After two successful New York state parks we decided to try our luck in Pennsylvania. An afternoon departure on Wednesday had us arriving in Howard, PA around 8:30 pm. Rather than trying to find a site at the campground in the dark (never a fun prospect) we overnighted at the Walmart and then headed over to Bald Eagle State Park the next day.
They have two camping areas located on either side of the lake. One with hook-ups and one without. Since we had just gone several days with thick cloud cover and some furnace usage (a major power sucker), and were expecting more of the same, we shelled out $30/night for a site with electric so we could boost the batteries back up. The campground was on the empty side and we got a really nice site that backed up to a wooded area.
Unfortunately, the cold rainy pattern continued throughout our stay which put a damper on outside activities. We did get out for one hike around the park though.
I love the muted colors this time of year.
While we had the best intentions to get out on the lake for some kayaking, the second day brought even colder temps and more rain. In fact, the weather was so crappy that we never even walked down to see the lake! Oh well. With more rain in the forecast for the weekend we decided not to stick around. So back on the road we went for a long day of driving all the way through Pennsylvania and into West Virginia.
It was never our intention to move south quite this fast, but with campgrounds closing and the weather turning cold it only made sense. We’re now settled into a campground on Summersville Lake, WV for the next few days, and then plan to wander around KY, and TN until Thanksgiving.
We have a very, very loose plan for our time in Kentucky & Tennessee, but if anyone has recommendations for places to stay or things that we must see let us know. These are brand new states for us and we look forward to exploring. Thanks!
Shelly and I spent some time @ Roan Mtn St Pk last fall it was awesome – excellent hiking to open mtn 360 degree views. Nearby Jonesboro is home to national storytelling festival in early oct. We really liked the area around Louisville KY but haven’t camped there yet
Thanks for the recommendation. I looked into Roan Mtn and it sounds awesome. Unfortunately, from what I can see there is little to no cell service which means we can’t be there during the work week. It might have to be just a weekend stop for us.
Berea Kentucky is beautiful n fun to visit. The town is centered around the college kids of Berea college making this an artisans town , with lots of history and goods to buy made from the folks of the community. There is also bluegrass, Celtic, and folk music everywhere and Renfro Vally is close by. Lots of good food and drink too
Thanks! I just looked it up and it sounds like a really cool little town. I put it on the list!
We love Chattanooga, TN. Harrison Bay State Park is very nice and only about 15 miles NE of downtown. Great paved bike trial along the river.
In Bowling Green, KY, the Corvette Assembly Plant tour is really fascinating. Also in KY Land Between the Lakes is nice. Lots of campgrounds and trails.
One thing we found surprising in that part of the country in October was that everyone goes camping on the weekends if the weather is nice, so it was challenging sometimes finding a site without reservations.
Good info. We’ll keep that in mind about the weekend crowds. We’re trying to get by with no reservations if possible this fall.
While in Kentucky the caves are a must see.
Yes! They are on the list. We love caves!
We spent several days in Lexington Kyat the Kentucky Horse Park. They have “overflow” dry camping in addition to the usual hookups. The Museum of the Horse was great and the horse shows and barns can’t be beat. Georgetown, just N of there has an amazing Toyota plant…free tours. Don’t miss Red State BBQ nearby. My mouth is watering just remembering it
Several people have mentioned the KY Horse Park. I am pretty allergic to horses so we might have to skip it, but it does sound nice. I made a note to visit Red State BBQ. We’re always up for some good BBQ!
I would second the recommendation on Roan Mountain for its proximity to the scenic rocky balds on the Appalachian Trail. You just drive up the hill and you are hiking in the most scenic portion of th trail. The Indian Boundary Campground on the Cherohala Skyway in TN is supposed to be a winner. Of course, I am fan of Cades Cove in GSMN despite the Fall crowds. If you venture south into NC the elk rut is happening in the Cataloochee CG at GSMNP. We will check that out next weekend. Enjoy your explorations of Kentucky and TN.
Unfortunately, it looks like Roan Mtn. is lacking in cell service which makes it a no go for us :( Same with Indian Boundary. I think we’re going to save the very eastern park of TN and GSMNP for next fall when we come through the area again. Maybe we’ll have to use some vacation time to visit the areas with no cell service. Enjoy the elk!
I send a third on Roan Mnt State Park. I live near Jonesboro. Beautiful area, great hiking, friendly people, and not too cold as yet. Another absolutely beautiful park in TN is Fall Creek Falls State Park in middle TN. Georgeous waterfall and hiking trails.
From what I can see on the coverage map it looks like Roan Mtn. is lacking in cell service which is limiting for us (we need to be connected for work). I just read about Fall Creek Falls SP and it sounds wonderful!
Red river gorge in Ky. There is a state park nearby but have never camped there. Roan mt is beautiful, but best campsites are the tent sites!!. Cumberland Mt near crossville, to is also a nice state park
I have a state park near the Red River Gorge marked on our map. It’s called Natural Bridge SP. Looks like a gorgeous area!
We stayed at a nice state park in metro Memphis area. Very convenient for exploring the area. I am not a huge Elvis fan (before my time) but my husband wanted to see Graceland. It turned out to be well worth the visit, very interesting. Beale street downtown is like a mini 6th st. in Austin or NODO area in Charlotte. Bars, restaurants, shops and lots of blues and jazz in the evening.
I’m not sure we’re going to make it as far west as Memphis since we hope to turn south in Nashville and follow the Natchez Trace Parkway. But I hope to get there someday!
Looks like such a pretty area, bummer the weather didn’t cooperate. Glad you’re inland and missing all the flooding as you move south. Beautiful meadow!
Yes ,we are very happy to be missing all that rain and flooding. The weather has been perfect this week at out new spot in West Virginia.
We are in KY. There is Mammoth Cave..should make reservations (very popular). Bernheim Forest is beautiful in the fall..has sculptures, nature ctr and some trails. Makers Mark distillers tours are great. We are at Heartland CG across from AMZN..we can cook you a great meal. Know you guys are having fun. Hope to meet up again.
I forgot you guys were in Kentucky! We’ll definitely be in touch when we get closer. The cave and Makers Mark are both on our list, but had not heard of the forest. Sounds like my kind of place. Thanks!
Land Between The Lakes is nice.
Thanks Mark. I’ll look into it!
Red top mountain outside of Atlanta is nice on Lake Alatoona. Will be getting pretty quiet this time of year if you end up that far south.
We’re planning to turn west just south of Nashville, but will keep that spot in mind for next year. Sounds nice and I like the quiet aspect.
If you love hiking, the Great Smoky National Park is tremendous, plenty of options for trails with waterfalls… and the Cades Cove area. Gatlinburg, touristy, but fun quirky town is nearby and the roaring fork motor train…beautiful scenery and waterfalls. We found and usually stay at an amazing RV resort called Anchor Down RV resort in Dandridge, Tenn. http://www.anchordownrvresort.com
Truly have never stayed anywhere nicer than this RV campground, beautiful sites, with views of the lake with the backdrop of Mountains…wonderful owners and great amenities…sunrise and sunsets are gorgeous…we will be there in October. Preparing to full time soon, hope we meet up. Angie
Thanks for the great recommendation Angie! That sounds like a pretty awesome campground. We’ve decided to skip over that area this year since we’re heading west, but hope to spend a bunch of time around the GSMNP next fall. Happy camping!
Give a shout if you need more recommendations in Tenn and NC… there is awesome hiking and also some great local paddling! We whitewater kayak, but there are some beautiful lakes to take flat-water kayaks on as well. Safe travels! Angie