Why You Should Camp at State and County Parks

Aaron & HaydenJanuary 29, 2018

Why You Should Camp at State and County Parks

When you think about your dream camping location, whether you’re going for a weekend excursion or if you live full-time on the road, do you imagine wide open spaces, maybe right on a lake or river, or secluded in the mountains with trees as far as the eye can see? How about for a small fee of $20 a night? If that sounds good to you, then you definitely want to consider planning to camp at state and county parks instead of crowded RV resorts and national parks. Of course, there are pros and cons to all of the options, so we’ll take a look at each.

National Parks

National parks tend to be very crowded and have few to no amenities, but you are right there in a prime location and won’t need to commute into the park. However, reservations often need to be made months, if not an entire year in advance. Many only offer “dry” camping, meaning no hookups, so you will need to be self sustaining with solar or a generator. If you’re using a generator, there are usually “quiet hours” where you can’t run your generator after dark. Also, many of the national park campgrounds were built way before modern RVs, so if you have a very large rig, chances are you won’t be able to fit. If you need cell service, you likely won’t find it here. So plan to unplug for the week.

If you plan ahead and book months in advance and are able to boondock (dry camp), national parks could be a great fit. Otherwise, continue reading for some options that may suit you better.

Photo credit: NPS.gov

RV Parks and Resorts

RV parks and resorts come with full hookups, amenities (like a pool, laundry, organized activities, etc). But you will likely be packed in like sardines. Your view will be of your neighbors rig, offering little to no privacy. You could even be camping right next to a busy highway. To top it off, some RV parks can run up to $100 a night- that’s insanity!

One positive about RV parks is that they can be centrally located to major cities. So, you won’t have to travel very far to get to nightlife or restaurants. However, the best part about an RV park is the ability to make a reservation without having to pay in full in advance. Often you just have to pay a deposit and pay the balance when you check in. This allows you to get months of travel planned out in advance, which will give you peace of mind.

Photo credit: VeganVoyagers.com

State Parks

State parks offer beautiful surroundings in nature. Some even have access to lakes, rivers, mountains, and trails. Much like you would get with the national parks, but with some hookups. Not only that, but you are going to get a much larger site, which gives you more privacy and the ability to stretch out in your space. And for $20 a night? Sounds like the perfect place to spend a couple weeks!

You can find state parks just about anywhere, but you will need to commute a bit into major cities or if you’re staying outside national parks. Another huge plus is that you will likely have cell service, so no need to worry about unplugging. The only downside here is that you have to pay in full in order to make a reservation, but that makes checking in a breeze!

Photo credit: VeganVoyagers.com

County Parks

If a coveted state park has filled up, try a county park. Generally, they don’t come with the best nature trails nor are a major destination for weekenders looking to get away from it all. But they are quiet and are not as difficult to make a reservation for. Also, they generally have the same amenities as a state park, just not as great of a location. If you’re lucky, you might have weeks where you’re only one of three RVs in the entire park. Talk about being able to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature!

Photo credit: VeganVoyagers.com

All in all, state and county parks give you peace and tranquility while also offering some comfort amenities. Yet, they aren’t too crowded or hard to book, like the other options can be. However, it is always a good idea to make a reservation in advance. You don’t want to pull up, ready to start your weekend of fun, only to be turned around at the gate.

No matter where you decide to stay in your Outdoorsy RV, we wish you happy camping!

We are Hayden and Aaron Hall and we sold everything we owned to travel the US in an RV. Our goals are to visit every state and every National Park in the U.S. before we travel Internationally to visit every country in the world. We love to highlight amazing outdoor adventures as well as delicious vegan food that we find on our travels.

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