Disclaimer: This was written after a bad experience at the Bark River Campground in July 2007. I’ve actually gotten attacked by people for sharing my experience. The campground may have improved by now, I really hope it has.
In July 2007 we went camping at Bark River Campground and it sucked.
I suppose I should elaborate. First, a disclaimer: I do not operate a campground, or know how to, but I do have common sense, respect for the land, and for others, and have been camping before.
With that said, I will say that we did have fun. It was the first camping trip for the kids, and they had fun, despite some harsh conditions. With that out of the way, I’ll get into why the campground sucked.
When we arrived, we pulled up to a camp site, and after surveying the area for a few minutes, one of the jerkwads at the next site says very loudly “It’s gonna get loud! It’s gonna get wild!” which I guess was his way of warning us they planned to be jerkwads and we shouldn’t camp there. So we moved on, but it was difficult trying to find a spot that was far enough away from them.
Eventually we settled just over the top of a hill, where we hoped we wouldn’t be able to hear them too much. (Oh, little did we know…) On the sites near the top of the hill we managed to find plenty of empty beer bottles, a diaper, dog poop, and part of a tent someone decided to burn and leave there. Get it straight, I ain’t no hippie, but I have some respect for the land, and as I remember, you’re supposed to leave nothing but footprints, and take nothing but photographs, right?
Anyway, we had a good time, even though many of the clientele seemed a bit, uh, “questionable” at best. This was the first time camping for the girls, and we spent a lot of time trying to explain how “real” camping works, as opposed to the “outdoor drunkfest party camping” we were witnessing. They’re excited to try it again at a better location.
So many other “campers” were just plain inconsiderate, it was incredible. At one point, 3 guys in golf carts drove up the hill and parked 20 feet from our tents and just sat there for 20 minutes. Oh, and a woman drove up in a golf cart, got out with her dog, and then let it poop about 20 feet from our tent. When Dana asked if she brought a bag along, she looked at us like we were crazy, so I asked if her dog pooped, and she said “yes” and I asked if she could at least tell us where so we could avoid stepping in it. I ended up burying it, and two others we found, right after I placed the diaper in the nearest outhouse.
Oh, and the jerkwads who warned us? We couldn’t even hear them, because at about 9PM two large pickup trucks pulled up, drove right past us, and then ended up camping down the hill, and spent all night long blasting their stereo, drinking, and swearing. Fun time for all! Seriously, this was the worst-case definition of what anarchy could be, a small group wrecking it for everyone else. I considered getting their license plate and reporting them to the management, but I doubt they even registered, and if they did, would anything be done? I also didn’t care because I wasn’t returning and I already saw the “NO REFUNDS!” sign when I first arrived.
While the “campers” sucked, the management of this place seems to be in need of improvement as well, or maybe they just didn’t care. Maybe they just like being handed $20 to rent an “anything goes” party space for the night.
My recommendation to you is to avoid this campground. Instead, try one of the many state parks that offers camping. While I’m not always fan of the government, at least they know how to run a campground.
5 replies on “Bark River Campground”
First off, you square. I do concur that the state parks dept do know how to run the show. I recommend crockett’s for all your camping needs. They have good staff and quiet woods camping.
Nice Pics. Is that a pancake?
Yes it’s a damn pancake! (Are you making fun of me again?)
You first mistake was going anywhere near Jefferson. If it’s on highway 26, stay clear.
It’s a wonderful campsite made for young people to party and have fun without worrying about people like you. Besides why would you bring a child in diapers camping? I’m sure that was a lot of fun. Maybe next time you shouldn’t be so cheap and you should go to the Jellystone Park in Wisconsin Dells. It will cost a million times more money but you won’t have to worry about cheap teenagers.
Jeanine, I have no idea why someone would bring a child in diapers camping, but someone did, and just tossed a diaper on the ground. I was the only one who chose to do something about it and clean it up.
Bark River did not bill itself as a place “made for young people to party” but maybe they should, it would help people like me who are looking for a clean, family friendly campground that focuses on nature not drinking, yelling, and blasting music.
It wasn’t so much a matter of being cheap, it was a matter of planning only two weeks ahead instead of two months. The good campgrounds fill up and require reservations while cheap ones like Bark River, don’t.
As for Jellystone Park, it costs $20 million to camp there? Wow, must be nice. :)