Address: 405 Mollies Creek Rd, Gladys, VA 24554
Phone: (270) 749-2891
# of sites: 223
Full hookup price: From $52/day
Open: May 22-Oct. 29
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Lynchburg RV Resort lies in the heart of Virginia, is bordered by rolling hills and farm lands, and features a small lake. While its mailing address is in Gladys, the closest town with services is Rustburg, about 11 miles away. There are varying degrees of space between sites and most have gravel covering the clay-like ground that becomes sticky mud during and following a rainstorm. Some of the sites are pull-through, but most are back-in.
The resort has most of the amenities you would expect, such as laundry room, clubhouse, showers. miniature golf and seasonal pool, but they also have a splendid beachfront area along part of Grandview Lake's shore. The lake offers canoeing, fishing and swimming, as well as a pretty view. Outside of the pandemic restrictions, there is usually a restaurant operating on the grounds.
The camping loops wind through wooded grounds and green space. Most sites have full hook-ups, with a few offering 50amp service, and all spaces have sturdy picnic tables and some had grass. The grounds were clean and well-maintained. There are several nature hiking and bike trails around the grounds and between the camping loops and the lake and clubhouse.
Central Virginia has many historical landmarks and battlefields to visit. A short drive northeast gets you to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, where Generals Grant and Lee met to bring an end to America’s Civil War, and the American Civil War Museum is just down the road from the Park. A longer jaunt will get you onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as “America’s Most Popular Scenic Drive," or to the Natural Bridge, a Natural Wonder of the World, both within a three-hour drive.
There were very few sites with sky access for a satellite dish, though I was able to place my dish tripod up on a picnic table and the signal barely cleared the treetops from my space. Like many campgrounds, the lake and clubhouse are a bit of a walk from the camping loops.
There were green spaces available for it, but they did not have an off-leash dog park. Walking the dogs after it rained meant traipsing through that sticky mud I talked about. Pets are welcome, but a dog park would be excellent.
There is really nothing that sets this campground apart from others. Perhaps they go above and beyond with activities when not in a pandemic, but, honestly, we stayed here for a few days a couple of years ago and I did not remember the park at all when we returned. For these reasons, I have rated this resort a 3 out of 5 stars.
Address: 1878 Mammoth Cave Parkway, Park City, KY 42160
Phone: (270) 749-2891
# of sites: 68
Full hookup price: From $52/day
Open: Year Round
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Smaller campground
Tucked inside the Mammoth Cave region of Western Kentucky, Diamond Caverns RV Resort is one of the few tourist-oriented parks we have stayed in. On the resort's grounds (and walking distance from the campground) are the Diamond Caverns attraction and an 18-hole golf course. It is about a 75-minute drive to Nashville, Tennessee.
The closest supermarket is 12 miles away in Glasgow, and the closest restaurants are in Cave City, about an 8-mile drive up the Interstate.
Nearly all sites in Diamond Caverns RV Resort are full hookups and many have 50 amp. It is well-maintained and there is an abundance of green space throughout the park. Being a smaller park than most in the Thousand Trails family, most of the amenities, and even the dumpsters, are within easy walking distance. They have a pool, an excellent miniature golf course and, outside of pandemic times, what looks like a nice clubhouse and quiet room.
If you play golf, this is also one of the few Thousand Trails parks with a golf course attached. As far as the region, the resort is located six miles from the longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park and the National Corvette Museum and Corvette Plant are just 20 miles south. The luscious Barren River Lake State Park is about 40 minutes away. When we checked in we were given a map with a list of over 100 attractions and destinations in the I-65 corridor, all within convenient driving distance.
The resort's reason for being, of course, is the cavern and it cost $20 per person to take the tour. As caverns go, Diamond Caverns don't compare to Luray in Virginia or Crystal in South Dakota, but it is an easy walking tour by comparison and it does offer enough of a variety of cavern structures to make the tour interesting. After looking at the guided tours online, we chose to see Diamond Caverns over Mammoth Cave, which was $18 per person, though either would probably be enjoyable.
As a photographer who enjoys taking shots of old and abandoned houses and barns, there was no shortage of subjects, with probably hundreds of photo opportunities during each drive around the region.
The counter help and business managers throughout Western Kentucky all seem to speak as sweetly as possible, even more than we noticed in other areas in the south. It's easy to get used to.
Sites in Diamond Caverns Resort are long and narrow, meaning that you are very close to your neighbors. With so few RV sites, in peak season reservations may be scarce. While the resort has plenty of green fields, all mowed and maintained, unfortunately they did not utilize any of them for off-leash dog space.
The Mammoth Cave National Park isn't anything like other national parks we have been to. There is no gated entrance, no entrance fee or park pass required, but also very little to see or do. The National Parks Passport gives no discount at all on tours or anything at all in the National Park. There are hiking trails, but my 1/4-mile nature walk to Sand Cave was not impressive and the woods are too thick to allow much scenery to enjoy.
Unlike our experience in Tennessee, where we saw virtually nothing but middle- and upper-class neighborhoods, there are many lower-income neighborhoods and farmlands in this part of Kentucky. Similar to what we saw in Louisiana and Alabama, there are houses and mobile homes that in most regions in the country would be abandoned and/or condemned, but here they have occupants. We surmised that with the economy of these counties being based on tobacco, which we saw everywhere, the crop's long downturn in America might be affecting jobs and income.
It was overly frustrating for me in attempting to get photos where roads were narrow, without any shoulders, but also as traffic was driving far faster than the roads dictated. I typically drive slowly on picturesque country roads, especially with narrow lanes, but I was tailgated without mercy or letting up, even when traffic was sparse, and I was forced to skip opportunities nearly everywhere we drove.
I would consider Diamond Caverns Resort a nice place for a personal retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We highly recommend it during the off-season, when tourists are not flocking to Mammoth Cave or the onsite caverns, and when campsites are more available. It deserves four stars out of five for the park's cleanliness and serene location, as well as the numerous attractions in the area.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.