RV Camping While Hiking and Climbing Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

About two hours east of Louisville, Kentucky is a place all RV travelers who enjoy hiking and rock climbing should explore. Red River Gorge Geological Area is tucked within the high ridges, riverfront cliffs and green expanses of Daniel Boone National Forest.

Camping there is easy, thanks to private and state park campgrounds throughout the forest, and miles of hiking trails and climbing routes are waiting to be traversed.

What RV Travelers Will Find at Red River Gorge

RV travelers have an easy route to the Gorge from the west, following I-64 east from Louisville into the national forest. If you’re coming from the east, follow I-81 W out of Roanoke, VA about five hours, to where the Red River meanders through an awe-inspiring limestone gorge.

Once you reach Daniel Boone National Forest, you’ll find a variety of natural wonders Daniel Boone National Forestworth exploring both in and around Red River Gorge. Picture a place where limestone arches and stunning, windswept cliffs rise up out of dense hardwood forest and you’ve got an idea what awaits you on your trip.

A favorite spot of Kentucky RV campers is Natural Bridge State Resort Park adjacent to the Gorge. The park is named for an enormous sandstone arch that’s easy to discover via well-maintained hiking trails. Motorhome travelers will also find electric campsites, a small lake perfect for paddling and plenty of family friendly activities there.

Climbing and Hiking at Red River Gorge

For campers hoping to put in some time rappelling or climbing, there’s no place better than Red River Gorge. Rock climbing opportunities abound among the ‘knobs’, cliffs and crags of ‘The Red’. Areas like The Motherlode, Torrent Falls and Military Wall offer dozens of climbing routes for a range of experiences.

Bring your own equipment or book the services of an area climbing guide to make the most of sport and traditional climbing opportunities while camping near Red River Gorge.

Need a little more incentive to pack the RV and head for Kentucky? The hiking available around the Red River Gorge is unparalleled, thanks to the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that acts as the central hub of the area’s trail system.

Whether you plan to make several day hikes on your RV camping trip to Red River Gorge or follow the entire three-hundred-mile length of the Sheltowee Trace Trail, the scenery found along the ridges, waterways and gorges of central Kentucky will find a place among your favorite vacation memories.

So, what’s holding you back from taking your own RV trip to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge? Affordable RV rentals, easy access by interstate and excellent private and state park campgrounds make this trip one that’s perfect for rock climbing groups, adventurous families and nature-loving campers alike. Take the trip soon, and be sure to let us know in the Comments Section what you loved most about RV camping at Red River Gorge.

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Drive the Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway in an RV

Wildhorse Scenic Byway, Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho

Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho looking north from 1rst and Bridge

The Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway conjures up mental images of cowboy days when horses ran wild and fences didn’t exist. Taking an RV vacation up this byway is inspiring and fulfilling when you wish some time to contemplate our natural world. You will drive north on the eastern side of the Selkirk Mountains and follow a historic path that was taken by Kootenai Tribes is early days. Moving through northern Idaho’s beautiful scenery is something you won’t want to miss.

Sandpoint, Idaho is your starting point. This resort community deserves some of your vacation time, as it is a town which gives you easy access to all kinds of outdoor fun. All sorts of events are happening throughout the summer months and into the fall, so your family will never want for things to do and see.

Of course, Lake Pend Oreille is right there, with plenty of big fish and many miles of water so you can get in some boating. This is the state’s largest lake and its deepest as well. In fact Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth deepest lake in the U.S. The beaches are wonderful places to spend an afternoon soaking up the sun.

If you love paddling, you may want to try the Pack River which is a 23-mile river trail and used for canoeing from April to October. You can take Upper Pack River Road and reach stunning views at Chimney Rock and find miles and miles of hiking trails.

Wildlife is abundant at the McArthur Lake Wildlife Management Area. You may catch glimpses of numerous birds, and if you are a birder this is definitely the place to stop. The 200 species of birds here include waterfowl, upland birds, shorebirds and raptors.

Naturally, the scenic wonders you can enjoy on this trip include the beautiful Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Fishing in the waters in this forest provides many catches you will be able to write home about. See all the wildlife that make this region their home, from deer and elk to grizzlies and wolves.

Before you reach Bonners Ferry, you can stop to camp at the Blue Lake RV Resort. You can rent paddle boats or kayaks, exercise your pet in their pet run, and find convenient laundry facilities. When you head once again north, you will move through the Kootenai Valley to see the rich agricultural lands which make this area so popular.

Bonners Ferry will take you back in time, with many historic buildings and other stories from early days. Here is where Edwin Bonner created the ferry crossing so gold seekers could make their way across the Kootenai River and discover their fortunes. Take a side trip to Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge for more wildlife viewing. There is so much to do in this area and you will want to fit in as much as possible! Once you explore the immediate surroundings, you can turn back towards home or continue north to the Canadian border and have more adventures. What a trip it has been!

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

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Camp-California! Guide to Nearly 800 Campgrounds in California

The California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (CalARVC) has a great 80-page guide with information on nearly 800 RV parks and campgrounds in the Golden State. This is a must have for any California RV camper! The guide includes photos, maps, amenity grids, and more.

You can download the PDF here: Camp-California! The Camper’s Guide to California! (It’s big – 52MB)

You can also order one here:

Single Copy or by the Case (80 copies/case)

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Medford, Oregon – Five Reasons for RV Camping There

Just north of the California/Oregon border (about five hours north of Sacramento) is an outdoor wonderland custom-made for enjoyable RV camping. A town surrounded by rare natural beauty, Medford, Oregon can be the center of an active motorhome vacation. Keep reading to find the five reasons we recommend you go RV camping in Medford, OR.

Reason #1: Hiking and Biking Trails Abound
Medford is blessed to be in a bowl formed by the Cascade and Siskiyou Ranges, which means it’s never more than a short walk to exhilarating hiking and mountain biking. Here are some favorite trails you’ll want to explore:

  • ANY of the trails at nearby Crater Lake National Park (more about that magnificent spot in a moment) Hikers highly recommend the Union Peak, Stuart Falls and Annie Creek Canyon trails.
  • Applegate Lake Loop Trail or any of two hundred other trails in Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest are favorites with mountain biking fans.

Reason #2: The Rogue River
Starting on Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) and winding more than two hundred miles to the Pacific, the Wild and Scenic Rogue River provides a superb setting for fishing, whitewater rafting and wildlife viewing. Just a few short miles from Medford, the Rogue River should definitely be on your RV vacation itinerary.

Reason #3: An Historic Entertainment Venue
Born in the 1880s and once a bustling railroad hub, Medford boasts an historic downtown district centered around the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater. Apparently, the world-famous dancer once owned a ranch in the area and lent her celebrity to the push to restore the 1920s-era theater.

Reason #4: Easy Access to Crater Lake
Medford, because of its mountainous surroundings, is right in the heart of Southern Oregon’s famous natural attractions. The most popular is Crater Lake, just a couple of hours northeast. Fascinating day trips at this national park include the 33-mile Rim Drive, the boat ride to mysterious Wizard Island and a visit to the awesome Pinnacles rock formations.

Reason #5: Scenic RV Campgrounds!
Finding an attractive campsite is a no-brainer when traveling by RV to Medford, OR! Tree-lined campgrounds like Medford Oaks RV Park cater to visitors hoping for comfort and convenience. Other popular area campgrounds include Holiday RV Park “on the banks of Bear Creek” and Medford/Gold Hill KOA, just off I-5.

It will soon be springtime in the Cascades, and it’s high time you started planning your RV camping adventure to Medford, Oregon. Use our tips to plan your trip to enjoy the outstanding sights of Southern Oregon.

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RV Camping at Santee Lakes

Just twenty miles from San Diego, Santee, California is a young city built around responsible use of resources. One place RV campers congregate for outdoor fun is Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, built by this visionary city to provide recreation while recycling water and sustaining the environment.

What You’ll Find at Santee Lakes
There are plenty of reasons to turn your RV toward Santee Lakes, and one of the best is the excellent RV camping available. Carefully-planned to preserve the surrounding environment, the campgrounds at Santee Lakes are located in beautiful settings, along a lakeshore, in a shady grove or near a bubbling stream.

Once you’ve settled in a scenic campsite, turn your time toward outdoor entertainment. Seven lakes created to safely recycle water for the city have been stocked to provide catfish and trout fishing action. A tip for RV camping fishermen – Lakes 6 and 7 are reserved for campers only. Don’t own a boat? Rent one from the Santee Lakes General Store.

And there’s plenty for non-fishing campers to do, as well. The kids will enjoy splashing in the “sprayground” or playing at one of the playgrounds or in two pools open to campers. Fitness buffs can find plenty of hiking and biking trails winding their way through the complex.

And one of the best things about Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is the way the staff there caters to RV campers. Special potlucks, game nights and parties are held throughout the week for campers in the clubhouse. Top-notch laundry facilities and a fitness center round out the amenities offered to RV travelers.

You can feel especially good about camping at Santee Lakes, because green practices such as water recycling, a waterfowl nesting program and solar energy are at the heart of how this natural area was established.

So, why not park your RV at Santee Lakes and then spend your entire vacation enjoying the charms of this picturesque area? Fish, swim, hike or simply walk the shores of these perfectly-planned lakes, knowing your campground is part of a forward-thinking city’s efforts to preserve the environment.

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In Search of RV Camping and Fitness Resorts

If you’re one of those RV camping fans who enjoys getting (or staying) fit while on vacation, here’s some good news! A growing trend in RV campground amenities is the addition of fitness classes, expanded fitness facilities and healthy dining options on-site.

We know our readers are always looking for innovative RV travel ideas, so we’ve done a little research on some amazing RV camping and fitness resorts. Here are just four of the campgrounds we’ve discovered:

U.S. RV Camping and Fitness Resorts

  • Nevada Treasure RV Resort in Pahrump, NV is an amazing place focused on fitness for their guests. Stay active at the bowling center, nicely-equipped fitness center, and two pools, all free to resort guests.
  • Caribbean Cowboy RV Resort in Tarpley, TX is definitely interested in helping RVers get fit! This park features:
    • Personal trainers,
    • Group fitness classes,
    • Water aerobics in the indoor pool,
    • Fitness center,
    • Therapeutic massage and
    • Nutritious meals
  • Spring Gulch Resort Campground in New Holland, PA has a full range of fitness amenities for RV campers, including an on-site day spa, fitness center, mini golf course, hiking trails, two pools and a swimming lake.
  • Sun ‘n Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, FL is nationally-known for the amazing range of activities available for guests. Besides the fitness center, multi-sport courts give RV campers the chance to play a little volleyball, basketball, or tennis. If you’re still feeling the need for activity, stop by the Olympic-size pool for a water aerobics class!

This adds a whole new dimension to your RV camping possibilities, doesn’t it? Reserve a campsite at one of these campgrounds, or ask your favorite camping spot what fitness activities they offer. Staying active while RV camping is simple, you just need to know where to camp!

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, florida vacation, Nevada RV Camping, Nevada RV Camping Vacation, NV RV Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | 1 Comment

RV Security Using a Hunting Camera

By Maureen Page, Discount Security Cameras

We often get asked by RV and trailer owners if they can use video surveillance cameras to protect or look after their RV or trailer. This does present a bit of a challenge. Classic security cameras require wires. Even if it is a “wireless” camera that sends video wirelessly to a digital video recorder (DVR), a wire is still needed to power the camera. I don’t know too many people who are up to a major reconstruction project to run the necessary wires to set up a security camera system in their RV.

But the need to protect an expensive asset still exists. What is one to do?

Well it turns out that there is an answer to this conundrum. We can turn to our hunting brethren for a potential solution. Hunters often times use hunting cameras, also known as game cameras and trail cameras, to scout potential hunting sites. It turns out that these cameras have a lot of characteristics that make them a good fit for protecting your RV.

  • Hunting cameras are self contained and do not require wires. They run off of internal batteries and they record pictures (not video) to internal memory.
  • Hunting cameras are triggered (take a picture) when motion is detected.
  • Typical hunting cameras can take color pictures during the day, and black and white pictures at night using their infrared flash capability.

So basically, you can simply pull into a camp site and set up the camera to “keep an eye on things”. You will, however, need to lock your camera to something so that it does not get stolen.

Not only can the camera be used to watch your RV at a camp site, it can also be used to keep an eye on it when it is stored someplace when not in use.

Other Benefits to Using a Hunting Camera

In addition to its security aspects, the camera can also keep track of any animals who may “visit” your camp site during the day and night. It might be nice to know that a bear comes by after dark or that dear or other critters come by to visit at times… Hunting cameras can, and often do, get some pretty amazing wildlife photographs.

Hunting cameras can also be set up to take time lapse photographs of a location. So you could set it up to make a time log of your visit to your camp site.

So a hunting or trail camera may be just the thing you need to provide some security for your RV, and you may get some great photographs as a side benefit.

About the Author
This article was written by Maureen Page, VP of Discount Security Cameras, your source for quality security cameras and security camera systems. To learn more about security camera systems and video surveillance visit the Discount Security Cameras Interactive Security Camera Learning Center.

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Innovative Ways to Help Today’s Wired Generation Reconnect with Nature

One campground offers children a chance to build “bat houses” this summer, while another offers visits by “The Bug Lady”

Others offer river rafting, canoeing and kayaking, as well as nature walks, and opportunities to pick organically grown fruits and vegetables

One park outside of New York City even has its own wolf preserve, where you can hear the call of the wild as you sleep

Richard Louv made national headlines a few years ago when he published Last Child in the Woods, an award winning book that documented an alarming disconnect between today’s wired generation and nature.

But if you feel it’s a challenge to separate your children from their cell phones, iPods, and computer or video games, take heart. “Many of America’s privately owned and operated campgrounds are developing new activities for children of all ages to help them reconnect with nature,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The Larkspur, Colo.-based trade association, in fact, is encouraging its 3,500-plus affiliated campgrounds and RV parks and resorts to increase their offerings of nature-oriented programs for children and families.

Here is sampling of privately owned parks across the country that are offering interesting and unique activities, both on their own initiative and with encouragement of the national association, to help their guests reconnect with nature:

Artic RV Park in Cosmopolis, Wash.: This park, located near Olympic National Park, offers crawdad fishing in a river that flows next to the park. “I keep spare bait for crawdads, string and weights for children to use for ‘long lining’ in the river,” said park owner Roy Pearmain. “I also teach children how to pick up the crawdads and how to sex the crawdads so they can throw back the girls.” Pearmain, who has a degree in biology, also takes his park guests on nature walks and talks about the medicinal uses of plants and trees that are native to the area.

Camp Taylor Campground in Columbia, N.J.: This campground is the home of the Lakota Wolf Preserve, which provides educational talks on wolves, bobcats and foxes twice daily. “We also provide lake swimming, rather than a pool maintained with chemicals. Our lake was built so that we have the ability to control the flow of water into it, thereby maintaining a continuous flow of fresh water,” said park owner Jean Taylor, adding, “Most of our weekend activities are designed to promote environmental awareness and preservation. Our newest activity this year is a ‘lett-us-be-green’ weekend, in which we will be introducing green smoothies made with various green vegetables and healthy fruits. We try to incorporate the need to eating healthy with the need for a healthy environment using informative, nature-based activities centering around simple ways people can ‘go green’ at home and the effect it can have in preserving the planet. Children will go home with a green plant to care for at home.”

Castaways RV Resort and Campground in Berlin, Md.: This park is the closest to Ocean City, Maryland’s most popular beach resort. “We are situated overlooking Assateague Island, where the wild ponies run. You can see them feeding daily from across the bay,” said Kathleen Morris, the park’s general manager. “We have kayak and jet ski rentals on the site as well as fishing skiffs. We also have numerous fishing and crabbing piers as well as clamming sandbars within wading distance.” Morris added, “We encourage the kids in the park to participate in our recreation activities as opposed to being couch potatoes.”

Herkimer KOA in Herkimer, N.Y.: This park is doing several things to try to encourage its guests to develop a closer connection to our natural environment, while also taking better care of themselves. The park recently installed the nation’s first “off grid” solar powered park model rental cabin, which includes bamboo flooring, LED lighting, recycled axels and tires, recycled lumber composite decking, on-demand water heating, energy efficient heating and air-conditioning.

“Our guests will not only have an opportunity for a great camping experience, but the dwelling itself becomes an educational tool,” said Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, the park’s owner, adding, “It’s going to increase awareness of environmental issues not only in New York state, but across the country. My hope is that our guests not only come to enjoy the weekend, but come away inspired to live a greener lifestyle.” Toward that end, a rainwater collection system is also being set up to capture rainwater that falls on the solar-power park model so that it can be used to irrigate an organic vegetable and herb garden. Dr. Shevat plans to encourage her guests to pick vegetables and herbs from the garden and use them in their cooking while they stay at the park.

Lake George RV Park in Lake George, N.Y.: This park has a nature awareness program that includes educational materials and designated nature areas where campers can learn about the wildlife that inhabits the park. The park also has live animal shows with wildlife experts.

Lazy River at Granville in Granville, Ohio: This park has many outdoor activities, including a 300-foot-long zipline, which is popular with people of all ages. But one of the park’s newest nature-oriented attractions is a teacher they affectionately call “The Bug Lady.” “She’s like a pied piper,” said park owner Mark Kasper. She comes to the park several times during the summer, equipped with a suitcase full of insects. Kasper remembers one day when a group of teenagers arrived at his park and scattered shortly after checking in. He worried that they were going to get into mischief. “I later found them sitting in rapture,” he said, “just listening to what this lady had to say.” In addition to talking about the insects she carries in her case, “The Bug Lady” also takes children on tours through the campground looking for bugs. The park also recently opened a mile-long walking path to encourage its guests to get out of their RVs and enjoy a walk in the woods.

Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro, Mass.: This park has a 2-mile nature trail, complete with interpretive nature signs that the park incorporates into its regular activity schedule. The park also offers geocaching to encourage kids to get outside and search for caches. “We also have fishing derbies to entice kids to enjoy simple activities, such as fishing in our pond,” said park spokeswoman Kristine Daniels.

Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley, Calif.: This High Sierra resort offers nature oriented events throughout spring, summer and fall, including a medicinal plants hike on July 4th, a photography workshop on July 25th, a fly-fishing workshop Aug. 7th and 8th, a watercolor retreat Sept. 20th to 24th and a fall colors hike on Oct. 8th.

The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Fla.: This RV resort is one of the largest in the country, with 1,534 sites for towable and motorized RVs as well as park models and custom-built resort homes. But the park also has 3,000 acres of land that are home to native egrets, deer and quail. The Great Outdoors puts a heavy focus on nature, providing habitat areas for numerous land animals and birds, including the colorful “painted bunting,” a rare and stunningly beautiful red, blue and green bird whose habitat has been destroyed in many areas of Florida. The Great Outdoors not only preserves habitat for the painted bunting and other species, but recently opened a 2,795 square foot nature center, which provides a wildlife museum, nature programs and hikes.

Other park operators offer much more traditional but very satisfying nature-based activities. Consider Riley and Vicky Turner, who own a small campground in the Manistee National Forest in central Michigan. Their park, R & J Resort Campground, has 25 campsites, six cabins and three cottages, and is surrounded by pines, poplars, maples and oaks. It’s also close to the Manistee River, a prime spot for fishing and kayaking or canoeing. “My favorite kayak or canoe trip is to go from Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge,” Vicky Turner explains. “You’ll see eagles in flight, albino deer, turkeys and other different animals coming to the river to get a drink.” The trip takes about three to four hours by canoe. “When the kids come,” Turner said, “I take them to see some of our sassafras trees. It’s my favorite tree because you can chew on the leaf and it tastes like root beer!”

This was kindly provided to us by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds where you can find more help locating unique campgrounds in your area or for additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends.

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A Couple of Pensacola Bay Area Itineraries

Blues & Beyond – Naval Air Station Pensacola

Watch the world-famous U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron practice awe-inspiring maneuvers and meet the pilots. Visit one of the largest air and space museums in the world. Dine among naval aviation memorabilia from across the globe at an exact replica of the famous Plaque Bar of the Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines. Explore a fortification built in 1763. Allow 4.5 – 5 hours.

Attractions on this itinerary:

Art & Culture – Downtown Shops & Galleries

Enjoy the many galleries, boutiques, and restaurants lining the streets of historic downtown Pensacola. A visit to the Pensacola Museum of Art, formerly the old City Jail, reveals a collection of 19th, 20th and 21st century works and famous traveling exhibits. Visit Quayside Art Gallery, and the largest co-op gallery in the Southeast. Before leaving our downtown area, stop off at Joe Patti’s Seafood for a tour of the largest seafood distributor in the Southeast. Allow 2 – 2.5 hours.

Attractions on this itinerary:

Many thanks to the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for providing us with these itineraries.

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Multnomah Falls – A Delight for RV Travelers

We are proud to have provided a blog post to the Travel Oregon Blog. The Travel Oregon Blog is the blog of the Travel Oregon site, the site of the Oregon Tourism Commission.

You can see our blog post here:
Multnomah Falls – A Delight for RV Travelers

If you have a blog or a site that you think might benefit from a guest article from El Monte RV please let us know.

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