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Old 05-03-2009, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Pensacola
Camping in the Southeast

Anyone have any good recommendations for camping in the southeast--campgrounds that you've found really nice, and those to avoid.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are tons of great places in the Smoky Mountains
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How far south?
Ginnie Springs (High Springs, Florida) outside of Gainesville was awesome a few weeks ago, but gets a little crowded. St. Augustine's Anastasia State Park is pretty great for near beach camping. I heard that Cumberland Island in Georgia was excellent for primitive and pack it in/pack it out from people I trust. Unicoi State Park holds a special place in my memories in Helen, Georgia because my family went there for vacation every year until I was 15. Last time I was there was 2000, and it was still pretty much the same... I hear the lake has shrunken, though.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lake Santilla in North Carolina
Most anyplace in Frozen Head State Park in TN
The dam campground at Watts Bar Lake - it's a TVA campground, so you may not be able to bring in any alcohol
Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee has at least 3 or 4
Elkmont campground in the Smokies

All those are car campgrounds with no walkin, near a body of water with a mix of sun and shade. The campsites vary in amenities, so if there's something specific you want or don't want, one or all may not fit. If you want backpacking campgrounds, it's a completely different list.

It might help if you narrow down what you mean by "southeast". Does it include Texas and Louisianna? Kentucky? Virginia? West Virginia? Also, anything specific you want or don't want? Specific route (down 75? across 40?)? More info will help us give better recommendations.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: DC/Coastal VA
I also recommend Lake Santilla, but if you want a true bare bones, totally fascinating experience, camp on Shackleford Banks in eastern North Carolina. You have to book a $15 trip by Local Yokel Ferry because there is no bridge to the island. Or for that matter, any type of lodging, bathing, development, outhouse....

It's a completely abandoned island, populated by the "Banker" ponies which is an actually a wildlife colony of horses dating back to the 1400's. Take a tent and your own provisions, and police your camp. NPS does come through unannounced and will ride you if you leave so much as an apple core.

The west side is Whalebone Bay, the east side is pure Atlantic Ocean. There are a lot of horses, and people have been so good about not polluting or interacting with the horses that they aren't dangerous to people. They treat them like moving shrubs.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Pensacola
Thanks for the input. I'm looking at anything east of the Mississippi, and no further north than the Carolinas. My two favorites so far (after 2 years of occasional camping) are Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FL ($20/night) and the KOA in the southern Florida Keys ($92/night).

Please keep 'em coming...my wife and I plan to do a lot more--we just bought a 35' fifth wheel (btw, we have a pop-up for sale.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You may not want to take a 5th wheel to Lake Santilla. The route in is up "The Dragon" - as any serious motorcycle rider if you're not familiar with it. Unless you're very experienced towing an extended trailer, you probably don't want to even try. Seriously.

Henderson State Park in South Carolina is nice too, and I remember a great campground there from 20 years ago.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This weekend I'm taking my 5th wheel to Cheaha State Park in Talledega State Forest. I'll let everyone how it goes.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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how about bienville, mississippi?

Bienville National Forest Campgrounds
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This weekend I'm taking my 5th wheel to Cheaha State Park in Talledega State Forest. I'll let everyone how it goes.
I've been to Cheaha, but I've never camped there. I've never camped, but that's beside the point. Hope you enjoy.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm just back from Cheaha State Park. It's one of the best state campgrounds I've ever visited. The facilities were fantastic, and being at 2400 feet elevation, it was 20 degrees cooler than our home in Pensacola. There are a couple of different roads to the park, but one of them is a suicide trail when pulling an RV.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I heard that Cumberland Island in Georgia was excellent for primitive and pack it in/pack it out from people I trust.
I never camped there but I took day trips to Cumberland Island several times when I lived in St. Marys and it was a cool place to visit. I met the guy who owned coca cola on the beach there. He was one of the few people living on the island.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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How far south?
Ginnie Springs (High Springs, Florida) outside of Gainesville was awesome a few weeks ago, but gets a little crowded. St. Augustine's Anastasia State Park is pretty great for near beach camping. I heard that Cumberland Island in Georgia was excellent for primitive and pack it in/pack it out from people I trust. Unicoi State Park holds a special place in my memories in Helen, Georgia because my family went there for vacation every year until I was 15. Last time I was there was 2000, and it was still pretty much the same... I hear the lake has shrunken, though.
what she said.

add blue springs in deltona though. i was on shrooms there with a few (4) friends. we were welcomed by other stoners dancing around the fire late at night. great times indeed. i spent one whole night walking around semi-nude (boxers), no problem.

also...lake Eufala on the georgia/alabama border. talk about peace and quiet!
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thumbs up to camping. My whole next week is going to be spent up at a buddys near the Muskokas.
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