Summer RV Adventure in Washington’s National and State Parks

Washington offers many National and State parks to choose from plus a great climate for summer RV enthusiasts. Get out in your RV or ours and see some sights of the Pacific Northwest this summer. Here are some of the most popular but not necessarily really crowded spots.

If you are starting out near Bellingham, at El Monte’s RV Rentals, you could travel south to Seattle to begin your adventure. Here take a few hours to explore the Wing Luke Museum. This unique place is described as an experience more than a museum that reveals what it is and was to be Asian American in the Pacific Northwest. Visitors explore thought-provoking exhibitions of real stories, including that of actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee.

If you wish to travel east from Ferndale and Bellingham, you can treat yourself to the views of a true alpine landscape in the North Cascades National Park. Here you can find communities of life that have adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fires in the east. Jagged peaks are crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Here you can listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. This is truly a unique experience.

There are 15 National Parks and Places in Washington. First, check out the blog on this site for Monty’s Musings, RV Trip to Wild, Wonderful Washingtonwhich covered the 3 main national parks, Mt. Rainier, the San Juan Island and Olympia National Park. The current blog focuses more on the State parks that are available and some of the National parks and historic places not covered before.

Ebey’s Landing, in Coupeville, WA also offers a stunning view at the gateway to Puget Sound. This is just a short drive south from Ferndale. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reservepreserves the historical, agricultural and cultural traditions of both native and Euro-American – while offering spectacular opportunities for recreation.

One thing you should also note: there is also a Free Admission Day to many national parks on Sunday, August 25th to commemorate the National Park Service Anniversary, and on September 28thto celebrate National Public Lands Day. So try to plan your trips to take advantage of those days, or purchase a National Parks Pass. See the webpage, National Park Service Passesfor more details.


State Parks in Washington

Washington has 154 State Parks, 5 State Recreation Areas, 2 State Forests, and 1 State Wildlife Area in addition to all the national parks and historic places.

These parks are divided into ten regions: The Islands, in the northwest corner of the state, North Cascades, going east from there, and Rocky Mountain Gateway, on the eastern edge of Washington. The Columbia River Plateau is south and west of the Rocky Mountain Gateway and the Palouse is southeast of that. The Wine Country is on the southern border of the state until you get to Volcano Country, west of the Wine Country. Wrapping up this amazing state are The Coast (west southern coast, north of that is Olympic and Kitsap and east of that region is King Country, which is around Seattle. To see all the recreation destinations in Washingtoncheck out their website.

Nine of their state parks have interpretive centers where visitors can experience the catastrophic Ice Age floods at the Dry Falls Visitor Center or retrace the journey of the Corps of Discovery at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. You can peer through one of the largest amateur built telescopes in the country at Goldendale Observatory or step inside a historic lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park. There are so many that one could spend a month or more just exploring all the State Parks Washington has to offer. For more information on Washington’s State Parks with interpretive centers,see their website.

Camping Spots

You can discover some of America’s best outdoor experiences in Washington. To find which parks will reserve spaces for camping in your RV, go to Washington Campgrounds and Camping provided by ReserveAmerica.

Camp in the National ParksWith reservations for many spots, you may have to book early to get one. But, our national park system is very sophisticated and they purposely leave many sites first-come, first-served. You can get full details including which sites filled yesterday at any of the park’s websites.

To make the most of your Washington parks trip, easily rent an RV at El Monte RV Rentals in Ferndale, near Bellingham.

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Bayou Teche RV Camping—Good Times!

An RV trip to Louisiana’s Bayou Teche is a step back into a slower-paced world. But what can you do once you’re there? Paddle your way down a national water trail or take a walking tour through a small town’s historic attractions. Learn what it means to be in the heart of Acadiana, that storied place where Cajun meets Creole along Louisiana’s cypress swamps and marshlands.

Visit a wildlife refuge to observe endangered species or bike along under massive oaks. No matter what you choose to do on your vacation, you’ll find warm, Cajun-flavored hospitality in semi-tropical surroundings.

How to Get to Bayou Teche: Franklin, LA at the south end of Bayou Teche is just two hours south of Baton Rouge via LA-70. Another way to reach this vibrant bayou in South Central Louisiana is to travel an hour south of Lafayette on US-90.

Things to Do on Bayou Teche:

  • Visit Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge: Located near Franklin on Hwy 182, the Wildlife Refuge celebrates and preserves such threatened species as the American alligator, the Louisiana Black Bear and the American Bald Eagle. Plan to spend a day hiking the trails, photographing wildlife or fishing for bream and bass from a kayak or other small craft.
  • Visit Breaux Bridge: A town filled with historic buildings, Breaux Bridge, LA is also known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World”. While on your trip, why not take the self-guided walking tour past this bayou town’s many historic homes and businesses? Be sure to try the blue crab, pecan pie and, of course, crawfish, while you’re there.
  • Take a Water Tour: Bayou Teche has been added recently to the National Water Trails System, attracting paddlers from across America. All along Bayou Teche there are access points to put in a kayak or canoe. Take off down the bayou on a guided Bayou Teche tour to find the birds, wildlife and scenery that make this part of the country so memorable.
  • Visit Lake Martin/Cypress Island Preserve, where from January to April, thousands of migratory birds come to roost. The Preserve is halfway between
    Lake Martin LA

    Lake Martin LA

    Breaux Bridge and Lafayette and features a visitor center and a levee walking trail where you can observe such species as the Green Heron and the Great Egret.

  • Travel the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway: A 125-mile collection of roadways, this Byway travels through small towns, swamplands and forests deep into Teche territory. It’s the perfect way to learn more about this unique section of American culture.

RV camping in South Central Louisiana is pleasant year-round, thanks to warm temps even in winter. RV campgrounds in Bayou Teche country range from large, improved parks in nearby cities to small, intimate water and electric sites right on the Bayou. Louisiana RV parks in towns like New Iberia and Breaux Bridge will keep you close to the Bayou and all the outdoor action.

Your trip is even easier with an rv rental, so why not get in touch today? Then get ready to relax in bayou country!

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A Winter RV Vacation in Louisiana

The natural beauty of Louisiana attracts people from all over the country – those who love the wildlife of the bayous and rivers, the scenic forests and marshes and the many miles of trails and paths.  Enjoying the diversity of landscapes is just one aspect of experiencing a Louisiana vacation.  There is also outdoor recreation that can’t be beat!  And driving an RV to this vacation destination makes the entire getaway one of ease and comfort.

Louisiana bayou

Down by the Bayou

A visit to the Kisatchie National Forest offers the opportunity to explore some of nature in its purest form.  The bayous are alive with flora and fauna and wildlife is hugely abundant.  This is the only national forest in the entire state, and most definitely worth a trip.  Within the boundaries of the forest is the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness and a scenic drive on the Longleaf Scenic Byway.  Numerous trails take you in the back country for a real wilderness experience.

Fishing is always a great vacation activity and you can catch some catfish or bass at Kincaid Lake Recreation Area.  You can camp with your RV at Kincaid Lake Campground and find shower facilities, full hookups, and a dump station.  They also have a boat dock, ramps, hiking trails, and much more.  Nearby attractions include Tunica-Biloxi Indian Museum, Louisiana Cowboy Town and Hodges Gardens.

Swimming Bass

Swimming Bass

Find some great fishing also at Fullerton Lake.  There are crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, and other game fish for you to hook.  Between fishing expeditions, you can get in some hiking.  The favorite trails are Big Branch Trail and the Ouiska Chitto Trail.  The outdoor fun in this region is something exciting for the whole family to experience.  From horseback riding and hiking, to fishing, and boating or kayaking – there is a favorite kind of fun for everyone!

Ensure you put the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge on your list to see.  The forest wildlife is thrilling to see, particularly if you happen across a black bear or catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring across the sky.  Specifically this is waterfowl habitat so you can expect to see wood ducks, mallards, teal, and plenty of geese.

Next should come the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, a huge refuge at 25,000 acres of lowland forest.  Regular flooding creates the ideal environment for many birds and wildlife species.  This is the perfect time of year to visit as migratory waterfowl are wintering here.  You will witness wildlife in their natural habitat such as raptors, reptiles and amphibians.  Nearby you might like to see the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area where raccoon, rabbits, mink, bobcat, and beaver roam.

You will never seem to be able to get enough of wildlife refuges or forest areas when in Louisiana.  Don’t leave out Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge or the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.  So many species of birds, fish, and mammals live in these regions, and you can add to your list of sightings as you travel through this amazing state.  An RV trip to Louisiana –  a complete adventure and one you shouldn’t pass up.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

For information on renting an RV near Louisiana, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the bayou by Pop Top Lady and the swimming bass by Jprime84 are both licensed under Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr Creative Commons.
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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!

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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Experience Michigan Fall Colors in an RV Part 2

When you are finished with your RV excursion through the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, it’s time to head north to the Upper Peninsula where the colors will soon reach their peak. The reds and oranges will be peaking in the middle of the month, so plan your trip as early as possible.

Fall Foliage in Michigan

Fall Foliage in Michigan

Your last stop was the Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve and spending time here was a lot of fun, but it is time to move now before you miss the best fall colors that Michigan has to offer. Drive east to the middle of the state where you can catch Interstate 75 north to the Upper Peninsula.

St. Ignace, Michigan signals your entrance to the Upper Peninsula and the opportunity to enjoy marvelous fall colors. While here, make a trip to Castle Rock where you can climb up 200 feet for some incredible views. You also should visit the Straits State Park. This isn’t a huge park by any means, but you can hike, have a picnic, and if the weather isn’t too chilly, take a swim. Views of the Mackinac Bridge with the boats moving along the Straits are quite inspiring. You’ll find RV camping here too!

To continue on your journey, you will take Highway 123 through Sault Ste. Marie State Forest Area. This is where you will get to observe the changing colors as fall weaves its way across our continent. During the winter months there are ski trails throughout the region, but in summer and autumn you can ride off-road vehicles here to your heart’s content.

Moving on and stopping every so often to do a mini-photo shoot to capture the beauty of this land, you will come to the little town of Trout Lake. Use the lake for some of the best water activities you can imagine. Canoeing is fun but waterskiing is even better! Fish for… you guessed it – trout!

You will find RV camping here at Trout Lake offers many amenities that will make your stay a total pleasure. Sixty sites have electric hookups and there is a dump station too.

When ready to carry on with your RV adventure, keep following Highway 123, with Tahquamenon Bay to the east and you will eventually come to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This is another perfect location to enjoy some recreation. There are a number of hiking trails anywhere from one mile long to over seven miles in length. RV camping is available as well. Paddle the Tahquamenon River with lovely views of its waterfalls. One of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi river is right here in the park – the Upper Falls. It falls almost fifty feet and is more than 200 feet across.

You can turn around now if you can bring yourself to go home. The combination of outdoor fun and fall foliage certainly has made this an awesome trip and it is hard to let it end. Come back again. It will be here next year too!

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Michigan is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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Pure Pleasure with a Montauk Long Island Fall RV Trip

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Traveling to Long Island and enjoying all the sights and sounds of beautiful Montauk is a great RV vacation idea for the fall season. Although Montauk is mainly considered a beach resort, you will find a lovely place here to enjoy outdoor recreation and fall colors along the south shore of the island.

Luckily, in the autumn, the summer crowds have all gone home, and you will find some real pleasure in a little solitude. The weather isn’t bad, and the peak foliage lasts until around the first week in November.

Don’t miss the seashore, however, by exclusively searching out the fall colors. There are other autumn adventures. The Picture of Montauk Point Lighthouse is a must-see, with amazing views of the coastline and magnificent Atlantic Ocean. This lighthouse is the fourth oldest in the U.S. Climb the 137 steps to the top to take in the view.

You won’t go swimming this time of year but at the Montauk beaches you CAN learn to surf. People come here year round to ride the waves. Additionally, fishing couldn’t be better than during Montauk’s Fall Run, with a frenzy of striped bass just waiting to be reeled in. Get ready to practice your surf casting and make some trophy catches.

Hiking the Montauk wilderness is bound to get you up close and personal with some wonderful fall colors. There are six state parks where you can explore, enjoy the sea coast, wetlands and foliage. The first park to visit is the Hither Hills State Park. You can take to the trails and bridle paths to marvel at the woodlands. Walk the beach and fish. Endless opportunities await you!

Really have an adventure along the shoreline at Shadmoor State Park. There are thousands of feet of beach to wander. Hike along the bluffs and wetlands and watch the birds. The black cherry trees have turned yellow and red and present a gorgeous backdrop. Of course, if you love playing golf, head over to Montauk Downs State Park for 18 holes. You can also play tennis or have breakfast or lunch in the grill room.

Amsterdam Beach Preserve is a wonderful place to spot rare and endangered species in the tidal and freshwater wetlands. You may catch a glimpse of the Cooper’s hawk or a spotted turtle. Next stop? Camp Hero State Park! This is a historical military installation with a whole system of trails for biking, horseback riding and hiking. If you have a fishing permit, you will find this park has some of the best surf fishing spots around.

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Ten First-Rate Spots for RV Camping and Fishing in Winter

When cold weather comes, you may think your fishing fever is on hold until spring. Here’s some good news for RV camping and fishing fans-there are plenty of places to do both in winter. Come along on our tour of ten first-rate spots for RV camping and fishing in wintertime.

  1. Caddo Lake – This immense, mysterious body of water stretches from Karnack, TX to Mooringsport, LA, giving winter fishermen plenty of room to explore its bayous. Fish for crappie as you take a leisurely boat ride through Caddo Lake’s impressive cypress groves. Potters Point at Jefferson, TX offers full-hookup RV campsites, a boat launch and other services.
  2. Chattahoochee River, Atlanta, GA – The “Hooch” runs through the middle of Atlanta, and local anglers know that forty-eight miles of it are designated trout water. The easiest way to enjoy a great Atlanta RV camping and fishing trip is to hire a local guide. River Through Atlanta comes highly-recommended!
  3. Dauphin Island, Mobile, AL – If you haven’t tried your hand at winter surf fishing for black drum and flounder, scenic Dauphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay is the place to start. You can also fish the public or private fishing piers for a different experience.  Also good to know-the Dauphin Island Campground has seaside campsites within walking distance of great fishing.
  4. Diamond Valley Reservoir, Hemet, California – An hour and a half south of Los Angeles near Hemet, CA is a gem of a fishing hole renowned for its record-breaking black bass. Diamond Valley Reservoir is legendary for producing the big bass year after year. There’s no campground yet at the lake, but Wilderness Lakes RV Resort, five miles away in Menifee, makes a good base camp for your Hemet, California RV camping and fishing expedition.
  5. Lake Hartwell, South Carolina/Georgia Border – Twenty miles east of the South Carolina/Georgia Border and just off the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, Lake Hartwell State Park lures striper fishing fans every winter. When the striped bass start biting in cooler weather, RV camping anglers park their motorhomes at this lake’s excellent campground and start fishing. Here’s a link to the latest fishing reports at Lake Hartwell.
  6. Lake Okeechobee, South Central Florida – Hoping to combine a Florida winter RV camping trip with a bass fishing bonanza? The waters of Lake Okeechobee yield trophy-size largemouth bass, and Florida’s mild winter weather makes fishing there a treat. Another bonus is the abundance of RV campgrounds around the lake, so reserve your Lake Okeechobee campsite and plan to have an outstanding time fishing in South Central Florida.
  7. Lower Otay Reservoir, San Diego County, California – How would it feel to reel in an one-hundred pound catfish? Definitely promises some world-class vacation photos, doesn’t it? Lower Otay Reservoir, twenty five miles south of San Diego, was the site of California’s record breaking catfish catch – a one-hundred pound behemoth! Eleven hundred acres of prime bass and catfish habitat make Lower Otay Reservoir the perfect place for your camping and fishing vacation.
  8. Newport Beach, California – South of Long Beach and well-known for its excellent surf-fishing opportunities, Newport Beach tempts anglers to try something new. Kayak fishing is just one of the ways fishing fans get close to the action in Newport Harbor. Reel in spotted bay bass and enjoy the beautiful Newport Beach shoreline before going home to the comfort of your RV at Newport Dunes Beach Waterfront Resort.
  9. Pickwick Lake – Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama – This impressive body of water formed from the Tennessee River winds across the northwest corner of Alabama, shares a shore with Mississippi and extends up into Southern Tennessee. It also yields some of the nicest smallmouth bass around. Once you’ve fished Pickwick Lake, you’ll pick your favorite spots and return for many more RV-based fishing expeditions. Here’s a camping tip – try the well-groomed campground on the Tennessee side at Pickwick Landing.
  10. Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas/Louisiana Border – Four and a half hours east of Dallas on the Texas/Louisiana border, winter fishing aficionados will find the bass fishing is fine at Toledo Bend Reservoir. Even with the serious drought situation in Texas, Toledo Bend still offers great black bass and crappie fishing. RV campsites are plentiful, thanks to campgrounds like Tranquility Bay Resort.
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RV Camping and Fishing on Alabama’s Tennessee River Basin

Four lakes, a mighty river and its dozens of tributaries come together in Alabama’s Tennessee River Basin to create prime RV camping and fishing territory. With so many places to enjoy RV camping in these highly-prized fishing grounds, you’ll need to come back several times to get a taste of each. Here’s a suggested itinerary for your first trip fishing the Tennessee River Basin in Alabama.

  • Day One – Pickwick Lake – Waterloo, AL
    This popular smallmouth bass fishing lake just three hours north of Birmingham, AL is a great place to start your trip. Camp at a private lakeside campground such as Hart’s RV Park for easy access to the water. Plan to spend at least part of your day fishing below the dam for smallmouth bass, but don’t miss exploring spots like Cypress Creek for a chance to land trophy-sized catfish. One more tip: get an Alabama fishing license if you hope to fish the Mississippi and Tennessee portions of the lake, too.
  • Day Two – Wilson Lake – Muscle Shoals, AL
    It may be the smallest of the Tennessee River Basin lakes, but Wilson Lake near Muscle Shoals, AL boast some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the US. Camp at the TVA Wilson Dam-Lower Rockpile Campground and plan to spend at least one day chasing the big ones out on the open water and in quiet coves from Wheeler Dam all the way to Wilson Dam.
  • Day Three – Wheeler Lake – Rogersville, AL
    Since you’re in the neighborhood, why not move up the Tennessee River to Joe Wheeler State Park on Wheeler Lake? Improved campgrounds in nicely-wooded environs set the stage for another day of outdoor adventure. Wheeler Lake winds its way sixty miles from Wheeler Dam to Guntersville Dam, and serves up record breaking catches of largemouth bass, blue catfish and crappie, as well as the fish this region is known for – the smallmouth bass.
  • Day Four – Lake Guntersville – Guntersville, AL
    One more lake within the Tennessee River Basin avid anglers should investigate is Lake Guntersville. Hug the shoreline and fish for largemouth bass where eleven different creeks feed into the lake. The Tennessee River’s seventy-plus mile channel through this lake, from Nickajack Dam across the border in Tennessee to Guntersville Dam, provides a seemingly endless supply of fishing excitement. Set up camp in Lake Guntersville State Park’s well-designed campground right off the water for the ultimate Alabama RV camping experience.

Fish all four lakes, or choose just one and spend some time getting to know its waters. Take advantage of Alabama’s southern campground hospitality. You’ll find it whether you camp at one of Northern Alabama’s state parks or at one of the campgrounds that caters to lake visitors. The Tennessee River Basin in Alabama is ready and waiting to show RV camping fishermen a great time.

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Fishing and RV Camping at Texas’ Lake o’ the Pines

The fishing is almost always good in the Pineywoods Region of Texas, making it a much-loved destination for RV camping anglers. One spot in this lake-rich area that stands out is Lake o’ the Pines near the Texas/Louisiana border. Multiple RV-friendly campgrounds and a lake filled with crappie and bass should put this East Texas lake on your camping and fishing itinerary.

RV Campgrounds at Lake o’ the Pines
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does an impressive job of maintaining four RV-friendly campgrounds at Lake o’ the Pines. Alley Creek Campground on the lake’s north side, for example, offers campsites with electricity near two boat launches. Johnson Creek Campground is located along a nice pine-shaded cove with boat launches and two designated RV areas.

You’ll also find easy boat access and a courtesy dock at Brushy Creek Campground and along the coves at Buckhorn Creek Campground. All four campgrounds get high marks from fishing fans who camp here often.

Fishing at Lake o’ the Pines
As soon as you see this lake’s wide open stretches and quiet coves, you’ll want to unhook your boat from the back of the RV and get out on the water. Local fishing guides can lead you to the best angling spots, or here’s a good rundown of current Lake o’ the Pines fishing conditions from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

As mentioned earlier, this East Texas fishing hotspot is well-known for its bass and crappie possibilities. White and largemouth bass offer satisfying sport to anglers, as well as three species of crappie, channel cats and sunfish. Big Cypress Creek was dammed to create this lake, and fishing below the dam is a favorite with locals. Big Cypress Bayou, part of the largest cypress forest in the world, runs south from this lake to Lake Caddo, providing a whole new set of fishing adventures.

You’ll find more fishing information and a good bait selection at the following marinas along Lake o’ the Pines:

Just in case your RV camping crew includes non-fishermen, it’s good to know there are plenty of outdoor occupations to keep them busy. Wildlife watching and photography can keep non-anglers busy while you’re out on the water, with sightings of bald eagles, great blue herons and osprey quite common around the lake.

Hiking trails such as the Lake o’ the Pines Loop Trail lead through the area’s famous “pineywoods”, over rolling hills and along the lake’s scenic shoreline. If that’s not enough to keep them busy, the nearby river town of Jefferson, TX offers exceptional shopping and fascinating historic sites.

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RV Camping and Fishing at Illinois’ Clinton Lake

When you’re planning this year’s fishing and RV camping expeditions, consider the exciting lake fishing available at Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in Illinois. This Central Illinois lake is prized by anglers for its catfish, crappie and striped bass fishing. With scenic campgrounds and hiking trails throughout the state park, there’s really no reason not to bring the whole family for an RV camping and fishing expedition to Clinton Lake.

RV Camping Tips for Clinton Lake SP
As we mentioned, the scenery is fine at Clinton Lake State Recreation Area’s campgrounds. There are almost three hundred RV campsites at the lake, all with at least electric hookups and nearby showers. With more than nine thousand acres of splendidly colorful lake, woods and prairie as a backdrop, you’ll find camping in a motorhome at Clinton Lake an enjoyable time, indeed.

All campsites at the lake are reserved through the ReserveAmerica system. It’s a good idea to book yours early, because reservations open in July for the following summer at this popular fishing spot!

Traveling to Clinton Lake State Recreation Area
Now that you’ve booked your Clinton Lake RV campsite, it’s time to start planning your route. The state recreation area lies just east of the town of Clinton, IL, and is easy to find from any direction. It is straight north of Decatur, IL, straight south from Bloomington, IL and lies midway between Lincoln and Champaign, going east to west. Chicago is also only three hours north, and you’ll notice on Google maps that several major Interstates (I-55, I-72 and I-74) will bring you within a short distance of the lake.

Fishing at Clinton Lake SP
When fishing fans arrive at Clinton Lake, they’ll notice some features that promise a great time fishing. First, Clinton Lake Marina is open Memorial Day to Labor Day to provide pontoon boat rentals, fuel, bait and boat repairs. On the north side of the lake, near the small town of DeWitt, there’s also a great bait shop called Soupy’s Shack that’s popular with area fishermen.

Anglers will also notice the lake’s heavily-wooded banks, providing cover for fish as well as making the lake easy on the eyes. Local fishing reports advise heading for the lake’s spillway to find trophy-sized walleye and stripers. There are also bridges and wheelchair-accessible fishing piers where bank fishing promises channel cats, crappie and bass.

Just in case you’ve brought along some campers who don’t care to fish, the hiking trails around Clinton Lake get high marks, as does the wildlife watching. Be sure to keep an eye out for the osprey fishing the lake alongside the boaters! There’s also a white sand swimming beach open every summer.

We think this scenic lake in Central Illinois is just the spot for a memorable week of RV camping and fishing! Here’s a brochure from Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources with more information about Clinton Lake (PDF). Dive in and learn more about why you should be taking your next RV camping and fishing trip to Central Illinois’ beautiful Clinton Lake.

If you need an RV rental for your trip please check out our Chicago RV Rentals location.

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