Nine State Park Campgrounds to Kickstart RV Camping Season

What plans have you made for camping on Memorial Day Weekend and beyond? With the beauty of America’s state parks just waiting to be enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to find your favorites in the comfort of a motorhome or travel trailer.

If you need some help deciding where to go first, why not use our list below of nine state park campgrounds that RV campers love to visit? Then build your own list and be sure to let us know in the comments section where you plan to go RV camping this season.

Nine State Park Campgrounds for RV Camping

  1. Salt Point State Park – California

“Camping by the rocky Pacific shore, just off iconic Highway 1 north of San Francisco”. Doesn’t that sound like a splendid way to kick off camping season? With coastal trails, an underwater park for divers and coves just waiting to show you the best views of the summer, there’s no reason not to add Salt Point State Park to your camping itinerary.

  1. Pocahontas State Park – Virginia

Fishing, paddling and more bring RV camping families to this state park near Chesterfield, VA. Besides the many miles of hiking, mountain biking and multi-use trails, you’ll find an Aquatic Center for swimming with the kids, Beaver Lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and Swift Creek Lake, where the largemouth bass can be legendary. It’s just three hours north of Roanoke, VA and easy to access from Richmond and Norfolk, too, so why not make this park a goal for this summer?

  1. Grayton Beach State Park – Florida

Sugar sand beach, a scenic coastal dune lake and a pleasant RV campground—that’s what you’ll find at Grayton Beach State Park on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only can you play on the beach and hike the trails through coastal forest and dunes, you’ll also enjoy Western Lake, a prime spot for paddling and fishing.

  1. Golden Gate Canyon State Park – Colorado

Why not kick off the summer camping season by picking up your Denver RV rental and then heading west (and a little north) just thirty miles to Golden Gate Canyon State Park? Your camping party will find twelve-thousand-acres of rocky, tree-lined trails, be surprised by clear mountain lakes and, in the midst of all that, enjoy modern, convenient RV campsites.

  1. Elk Neck State Park – Maryland

About an hour and a half northeast of Baltimore, jutting out into Chesapeake Bay, is a wonderful place where hiking, lighthouse viewing, swimming and RV camping are just the beginning of the adventure. Elk Neck State Park, on the peninsula between Chesapeake and the Elk River, offers a whole vacation full of interesting things to do. Bonus: Nature photographers are going to love the trails, the seaside cliffs and the wealth of wildlife this gorgeous state park promises.

  1. Mills Norrie State Park – New York

What if you could pick up your RV rental near New York City and then drive north a couple of hours to a wooded paradise on the Hudson River? Would that help you jump into summer RV camping season? Then a visit to Mills Norrie State Park is in order! Wooded, no-hookups campsites with views of the river, trails through forests and to state historic sites, a legendary public golf course, a river marina and an on-site environmental center round out the perfect spot for a summer vacation on the Hudson.

  1. Clear Lake State Park – California

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sacramento is the chance to camp on the shores of California’s largest freshwater lake. Clear Lake State Park is a bass angler’s dream that also promises shaded campsites, hiking and interpretive trails and a visitor’s center. Bring the boat and plan to stay awhile!

  1. Shabbona Lake State Park – Illinois

Drive an hour straight west from our Glen Ellyn El Monte RV Rentals location and you’ll find Shabbona Lake, the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois”. Besides great fishing, your crew can rent kayaks and discover the lake’s scenic shoreline, hike the woodland trails and enjoy the amenities at the state park’s well-managed campground.

  1. Palisade State Park – Utah

A place to play for everyone—that’s the best way to describe the playground two hours south of Salt Lake City. Palisade State Park, home to Palisade Reservoir (great trout fishing here!), is also home to a public golf course, an expansive campground, miles of hiking trails and OHV trails in a high desert canyon. What could be better for kicking off summer camping season?

These are just nine of the places people like to play when they go state park RV camping in America. Let us know where you like to go, and as always, let us know if we can help with an RV rental.

Posted in State Park RV Camping, State Parks | 1 Comment

Oregon’s Honeyman State Park-Four Tips for RV Camping Fun

School may be starting, but there’s still plenty of time for a weekend of R&R on the Central Oregon Coast. Load up the family and go RV camping to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. This coastal wonderland offers dozens of ways to relax and enjoy the weekend. We’ve narrowed it down to four top tips for making the most of your Honeyman State Park RV camping vacation.

Reserve an Awesome Campsite

With the second largest camping area in Oregon, Honeyman State Park has plenty of options when it comes to scenic campsites. Close to the park’s famous dunes, Lakes Cleawox and Woahink and plenty of hiking trails, the campground becomes the center your Oregon RV camping weekend.  Book one of more than three hundred campsites before you come, to make sure you have the services you prefer.

Jump, Boat or Fish in a Lake

Not only will your campsite be a quick drive to the beach, you’ll also be just down the road from two breathtaking, tree-lined lakes. Cleawox Lake is a highly-praised swimming spot, with tall, Pacific Ocean dunes on one side and a forest of pines on the other. It’s a great place to paddle the shoreline in a kayak and watch for wildlife, as well.

Woahink Lake is also within Honeyman State Park’s boundaries, and offers a different experience for Oregon RV travelers. Much larger than Cleawox, Woahink is the perfect spot to enjoy a day on jet skis or behind a ski boat. Fishing here for largemouth bass and yellow perch is also popular among anglers, so don’t forget your gear!

Hike the Dunes!

Did we mention the presence of two-mile-wide sand dunes that lead to the Pacific while providing a backdrop for Lake Cleawox?

Many park visitors spend a day or two learning the joys of dune hiking, or for more adventurous souls, sandboarding, up and down these windswept formations. Either way, the views are awesome, so you’ll be glad you reached the summit. Don’t own sandboards? Look for local outfitters in nearby Florence, OR who’ll be happy to supply what you need.   shutterstock_57728056_Oregon_coast

Take an OHV Adventure

One of the main reasons people come to the Central Oregon Coast is to embark on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) adventure at Honeyman’s dunes and adjacent Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. With miles of dunes designated for OHV use, you’re sure to find an area suited to your level of riding skill.

Just off Highway 101 and filled with possibilities, Honeyman State Park is ready to help your family relax and rejuvenate before school is back in full swing! Take time right now to book your campsite, pack your RV or set up an RV rental and get ready to unwind at Oregon’s Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park.

Posted in OR RV Vacation, RV Vacation, State Park RV Camping, State Parks | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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Short on Time, But Want to Experience Long-Distance RV Adventures?

Taking an RV vacation has many advantages over staying night after night in various hotels.  For instance, you can’t beat the convenient mobility perk of motor homes by taking all your possessions with you, in addition to the privacy and comfort of having your own “home” away from home at any vacation destination you’re visiting.  The convenience that RVing affords families with children and pets is well worth the effort, time, and money spent on experiencing an RV rental vacation!  Some people never consider renting an RV for long-distance vacations, like going to the Grand Canyon from New York, believing they would have to drive the entire distance in the RV.  Fortunately for the vacationers who enjoy convenience and luxury, El Monte RV offers a wonderful solution to make that kind of a trip possible!

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

For this type of traveler, a “Fly and Drive” RV trip might be the perfect solution.  In a nutshell, travelers looking into this manner of vacation will fly to an El Monte  RV rental location near their destination in order to pick up an RV before staring on their adventure.   There is an upward trend building in this “Fly and Drive” travel experience for several good reasons.

Probably the top and most obvious reason at hand is not having enough time to drive the entire distance just to get to your final destination.   Depending on the kind of trip you have in mind, this aspect of the “Fly and Drive” option is a win-win!   While road trips are a lot of fun and enhance the RV trip, it may not fit into your time schedule.  It serves a better purpose for some people to get there quickly so that they can start using their RV the way they want to.  Another reason to fly and drive is that it can be the most economical way to visit a national park or other destination on the other side of the country.  Instead of paying for all of the gas just to get to your destination, a plane ticket may be a cheaper alternative.

If you decide to fly and drive to your destination, there are a few simple steps to follow to make your trip a success!  Early planning is the best policy; it is usually the cheapest way to go, as well as having the increased availability for campsites and RV selections!   After deciding where you want to go,  you’ll need to do a little research first.  You will want to locate the nearest RV campgrounds or other sites that allow overnight RV parking before making your RV reservations.  Especially when considering a stay in a national or state park, you’ll want to know the size of your RV rental first because the RV size can make a difference in whether or not there will be site availability.  Before reserving your camping spot, find the closest El Monte RV location to reserve and book the RV that will be perfect for you, remember to take note of the size of your motor home.  Then make a call to the campground and reserve your RV camping spot!

Next, you’ll need to book your flight tickets!   El Monte RV offers shuttle service at their larger store locations.  You will want to verify upon booking your RV rental whether or not that particular location provides shuttle service.  An alternate choice for a low-cost way to get from the airport to your El Monte RV location is using a car transport service such as Uber.  This modern and popular alternative to taking taxis is usually the cheapest and easiest way to get to your El Monte RV location, and you’ll be able to use it to get back to the airport at the end of your vacation as well.  Make sure to download the app to your smart phone before you leave on vacation, as this will allow you to hail an Uber car as soon as you walk out of the airport!

If you’re thinking about taking an RV vacation this year, don’t hold yourself back from anywhere in the U.S. that you’ve thought about going in an RV.  If the nearest El Monte RV location isn’t within easy driving distance, consider doing a Fly and Drive vacation instead!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208


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An RV Trip to Whidbey Island in Washington

An RV trip around Seattle is good for the soul, and now is the ideal time to visit before the tourist crowds hit the road to this nice city.  You will find one of the favorite adventures in the Seattle area is to drive from the bottom to the top of Whidbey Island for cultural outdoor recreation and sights to see.  As you ride the ferry over, you’ll feel the anticipation of your landing build.

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Camping and Picnic Area near Keystone Ferry in Washington

Once you land on the island, you may want to drive right over to Deer Lake and try your hand at fishing.  If the sun is out, you’ll want to catch some rays and soak it up while it lasts.  Then stop at the Earth Sanctuary, a little further up the road.  The wildlife and birds here will restore your faith in the goodness of nature.

When you move on and come to the South Whidbey State Park, you will love to get out and hike through old-growth forest.  You will also find a beach where you can walk by the water and enjoy this scenic shoreline.  This is a place to come for inspiration and solitude.  Take it all in before moving on.

One detour you’ll enjoy is taking Highway 20 over to Fort Casey State Park.  Stop to visit the lighthouse which was fully restored and is a great example of a ship warning system. Explore the fort and see early-day battlements and glean some history from this area. Keystone State Park is also nearby where you can get in some more fishing if you’d like.

Next on your itinerary is Fort Ebey State Park.  This is a great place to get into the out-of-doors and enjoy this northwest region, Puget Sound and some history as well.  The best hiking trail to take is the Kettles Trail.  If you love to watch birds, you will be thrilled to see some soaring bald eagles here.  Of course there are other species of birds too, so be sure to bring along your binoculars.

At Oak Harbor, turn to the west where you can get to Joseph Whidbey State Park.  It is always fun to walk along the beach, look out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and view the San Juan Islands.  In winter, the birds are migrating making this RV trip the perfect chance to watch plenty of birds flying overhead.

Your last stop on this Whidbey Island trip is Deception Pass State Park.  This park also provides a great opportunity to gaze at all kinds of birds who like to spend the winter here. Cranberry Lake is a fishing hole for visitors and locals alike.  Pull on those hiking boots and get out there and hike some of the trails in Deception Pass State Park.  The RV park here is open all year.

Yes, an RV trip on Whidbey Island can be quite the experience.  You ought to prepare yourself for a time filled with a lot of nature, many outdoor activities, and lovely scenery.  It is a trip you will remember for years to come!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Photo of campground by Roseanna Dana is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

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Travel from Sarasota, Florida, to the Everglades this Winter

Florida beckons to take the chill out of winter with its mild weather, gorgeous beaches, and great attractions.  It is the perfect time to take an RV winter vacation and get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.  Getting out on the open road offers a needed break, an adventure that clears the mind and boosts inspiration.  The west coast of Florida is a good place to start your getaway.

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

While in Sarasota, Florida, there are many things to do, so you should consider spending some time here.  If you have children with you, you will most definitely want to stop and see the Children’s Garden & Art Center.  Both boys and girls have a wonderful time playing here.  There is a fairy garden where the little ladies can engage in make-believe and a tree fort for the young men to let their imagination run wild.

Both kids and adults love the Crowley Museum and Nature Center because you learn all about the early settlers in Florida, and there is nothing quite like getting that taste of history to make your trip all the more interesting.  Prior to continuing down the coast, also visit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.  It is wonderful to see the lions, tigers, and other animals that were rescued and can now live happy lives.

The weather in Florida during the winter months can vary greatly; but more often than not, you’ll find very mild weather conducive to a visit to the beach.  At Fort Meyers there are some wonderful beaches, and you can also enjoy plenty of shopping and fine dining.  Marvel at the amazing sunsets over a glass of wine.  You will find more shopping at Cape Coral, just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Two more places to stop before you reach the Everglades – the Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge with a wide array of wildlife, sea life, and birds and Collier-Seminole State Park with one of the largest mangrove swamps anywhere.  But be prepared for the Everglades, as there is no other park that matches the wonders of this one!

Everglades National Park gives you the opportunity to enjoy so much of nature.  You will, perhaps, glimpse a Florida panther.  You might come face-to-face with a gentle manatee or see an American crocodile in action.  You can learn more about the park and what to look for by stopping by the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Gallery.

Of all recreational activities available in Everglades National Park, hiking is one of the favorites. There are numerous hiking trails where you can traverse the unique landscapes.  If you love birding, the Bear Lake Trail is the one to take; and if you want to see mangroves and open coastal prairie, take the Christian Point Trail.

You will find this Florida winter RV vacation to be fabulously relaxing.  It is going to be one that will stay in memory as one of your favorites!

For information on booking an RV Trip near Sarasota, Florida, – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of Sarasota, Florida, is from Flicker Commons by Jim Brickett.  It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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An RV Fishing Vacation to Austin, Texas

The weather in Texas is so mild this time of year that an RV fishing vacation is in order!  There is nothing quite as enjoyable as getting away from it all for a little fishing, and the Austin area is perfect for such an adventure.  La Hacienda RV Park can be your home base while you explore all the fishing opportunities around Austin.  Get your fishing license from a retailer or online and then get started on a great vacation.

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

First stop is Lake Austin.  Huge bass are the attraction at this body of water, with its weed beds along the shore where they quietly hide.  You might catch one that weighs around eight or ten pounds!  Now that would be an exciting “first catch” of your trip!  Besides bass, you may hook some flathead or blue catfish, some bluegill or redbreast.

Now when you arrive at Walter E. Long Reservoir, you can have a picnic outdoors as long as the weather cooperates.  You will enjoy pulling in largemouth or striped bass, sunfish or a beautiful catfish.  For the channel catfish, use stinkbait and for sunfish you can use meal worms or crickets.

Another spot fishermen love is Lake Kyle, offering a wonderful place to catch perch, catfish, and bass.  There is a play area for kids too.  So if your little ones are with you and get tired of fishing, they can play while you carry on fishing for that trophy catch.

Although it gets a bit cooler at night, the night fishing at Lady Bird Lake provides an opportunity to hook largemouth bass, catfish, carp, and sunfish.  Access is particularly great along the banks, especially at Festival Beach.

Driving up to Round Rock will give you and your fishing partners even more options for fishing within the park system.  At Meadow Lake the bass and catfish are good sized, and the shoreline is relatively undeveloped, providing a relaxing atmosphere for fishing all day.  Then head over and fish from the bank or the pier at Bright Lake.  There are a number of hiking trails that will please the outdoors enthusiast.

Another place to get in some fishing time is south of Austin in Bastrop State Park.  There are all sorts of outdoor recreation here which the whole family will enjoy.  This is one popular place for bass, channel, and blue catfish, as well as flatheads.  Lake Bastrop is perfect for shore fishing or renting a canoe and getting out on the water.  You may not catch a trophy bass but can usually count on one weighing around two to five pounds.  Advice has it that plastic worms are the best when using colors like watermelon, tequila sunrise, and june bug.  Doesn’t hurt to try, that is for sure!

Experiencing the fishing around Austin is really a wonderful way to spend a winter RV vacation.  The mild weather, the friendly folks you meet, and the great locations – you can’t beat Texas and fishing!

For information on booking an RV Trip near Austin, Texas – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of Lady Bird Lake is from the Flicker Commons by notevenathing. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Plan a Colorful Autumn RV Trip to the Catskills

There is no time like the present to plan an autumn drive through the Catskill Mountains in New York. This is when the foliage is at its peak, during October, and you will have a wonderful opportunity to see some magnificent orange, red and yellow leaves. Route 30 will take you through charming communities and past some great views.

Catskills beyond Hudson

Catskills beyond Hudson

Start your fall journey in an RV from Hancock and begin to explore. You will be driving from close to the border of New York and Pennsylvania to lovely Esperance, New York. Near Hancock you will also find some terrific dining if you wish to eat out, or you can play some golf before you officially start your drive.

After traveling through some quaint hamlets, you will come to the Pepacton Reservoir and finally end up in the small village of Margaretville. In addition to fishing in the reservoir, you can also venture to some of the local lakes, streams and ponds to cast a line and see what trout you can catch.

You may want to turn right onto New York Route 28 to see some other sights. This includes the Delaware and Ulster Railroad in Arkville. The fall foliage season is the perfect time to take this rail ride so you can see the brilliant displays. You may even get to experience an old-time train robbery on your trip. How thrilling would that be?

When you reach Belleayre Mountain you can get in some hiking. This is the best way to see the scenery and get up close and personal to nature’s fall beauty. Although mainly a winter destination for skiing and winter sports, Belleayre is great in the fall too! You can fish here or perhaps get out on the water in a kayak.

More fishing, hiking and golfing await you at Hunter Mountain. And then there is Kaaterskill Falls, a 260-foot cascade in two tiers. Ensure you have your hiking boots ready and take off on the trails which take you to the top of the falls and to the bottom as well.

Back on Route 30 again, you will come to Roxbury. This is the time to visit Roxbury Depot Museum. Get outdoors again and hike the Catskill Scenic Trail. In town there are a number of historic spots to see including the Walter Stratton House. Right in the middle of town is an 11-acre park where you can walk and enjoy the autumn foliage.

As you drive through Schoharie County you will be amazed at the gorgeous colors and sweet fall air. Stop at Mine Kill State Park if you wish to see an incredible sight. A beautiful 80-foot waterfall cascades through a gorge which you can view from a platform overlook. Perhaps you want to try your luck fishing here. There are plenty of trout, bass and walleye in the lower reservoir.

Next stop will be Fulton and the famous Vroman’s Nose. This is an oddly shaped mountain which is ideal for a short hiking excursion. It is only a two-mile trek on a loop trail of moderate difficulty. You will see why the name once you check out the sight from a distance. And once at the top, you’ll understand why the summit has been nicknamed the Dance Floor.

The Old Stone Fort Museum is located in Schoharie and is an important addition to your itinerary. Look for the cannonball hole in the rear of the structure. It came from a fight between Captain Joseph Brant and the British Loyalists. The entire complex offers a taste of history you can get no place else. Check their website before you arrive for hours. They are open in October through the 27th.

One of your last stops will be the Secret Caverns with its amazing underground waterfall. This is 100 feet of tumbling water under the earth, highlighted by the lovely stalactites and stalagmites. Get a guided tour and learn more about this fascinating cavern.

Your fall drive is about to come to an end. It has the final destination of the village of Esperance. Visit the George Landis Arboretum while here and put off your drive home. You can see thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world and can hike eight miles of trails through fields, wetlands and woodlands. What a terrific fall experience this trip has been. You will have to come back next year and take in any sights you missed!

Picture credits: The picture of The Catskills from the Hudson  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Trip to some Lovely State Forests in Massachusetts

A fall vacation in Massachusetts may be just the thing to reset your clock and begin a new adventure for the year. An RV vacation through some of the state parks and forests is even better, as you can travel in style and comfort, many inconveniences simply eliminated. Start out in Lenox, Massachusetts to enjoy the autumn beauty of Berkshire County. After exploring the city, you can discover great hiking trails in Kennedy Park. This is a wonderful spot for a family picnic too!

Sign Entering Lenox MA

Entering Lenox MA

Just to the east of Lenox is October Mountain State Forest where you can get into the forest and see nature at its autumn best. Trek through Schermerhorn Gorge for some incredible scenery. Wildlife watching is something that attracts many to this woodland. The Appalachian Trail moves through this area, too, so if you have time, you can hike some miles on this famous trail to experience the exciting Massachusetts wilderness.

North of Lenox, the Pittsfield State Forest is where the streams invite fishermen to take advantage of the great weather. Berry Pond is up at more than 2,000 feet in elevation and is a great place to find the fish biting. Drive to the top of Berry Mountain for some wonderful views. In the northeast corner of the forest, discover Balance Rock State Park with its limestone boulder balanced so precariously on the bedrock.

Continue north to visit Mount Greylock State Reservation, the highest point in the state. You will get some panoramic views here across Berkshire County and beyond. Although the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower is closed for the season, the memorial chamber at ground level is open to enjoy.

Once complete with your visit at Mount Greylock, head east on Highway 2 towards Boston. You will run into Interstate 90 which will take you right back to the city. However, as you drive Highway 2, stop at Mohawk Trail State Forest  so you can see fabulous gorges carved deep in the rock, mountain ridges and a wide variety of animal and plant life. Trout fishing here is excellent.

Next stop is Erving State Forest with many outdoor activities for the RV vacationer. Try boating on the lake, hiking the forest woodlands or fishing from the shore. Many woodland trails offer destinations of scenic interest, so you will definitely want to put on the hiking shoes and get outside and move through nature’s surrounds.

Drop down south to stop at Lake Wyola State Park. The word “Wyola” is a Native American word for “quiet waters,” and you’ll see why when you arrive. Here are forty acres of peace and solitude on a lovely autumn day. It is the perfect ending to a perfect RV getaway. Now you can head back to the city ready to take on life once again. There is nothing like an autumn vacation in Massachusetts to give you a whole new outlook and energy.

Picture credits: The picture of entering Lenox, MA is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Travel Virginia in an RV to See some Unique Spots

Virginia is an ideal destination for an RV vacation this fall. Before the snows come, you really need to get away from it all and have a little time to relax and recoup. Driving an RV through the Virginia countryside and visiting some unique spots makes a vacation worth remembering.

Autumn Waterfall, Virginia

Autumn Waterfall, Virginia

Once you pick up your RV motorhome in Herndon, VA, you can travel to Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Loudoun County to experience a diversity of landscapes and some marvelous outdoor recreation. Hiking these trails takes you through an environment rich in plant life and teeming with wildlife. You’ll see fields, wetlands, forests and river habitats. It is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Another unique destination is the Leesburg Animal Park. If you have kids with you, the petting zoo is alive with bunnies, goats, pigs, sheep and much more. Of course, this zoo is not just for the children. Everyone loves to pet the animals and feed the llamas, deer and camels. Exotic animals are a treat too, with giant tortoises, zebras and lemurs. On weekends, ride a camel for one special adventure!

There are more than 1,800 acres with 17 miles of hiking trails in Sky Meadows State Park. You will also have an opportunity to go horseback riding on seven miles of bridle trails or take part in a history program this fall. Lots of scenic views too, as well as tons of wildlife – so don’t forget your camera! You won’t want to miss shots of your vacation time here.

The GR Thompson State Wildlife Management Area also should be on your itinerary. This is a place where outdoor recreation knows no bounds and wildlife are everywhere. In the fall you can do some turkey hunting, which is something everyone must do once in their lifetime! Explore the fields, the forests of mature oaks and white ash and streams running throughout. Thompson Lake is a great place to catch some smallmouth bass, catfish and bluegill. Every fall the hawks migrate through the region and provide quite a sight for bird watchers.

Although small, Whitney State Forest is worth a stop. You can hike more than six miles of trails in this 147-acre park. Changing colors make a lovely sight as you explore the area by foot. Many birds make their home here and you should watch out for one of the most beautiful – the scarlet tanager. Another lovely bird to catch a glimpse of is the rose-breasted grosbeak. Both these feathered creatures are colorful and certainly catch your attention.

As you head back to Herndon, Virginia and the D.C. area, you will know you have had one exciting and enlightening vacation in Virginia – one that is relatively unusual but one that has been very satisfying. It’s a time of fall beauty, outdoor fun and family bonding.

Picture credits: The picture of an autumn waterfall in Virginia  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Posted in State Parks, Virginia RV Vacation | 1 Comment