, we rate Harvest Moon RV Park as a definite stopover if we travel this route in the future. Nice, friendly people running a clean and respectable RV Park and exceptional food nearby.
We have been contacted by a film production company in Canada that’s on the verge of filming a documentary for the CBC about work camping – the people and their jobs and their back stories. Are you or do you know a Canadian workamping couple who would like to share their stories on film? They are looking for the outgoing, larger-than-life type people who love life and are enjoying it to the fullest. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know and we will put the movie people in touch with you. Sounds like fun and it is for real. -Jack
Welcome to Ripplin’ Waters Campground in Sevierville, Tennessee We’re arrived in Dolly Parton’s hometown!
Located on a branch of the Pigeon River, this family campground is convenient to all area attractions. Access roads through the campground are black top. Each graveled site has a grass area with a picnic table. There are pull-through spots with full hookups. Amenities include free WiFi (which is slow) and satellite TV (18 channels) with cable access, swimming pool, bathhouse (showers, commodes, sinks, electric outlets) and when needed, a coin-operated Laundromat and small supply store. The personnel we ran into were all friendly and helpful.
This campground is a perfect base from which to explore all there is to see in the connected Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area. First off this campground is easily accessible from I-40 without entering the extremely heavy traffic of the commercial areas.
The last time I visited Pigeon Forge at least 25 years ago it was just a small town and home to a rising Country star named “Dolly”. She had purchased the local theme park and had begun enlisting her family and others to begin building a true fun destination in this corner of the Smoky Mountains.
That was then but much has been added in the 25 years. In this visit we find six lane highways packed with tourists traveling through the three towns to visit the venues, shows and restaurants that line the roadsides from end to end.
Name a restaurant chain and you will probably find a franchise here, as well as country shows, comedy and magic shows and more, as well as some of Dolly’s own stage shows (dinner included!) and the expanded Dollywood Theme Park with added water park.
Our first evening we had dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. Niki has to have her vegetable plate fix every so often. The food is always good no matter what you choose. No wonder so many of us old-timers enjoy going there!
We had planned to possibly see the Hatfield and McCoys dinner theater show (Niki is a Hatfield descendant) but Niki’s cold had taken a turn for the worse with fever, chills and overall just feeling tired and poorly. Instead we opted for a visit to the pharmacy for some recommended fixes and took a day of rest, which we both needed.
The day was sunny and warmer so I took my usual hike around the campground to take some photos. It’s really a very nice campground and we recommend it as a good place to spend a few days when you visit the area.
When you visit be sure to stop by Walmart or any local supermarket and pick up some of the free coupon books. You’ll find big racks in the entryways and avoid spending unnecessary $$$ at the so-called “Official Welcome Centers”.
We enjoy our meandering along different Snowbird routes – each trip we take time to explore new places and try to soak up some of the local sights, food and culture. Every single city, town and hamlet has special places they are proud of – they remain hidden if we speed by too quickly – Fort Chiswell RV Park and Wytheville, Virginia are no exception.
The name Fort Chiswell comes from a frontier fort built in 1758 as an outpost during the French and Indian War. The fort, which was of strategic importance during the American Revolution, was the guard-post over a small deposit of lead used to mold bullets. Unfortunately, they covered over the fort when they built the I-77 Interstate in the 70’s but there are two other significant places worth seeing in the vicinity.
One is BIG WALKER LOOKOUT located at 8711 Stoney Fork Road in Wytheville.
It’s the designated overlook of the Big Walker Mountain National Forest Scenic Byway. This is one of the few accessable places in the east where you have a 360 degree view of the mountain valleys and farm-scapes of the Appalachian Mountains. Big Walker Lookout features the BW Country Store with 25+ artisans & crafters’ handmade works. Big Walker is a historic pass where, during the Civil War, Molly Tynes traveled to Wytheville to warn of the impending Toland’s Raid. It is a Virginia Birding and Wildlife view area and a raptor migration path. Located just 21 Miles from the campground.
Another place to visit is WOLF CREEK INDIAN VILLAGE & MUSEUM at 6394 N Scenic Highway in Bastian, VA.
The Wolf Creek Indian Village will introduce you to the life led by the Eastern Woodland Indians who inhabited the land 500 years ago. The recreated village is the size and layout of an actual archeological evacuation known as the Brown-Johnston site. Interpretive guides lead you on an exploration of skills needed by the inhabits to survive and thrive.
Located 25 Miles from the Fort Chiswell Campground.
Just down the road from Fort Chiswell is the County Seat – the Town of Wytheville (with-vil) – with a couple of big attractions worth noting like the really BIG PENCIL located on the Wytheville Office Supply building at 146 W Main Street in Wytheville.
For almost 50 years visitors have made it a “point” to see Wytheville’s Main Street landmark. The late John Campbell Findlay (the original owner of Wytheville Office Supply) had the “Big Pencil” constructed in the early 60’s. Made of metal, it is approximately 30 feet long.
Wytheville is also the birthplace of EDITH BOLLING WILSON, First Lady and wife of President Woodrow Wilson. There is an Edith Bolling Museum located at 145 E Main Street in Wytheville.
Many people are unaware that while she was caregiver to the President when he suffered a stroke in 1919 leaving him partially paralyzed, and though the First Lady publicly minimized her involvement in the affairs of state, her stewardship of government duties earned her such titles as “The First Woman President” and “The Secret President.”
Unfortunately, on this stopover the rain and cooler weather finally caught up with us and especially to Niki’s degenerative osteoarthritis so we were limited on our exploring and picture taking.
We did have dinner the first night at the Denny’s in Fort Chiswell which was mostly forgettable with my bland spaghetti and meatballs and Niki’s “second” so-so chicken avocado Caesar salad (the first came with spoiled avocado and a testy waitress!). We have found Denny’s restaurants can run hot and cold and we wouldn’t recommend this one – though the gasoline from the local Flying J was quite economical.
We’re back home in Bob Evans Country! Many restaurants to choose from in the area but one of our favorite chains in the South is Bob Evans and this being the first one we have found since heading back South, we had to go. We enjoyed a couple of our favorite meals – the service was good – and we also happened to have a 30% coupon to make it all taste even better!.
Final word – Wytheville is an important point on both I-77 and I-81 and lies amidst a wrong-way concurrency of I-77 and I-81. In the near future, Interstate 74 will go through Wytheville in addition to the two other interstates. (A road “concurrency” occurs when two or more numbered highway routes are signed in opposite, conflicting directions on the same stretch of physical roadway.)
A campground built on the side of a mountain – a Blue Ridge Mountain. The climb is not a problem and we have seen all manner of motorhomes, trailers and toads come and go.
The sites are graveled, fairly level and all have 30/50A, water and sewer connections. No cable but a good antenna brings in the major network TV stations. Free Wi-Fi is available near the shower building. There is also a nice pool and a catch & release fishing pond.
Most sites are pull-throughs and all have a picnic table and fire ring. Check-in at the office was pleasant and personable and first-timers are led to their site by a hostess that has a trailer in the campground.
Nice shower facility and a coin operated laundry. There is a gate with code access making it a safe as well as a tranquil stopover. Campers receive a discount on the cave tour. Town is approximately 4 miles away with restaurants – including Mexican and Chinese – and service stations.
We had lunch at the Jalisco Mexican Restaurant on the Historic Main Street of New Market among its several antique, art and Civil War memorabilia shops. Many items to choose from on the menu and our choices were prepared well and were tasty. Not the best Mexican we have found and definitely not the worst.
Endless Caverns is well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy caves!
Day 3 and 4 of our Southbound RV trip places us at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground – a little over 200 miles from our first stop in Saugerties, NY. The route takes us down I-87 to I-287 around NY City to I-78 and West for 110 miles (+/-) to I-81. The route has heavy traffic but is fairly smooth and doable for the most part. The worst stretch of roadway to date is several rough frost heaved, patched and re-patched miles through the Allentown area. This patched stretch – though shorter – is much worse than I-88 which we chose to avoid on this trip for the same reason – roughness.
First off, though the campground is close to the Interstate (I-78), as the crow flies but that’s just not so by RV. It’s a winding path of narrow backroads to get here.
They advertised they are open until 9pm on weekends but the office was closed for the day when we arrived at 3pm.
They had taped our paperwork on the office door with a map to our site, which was at the farthest end of a gravel “field” apparently made to hold transients. It appears that the majority of the 233 sites in the campground are occupied by Seasonals with decks, flowers and a definite semblance of permanence.
The campground home page boasts of cable TV, WiFi and a full service restaurant. After monkeying with the cable connection for a long time I gave up on it working and used our antenna which was more than adequate. Local WiFi service is non-existent and the included paperwork alluded to the fact that the restaurant was only open on weekends.
The next morning I visited the “Hostess” in the office to inquire about my misconceptions. She told me that “the WiFi is only receivable near the office area, the restaurant closed two weeks ago and your cable should be working fine!” As far as the cable goes Abbott and Costello worked on it for a little over an hour and discovered that our neighbors had disconnected us at the junction box so they could have cable but never mentioned to the office that they had trouble. Just like anyplace else there are neighbors who are thoughtful and sometimes you run into the other kind.
Pennsylvania Dutch Campground is a Passport America campground which purports to offer half-price camping Sundays through Thursdays but the fine print reads “*$3 additional charge for 30/50 Amp, pull thrus, Direct TV and A/C & electric heat.” There are many Passport America member campgrounds that we have visited which are nice and totally satisfactory and a great value at half-price. This is not one of them and falls into the minority that some RVers point out as reason for not joining PA. We are lifetime members and shall continue to root out the good, the bad and the deplorable (which Niki calls the “Deliverance” campgrounds) as we find them.
We make it a point to ask the office staff wherever we stop for suggestions of their favorite Mom & Pop restaurant but since the office staff had gone home early we Googled our options and chose a multi “starred” Mario’s Pizzeria in the Village of Bernville. Though the campground is listed as being in Bernville we quickly found out just how large a “small” township can be and how many twisting and winding, narrow backroads can be linked together to get from point A – our campground – to point B – destination Mario’s Pizzeria.
Thank goodness for the invention of the GPS or we would still be trying to find our way back to the campground! In summary the service and pizza at Mario’s was quite good but probably not worth the excursion on the backroads after dark.
One bright spot in our stopover at Bernville, PA was a trip on day two to Oregon Dairy Restaurant & Buffet in Lititz, PA. Why would we drive an hour for lunch you would ask? Because we stopped there once before and rate it in the top three buffets we have had on the East Coast. Home cooking with a definite PA Dutch influence and everything fresh and well prepared. If you are ever in the Lititz or Lancaster area we do highly recommend it.
As the sunsets on day 4 of our trip we prepare to bid a fond farewell to the Town of Bernville, PA because we doubt we will be stopping here again – at least not at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground.
A first day uneventful trip down the 187 miles of I-87 from Lewis, NY to our first stopover in Saugerties, NY.
The day was sunny though cool and the Fall foliage was at its spectacular peak and accompanied us for most of the trip.
First stop is Saugerties / Woodstock KOA Journey at 882 New York 212, Saugerties, NY.
It is off-season for this campground as they close on October 30th but we did expect a little better since it is a KOA and charging KOA prices. The roads are narrow, lumpy and care must be taken to avoid low hanging branches. The sites are gravel and nearly level.
The owners themselves were on duty to check us in and to escort us to our site (and avoid the low hanging branches that we were told other less fortunate 5th wheels owners had not missed)..
When I asked about any favorite local “Mom & Pop” eateries the only one that came to our Host’s mind after a long minute’s pondering was the Saugerties Diner near the I-87 exit 20 where we came in.
We were pleasantly surprised with both the food and service at the Diner. They have many reasonably priced specials to choose from – all with a trip to a nice soup and salad bar. Niki had the Chicken Francaise and I had the Crab Stuffed Tilapia followed by a huge piece of homemade cake for both – coconut for Milady and a decadent chocolate for myself.
Our first dilemma of the trip was the propane detector going off last evening after arriving and set-up. Propane is nothing to take lightly, in an RV or anyplace else for that matter, so the tanks were shut off and we used the electric fireplace and an electric heater through a night that dipped into the 30’s. Again reminding us why we’re more than happy to be heading South!
It can always be worse and a for instance is the people in the sites just across from us. One couple spent the night in a tent and the other couple somewhat better off in a pop-up camper. Hardy souls of a younger age group and mindset than us for sure!
Our furnace problem will be looked at and fixed in due course. All part of the Great Adventure that is RVing.
What’s to do in the area? Hyde Park is about 1/2 hour away. The famous site of the ’69 Woodstock Festival and Museum is close-by and there is also a train into NYC about 45 minutes away. Also interesting are the Saugerties Lighthouse and the Main Street in Catskill with their cat sculptures. Lots of little shops in the town, great places to eat – even a movie theater.
Being cat lovers we chose to take a ride to the Village of Catskill to see the cat sculptures. Though it was a scenic trip on the area back roads there were no felines to be found. Perhaps it’s becoming too chilly and they were brought indoors for the Winter Season?
Stay tuned as we continue our meander toward warmer latitudes and attitudes.