Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lake Seminole State Park - Bainbridge, Georgia

We made a day trip to Lake Seminole State Park in early November, 2007. The park is located west of Bainbridge Georgia, near the Alabama and Florida border. It is a beautiful park and we will go back on a camping trip soon. The fall color was just starting and should be beautiful sometime after the middle of the month. Campground The campground sits on a large lake. There are quite a few campsites directly on the water. Our favorite campsites were: 8,9,11,13. These were all 5 star ratings in our opinion. They were all on the lake, easy to get into and plenty large enough for a motorhome. Other sites we liked were 14, 18,19. The park is 52 miles from our home in Cairo, Georgia and about one hour away. A beautiful pine forest surrounds the park and the fragrant pine aroma is all around. We took a 2.2 mile Gopher Tortoise trail hike. It started in the woods, wound around through part of the lake and over a boardwalk over the water. The boardwalk wasn't in the best shape and I was a little concerned some of the loose boards would break and we would end up in the shallow water. It is in need of repair but thanks to those republicans and their budget cuts for the state parks, money is short. Kayaking We did not do any kayaking the day we were here but will definitely be back. It is a great place to kayak. We were thinking when the fall color comes it would be beautiful. Spring Creek feeds into Lake Seminole and is a beautiful clear river that often looks turquoise. We went to some of the boat launches north of this park and found them to me impassable, no good place to put your kayak in, and dirty. where you would launch. One was under a bridge overpass. The water was pretty, but there were no trash receptacles and there was trash all over the place. It looked like a good place to get mugged. This was in Brinson, Georgia off highway 84. We thought if we went north to where the headspring was located that the river would be prettier. We were WRONG. The closer to the head spring, the worse it became. I realize we are in our 2nd year of a bad drought, but the Spring Creek was mostly not passable the farther north we went. The best places to launch in Spring Creek, are near Lake Seminole. Kayaking on Lake Seminole would be nice also, but I recommend going during the week if you can. There was a very noisy airboat which spoiled the peace and quiet of this beautiful lake. We were there during the week and I fear the place would be full of airboats on the weekends.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Mule Day - Calvary, Georgia

The first Saturday in November is the date of the annual Mule Day Festival in Calvary, Georgia. This was our first time and we were surprised about how big this event was. There were hundreds of booths with food and crafts, and thousands of people. There was a parade of mules pulling carts, mules being ridden, some horses and even a Brahma bull. There were cane grinding, cane syrup making, rope making exhibits. There was also displays of old boat motors and antique farm equipment and tractors. The weather was perfect and there was some great food. The only problem I saw was that this is a one day event so everyone had to come the same day and it was extremely crowded. This is not your usual small town fair. It was difficult to get around to all the booths and exhibits due to the large crowd. We will go back next year, but will bring some camp chairs. There was NO place to sit down to either eat or watch the parade. We would have stayed longer but I was in need of a place to rest my feet and a clean bathroom. I am not a fan of those portolets. A good suggestion would be for some seating to be added. The festival was free but we paid $5.00 to park. There were hundreds of motorhomes there. We thought next year we might look into taking the motorhome over the day before and dry camp. It would have been nice to have a place to go back to.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Reed Bingham State Park, Georgia

Location: This park in Adel, Georgia, in the southern part of Georgia, about 6 miles from I-75. The nearest shopping is in Adel. We saw a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. The nearest Walmart is in Moultrie. Interesting Info: The park is on 1613 acres and has a 375 acre lake for boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and water skiing. The "Little River" flows into the lake. You can rent small motorboats and canoe's from the state park concession. It looked like an interesting place to fish or explore because you can stay in the lake or go upriver. There are signs stating to watch out for alligators, but we didn't see any. This is a major area for the threatened Gopher Tortoise. We didn't see any, but did see many of their dens can be seen all around the park. The scientists have marked all the dens with different colored flags to indicate if it is a male/female, or has laid eggs. This park is also home to the rare Indigo snake. Trails: There are several well marked trails, one of which takes you along the river. There are a few nice boardwalk areas. There is the Upland Loop trail, the Birdwalk trail, the Little River Trail, the Turkey Oak Trail, the Gopher Tortoise bike loop, and several more proposed trails. The roads around the park are also excellent for walking and bicycling. Campground. The campground is very nice with 46 Rv and tent sites. Most of the campsites are fairly large so you don't have any trouble getting largers rigs into them. In Georgia you can make camping reservations, but not for a particular site. You pick your site out when you get there on a first come, first serve basis. This is not my favorite way to choose my campsite, but if you arrive during the week, you would probably have a good choice. In Florida all the sites would have been pretty well full by this time of the year, (the first week in November) but this camp ground was mostly vacant when we were on a Thursday. I'm sure the week-ends get full but at least you can get a campsite during the week. The number for reservations is 1-800-864-7275, or you can visit their website at Favorite Camp Sites Most all of the campsites would do in a pinch but our favorites were: 11, 9, 33, 35, 30. We rated them as 5 star. Our next favorite sites with a a 4 star rating are: 31, 7. Our "okay in a pinch" sites are: 27, & 26. The rates for RV camping are $22 per night, with water, electric, and cable. We were told the cable is out and has been out of service for a few months, so we won't count on it. Things to do: We discovered a restaurant right by the entrance to the park. It's called Fullers Catfish House. The food was good, it was clean and the interior decorations were amazing. They are only open Thursday through Saturday, so plan ahead! We were pleasantly surprised on how nice this park was. We will definitely be back and it's very close to our home in Cairo, Georgia.