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  1. #1
    Senior Member JKDmoo's Avatar
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    Any campgrounds with showers open in April?

    I know a lot people here are backpackers but I was hoping someone might have some info. I would like to take my wife car camping for a few days but she pretty much requires showers and flushing toilets. I hoping to go during early April because of her work schedule. The problem is most places I was thinking of won't have their facilities open until at least April 15.

    Does anyone know a hammock friendly campground which opens its showers earlier? Hopefully something within a 5 hour drive of Chicago.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    It's npt as close as you'd like, but Watoga State Park might be worth the drive to West Virginia. It's one of the few that opens April 1st. Here's what Papa Smurf had to say about it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JKDmoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response. The Park sounds really nice. Unfortunately I don't think I have enough time off of work to do the 10 hour drive. When I drive that far I like to stay more then a few days. But it is good to know there are places that open up earlier.

  4. #4
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    The closest I think you're going to find open campgrounds in early April that have full facilities is going to be Tennessee. There's a couple in northern TN that might suffice. Their pamphlet (and I'm sure their online version)shows which campgrounds are open but the pamphlet I've got doesn't show which ones have showers...either because all of them do - I think this is the case.

    If you can't find out by exploring the web site then call the park directly.

    Make sure if you're going that you either make reservations/get there during daylight or at least know what the gate hours are. I had a bad experience with them on my way south to Florida. I got to a park gate at 6:30 (after dark in January) only to find the gate locked up tight with no one answering the phone. I ended up 'camped' at Wally World for the night...sigh!

  5. #5

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    The other problem you will have with her is that it will still be cold, wet and muddy. That is why the places do not open then. Even if you get a warm weekend that is a relative term. Not saying one cannot do it but campground camping like that defeats the purpose of trying to lure a city dweller into the woods.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  6. #6
    markr6's Avatar
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    Google search for "Pokagon State Park Indiana". It's in northeast Indiana just a couple minutes south of I80/90, so a straight shot for you.

    They have electric and non-electric sites. I'm not 100% sure, but I think they're open year round (a friend once told me this). You can reserve sites online, so I tried it for April 4-6. While it wouldn't let you officially reserve the site, it said it was "Available for Walk-up visitors (at facility, first-come-first-served)". I'd bet 95% of the sites are free with very little use this time of year.

    Play it safe and call them to:

    1. verify the camp sites are open
    2. make sure the shower house is open. I have a feeling they would close that during the winter but I'm not sure. There are always the vault restrooms (shack with a hole in the ground/non-flushing toilet). My wife didn't seem to like those though LOL

  7. #7
    Wolverine's Avatar
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    Hey, might check out Mitchell State Park in Cadillac Michigan.

  8. #8
    Senior Member McBlaster's Avatar
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    Definitely look into Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, IN. 3 hours from Chicago. Their showers are always open when I go but that's always the 3rd weekend in April. Call them and ask, its one of the best car camping parks I've ever been to.

    http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/index.htm

  9. #9
    Senior Member JKDmoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the ideas I will check them out. I'm not too concerned about cold, wet and muddy as long as the temps stay above freezing. My wife is a pretty good sport as long as she can access modern plumbing.

    I have a follow up question about IN State parks: Are they hammock friendly? I thought I read on a list somewhere that IL and IN state parks where did not allow hammocks. I'm sure some places people look the other way but I always like to be legit.

  10. #10
    markr6's Avatar
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    For some reason I didn't even think about the hammock...stupid oversight on my part so I apologize for my recommendation above.

    I recently posted in another thread about a group getting chewed out by the DNR for hanging a radio from a tree (not sure what that was about anyway). This was the last time I was at a IN state park. I also remember seeing signs that said something like "do not nail, chain or hang anything from trees". Can't really blame them after years of people doing stupid things in the past. Probably also explains why so many trees have no limbs below 20'. Obviously that's not from hammocks, but it puts a bad tates in their mouth about anything being fixed to a tree.

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