Campground/RV Park: Ives Run COE Campground (Corps of Engineers) – PENNSYLVANIA
Location: 710 Railroad Grade Trail (Ives Run), Tioga, PA 16946 (570) 835-0110
Date(s) Stayed: 6/13/15 – 6/20/15
Length of Stay: 1 week
Site #: 111 (Walk-in Site)
Cost per night (with taxes): $17 ($34 for others)
Discount Used: 50% National Park Access Pass (Disabled)
Connections: 30 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Ives Run COE Campground sits on the eastern shore of Hammond Lake in north-central Pennsylvania. Surrounded by lush forested ridges, the lake offers recreation. The campground is approximately 30 minutes to Mansfield and 30 minutes to Wellsboro and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. This campground is what all campgrounds should replicate! Nicely manicured, staffed and managed by the Corps of Engineers proved its worthiness with cleanliness, ample spacing between sites, beautiful views of Hammond Lake and nice roads to walk or bicycle. To reserve a site, you must be registered through Reserve America online. Because of the popularity of this campground in the summer season, expecting to find a campsite during weekends or extended stays (14 day maximum) is difficult because PA and NY state residents have made their reservations a year ahead of time. However, the campground has three ‘walk-in’ sites that are left vacant for RV’s and Campers that are passing through. The three walk-in sites open at 10:00am when the office opens. You can reserve for three days at a time before having to go and reserve again in person if you need another three days, but be sure to be at the office to do so at 10:00am (be first in line so no one bumps you). The campground season begins May 1st and ends October 30th each year.
The campground is absolutely gorgeous!! Lots of gentle wildlife!! We oftentimes took three walks a day/night. There is a separate swimming area from the boat ramp. Fishing is allowed with proper license. We appreciated their rules of not allowing boats/trailers on the campsites. They have overflow parking down at the boat ramp and elsewhere throughout the park. The campground rules state that each outside guest that visits your site must pay $3 each. There is a small campstore for basics (ie. hamburger/hotdog buns, hotdogs, chips, soda, water, etc.) Quiet time is kindly adhered to. A roving Park Ranger makes his rounds regularly noting safety issues and adherance to the campground rules.
Make certain you bring extra leveling blocks; note that this site sits in the mountainous region of Pennsylvania. As with all campgrounds, we highly recommend filtering your water. The only drawback to Ives Run COE Campground is internet capability is seriously lacking because of its location in the mountains (AT&T and Verizon); spotty at best.
We WILL return! We would have given it 5 stars if internet capability existed.
The battlefields are now littered with stone reminders of such great losses, defeat and victory. One can only try to imagine what those three days in hot July of 1863 were like. Small acres of farmland and fields turned into graves and bloodshed of tens of thousands…
Continue reading “Gods and Generals, Horses and Heroes – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania”
RV PARK REVIEW
Campground/RV Park: Fort Belvoir Travel Camp – Virginia (military)
Location: Outdoor Recreation (ODR), Bldg 778, 10155 Swift Road, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Date(s) Stayed: 5/21/15 – 5/26/15
Length of Stay: 5 days
Site #: 45 back-in
Cost per night (with taxes): $50/night
Discount Used: none
Travel Camp was beautiful to look at however, it had its issues which earned it
3.5 stars. To get to the Travel Camp/RV Park, we entered through the
Tulley Gate off of Route 1 (attention big rigs, its tight getting out of the
gate because of posts). The travel camp is located ‘on post’ therefore,
we had to go through standard military security and ID checks to enter.
Once on post, directions given by the Travel Camp office were spot on.
The area was
absolutely beautiful. The park overlooked the Potomac River; the view and
feel is spectacular! Lots of wildlife, two Osprey nests, long pier for
fishing and nice walking trails on the park and in the woods. The park
seemingly has been updated with new buildings, laundry, bathrooms and walkways.
The laundry has three washers/dryers each ($1.00 each) with nice folding
table and chairs to sit and wait. The bathrooms were immaculate; tile
floors and showers, stone or faux stone counters, etc. The convenience
and distance to DC is great; although outside the post on Route 1 is rundown
but a jaunt down to Olde Town Alexandria is nice. The post, being the
supposed ‘primo’ of military posts/bases because of its proximity to Washington
D.C. boasts it’s amenities. Everything under the sun is on this post;
commissary, PX, fueling stations, movie theater, gyms, etc.
campground is built on a river bank and very hilly which means the sites are
not level. Be prepared to work with your leveling systems. Bring
lots of leveling blocks. This was ‘big talk’ amongst fellow RV’ers.
Second, the cost. C’mon, its a military post which is supposed to
serve ALL paygrades of the military, not just Senior ranks. Even Retirees
will go elsewhere because most are on fixed incomes. This is ridiculously
expensive for a) being a military post and b) the fact of the instability of
sites (lack of being level). Third, get some WiFi towers on post.
Ridiculous to be on such a large post and near major metro area, that
you’d expect better WiFi signals. Finally, none of the gas stations on
post have diesel. 99% of 5th wheel RV’ers are pulling with diesel
engines. We had to waste $8 in diesel just to go get it filled prior to
So all of that
said, while it is in a beautiful area with great views and updated facilities,
its lacking in very important issues. This Travel Camp we would have
expected to be at least a 4-5 stars but because of the not-so-goods dropped it
to being a mediocre RV park/Campground/Travel Camp.
If you paid attention to history classes, you’d know that the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock on a cold Thanksgiving wasn’t the first to land in America. So that whole Plymouth Rock theory…yea…well. But don’t take our word for it, dust off the American History books and see for yourself. For those who don’t believe it, we’re here to set the record straight.
Continue reading “America’s history REALLY began in Jamestown, VA”
In the first three weeks in May 2016, we anchored down at USNWS (U.S. Naval Weapons Station) Cheatham Annex near Williamsburg, Virginia. This liberty port was two-fold. First, for visiting friends, family and shipmates; some even 250 miles away. Second, to learn a bit of our Nation’s history at Appomattox Court House.
Continue reading “Appomattox Court House National Historic Park – Virginia”
MILITARY RV PARK REVIEW
Campground/RV Park: Navy Weapons Station Cheatham Annex – VIRGINIA (military)
Location: Bldg. 284 Chase Road, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185
Date(s) Stayed: 5/1/15 – 5/21/15
Length of Stay: 3 weeks
Site #: #25 back-in (end)
Cost per night (with taxes): $25/night
Discount Used: none
We TOTALLY enjoyed our stay at Navy Weapons Station Cheatham Annex as its located right off the Colonial Parkway and close to Williamsburg and Yorktown. There are signs on I-64 as well as Route 199 and Colonial Parkway showing Cheatham Annex exits. This RV park is located on the Navy Base therefore, entrance is through gated and armed security; military, DOD and Civilian ID checks mandatory. It is located very near Water Country and a short drive to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg. Driving to tourist areas is convenient however, parking in downtown Yorktown and Williamsburg may be a challenge. NWS Cheatham Annex is a very small Navy base. It only has a shoppette with gas station (Diesel also!!!). On the other side, there are rented cottages and water access. Lots of nice places to run and ride your bikes. Golf course on base as well. Too many other amenities to list here so please, click on the link above for more info.
The location of the RV park was secure, manicured, beautiful and clean. Mature trees surrounded the area but the RV concrete pad sites themselves were nicely spaced amidst young bushes and two-three year old small trees. Sites backed into communal areas. Each site were ample spaced and had a picnic table and fire pit. Weekends were full and weekdays were approximately 25% to capacity. The bath houses were new and clean; locking outside entries to each unisex room. The laundry room was clean and roomy with three washers/dryers ($1.50 each), deep sink, soap vending machine, fold table and chairs. Near the bath house and laundry was a small playground for young children. There was also a conference room in the same building. There were beautiful new cottages on the backside of the park. Though sites were FHU’s, there was also a dump station near the dumpsters close to the entrance of the RV Park itself. Navy Security drove through several times a day/night which was nice. Because of military regulations, it was nice and quiet after 10pm, even on the weekends. There were occasions of hearing the sound of freedom from artillery and range operations in the distance; nothing close and it wasn’t loud.
Free WiFi “IF” you could get on; frequently spotty and during the weekends, forget it. We had our own AT&T hotspot which was spotty at best. Only in certain areas of the park were we able to get an AT&T signal from one of our phones. The other was Verizon signal was zero. We waited until we were off base to make our phone calls and doing any internet work or research. While the park itself and amenities were fantastic, this was the only low point of staying at Cheatham Annex. The Navy needs to work on this. If you work on the road via internet, you may want to think twice before staying here unless you have a WiFi booster.
Every morning, we were awakened at 0800 by the sound of the bugle playing the National Anthem and at sunset, we heard TAPS. Please note military protocol of respect if you’re outside during both; remove your hat, hand over heart, face the bugle sound and stand at attention with no movement (teach your children and grandchildren this!); if in uniform, salute covered. This is an HONOR to do so, please don’t run inside as our Fallen Warriors didn’t run away from battle in their day.
We plan on returning to NWS Cheatham Annex.