Monday, May 5, 2008

Tired State Park Campgrounds

The slanted and eroded gravel pads weren't worth using, even if the picnic table wasn't sprawled across it. (Do maintenance staff ever think that the last thing a late-arriving camper wants to deal with, especially in rain or other bad weather, is moving a picnic table that weighs slightly less than an elephant?!)

Tired would be the best word for it, though neglected would also work. The last campground I stayed at, NY's Chenango Valley State Park, a potentially beautiful spot, was so-so.

The ambivalent rating would be attributed to the general un-maintained campgrounds and RV essentials--especially the dump area. Then my pet peeve--no recycling. No hosts were apparent to me. Ill-placed garbage bin provided feeding opportunities for squirrels. Bone-jarring potholes. No signage to guide people out and minimal to get newbies in.

State parks undoubtedly are feeling budget crunches, and probably have for sometime, despite a short period of many states being flushed with cash. Those boon times are now bust times, and I fear that if state parks continue to ignore their charges we all will be the worst for it.

What do people see in other areas? What states do a good job?