Date of Travel: August 18, 2017
Total Cost Per Night: $25
Phone Number: (605)987-2263
Site: 19E (Electric only)
Day 2 of a 25 day, 5700 mile adventure out West took us to a gem of a campground just off of Interstate 29 in southern South Dakota. Our first destination was Wall, SD which was 1,500 miles from our home in Georgia. While we have no qualms driving till we drop and finding a Walmart or Cracker Barrel, I felt we had the right kind of timing to plan ahead and find a couple of campgrounds along the way to unwind in each night. Our first night was at Canal Campground in Kentucky (read the review here). It was so nice to chill out for a couple of hours each night and go for a walk before bed without having to drive till utter exhaustion hoping to find a safe place to boondock.
It’s rare to find such a relaxing oasis so close and so convenient to the interstate. Because of some roadwork we had to go past the park and double back on Highway 1C but even still, it was worth some backtracking. This part of South Dakota is so flat that to see a “mountain” (OK, more of a big-ish hill) rising up from the sunflower fields was quite interesting and pretty. Nestled on top of this little hill sat a small campground that was just what we needed.
There are 20 sites at this campground all in one loop. About half are back-in and half are pull-thru. The sites are dirt, or grass, or a mixture of both. All sites have 30amp electric and there are water spigots (with threads) throughout the campground to fill up your rig with. Our site was relatively level. I stayed hooked up and I think I only had to use a couple leveling blocks on one side. The lower number sites are situated rather interestingly. There are about 4-5 sites that are “pull-thru” but are all like a one-lane dirt road with little exits for each site. It was kind-of strange but seemed practical.
The CG sits on top of an aforementioned big hill and had a really nice overlook. We enjoyed sitting on a bench overlooking the distance on a beautiful evening. There are evidently tons of hiking trails at this park which we weren’t able to take advantage of because of time constraints but that leave right from the campground.
They have a really nice playground tucked in the woods about half-way around the campground loop. The bathroom was really nice and had 6 or 8 individual shower/bathroom combos. CG hosts were friendly but man, were they hardcore! I hadn’t hardly stepped out of my truck before they were on top of me about paying the parking pass ($7 I think) and how my firewood from GA better not even touch the ground (I get the whole wood from out of state thing). I felt accosted but once we got set up, things were fine.
As for paying for parking…we were planning on staying at Custer State Park later in the week. SD state parks offer a 1 week parking pass (which we were given when we entered Custer) for around $25 if I remember correctly. When we parked at Union Grove, there was no option for purchasing a pass since it was just an envelope system or the CG Host. Cost us an extra few bucks but oh well. You can pay at the park entrance or pay the host.
It’s a small campground for sure, but it seemed intimate and there were lots of folks visiting with one another. I feel like this campground is definitely a winner for its proximity to the interstate. It’s got a nice feel and had some beautiful views. I don’t know that I’d stay here for more than a night or two since you’re really out in the middle of nowhere. But for a quick stop-over or if you’re into horses (they have equestrian offerings) then it’s worth a stop. Definitely make reservations if at all possible since it’s such a small campground.
Next stop…Wall, SD