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Old 06-21-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Worst campground ever

I vent, therefore I am.

Spent Friday PM in what has got to be the worst campground I ever stayed at.

Google Maps

It's located just upriver from Harpers Ferry, WV on the Potomac River. The campground is not laid out in any particular order. It's more a rough collection of gravel, some picnic tables, number stakes and "fire rings' that where nothing more than some rocks thrown together. The only facilities was some porta-johns. When I asked at the check-in office, located a couple of miles away, about water at the campground I was told that "Yes, the Potomac River was next to the campground." When I explained I meant drinking water the girl behind the counter told me there was a KOA down the road. They probably had it there.

I'm used to boondocking so that wasn't problem. What was the problem was the group of college students who paid no heed to the 10:00pm quiet hour and drank and partied till 2:00am when the rain finally shut them down. Another problem is that the campground is between the river and a double tracked main line for CSX Railroad that is also used by AMTRAK and MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter). In a stretch of 12 hours I counted 20 trains. If you look at the above Google Maps image you'll see a train just then passing by the campground. But that wasn't the worst part.

The worst part is the campground's next to a road tunnel that passes under the railroad tracks. The B&O reached this point in it's western expansion from Baltimore in 1837 and the tunnel looks like it might date from that time. It's fairly small, just big enough for my van to pass through, and the road turns 90 degrees on the other side. With the limited visibility everyone traveling in either direction honks their horn before entering and leaving the tunnel. And honks and honks and honks and honks. All day and all night. Every couple of minutes. Non-stop. And not just a beep-beep but Honkyidy-Honk-Honk-honk-honk-honk-honk.

Almost forgot. There is also an active zip line that runs above the campsites.

After one night I'd had enough. Paid for two days. Bailed after one.

Anyone else have a campground they would like to unload on?
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
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Re: Worst campground ever

Sounds like a walmart parking lot, not a campsite. We ditched a paid site on the Poudre within an hour because we found a BLM site 15 minutes away that was soooo much better, among other things nobody walked through our campsite to get to the river... side doors open, porta tent out and people were cutting through the 4' space even with me standing in it glaring at them.

Then there was the Rap blast at 7am wakeup, but I'd moved sites and it was truly a beautiful campground apart from that one little thing (Crystal Lakes area).

For awful I'd have to go back to a 4th of July before I had the SMB... Dad likes the free sites, but can't pick them for crud; so it was horse flies, horse piles, horse people all around and 100║+ in a sunny featureless field (unless you count the horse piles) with no amenities.

You made the right call jetting, hope there is something better down the road.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Re: Worst campground ever

Nothing like that but I've had some issues with a few CG's and it's usually other campers and why I try to avoid both. One lovely couple got me subpoenaed to a magistrates court several times over the course of a year. Cost me vacation but the government paid for the fuel and lodging.
At castaic lake near LA, I got talked into camping at the fishing access. I think the guy who set me up is still laughing. Hords of people started coming in at night making all kinds of racket, then these massive lights came on that were so bright it kicked my seperator on and the solar started charging my batteries. Never did get any sleep and it didn't help it was hot outside.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Worst campground ever

my wife would put the campground at Afton canyon off the 15 in the same catagory as yours. The train that comes through a number of times a night sounds and feels like a ski crane flying a 100 feet off the deck comming up the canyon. Yes you feel in in the van.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: Worst campground ever

If this is a post up your worst camp site thread, here's one of mine....

I am one to avoid real campgrounds at all costs, but on extended trips you need to do laundry and shower every now and then. This "campground" (dirt lot) was in Homer Alaska. It was simply awful, but we had very limited choices at the moment. We were packed into this dirt lot with hundreds of others. As we found out, Homer is the destination location for the Fourth of July weekend.


On the bight side (always looking for that), my youngest son loved all the eagles on the houses on the beach in the morning.



Homer just wasn't what I remembered it being when I had last been there 30 years earlier.

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Old 06-24-2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Worst campground ever

Jake: How often does the train go by?
Elwood: So often you won't even notice it....
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re: Worst campground ever

There are a lot of bad campgrounds out there!
And there are a lot of good campgrounds out there.
I know many here try to get away from all people.
Sometimes the girlfriend and I like being around people.
But PEOPLE are most often the 'bad' part of the campground.
Smokers mostly (for us) make for bad camping, then loud drinkers & music.
If its about destination we get away from the campsite and just eat/sleep there.

We do the unthinkable because we pull a trailer, we will stay at RV parks!
Which is a base camp for us to venture out for day or multi day outings in more remote areas with the van.

For me, hot desolate desert camping is the least liked (campground or no campground).
I grew up in the desert and have found more scenic destinations.

Bring on the cool and green!

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Old 06-24-2011, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: Worst campground ever

"Primitive camping" lot at Campland By the Bay in San Diego, CA. Wall-to-wall people and noisy electronics.

Best marketing ever for the SMB boondocking lifestyle.
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