It should be noted that the price of tents is $10 and all sites, RV and tent, need a reservation. For the tent sites, you park at the restrooms and walk into the woods (not far). My intention was to tent/car camp with my two boys while my husband is deployed for a fun overnight. There is no security from the road to the campgrounds. It is not located on base and anyone is able to drive in. There is a paintball park directly adjacent to the tent sites and on the weekend there was constant traffic from the paintball attendees and a large party at the pavilion by the water. I did not feel comfortable where the tent sites were since I was camping alone with my two young kids. I asked if there was an RV site available. There was, but they said that they would not rent it to me because I didn't have an RV with me. I told them that my intention was not to pitch a tent in the RV area, but to instead just use the picnic table and fire ring before going to sleep inside my SUV conversion. I would gladly pay for the RV site, which is twice as much as the tent site, just to feel more secure. I was just looking to get a fun night in with the boys. The young man at the counter was pleasant, but clearly had no authority. He deferred his decision to the rude, unkept man seated in the boathouse. Now I get if I was looking to set up a tent in the RV area, or if I was looking for spend a few days or weeks in the situation I described, but I was making do for one night with my boys after driving all the way there. This is a MILITARY FAM CAMP! We are a military family, and I was appalled that we were turned away when space was available. My kids were so disappointed. So much for having fun and making the best of their dad's deployment! Instead of being in nature and fishing/camping, we drove all the way back home.
First of all, the entry into the park is a nightmare. It's in the middle of a blind curve and then when you turn in you have to say a prayer that you don't break an axle. The sight is trashy. The bathrooms smell like something died in them. But wait, you have to meet Dennis the menace. Apparently, he is an employee. Perhaps he was hired because of some hire the psychotic program. He engages campers in what would normally be called a conversation except that a conversation involves two people taking turns speaking. He does these monologues that are long, outrageous and inappropriate. I wanted to shoot myself an hour into his diatribe. I was thinking I should fake a heart attack but it occurred to me he wouldn't notice if I did. I saw him do his one man psycho show for several campers. Some of them were trying to fix a meal over a fire and he just kept going on and on and on. They ended up eating while he told them his stories. I felt so bad for them. It appears that not only does he work at the park but also lives there. He has a tent there but spends all his time in the office. I suppose it's good having an employee there 24 hours a day. I just wonder if it's not a good thing having a lunatic on staff. What's the hiring criteria? Are you breathing? Okay, you're hired. I'm horribly disappointed that the government would hire someone like this and even more upset that nobody has noticed how insane he is. Perhaps this explains Congress. But, back to the park. If someone would clean things up, have the entry repaired, empty the trash cans, clean and dissinfect the bathrooms, and put a muzzle on Dennis, it might be a decent place to camp.
Location is great and has such great potential, but that’s the end of the nice things I can say. Bethel Park is no longer a FAM Camp; it has turned into a mobile home park. The mobile home park there has 20+ sites, nearly all of them occupied by permanent residents; there is even a family that lives in a cargo trailer with an attached porch! All the other reviews are spot on, and it appears that little has changed since the review that was made in May of 2006. Command needs to issue a few an eviction notices before I’ll visit again. Don’t waste your time here. Cheatham Annex is just a few miles (30) up the road towards Williamsburg and is well worth the drive. It’s quieter, way nicer, and puts you inside the “historic triangle” of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown which are all just a few minutes away from the gate.
Outdoor rec opens on Mondays at 9:00 am and Tuesday thru Friday at 10:00 am. To reach the campground directly call 747-342-4281. We wanted to stay on May 22, 2010, however could not get in touch with anyone that could give info on the campground. Opted to stay away. Read the reviews and decided it was not worth the effort to try to stay after all.
I agree with the folks who have visited this campground and found it lacking. I drove thru there a while back and it was awful!. The sites were overgrown and people left garbage and old, dirty toys and plastic storage containers in the site which were not removed. I will do another drive thru soon and talk to the 1 SVS CC if it is still trashed. I did not think they paid anyone to watch over the campground due to its condition. I am not proud for anyone to know I retired from Langley recently :)
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