Address: 2690 Arena Road, Unadilla, GA 31091
Phone: (478) 627-3254
# of sites: 186
Full hookup price: From $395/month
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Interstate noise
Unadilla, GA, is a small town about 45 minutes south of Macon and nearly two hours from Atlanta. It is an RPI park, an add-on for Thousand Trails memberships, and we paid a discount price of $12/night for 30 amp and full hookups. Its convenient location heading southwest from Virginia and visiting a friend in Byron were our primary purposes for choosing this campground.
This resort is open year-round and Unadilla has milder winters, meaning you can wait just a little bit longer in the year before heading to your usual winter home or region, such as Florida, Texas or Arizona. The campground has a small fishing pond onsite (catch and release) and the sites are above normal in width.
Southern Trails has several of the expected amenities, such as laundry facilities, bath house, swimming pool, miniature golf, and clubhouse, though most of those were closed during our stay due to the pandemic.
The biggest negative aspect of this park is its proximity to I-75, which was literally a stone's throw from our campsite. Tractor-trailer traffic is continuous, 24/7. There was no noise barrier at all (barbed wire doesn't block much sound), so, even though we were so close, the entire park is a noise pit. The campground caters to monthly customers, and a few of the longer-term residents mentioned that they had gotten used to the noise, but if you are staying a few days, this won't happen.
This resort looks well-past its heyday, with perhaps the exception of its newest loops. Amenities and buildings are old and dated, dirt pathways narrow and uneven, and any landscaping an afterthought at best. I mentioned that they cater to long-term residents, and we find that this type of guaranteed revenue focus tends to dissuade owners from spending much for improvements or maintenance to attract new campers. There just aren't any outstanding qualities.
There was plenty of space to have an off-leash park for dogs, but they did not have one. Speaking of dogs, we had a canine welcoming committee (the black dog in the photo), which was skittish but friendly and was wearing a harness and collar, so I was pretty certain he belonged to a camper in the resort. He wanted to play with our dogs but wouldn't let me see his tags, so I leashed up Rosie and Sadie and he followed us to the office. I tied off our dogs and stepped inside to give the park manager the scoop of a loose pet and the woman couldn't care less. She basically said that it was my problem, not hers, and she couldn't do anything about it. Fortunately, as we were walking back to our site, a young girl ran up and apologized for my having to deal with their dog. She had a leash with her and took him away with a smile. I was pretty put out with the staff not stepping up.
As an example of our noise problem, I took the video below at 3:30am from my bedroom window (next to my head when lying down), still awake due to the cacophony from the highway.
The bottom line is that we do not recommend this campground for anything but the shortest of stays, and even then we might suggest a couple nights Cracker-docking. Because the park wasn't trash-filled and the hookups all worked, I decided that two stars out of five was more appropriate than just one.
Address: 12014 Trails Ln Gloucester, VA 23061
Phone: (804) 693-6924
# of sites: 465
Full hookup price: From $58/day
Open: May 22-Dec. 31
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Muddy after rain
On the eastern coast of Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay RV Resort sits on the bank of the Piankatank River, several miles upstream from the Chesapeake Bay. Nearby are three well-known towns of historical significance, as Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and the Jamestown Settlement make up Virginia's "Historical Triangle." Gloucester Courthouse, Mathews Courthouse and Urbanna are within a half hour's drive and offer historic museums, quaint shops and interesting dining, including on the waterfront. Virginia's central location along the East Coast gives residents and visitors easy driving access to the Outer Banks of South Carolina, Washington DC, Baltimore, the Jersey Shore and even New York City.
The first thing you notice when picking out a site is the considerable size of most of them. The 20-30' between rigs is a far cry from the ten feet from our neighbors we recently experienced. That has several benefits, such as space for large dog fences, less intrusion into neighbors' personal space, and even less noise from other families.
Speaking of dog fences, there is a nice, brand new off-leash park now set up behind the camp store. Our dogs really enjoy being off leash occasionally, and this garnered their approval.
This campground is not only on a wide river, but it is also supports a rather large pond, with at least one camping loop and several cabins nearby each body of water. The park has built a couple of docks and a few strips of beach on the Piankatank for its residents for boating, swimming and fishing. The river is of significant size and gives access to Chesapeake Bay nearly year-round, though the park is closed from January to May. It was also the site of numerous actions during the Civil War, adding even more historic places to visit.
Though we did not have the opportunity to use the amenities, everything you would expect to see in a quality resort is here, including a swimming pool and hot tub, mini golf, a clubhouse, a camp store and restaurant, laundry facilities, a game room, a banquet room, playgrounds and more.
The entire state of Virginia provides history buffs with unique opportunities, as it was one of the original thirteen American colonies, with Jamestown having been settled by the English in 1607. The home state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, Virginia obviously occupied a place of importance in the American Revolution. The city of Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and more than half of the war's battles were fought in the state.
This park, like many older campgrounds, can quickly become a quagmire during and after rain, with more slop than grass or gravel in all of the camping loops. We were fortunate to arrive just after a rainy period and could select a site that was less muddy, even forgoing a 50 amp connection for 30 amp. It seems like more could be done to mitigate the problem, and perhaps there are plans underway. Even more gravel would help.
Only about a third of all campsites in the park have 50 amp power connections. While this is less important in the fall and winter, the east coast summer heat and humidity might require some to have it for air conditioning. Like most Thousand Trails resorts, sites are first come, first served, so there's no guarantee of getting the hookups you want.
We would highly recommend this resort during all but the mid-summer months. The low chance of 50 amp hookups in the the most populous and humid months of summer and the sometimes excessive amount of mud are the primary reasons I have not rated this park five out of five stars, though higher quality sites with pads wouldn't hurt either. We will keep this park as our go-to eastern midway point between north and south and return nearly every year.
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.