RV Route South through OH, IN, KY, and GA

                                                                                     Edited by Jack Armstrong

On the Snowbird RV Trail-
From The Sunshine State to the Adirondack Mountains

This route takes us on I-75. I-10, I-95, I-74/77,  I-81, I-88. I-87, and more

* Indicates half-price Passport America Member Campgrounds
Abbreviations: FHU- Full Hook-Ups, PT- Pull Thru Sites, EZ- Easy off/on main route. DS- Dump Station.

A. Tampa, Florida
Our starting point is the East side of Tampa Florida.

Lake City, Florida (179 miles from Tampa) –
*Oaks ‘n Pines RV Park PA/$18/night 1/4 Mi from I-10 at 3864 N. US Hwy 441, Lake City, FL, 32055 Phone: (386) 752-0830
PT (Pull-thrus), 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi (fair reception), Free cable (38 channels)
Passport America discount is valid for three nights and no weekend restrictions. Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted. Additional charge for using a Credit Card.
See our campground write-up at Oaks 'n Pines

Highlight: Oaks and Pines RV Park” is one of our favorite Passport America campgrounds when we travel this way. It is EZ off/on I-10 at Exit 303 and just a few miles from where I-75 connects with I-10. The couple that run this campground are very nice and always accommodating. They have the original “fat cat” weighing in at nearly 40lbs.

On this 2 day stopover we visited the Stephen Foster National Park, Museum and their impressive Carillon Tower.

Our 2 favorite restaurants in Lake City are The Gondolier Italian Restaurant and the Texas Roadhouse. 4 thumbs up for both.

Brunswick, GA (119 miles from Lake City) –
*Golden Isles RV Park PA/$18.90 1 Mi from I95
7445 Blythe Island Hwy, Brunswick GA, 31523 (912) 261-1025.
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi with good reception,
Free cable. 3 days max. Reservations require a credit
card guarantee. Credit cards accepted. No weekend
restrictions on Passport America.

See our campground write-up at Golden Isle

Highlight: We drove the short 7 miles out to Jekyll Island. The road leads through several miles of marshland. The day pass is $6..

In 1886, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat, known as the Jekyll Island Club. It soon became recognized as “the richest, most inaccessible club in the world.”

Club members included such notable figures as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt, and Marshall Field. Members prized the island for its “sense of splendid isolation,” beautiful landscape,
and moderate climate.

Jekyll Island, with its cottage colony and clubhouse, was viewed as a little paradise, where members and guests pursued “a life of elegant leisure.”

We had lunch at “The Rah Bar” on the dock at the Jekyll Island Club. We both had the shrimp salad croissants which were very good ($11ea). We ordered a slice of “homemade” key lime pie to share but returned it after deciding it had no relation whatsoever to any key lime pie that we know and love.

D. St. George, SC
(165 miles from Brunswick, GA) –
*Jolly Acres RV Park  (PA/$16 Sun-Thurs)
289 Horne Taylor Road, Saint George SC 29477
Amenities: PT, 30/50Amp,Free wifi, cable

See our write-up at Jolly Acres

There is not much to do in St. George, SC. It’s 45 miles from Charleston and we have taken day trips into that city. You'll find all of the popular chain restaurants nearby but for us it’s our “R&R” stop to just take a break before we spend a few busy days in our next stop in Myrtle Beach.T he campground offers all of the amenities except cable TV. There are plenty of commercial TV stations you can pick up from Charleston.

We did try Georgio’s Pizza and Restaurant in town which was recommended to us for dinner. They had a nice, fresh salad bar, but the Chicken Parm and Alfredo entrees we ordered were nothing special for a dinner tab of $39 with tip. We would have done just as well by choosing the Pizza Hut next door.

The next afternoon we tried “Shugs Southern Soul Cafe”. It’s about a mile West from I-95 Exit 77 and on the way towards Jolly Acres RV Park. Owned and operated by Chef Noah Coleman, who knows how to properly prepare the really good down-home Southern staples. They are open for lunch from 10-3 and for dinner from 5pm to 10pm. There are daily specials and a buffet served on Sundays. We both ordered the BBQ chicken special which came with rice and collard greens. All cooked just right and oh so good. Niki says the sweet iced tea is just as good as she makes it. Desserts are made on the premises and we each tried a piece of cake – lemon for Niki and the chocolate cake for Jack. Delicious! A great meal for $30.59 with drinks and tip. We will definitely make it a point to stop when we are on this route again.

After lunch we wanted to look at  Santee State Park. It's located on Lake Marion near I-95 SC Exit 98. It has everything you would expect in a State Park and more.

They have a Visitor Center, Park Store and WiFi Lounge, fishing pier, boat launch, cabins to rent, and 2 camping areas with both pull-thru and back-in sites.

The fees are very reasonable. The one and only drawback we found – the roads, and they were a deal-breaker. There is not 10’ without a bump and we mean a real jolt! We stopped and chatted with the host and his wife for a few minutes. We asked if the roads were ever graded and they told us it couldn’t be done because it was all rock. Gravel would certainly help! They did tell us that the State was planning to pave the roads in the next year or two. If paved we would certainly consider spending a night ot 2 with them.

E. Murrells Inlet, SC
(111 miles from St. George, SC) –
Huntington Beach State Park State Park  ($36.96 w/fees)
16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Amenities: 30Amp, water, dump station, beach

Huntington Beach State Park is located on the Atlantic Ocean in Murrells Inlet, SC, just South of Myrtle Beach and just across from Brookgreen Gardens. The Park covers 2,500 acres and includes a camping area, day use picnic area, a large sandy beach with relatively few beachgoers, hiking/biking trails, and many places to enjoy birding and gator watching.

The camping area consists of 131 campsites nicely spaced for the most part. Maximum trailer lengths vary from 30’ to 40’. They are arranged in loops around a green space usually with a combined rest room/shower building in the center. There are access trails to the beach from the camping area.

The beach seems to extend forever and is unmarred by the proximity to the hotels and high-rises found along most sections of the Grand Strand. If nothing else it is well worth the $5 day use fee to make a visit just to enjoy the uncrowded beach in this part of the area.

Do we love Myrtle Beach? Check out our other website for Fun Things to do in Myrtle Beach

F. Asheboro, NC (193 miles from Murrells Inlet) –
*Zooland Family Campground   PA/$15.75.  5 nights max, Mon-Thurs
3671 Pisgah Covered Bridge Road, Asheboro NC, 27205 (336) 381-3422
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi,

Zooland Family Campground in Asheboro, North Carolina is a nice Passport America stopover for one or 2 nights when passing through this area. It’s in the country and not far off the Interstate. They have free wifi and you can pick up the commercial TV stations with your antenna. The facilities include a swimming pool, miniature golf, camp store, game room and small laundry facility.

There are 146 sites, of which 88 are 30/50 Amp full hook-up sites. That said there are some problems as far as level sites go. Personally I would request a site in the 1 through 20 section and preferably make it 1 through 9. The owner tells us he is booked full often during the Summer and always on Holiday weekends.

Highlights: The North Carolina State Zoo is located nearby.

Our first evening in Asheboro we drove into town to look around and noticed all of the cars at David's Restaurant (7 miles from the campground) so we decided to give it a try.

They offer daily lunch and dinner specials. All come with soup or salad and dessert. We both chose the daily special which was Chicken Primavera. The plates came piled high with fettuccine in an Alfredo sauce with tender chunks of chicken and several vegetables mixed in. It was very good and more than enough to bring the access home for another meal. The price for the 2 meals with drinks and tip was $26.86.

On day 2 in Asheboro we did some shopping and exploring and we asked about people's favorite local restaurants. One was mentioned more than any and that was the Dixie III Restaurant, 715 E Dixie Dr, Asheboro (336) 625-8345 (9 miles from the Campground).
They have lunch and dinner specials at very reasonable prices as well as many meat and seafood entrees to choose from. Each entree comes with a choice of 3 vegetables. All choices were in the $7 to $10 range. Niki chose a vegetable plate and I chose spaghetti with homemade sauce. The total bill with our iced tea and butterscotch delight desserts and tip was under $20. One of the best meals we have had on this trip.

G. Mount Airy, NC
(93 miles from Asheboro, NC) –
*Mayberry Campground   (PA/$16.75)
114 Bunker Rd, Mount Airy NC, 27030
Amenities: PT, 50Amp, wifi, cable

Mayberry Campground is on the outskirts of the small City of Mt Airy North Carolina. It’s a nicely layed out campground though the sites are a little close together. There are both back-in and pull-thru sites and most have FHU. It’s located on land that once was owned and farmed by Eng and Chang Bunker famous Siamese twins of the 19th Century.

Highlights: Visit Andy Griffith’s “homeplace” at 711 East Haymore Street. Less than a mile away you’ll find “The Snappy Lunch” still making the
“famous pork chop sandwiches”. It’s next door to “Floyd’s Barbershop” and “Opie’s Candy Store”. Just a little farther down Main Street you’ll find “Wally’s Garage” and “The Courthouse” with a recreation of the jail set office and cells we remember from The Andy Griffith Show. That’s also the place to sign-up for an “Andy Griffith Squad Car Tour” of Town in a vintage Mayberry Police Car like Barney and Andy drove.

Not far away you’ll find the “Andy Griffith Theatre” and the Andy Griffith Museum where they have hundreds (perhaps thousands) of artifacts and memorabilia from Andy’s career on stage, TV and in the movies and as a singer and comedian. The Museum’s lower level has an exhibition of material from Eng and Chang’s life as well. A great value for the admission price of $3.21.

Outside of the Theatre and Museum you’ll see the life-sized statues of Andy and Opie headed for the Fishin’ hole.

We found 2 really good restaurants in “Mayberry” not far from the campground.
The Copper Pot is located at 123 Scenic Outlet Lane. They have daily specials and the entire menu is priced reasonably.

On day 2 we had a late lunch at Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant & Grill at 2123 Rockford Street. It’s a small restaurant with a talented chef. Both of our meals, traditional Mexican combos, were really delicious.

Mt Airy is a fun, lighthearted place with friendly people.

H. Mount Jackson, VA
(231 miles from Mt. Airy, NC) –
*Shenandoah Family Campground
168 Industrial Park Road, Mt. Jackson (Quicksburg), Virginia 22842 (540) 477-3080  PA/$23.50
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi & Cable. Passport America/1 night Sunday through Thursday only. 43 total RV sites, can accommodate RV's up to 70ft, 30/50 amp, dump station, back-ins, pull-thrus, full hookups, tent sites, Cable TV, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, laundry, handicap accessible, swimming pool, playground, BBQ, fire rings, picnic tables, horseshoes, recycling, security, restaurant, store, propane and ice.

This stopover deserves a little more attention than just a quick night off the road. To begin with the Town of New Market is the next Exit South and an easy drive to visit the well known site of the Battle of New Market during the War between the States. In fact on this particular weekend they are having a reenactment of the battle. There are hundreds of the small white tents set up in various areas of the Park and blue and gray uniforms are everywhere.

Since we had only the one full day we opted for one of the other big area attractions and that is the Shenandoah National Park and a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This most Northern section runs for 30 miles along the crest from the Thornton Gap Entrance near our campground to the Northern Entrance at Front Royal, Virginia.

Admission is free with an America the Beautiful or Senior National Park Pass.

We were fortunate in that it was one of those beautiful sunny days when you can see forever. There are wide, paved “pull-offs” at regular intervals with names like Jeremys Run Overlook at 2,410 ft that we stopped at along the way.

We stopped at “Elk Wallow” where they have a large picnic area, gift shop, and snack bar. We had lunch there and we have to say that the hot dog and grilled chicken sandwich were prepared fresh and were quite good. I might mention that if you are on a tight budget you may want to bring your own picnic lunch. Same goes for the souvenirs and camping supplies. They are the only source for miles around and the prices reflect this.

We did enjoy sitting and watching the crowd. This is a junction in the Appalachian Trail as well and there were hikers and bikers and tourists from all over the World. The bikers were talking about a wildcat and a bear cub they had seen on their journey.

On our way down toward the Front Royal Northern exit/entrance we stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (1,940ft) where Rangers are on hand to answer questions and, of course, there’s another gift/souvenir shop. This was perhaps the most relaxing place to view the Shenandoah Valley.

I. Dover, PA (161 miles from Mt. Jackson, VA) -
*Gettysburg Farm Rv, An Encore Resort, 6200 Big Mount Rd, Dover PA, 17315 Reservations: (888) 318-1243   PA/$22.50  Sun-Thurs, PT (some), 30/50Amp, water, wifi, cable.

We are both readers and love to visit library book sales around the Country as we travel. We also sell out-of-print books that interest us on Amazon and on our other website, northwoodsbookshop.com.

That said, Lancaster, PA just happens to be having their weeklong Spring Super Library Book Sale when we were passing nearby. This is a particularly good and also very large sale that offers 250,000 “gently used” books for sale in all genres and many are just fifty cents for softcover or $2 for hardcovers.

It’s almost always well worth our time for a side trip whenever we know of a library book sale. We’ll attend many up in the Northeast this Summer.

In researching for a Passport America or Good Sam campground nearby, we narrowed it down through reviews, photos, and websites to the Gettysburg Farm RV Resort. It’s our first time dealing with a Thousand Trails “Club Resort” though we have talked with their representatives at RV Shows in the past.
We did receive an invitation to a no-obligation orientation to hear about the Thousand Trails program. In essence a “Zone Park Pass” would entitle us to 30 nights of free camping a year and additional nights would cost only $3 each. The cost of membership is $545 per year but at this time we could join for $425 for the year. I believe this can be used at other member campgrounds in whatever “Zone” we would choose. We looked and there don’t seem to be many members where we want to go. We will pass but would really like to hear from anyone who has joined and has had good experience with the Club.

We started having concerns about the place when we phoned to make a reservation. They do accept Passport America but if you are not a Thousand Trails or Encore member you are considered a “Retail” and listed as such. I found the lady on the desk curt on the phone and even more so in person. Now I definitely know what it feels like to be a second class “Retail” citizen.

They take your reservation and your money but all sites are on a first come – first served basis. You arrive and drive around to find an open site and then you tell the desk which one you picked. We asked if there was a pull-thru and were told, “Well there might be. Not sure. You’ll have to look.” They really don’t seem to know “who’s on first” or any other site for that matter! Do they really care? Now we are talking $45/night campsites here (soon to be $52 with Memorial Day and the start of “The Season”). Does anyone else get the feeling that customer service has become a lost art?

So we drove around the farm for about 30 minutes, towing, looking for what was available. The only pull-thrus were if 2 back-to-back sites were open then you could pull into one. Most of the sites are very close together. We ended up on site #123 which is a 30Amp, FHU, back-in, but with plenty of space and an open field on one side. Should you happen to stop here we do recommend #123 though we doubt if we will come back to this or any other Thousand Trails campground in the future.

On Monday we drove to the book sale and found it quite uncrowded, which is unusual but enjoyable. We ended up with 2 large bags of books for under $20.

On the way back from the book sale we had lunch at a very nice country diner - The Silver Springs Family Restaurant in Lancaster, PA. Good food, good service and at a good price.

J. Oneonta, NY
(265 miles from Dover, PA) -
Susquehanna Trail Campground
4292 Hwy 7, Oneonta , New York - 13820 (607) 432-1122
45 total RV sites (40 back-ins and 5 pull thrus). Can accommodate RVs up to 50', 30-amp Dump station, restrooms, showers, picnic area, fire rings, store, clubhouse, basketball, fishing. In ground swimming pool and playground.

See our write-up at Susquehanna Trail

Our stop for tonight is in Oneonta at Susquehanna Trail Campground. It is a Passport America and we have stayed here several times. The owners, Joanne and Dean Tribe are very personable and both are hard-workers and have done much to refurbish this campground including hosting musical events during the Summer. Joanne gave us the bad news at check-in that she had lost Dean while they were on vacation in Florida this past January. They were building their dream together and now she intimated that she would be selling the campground. It’s just too much work for one person. We wish her the best in whatever direction she takes. Good people.

K. Schroon Lake, NY
(166.5 miles from Oneonta, NY) -
*Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park, 231 River Rd, Schroon Lake, NY 12870 (518) 461-1730
30Amp, FHU, Free WiFi, Free Cable. PT, Back-ins, some sites on the River. Weekend activities all Season long.

See our write-up at Medcalf Acres


Summary of the trip:
Tampa Bay to the Adirondack Mountains
21 days May 1 – May 21, 2014
Miles Towing – 1,684
Miles Sightseeing – 714
Total Miles: 2,399
Ten campgrounds:
9/Passport America &
1/SC State Campground

Total Costs:
Campgrounds- $529.01
(Avg $21.45/Night)
Restaurants- $637.83
Gasoline- $832.48

Highlights of this trip:
Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center
Suwannee River
Jekyll Island
Santee State Park
Blue Ridge Parkway
Shenandoah National Forest
Mayberry (Mt Airy)
Five New Campgrounds Visited

Route Mileages:
Tampa,FL to Lake City, FL – 179
Lake City, FL to Brunswick, GA – 119
Brunswick, GA to St. George, SC -165
St. George, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC – 111
Murrells Inlet, SC to Asheboro, NC – 193
Asheboro, NC to Mount Airy, NC – 93
Mount Airy, NC to Mount Jackson, VA – 231
Mount Jackson, VA to Dover, PA – 161
Dover, PA to Oneonta, NY – 265
Oneonta, NY to Schroon Lake, NY – 166.5

RV route North FL to Canada

Oaks 'n Pines RV Park in Lake City FL

Stephen Foster Culturak Center State Park

Suwannee River in White Springs CFlorida

Golden Isles RV Park in Brunswick, Georgia

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

The Rah Bar on Jekyll Island

Beaches of Jekyll Island

Jolly Acres RV Park St. George, SC

Shugg's Southern Soul Cafe, St George, SC

Santee State Park South Carolina

Santee State Park boat launch

Santee State Park rental cabin

Huntington Beach State Park, SC

On the beach at Huntington Beach State Park

Gators at Huntington Beach State Park, SC

Huntington Beach State Campground

Zooland Family Campground in sheboro, NC

Zooland Family Campground entrance in sheboro, NC

David's Restaurant Asheboro, NC

Dixie 3 Restaurant in Asheboro, NC

Mayberry Campground in Mt Airy, NC

Andy and Opie head for the old fishing hole

The Copper Pot in Mt Airy, North Carolina

Shenandoah Campground, Mount Jackson, VA

Shenandoah Valley Overlook

Hogback Overlook

Elk Wallow rest stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway

North entrance to Shenandoah National Park

Gettysburg RV Park

Gettysburg Farm RV Park

Gettysburg RV Park and Farm

Gettysburg Farm animals

Silver Springs Family Restaurant in Lancaster, PA


Susquehanna Trail Campground, Oneonta, NY

Susquehanna Trail Campground in Oneonta, NY

Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground and RV Park

Medcalf Acres campground map

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