Our September 7-10, 2017 campsite at Harrison Bay State Park in Tennessee was a pull-through. It was shown as the last available site on the online reservations page when we checked. However, there were actually a number of empty campsites during the entire time we were there – even some choice lakeside sites.
Here’s our experience and review of the C campground.
Our site was a bit different than expected, based upon the size stated and photo provided on the park’s reservation page. (The photo was actually from the opposite direction than I thought, so my planning was totally kaput.) Seems the campsite had been renovated and website information was not yet updated.
The entire site was covered in rough gravel; expected since it was an RV site. Though, erecting a tent is still allowed, so a section with a bed of smoother pea gravel would have been a nice touch. We brought a mat as padding to go under the floor of our little changing room tent, but will add a second layer next visit.
The picnic table was affixed to a cement slab. The table area and the fire ring seemed fairly new.
We were in the center of a road loop, with a few trees on the site toward the lakeside and no tree coverage for privacy facing into the main campground. To each side of the center pull through section there were additional strips of rough gravel.
As we arrived, another site’s visitor was parking in one side. On another day, they politely asked permission before parking a different visitor. Obviously, locals enjoyed the campground, yet their gatherings were respectful of noise levels, etc. Several chatted with us during their walks around the campground and seemed to enjoy welcoming “outsiders”.
We stayed pretty basic and did not test putting up our new screen tent due to space restrictions. It ended up being a bug free outing, so the netting was not needed anyway.
Though this one site seemed a fishbowl, it is a beautiful camp (plus this State Park has other campgrounds) with generally nice sites of varied sizes. People in lakeside sites were able to fish, boat and paddle board right from their camp.
We enjoyed ourselves and do have a reservation three weeks ahead for a return trip to the same campground in a smaller campsite with a wooded setting.
The bath house had four large individual rooms, all designed for universal access. (Though it was a bit steep uphill hike to reach the bath house, which is a negative impact for accessibility.) Nothing fancy inside, though they were kept fairly clean throughout our stay and had plenty of hot water. One bathroom did have a broken shower head.
There were, consistently, two data bars for internet and phone access. Never a problem with checking news stories or watching YouTube clips. The campground was about three quarters full, and quiet times were well respected. Park staff were visible making regular rounds.
Beyond going to Tennessee Volun’tears’ Tearjerkers’ gatherings in the evenings, we spent our time relaxing during the days. I was leery of straining my body after the rib cage damage, and Earl needed detox after several weeks of hard work. Just chilling was perfectly fine with us.
Though, keeping watch on developing news and checking in with friends or relatives about Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katina created an undercurrent of unease for everyone.
Watching the boats, fishermen and birds on the lake, or moving our camp chairs as the shade shifted, were our major camp activities.
Plus, deer sightings during the drives between campgrounds or other areas of the park were delightful.
There were several couples and individuals who dropped by for a tour of Lily. Otherwise, we relaxed inside at night playing Rummy before preparing for bed.
There will be other visits to Harrison Bay in the future to explore hiking trails and nearby towns.
Sunday morning’s peaceful view from a roadside overlook on the State road along Harrison Bay was hard to leave.
Heading out, we started preparing for Hurricane Irma’s winds and rain to reach Atlanta as a Tropical Storm on Monday. We kept our car gas topped off and bought groceries along the way, because there were already reported shortages in metro Atlanta.
We ended up giving two more tours of Lily in a grocery parking lot.
Arriving at Lily’s storage room, we unhitched and cleaned the refrigerator/freezer. This time we kept the portable toilet, fire box and wood pellets in the car as backup supplies in case our electricity went out at home when the storm passed through. We locked the Vistabule into her storage room, hoping for the best and planning to check back next weekend.