Last Update: March 2021.

After three years and almost 100 campgrounds all over the country, we thought some of our fellow nomads might be interested in our two cents. Or maybe not. Either way, here you go. Bear in mind that we mostly stay at state and county parks, with the occasional national and private park thrown in. Also remember, this is totally subjective, and you may enjoy different places than we do. I will update and repost as we add more, so be sure to check back.

The list is divided first by state, as folks are typically looking for a specific area. Then each campground is rated and color coded using the system below (two colors = two categories). A link to the original post for our stay is included, which may give photos and tell you more about the area. (This blog did not start out with reviewing in mind, so later reviews have more details and photos. Be sure to scroll through the entire post, because sometimes I mention the park, then review it later.) If no mention was given in a post, a website link is included below. So…here goes:

DA BOMB – The best of the best for us. For this list we are talking about our absolute, personal favorites. We prefer sites that are well-separated, level, and easy to get into. Amenities are not a priority, so a place with beautiful campsites and nothing else could make the list.  Anywhere with great views could, also, whether that is in the middle of the woods, prairie, or desert.  These are places that just make us go “ahhhhh” as we sit outside and enjoy the weather.

FAMILY – Here we are thinking about the Boogers (grandkids) and what they would enjoy. Alone in the woods will probably NOT make this list, although there are definitely some crossovers. Family and kid-focused things to do are important, but that can include lots of hiking/biking trails.  These are basically places we think the whole family would enjoy and want to come back to.

MEH – These don’t strike us as particularly good or particularly bad. They may be fine to sit around the campfire and enjoy the day.  They may also have some family-oriented activities.  On the flip side, slightly run down parks could make this list. Parks with less than level sites could, too, as long as we think they are useable. For us, these are okay stopover spots or places to park Petunia while we sightsee or visit friends for several days, but would not be destination campgrounds or places we would go out of our way to visit again .

STINKERS – These are our NO GO parks.  We would drive out of our way to avoid them, if we had the option.  

ALABAMA:

  • Corinth NRA Campground (Lake Lewis Smith), Double Springs (post) – Total fee: $56 for 2 nights.  Last stay: September 2019
  • DeSoto State Park, Fort Payne (post) – Total fee: $78 for 2 nights. Last stay: March 2020
  • Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville (website) – This is a beautiful place on top of a mountain.  Amenities include lots of hiking/biking trails, a playground, and cabins.  Total fee: $96 for 3 nights. Last stay: July 2018
  • Space & Rocket Center Campground, Huntsville (post) – Total fee: $100 for 4 nights.  Last stay: January 2020
  • Gulf Shores / Pensacola West KOA (Perdido Bay), Lillian (post) – Total fee: $193 for 4 nights. Last stay: October 2020
  • Gunter Hill Campground (Alabama River), Montgomery (post) – Total fee: $54 for 3 nights. Last stay: March 2020
  • Lake Lurleen State Park, Coker (post) – Total fee: $94 for 3 nights.  Last stay: October 2020

ARKANSAS:

  • Lake Wedington Recreation Area, Fayetteville (post) – Total fee: $25 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018
  • Lake Poinsett State Park, Harrisburg (website) – Not a bad stopping off place, but it was covered up with mosquitos when we were there and the lake has been drained for quite a while.  Total fee: $24 for 1 night.  Last stay: August 2018
  • Cloud 9 RV Park, Hot Springs (website) – Not a bad place to stay while checking out the area. Nice recreation room.  Total fee: $65 for 2 nights.  Last stay: August 2018
  • Davidsonville Historic State Park (Trappers Lake), Pocahontas (post) – Total fee: $89 for 3 nights.  Last stay: October 2018

COLORADO:

  • North Sterling State Park, Sterling (post) – Total fee: $90 for 2 nights. Last stay: September 2020
  • Lathrop State Park, Walsenburg (post) – Total fee: $62 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2018

GEORGIA:

  • John Tanner Park, Carrollton (post) – Total fee: $31 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2019
  • Unicoi State Park, Helen (post) – Total fee: $62 for 3 nights.  Last stay: December 2018
  • Little Ocmulgee State Park, Helena (post) – Total fee: $93 for 3 nights.  Last stay: March 2020
  • F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain (post) – Total fee: $70 for 2 nights.  Last stay: January 2019
  • Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn (post) – This is a bit pricier than most state parks, but is very nice.  Total fee: $142 for 4 nights.  Last stay: August 2019
  • Hawkins Pointe RV Park, Rossville (post) – Total fee: $222 for 4 nights.  Last stay: November 2020

ILLINOIS:

  • Coon Creek Campground (Lake Shelbyville), Findlay (post) – Total fee: $72 for 3 nights.  Last stay: June 2020
  • Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis (post) – Total fee: $155 for 6 nights.  Last stay: May 2019
  • Nauvoo State Park, Nauvoo (post) – Total fee: $20 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Walnut Point State Park (Walnut Point Lake), Oakland (post) – Total fee:  $85 for 4 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Lowden State Park, Oregon (post) – Total fee: $85 for 4 nights.  Last stay: June 2020
  • Prairie Pines Campground, Rantoul (post) – Total fee: $83 for 3 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Mississippi Palisades State Park, Savanna (post) – Total fee: $70 for 3 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area (Johnson-Sauk Trail Lake), Sheffield (post) – Total fee: $65 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2020

INDIANA:

  • Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Albion (post) – Total fee: $63 for 2 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area (Patoka Lake), Bedford (post) – Total fee: $88 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Lincoln State Park, Gentryville (post) – Total fee: $64 for 2 nights.  Last stay: November 2018
  • Harmonie State Park (Wabash River), New Harmony (post) – Total fee: $135 for 4 nights.  Last stay: June 2020
  • Indian-Celina Lake Recreation Area, Hoosier National Forest, Saint Croix (post)  – This seemed like our kind of campground, but we only spent one night.  It was pouring when we arrived and still raining when we left, so we didn’t get a good look around.  We will go back if in the area and check it out, though.  Total fee: $20 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Tippecanoe River State Park, Winamac (post) – Total fee: $81 for 2 nights.  Last stay: November 2018

IOWA:

  • Lake Wapello State Park, Drakesville (post) – Total fee: $52 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Beeds Lake State Park, Hampton (post) – Total fee: $68 for 4 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Sugar Bottom Campground (Coralville Lake), North Liberty (post) – Total fee: $60 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2020

KANSAS:

  • Finney County Fairgrounds, Garden City (post) – Total fee: $20 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018
  • Sand Hills State Park, Hutchinson (post) – Total fee: $50 for 2 nights (includes $25 annual park pass).  Last stay: October 2018
  • Elk City State Park, Independence (post) – Total fee: $45 for 3 nights (already had annual pass).  Last stay: October 2018
  • Clinton State Park, Lawrence (post) – Total Fee: $26 for 2 nights (already had annual pass).  Last stay: October 2018
  • Farnum Creek Campground, Milford (post) – Don’t have a lot written about this one, so I’ll add that a lot of the sites would be tough to get into due to sloping.  They did have some nice, waterfront sites, though.  Total fee: $60 for 3 nights.  Last stay: September 2020
  • Prairie Dog State Park (Sebelius Reservoir), Norton (post) – Total fee: $55  for 2 nights.  Last stay: September 2020

KENTUCKY:

  • Moutardier Campground (Nolan River Lake), Bee Springs (post) – Total fee: $75 for 3 nights.  Last stay: September 2019
  • Smith Ridge Campground (Green River Lake), Campbellsville (post) – Total fee: $100 for 4 nights.  Last stay: June 2020
  • Kincaid Lake State Park, Falmouth (post) – Total fee: $83 for 3 nights.  Last stay: May 2019
  • Elkhorn Campground, Frankfort (post) – Total fee: $145 for 4 nights.  Last stay: September 2019

LOUISIANA:

  • Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, Saint Martinville (post) – Total fee: $43 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2020

MINNESOTA:

  • Eagle Cliff Campground (Root River), Lanesboro (post) – Total fee: $19 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Charles Lindbergh State Park, Little Falls (post) – Total fee: $25 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Shooting Star Casino Campground, Mahnomen (post) – Spotless bathrooms!  Total fee: $22 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018

MISSOURI:

  • St. Francois State Park, Bonne Terre (post) – Total fee: $78 for 3 nights.  Last stay: May 2019
  • Lake Wappapello State Park, Greenville (post) – Total fee: $43 for 2 nights.  Last stay: June 2019
  • Mark Twain State Park, Stoutsville (post) – Total fee: $97 for 4 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Harry S. Truman State Park (Truman Lake), Warsaw (post) – Total fee: $72 for 3 nights.  Last stay: May 2019

MONTANA:

  • Itch-Kep-Pe Park, Columbus (post) – Boondock only.  Free! Last stay: September 2018

NEBRASKA:

  • Minatare Lake State Recreation Area, Minatare (post) – Total fee: $123 for 3 nights.  Last stay: September 2020

NEW MEXICO:

  • Sundowner Mobile Home & RV Park, Farmington (post) – Total fee: $37 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018

NORTH CAROLINA:

  • Morrow Mountain State Park, Albemarle (post) – Total fee: $42 for 2 nights.  Last stay: December 2018
  • Pines RV Park, Franklin (post) – Total fee: $96 for 4 nights.  Last stay: November 2018
  • KOA, Greensboro (post) – Total fee: $98 for 2 nights.  Last stay: March 2020
  • Jones Station RV Park, Mebane (website) – This is one of our alternatives when we visit the kids in NC. It is a nice little, family-owned park with clean, level, full-hookup sites. We like that they left all of the trees. There is a picnic area and playground. Of the few private campgrounds we’ve been to, this is our favorite.  Total fee: $200 for 5 nights.  Last stay: October 2019
  • Hagan-Stone Park, Pleasant Garden (post) – Total fee: $300 for 12 nights. Last stay: January 2021

NORTH DAKOTA:

  • Fort Stevenson State Park (Lake Sakakawea), Garrison (post) – Only there for one night. Huge park.  Total fee: $25 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Lakeside Marina & Campground, Jamestown (post) – Total fee: $25 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Medora Campground, Medora (post) – Just a basic campground that caters to those wanting to drive through the southern portion of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Total fee: $29 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2018

OHIO:

  • Paint Creek State Park, Bainbridge (post) – Total fee: $117 for 4 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Rocky Fork State Park, Hillsboro (post) – Total fee: $61 for 2 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Old Man’s Cave Campground, Hocking Hills State Park, Logan (post) – Only there for one night.  Total fee: $29 for 1 night.  Last stay: November 2018

OKLAHOMA:

  • Potato Hills Central (Sardis Lake), Clayton (post) – Total fee: $72 for 4 nights.  Last stay: October 2020
  • Twin Points Campground (Skiatook Lake), Skiatook (post) – Total fee: $60 for 3 nights.  Last stay: October 2020

OREGON:

  • Farewell Bend State Recreation Area, Huntington (post) – Total fee: $26 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA:

  • Hickory Knob State Park, McCormick (website) – This is a resort park with lots to do, including golf and swimming.  Pick your site carefully.  Ours was on a dirt road that was very rutted.  Total fee: $68 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2018
  • Santee State Park (Lake Marion), Santee (post) – Total fee: $69 for 2 nights.  Last stay: March 2020

SOUTH DAKOTA:

  • Big Sioux Recreation Area (Big Sioux River), Brandon (post) – Total fee: $126 for 3 nights (includes annual SD park pass – $36).  Last stay: September 2020
  • West Bend State Recreation Area, Harrold (post) – Total fee: $130 for 5 nights (already had annual pass).  Last stay: September 2020
  • Sheps Canyon Recreation Area (Angostura Reservoir), Hot Springs (post) – Total fee: $90 for 3 nights (already had annual pass).  Last stay: September 2020
  • Badlands National Park, Interior (post) – Basically, this is a parking lot with a bathhouse (charged to use) and picnic tables.  Total fee: $111 for 2 nights.  Last stay: September 2020
  • Indian Creek Recreation Area (Oahe Lake), Mobridge (post) – Total fee: $29 for 1 night.  Last stay: September 2020

TENNESSEE:

  • Paris Landing State Park (Tennessee River), Buckanan (post) – Total fee: $34 for 1 night.  Last stay: June 2019
  • Tanbark Campground, Dickson (website) – A very dicey looking campground with quite a few long-term folks, many looking almost abandoned.  Total fee: $14 (Passport America).  Last stay: August 2018
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park (Kentucky Lake), Eva (post) – Total fee: $110 for 4 nights.  Last stay: September 2019
  • Standing Stone State Park, Hilham (post) – Total fee: $62 for 2 nights.  Last stay: June 2019
  • Warriors’ Path State Park, Kingsport (post) – Total fee: 83 for 3 nights. Last stay: January 2021
  • Big Ridge State Park, Maynardville (post) – Total fee: $91 for 3 nights.  Last stay: June 2019
  • Panther Creek State Park, Morristown (post) – Total fee: $55 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2019
  • Barton Springs Campground, Normandy (post) – Total fee: $144 for 4 nights.  Last stay: November 2020
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park, Spencer (post) – Total fee: $41 for 2 nights.  Last stay: January 2020

TEXAS:

  • Rocky Creek Park (Sommerville Lake), Burton (post) – Total fee: $78 for 3 nights.  Last stay: October 2020
  • Texas RV Park, Hitchcock (post) – Total fee: $252 for 5 nights.  Last stay: October 2020
  • Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site, Jacksboro (post) – Total fee: $56 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2020
  • Safari Mobile Home Community & RV Park, League (website) – The bathhouse was closed after business hours because of repeatedly finding drug paraphernalia. ‘Nuf said.  Total fee: $77 for 4 nights.  Last stay: July 2018
  • San Angelo State Park, San Angelo (post) – Total fee: $60 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2020
  • Stone Creek RV Park, Schertz (post) – Total fee: $140  for 3 nights.  Last stay: October 2020

UTAH:

  • Wasatch View Estates and RV Park, Ogden (post) – Total fee: $35 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018
  • Ballard RV Park, Thompson Springs (post) – Total fee: $33 for 1 night.  Last stay: October 2018

VIRGINIA:

  • Wilderness Road Campground, Cumberland Gap National Park, Ewing (post)  Total fee: $140 for 7 nights.  Last stay: September 2019
  • Salthouse Branch Recreation Area (Philpott Lake), Henry (website) – While a little too stacked in for us, this park would be really great for families.  Total fee: $50 for 2 nights.  Last stay: April 2018
  • Fairystone State Park (Fairystone Lake), Stuart (website) – One of the original six Virginia state parks, this one offers quite a bit for families including hunting for the elusive fairy stones.  Some sites are not very level and most are first-come, first-serve, although there are some reservable. Total fee: $79 for 2 nights.  Last stay: April 2018
  • Grindstone Recreation Area, Troutdale (website) – Beautiful campground with lots of hiking trails.  For kids there was a volleyball court, a really neat creek splash area, and a playground.  Total fee: $170 for 5 nights.  Last stay: May 2018

WASHINGTON:

  • Mardon Resort RV Park, Potholes Reservoir (post) – Too many permanent folks.  Total fee: $47 for 2 nights.  Last stay: September 2018
  • Yakima Sportsman State Park, Yakima (post) – Nice park right in town, but doesn’t feel like it.  Total fee: $80 for 2 nights.  Last stay: October 2018

WEST VIRGINIA:

  • Chief Logan State Park, Logan (post) – Total fee: $99 for 3 nights.  Last stay: July 2020
  • Twin Falls State Resort Park, Mullins (post) – Total fee: $90 for 2 nights.  Last stay: August 2020
  • Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem (post) – Total fee: $24 for 1 night.  Last stay: November 2018

WISCONSIN:

  • Grant River Recreation Area, Potosi (post) – The best campground that we have put on our bad list.  The trains are just constant and VERY loud, blowing their horns for the crossing that is right in front of the campground.  Total fee: $118 for 4 nights (includes $38 annual WI park pass).  Last stay: July 2020

WYOMING:

  • Albany County Fairgrounds, Laramie (post) – Just didn’t feel as safe as I would like with its position in the back of the fairground out of view and right up against questionable private property.  Total fee: $120 for 4 nights.  Last stay: September 2020

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