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During the 1930s and 1940s, Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Wisconsin was an Airforce Base that went by a similar name, Richard Bong Airforce Base. Both the recreation area and Airforce Base were named for World War II aviator, Richard Ira Bong. He was one of the most decorated fighter pilots and a top flying ace during the war. After the Airforce Base was decommissioned, Wisconsin converted it into a state park in the 1950s. There are several road signs denoting the location of this park, and due to the name’s connection to marijuana, these signs are often stolen. The state of Wisconsin now makes and sells t-shirts and other souvenirs to offset the cost of replacing these signs.
The closest large town is Burlington, which is about six miles to the northwest of the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. Burlington’s nickname is “Chocolate City, USA” because there is a Nestle chocolate factor in the town. Burlington also hosts an annual ChocolateFest on Memorial Day weekend. Get ready for an RV camping trip of a lifetime when you book an RV in Kenosha County, WI.
Encompassing over 4,500 acres, Richard Bong State Recreation Area has plenty of room to spread out. When hikers seek solitude, there are over 16 miles of trails that wind and weave over rolling prairie. Though tree cover is sparse, there are strands along the pond should one want a respite from a humid summer day. Mountain bikers and horseback riders have an additional eight miles of trails to explore, though bikers are cautioned that they must yield to horseback riders and take care to not spook them.
A portion of the Richard Bong State Recreation Area is set aside for other aerial-related activities like launching rockets, flying drones, “land sailing,” and hang-gliding.
When winter rolls around, the fun doesn’t stop. All of the trails are open to cross-country skiing, sledding, and dog-sledding. Many local fishermen enjoy trying their luck ice-fishing on the pond. Note that the trails are not groomed.
Ornithologists, bird enthusiasts, and photographers will enjoy exploring the prairie and the wetlands region. Elegant great egrets, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons regularly make their nests in the area, and their offsprings often can be observed - and photographed - in late spring.
Skip the long commute from a stale motel and rent an RV. RV camp surrounded by pristine nature. Listen to birdsong in the trees. The hum of crickets and other insects as they prepare for the evening. There are over 200 RV sites divided in between two of Richard Bong State Recreation Area RV campgrounds. Each campground has restrooms with toilets and hot showers, and for the offseason, there are vault toilets. There are 54 sites with electric hookups; those tend to book quickly. Reserve well in advance. There are also two dump stations should a guest require its use.
Should space run out, which does happen occasionally in the summer months, there are several other campgrounds within 15 miles. Near Bristol, WI is Happy Acres Kampground, which is a family-friendly facility that has been operated continuously since 1970. Guests can choose from a range of no hookups to full hookups, and all RV sites come with a fire ring or grill and picnic table.
RV camp near Burlington, WI, at Sunrayhills Campground. Originally a nudist colony, the sun-drenched campground offers electric and water hookups, a swimming pool, and a sauna. Sunrayhills also has an onsite dump station if a guest requires its use.
Though Milwaukee is just a hop, a skip, and a jump away, don’t overlook the small towns scattered across the countryside. They all have unique businesses, shops, and restaurants for an intrepid explorer to discover. A journey made easier by renting an Airstream. The Jelly Bean Center in Pleasant Prairie is a unique facility devoted to the art and science of making jelly beans. In addition to the train tour, which guides the riders through the process of making jelly beans, visitors can browse the dazzling, colorful store and sample unusual jelly bean flavors like pimento and chicken salad. There are also, of course, more conventional flavors like strawberry and lime.
Volo Auto Museum in Volo, IL, boasts 33 exhibits, all spotlighting a certain type of vehicle in America’s history. A shortlist includes vintage campers, military vehicles, genuine movie, and TV cars, and a wide assortment of vintage cars.
Step back into time at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, WI. Find out what people of 1599 ate, wore, and how they behaved amongst other commoners. Cheer for your favorite dashing knight as he competes in jousts and archery tournaments. Curtsey to Queen Elizabeth as she graciously deigns to wave to the commoners. Browse over 200 artisans and crafters’ wares in the marketplace as you search for the perfect RV camping souvenir to take home.