Dames Ferry Campground; Memorial Weekend 2021, Sites #24 & #31

Park: Dames Ferry Campground is located in Juliette GA (home of the movie “Fried Green Tomatos”) in middle Georgia. Lake Juliette is a 3600 acre, BEAUTIFUL lake, and has the clearest water I’ve seen in awhile (like the Etowah River). Boating is limited to motors 25hp or less. Which make for a great place for swimming, kayaking and fishing. It’s like a perfect, laid back private lake, with a few kindred souls. Park is conveniently located about 15 mins from a Dollar General with ice, and a bait store. Nice 😁

We had a childishly good time visiting the Dollar General 😁

Website: Dames Ferry Campground

Campground: The park is fairly small, and most of the sites are on or near the water. I think its fair to say, not all campgrounds, have all great sites. This is one of those moments, where there are probably better sites for us, but we love the lake and campground in general and will try a couple more to see what works best for us. I think site 28 has the best view, and space (you pretty much get the whole cul de sac to yourself) but it’s also the hardest to get a reservation for. We have yet to find “the perfect” campsite anywhere, but the fun is in the trying.

The view from site 28

Amenities: There is a new bathhouse, way more convenient for the sites towards the end of the campground. But I’m not so impressed with the bathhouse right now. Not 100%, really. The entire bathhouse is only 4 at a time, with private bathroom shower combos and they are unisex with 2 handicap bathrooms. Granted, the campground is small so the bathrooms wouldn’t need to be too large. One of the bathrooms was out of order, and the one I tried, I couldn’t get hot water, ever. The other 2 seemed fine. Oh yeah, no parking at the bathhouse. Which is unusual for a State Park.

Privacy: Not much really. There are quite a few sites right next to the road like Tugaloo, but there just aren’t as many sites and as much traffic. There was quite alot of traffic on the main road behind us. We couldn’t see it but we could hear it. Our 1st day, we may have had 3 or 4 cars pass by in the campground.

Really didn’t notice alot of pests, never got bitten by a mosquito. My son got a tick on him the first day, but I think it settled on his rain fly, and he put the rain fly on his shoulder to put it on the tent. He also lost a battery to his Traxxas boat on the 1st day. He took a turn too fast in the open water and the top popped off and out popped a battery. A rather interesting 1st day with kayak rc boat search and rescue, especially when we didn’t even have them off the truck yet 😳

Dump Station: Nothing special. Your standard single Dump Station. It had the hose to rinse out the tank, everything seemed in good working order.

Site Specific: 31 and 24. Site 25 would have been a better choice for a sister site, as it is directly across, but for Memorial weekend, sometimes you take what you can get.

For site 32 (our previous visit)info click here

Site 31: Eh, on first impression, it’s a great, very spacious site. After setting up, you start to notice some things. One, no shade really. And it’s on the water, but if you are in a camper, the back of the camper faces the water, unless you flip and park with your back to the road. Flipping around is entirely feasible, since there was so much space. But the only way it’s possible is if you have very long camper extension cords, and alot of water hose (75ft ish). Ultimately, we decided to face the larger part of the lake, and our sister site across the road where the kids were. It was actually nice to have a small inlet at the back of the camper so we could leave the blinds open most of the day. The drop to the water was pretty steep, and not convient for dropping a kayak in. Also, being the inlet, as soon as I walked down the hill I saw a water moccasin…soooo, that pretty much settled it for me. It may not have been a moccasin, but it was a snake, and I wanted no part of it.

The listing pictures showed a stand alone grill. There was not a grill .

It looks like they expanded the camping area, so it looks like the grill got removed and not replaced. When it’s 90 degrees, cooking over a fire isn’t appealing.  But we did it. And it worked. Thankfully, the entire week was not blazing hot, even turned a little cool, so the fire wasn’t an issue. Apparently there was a “cold front” and temps would dip to the high 50s. 🙂

And, there’s an actual streetlight in the site. Right beside the firepit, so even sitting by the fire was …well, in a spotlight. If we were in tents, it would have been a total pain. The brightside is, we really didn’t have to worry about light. By the end of the trip, I came to appreciate the light. Just because I’m old and cannot see, and we didn’t have to use any flashlights etc. (Sorry, im cheap that way).

Streetlight at site 31
Site 31 streetlight

Level-ness: there was a slight incline at the road, but once up the incline, the site was level until the edge of the railroad ties. Then it began sloping down to the water.

Condition: Clean, and maintained. Fire pit had been cleaned out. All our connections were fine. The water connection on/off bar must have been broken, because there was a adaptor on it. That was how you turned it on and off (think basic pressure regulator with a valve). Water pressure was good, power was consistent with no drops or breaker trips. Our air conditioning pretty much ran the entire time, and we never tripped a breaker. We did have an issue, for a few hours but it resolved. I think the county must have been working on the pipes. Our water turned brown for awhile. We just turned it on, let it run, and it cleared. After that you could tell it had air in it, so there was definitely a water main issue up the line somewhere. It did not start out that way, and cleared up within an hour or so.

The water issue, which cleared up pretty quickly.

Maneuvering: Easy. Only took a couple of tries to get where we wanted. Plenty of space to pick our spot. And adjust to where we wanted.

Bonus: There was plenty of room. Space for a large camper and a tent, or pop up, or both. 2 large tents would fit fine. We had a birds eye view of what was happening around us. A straight line view to the peak (site 28). And a good view to what was coming down the road the other direction.

Cons: No Stand alone grill. Under the streetlight. Road noise. Pretty Steep slope to the water. No shade for tents in summer, great for winter though.

Site 24: Small. If we had tried to get in there (Which was my initial intention) there would not have been much room for anything else. There was barely a level enough area for 2 large tents, and one was wedged between the grill and the fire pit. A 16ft camper or so could probably do fine, but not much else. Thankfully, we do all the cooking so they didn’t need the grill and fire pit.

The drop into the water was better, but still sloped and kind of rocky. I wouldn’t want to maneuver it without water shoes. Which I wear all the time anyway, so not a biggie. It worked well for us, we swam and kept our kayaks docked there. All good. 👍🏼

The site was well shaded, until late afternoon when when sun came across the water. But really not much sun at all. Seems the sites next to it did just fine with pup trailers (19ft ish) and families. Our monster would have been tough.

Level-ness: Small level area. With a slight slope for a driveway. Didnt park the camper there soo..cant really say much about it.

Pros: Even being across the street from the street light, it was dark. It was on the water, and not too terribly steep. Alot of shade. And trees around for a little privacy

Cons: Not alot of extra space , and barely room for parking. Even the short driveway had a slope.

But that water though…

All in all it was a great trip. Camping with any kids at all can be a challenge, but when they are 22 and 16, it really is not as easy to entertain them as it is when they are 5. It’s a beautiful lake, and quiet and cozy campground. And we will be back. We have already spotted the next sites to try. I think we got better pictures this year. I am MAKING AN EFFORT to get better pictures. I’m pretty proud of a couple of them. Our previous week long trip proved to be a nightmare, not so much as the campsite, but the company. We didn’t make that same mistake this year. And probably won’t ever again. A week with folks you really don’t know is bound to end up crappy.

All in all, we didn’t catch any fish (I’m beginning to think we just suck at this), there was only a small family spat, no drama, we had way too much food…as usual. This years trip turned out better than I could have asked for, and 100x better than last year.

But Lake Juliette is beautiful, and makes it easy to enjoy, especially if you like watersports. The lake itself makes up for 90% of the campgrounds shortcomings. And really, we just need to find the site that works best for us. We will be back. Mainly for the lake, but for camping too. Sorry so long, but it was a good trip!

And, I found a spider in our bed.

I’ll never sleep again. 😨