SFGN’s Gay Camping 2019: New and Lesser Known Gay Campgrounds In North America | Lifestyle

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Ric Reily is a gay camping enthusiast and an SFGN contributing columnist. This Best Gay Campgrounds in North America By Category article is his fifth annual feature about gay camping. Ric Reily is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors of Sawmill Camping Resort in Dade City, FL, and regularly summers at Jones Pond Campground and RV Park near Angelica, NY. The content of this article is primarily taken from respondents comments to a survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017 and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the writer.

Where else can you strike up a conversation with a stranger on a perfect summer morning, in your pajamas, carrying a bag of dog poop? Gay camping of course.

Gay camping is perhaps the single biggest growing gay institution. 

As gay bars close, gay neighborhoods attract a variety of buyers, and gay businesses take on a broader base of customers, gay campgrounds continue to prosper. Gay camping is not a poor man’s sport, yet most gay campgrounds continue to grow. Gays tend to love ‘their’ place much like fans love ‘their’ team. They find a haven in a safe and friendly environment and become comfortable with the community and culture. 

 

There are many passable, good and great gay campgrounds across North America. Most are located east of the Mississippi River and most of those within about a two hour drive of a major metropolitan area. Size and success of individual properties appear at first glance to be directly related to the size of the market from which they can draw campers. The Woods in Pennsylvania draws from at least four major metropolitan areas making it one of the most popular.

In addition, new gay campgrounds open each year. In 2017 and 2018 there were at least ten new gay campgrounds across the U.S. Several including Rainbow RV in Groesbeck, Texas, Copper Cactus Ranch in Queen Valley, Arizona and The Homestead at 3218 in Crawford, Texas have opened west of the Mississippi River. The west is an area that has had notably few gay campgrounds. California, where many facilities might be expected to serve a large and open market, has none.

Fledgling smaller properties like River Ridge in Kentucky and Saddleback Campground in New Hampshire are founded by owners who love camping. Smaller new gay campgrounds tend to be built from the bottom up making new uses of limited acreage.

Major new properties like Creek Ridge Campground in Michigan are filling voids left by under performers. Larger new gay campgrounds are usually already camps. Some are failed religious camps or even failed gay campgrounds finding new life with new owners.

The worst performers have become so bad that new nearby properties have succeeded in drawing members away. Camp Out Alabama has taken over a closed campground and is drawing back some of the displaced campers who moved on to others nearby.

Rumors of a new facility opening near Rehoboth Beach in Delaware are just rumblings. If that occurs it will share a market with The Woods in Pennsylvania. New competition taking advantage of a vacancy in the market could satisfy excess demand.

Beginning a new business of any kind requires a certain dedication and appetite for risk. Opening a new gay campground generally puts the new owners in a rural, usually remote and often isolated location. Surrounded by non urban neighbors, each can take whatever reaction to the new business that fits their beliefs. 

Mostly, new owners find neighbors friendly and accepting. Areas surrounding large gay campgrounds quickly learn to embrace their new gay customers who spend more and more readily than less affluent locals. Setting up a culture of giving, a natural attendant to gay entertainment, local organizations from volunteer fire departments to animal rescues benefit directly from the generosity of gay campers in the new parks.

Let’s take a look at some of the new and less well known gay campgrounds in North America.

 

Check out all of SFGN’s 2019 Gay Camping [email protected]

 

Check out all of SFGN’s 2018 Gay Camping [email protected]

Check out all of SFGN’s 2017 Gay Camping [email protected] 

Florida Gay Campgrounds

Camp David

2000 South Bishop’s Point Road Inverness, Florida 34450 – campdavidflorida.com

The only clothing optional men’s campground in Florida 

Camp Mars

326 Goff Road Venus, Florida 33960 – campmars.com

The boardwalk is beautiful through a true Florida swamp

Resort on Carefree Boulevard 

3000 Carefree Boulevard Fort Meyers, Florida 33917 – esortoncb.com

Carefree is a lifestyle community where you can be you

Sawmill Camping Resort

21710 US Hwy 98 Dade City, Florida 33523 – flsawmill.com

Where camping meets nightlife

Southern Comfort Campgrounds

50 SE 74th Ave Cross City, FL 32628 – southerncomfortcampground.net

Open everyday to everyone 

Vitambi Springs

28280 Etumakee Way Clewiston, Florida 33440 – vitambi.com

Camping in the real Florida wilderness

 

Gay Campgrounds Listed in the Survey – Less Florida 

Bluff Creek Falls

1125 Loop Rd, Steele, AL 35987 – bluffcreekfalls.com

Woodsy and just plain beautiful

Camp Buckwood

8670 Spearsville Rd., Morgantown, IN 46160 – egay.biz/joomla/

Secluded and very welcoming in Southern Indiana

Campit Outdoor Resort 

6635 118th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408 – campitresort.com

Always something going on at Camp It, or nearby Saugatuck and South Haven

Circle JJ Ranch

1104 Amsterdam Road, Scio, OH 43988 – circlejjranch.com

Friendly 

Crooked Lake Resort

PO Box 358 Horsefly, BC, Canada V0L 1L0 www.crookedlakeresorthorseflybc.com

A year-round backcountry getaway

Freedom Valley Campgrounds

1875 US-250, New London, OH 44851 – freedomvalleycamping.com

The pond surrounded with manicured meadow and beautiful flower gardens

Hillside Campgrounds

948 Creek Road, New Milford, PA 18834 – hillside.camp

Every type of accommodation from vintage trailers to luxury RVs to air-conditioned cabins

In the Woods Campground

142 Casey Ct, Canon, GA 30520 – inthewoodscampground.com

Hike on the trails or dance in the street parties 

Joe’s Hideaway

928 Valley Rd, Washington, NH 03280 – joeshideaway.com

Growing every year and good shower house

Jones Pond Campground & RV Park

9835 Old State Rd, Angelica, NY 14709, jonespond.com

Aggy Dune, Cosmo parties, block parties, huge shows, beautiful property

Lizard Landing Camp

586 Lizard Lope Rd, Columbia, AL 36319 – lizardlanding.com

Now in the fifth year at the end of the road down by the river 

Oneida Campground

2580 East Lake Road, New Milford, PA 18834 – oneidaresort.com

America’s original LGBT campground 

Oz Campground

50 GA-230, Unadilla, GA 31091 – ozcampground.com

Excellent shows in the bar and an over the top Halloween party 

Roseland Resort

925 Nolte Ln, Proctor, WV 26055 – roselandwv.com

This mountain resort is a must go

Roy’s Hideaway

268 Catfish Lane, Collins, GA 30421 – royshideaway.com

Beautiful landscapes, relaxing outdoor spaces and a place to live forever

Starlite Trailer Lodge

5955 Globe Roa, Lenoir, NC 28645 – starlitelodge.com 

Scenic mountain setting and a beautiful lake

The Rivers Edge

2311 Pulliam Mill Rd, Dewy Rose, GA 30634 – camptheriversedge.com

Checkout the treehouse cabin overlooking the river 

The Woods Campground

3500 Forest St, Lehighton, PA 18235 – thewoodscampground.com

Best shower houses in any gay campground in North America

Triangle Recreation Camp

47715 Mountain Loop Hwy, Granite Falls, WA 98252 – camptrc.org

Northwest’s Premier recreational campground that is GLBTQ owned and operated.

 

 

Other favorites and comments respondents made about them:

Joe’s Hideaway

928 Valley Road

Washington, NH 03280

Nestled in the New Hampshire woods, this is the best gay campground because you really feel welcome by Joe and Rich, who are great hosts.

The Rivers Edge

2311 Pulliam Mill Road

Dewey Rose, GA 30634

The staff is superb, the owners are continuously making improvements, and the campers are friendly and diverse. There is a real sense of family.

Bluff Creek Falls

11225 Loop Road

Steele, AL 35987

Very rustic, not a lot of bull going on.

Camp Buckwood

8670 Spearsville Rd

Morgantown, IN 46160

Campers and staff are great and make you feel at home.

Camp David

2000 S Bishop Point

Inverness, FL 34450

Always fun and easy to get in and out of with a big rig.

Oneida Campground & Lodge

2580 East Lake Road

New Milford, PA 18834

A very friendly and inclusive place. You’ll feel right at home on your first visit.

Crooked Lake Resort

2225 6700 Road

Horsefly, BC V0L10 Canada

Located off the grid in the Caribou country in British Columbia, you need to love the wilderness, see the wildlife, hear the loons and enjoy a rustic outdoor adventure.

Hillside Campgrounds

948 Creek Road

New Milford, PA 18834

Amazing guys, fantastic time in the best gay campground in PA.

Circle JJ Ranch

1104 Amsterdam Rd SE

Scio, OH 43988

Very friendly owners.

Roy’s Hideaway

268 Catfish Lane

Collins, GA 30421

Very friendly staff, always a great time.

Southern Comfort Campground

50 SE 74 Ave

Cross City, FL 32628

The owners are very caring. The grounds are kept nice and neat and the pool is always wonderful.

Starlite Trailer Lodge

5955 Globe Rd

Lenoir, NC 28645

Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, a favorite campground. The staff is friendly and helpful, it’s quiet, the other campers are friendly, and the facilities are well maintained.

Triangle Recreation Camp

47715 Mountain Loop Hwy

Granite Falls, WA 98252

Member-owned nonprofit.

Vitambi Springs

28280 Etumakee Way

Clewiston, FL 33440

The staff is awesome the facilities are well maintained and the campers are welcoming to everyone. There’s a great bar and restaurant.

 

 


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