I Could not wait to get back camping, as it had been a few years and this time the rest of my family - husband and teen son,wanted to tag along. As it was Memorial weekend, not many places to choose from, only a KOA at Wekiva FAlls in Orlando, had avaialability still. Price was great, and the place sounded amazing, promising something for all of us to enjoy. First mistake was we arrived near dark. Staff was friendly, but stressed. Someone drove us out to our remote, "wonderful" tent site, which turned out to be an rundown RV site,with no picnic table, no grass, a broken pad, numerous fire ant mounds and little shade. We quickly set up and went to settle in for the night due to the late hour. We did not anticipate the neighbors tent, where there was plenty of drinking and loud noise till nearly 1 am. In addition, golf carts were a constant driving by, with loud music playing and again alot of drinking. In the am, I was up early around 5 and had a chance to wander around. Place was huge. 800 sites and all occupied. The ladies bathhouse was trashed during our stay, and always flooded, the few stalls, were inadequate for the sheer size of this place. Only other bathhouse was on the extreme other side of the park, literally across the river and quite a hike to get to. Day two saw the crowds swell to a record number of people, again drinking and partying seeming to be the theme. The pros to this place, was the swimming area and slides for the kids and yet even that was tons of people crammed in literally on top of each other. The kayak rental was a great bargain at $7.00 for two hours and the river was gorgeous, and quite peaceful, until the numerous powerboats would come by filled with more of the party crowd. The small pool at this KOA was also inadequate again, for the sheer number of people camping there, also the water when tested was lukewarm at best. There were plenty of sites and areas within the park that were very nice, and without the holiday crowds, my thoughts would be that this place would be ok to visit again after some of these serious issues could be addressed by management. Even with that though, I still think that next time, I plan to camp at a state park and definately not on a holiday weekend.
jaxmom42 not sure why you call it 'ruined'. True there was some unmet expectations but it was just a trial run and that means a lot of debugging is expected to follow.
Keep after it and applying what you learn on each trip. We did our cross country 31 day trip the weekend after labor day last year to miss some of the crowds. The kids got to ride more at theme parks, etc.
We then to stay out of RV parks because of the sardine factor you hit on.
Sorry, you had such a bad trip. I think the last five words of your post sum it all up "not on a holiday weekend"
Don't know why but a three day weekend turns many people into drunken morons.
A lot of folks here stay put on holidays. A friend of mine told me Tuesday they left the state park early due to the atmosphere. They have been camping about a year. Had uncontrolled dogs roaming around and a guy on a bike road through their site hitting their gear. She is now a member of the stay home on holidays crowd.
But don't give up on all places. We went to Dauphin Island last year and the manager does not tolerate excess behavior. She had 2 drunks evicted by the sheriffs about 15 minutes after they got out of control. As their sign says "Have a good time but DON'T BOTHER OTHER PEOPLE".
That's the most important lesson learned right there. We go boondocking in the desert to ride quads, but NEVER on a big weekend. I like to fish for trout, but NEVER on opening day. Same with pheasant hunting. Or movies, not on opening night. Or baseball on opening day.
You get the idea. Now go again on an "off" weekend, and have a great time!
Rusty & Cheryl 2011 F250 2WD 6.2L Gasser 2008 Weekend Warrior FB2100
"Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education" - Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
The key thing is "not on a holiday weekend." Before this turns into a KOA bashing, it can, and does, happen anywhere including private RV parks, state parks, COE parks, etc. if the management does not enforce the rules.
We were in a particular COE park a couple weeks ago for the first time. Some very nice full hookup sites plus a lot of limited hookup and tent sites across the road. Spoke with a "regular" there and I was talking about how nice the sites are. He mentioned that he always stayed in the FHU sites because those across the road were basically the party sites with loud music, partying, and drinking on weekends and holidays.
I hate going hours or days away from the city, only to settle into a "mini-city" campground with people all around... in fact, in a CG they are packed even more closely than back home! Not for me. That's why I prefer small, rustic CGs or boondock spots. Sure, there are no amenities, but the ambiance makes up for that. Ahhh, peace and quiet, the smell of the outdoors, hearing the birds and frogs and occasionally the breeze in the pines.
Mike & Sherry
2000 Mercury Mountaineer
2008 Toyota Highlander
2011 KZ Spree Escape E14RB
This is not typical in our experience but then we have many years of experience of camping places and times where these things are less likely. 1st off, we would never camp a holiday weekend if we could avoid it. 2nd, try to avoid times and places where there will be a lot of people who are not really "camping" but are just out for party time once or twice a year. 3rd, we prefer state,and national parks and other public campgrounds where nature is the attraction, not ammenities like pools, rec. halls, etc. 4th, nothing against youth in general, but the more youth there are in the campground, the more trouble is likely. Camp with old, boring folks.