Location: Acworth GA, Lake Allatoona
Website: Mckinney Campground
Yay Spring! For our season opener, we stayed close to home… 🙂
We are lucky enough to live close to Lake Allatoona, and for many years, it was our “go to” area for recreation. We used many of the areas around Allatoona for tent camping and then RV camping. Once we got the camper, and got the hang of it we started venturing further out, utilizing the convenience of having an RV. The last 2 or 3 years it has been pretty difficult getting a site anywhere close to Atlanta, especially for larger RVs. Mckinney really is a nicely laid out campground. So much so that any issues that came about, aren’t enough to keep us from returning. FYI-Some of the pictures aren’t fantastic. I got a new phone, with a supposedly awesome camera. Apparently, I haven’t figured out how to make it awesome, yet.
I honestly cannot remember the last time we were at Mckinney. Maybe around 6 years or so. The reservation we had last year, got canceled because they shut the entire campground down to switch the sewer over to city sewer instead of septic. They closed sometime in 2019 or 2020 and reopened sometime 2021. Hard to tell, and cannot really find info online. Point is, they are now open. Ultimately, most of my disappointment comes from the fact that they were closed, but did not take that opportunity to do some serious maintenance. Even with switching over the plumbing, I had hoped they would split up the dump stations making them more efficient. Make them parallel instead of consecutive, to help prevent traffic back ups. But they did not.
We somehow managed to get a site for a date less than 3 weeks away. For Mckinney, (and most campgrounds in the Atlanta area) that is unheard of. Although it’s not on the water, it’s fairly close, and really not a bad site. It was perfect for our 1st trip of the season, because pulling the trailer out of storage, after an extended winter storage, we are never really sure what to expect. Last year, we had a door window slip out and had to find a Walmart.
Being close to home, is helpful when you aren’t sure what issues will arise. Or forget what you forgot. If not close to home, at least close to a store. No major repairs this trip, except preparing to fix what we already knew we needed to fix. We did have to pull out some duct tape to fix a fender that was definitely going to blow off during travel. Dutchman never put these on right, and they have been slowly cracking from day one. Not covered by warranty, or extended warranty, trust me. We tried from the start. This fender was split in two. So, we “fixed” it. We still stare longingly at the snapped, zip tied awning arm that we broke for the SECOND time summer before last. It’s time to get that repaired also.
We forgot A LOT of things, and also did not expect the cooler temperatures. In trying to keep it simple and easy, we didn’t pack enough, left a bag of food at home and some of the dogs meds. Of course right? Mid stay, we decided to run back home to ), get the food we forgot, and get warmer clothes. And a shovel. We also needed to get more firewood. Buying local is advised, to prevent foreign infestations, and even though we are in a distance of less than 15 miles away, we try to play it safe. I feel like I should add, that we DO keep it simple most of the time. If we are just out for a couple days, we barely unpack all the “glamping” items. No tablecloths, or lights, or rugs. We have those things, we just use them when we are going to somewhere for awhile. Pulling them out to create a “scene” every single time, just defeats the purpose of relaxing to me.
Campground: The campground is large! 150 sites on Lake Allatoona. Not our favorite lake, primarily because we have yet to catch a single fish, but also because it’s not very clear water. It’s an Army Corp monitored campground. They have some different rules than state parks, but pretty similar. Check-out is 3pm, which is great for leaving, but the check-in time is 4pm, which is pretty late. We got there around 3pm, and it didn’t seem to be an issue. The check-in/check-out times might contribute to the condition of the sites, considering we didn’t give enough time for the sites to be cleaned up. A LOT of reviews mention the hosts/check-in staff not being nice. They weren’t super friendly, but they were not rude even when we were checking in early. We did not have any issues with them the entire time we were there. We actually didn’t see them much until we left. We saw a couple of hosts at a maintenance shed once.
Amenities: Couple of bathhouses, 2 dump Stations, Boat ramp. Playground. It’s next door to Glade Marina, so I can definitely see the benefits of staying here if we had a boat docked at the marina.
Privacy: Better than most, at least our site. When summer comes and the area greens up, I can see having even more privacy. The entire campground is spread out, with small cluster areas so everyone is not crammed in together like Tugaloo State Park. Most of the sites were up pretty high from the water, i.e. embankments and drop-offs. Not so great for kayaks and fishing, but spectacular for views. The first loop was closer to the water. Next time we visit I hope to get one of those. Somewhere around sites 1-14.
Dump Station: The dump Station could use some improving. It had water, but no way to attach a rinse out hose. I can see why they don’t want anyone spending extra time rinsing, but I don’t like not being able to rinse the tanks. It has two stations, but they are consecutive, not parallel. And for 150 sites, that means pretty significant delays at check out. We sat in a line of about 10 RVs, waiting. Everyone seemed pretty calm about it, but I can see where some campers may get a little twisted.
Site Specific: Site 106 did not have a grill like some of the other sites. I am not sure of the deciding factor for grill or no grill. Best guess is the got damaged, and removed, but never replaced. It was definitely large enough for a camper and a large tent, or 2 very large tents and a pop-up. It had a lantern pole, but it was a lot shorter than most we have seen. We had a small mini-lake to contend with when we arrived. But, we had just went through a heavy rain. It took a full day of sunshine to disappear, but if I were in a tent, it would stress me. It was not on the tent side, but still, it was pretty big.
Level-ness: Fairly level. We had to use 1 set of levelers on the driver’s side, which is unusual. There was a small lake by the utilities hook ups, which was a visual indicator of just how un-level it was, on that side thankfully.
Condition: Again, I was a little disappointed in the condition of the site, and the campground in general. After being closed for so long, I really thought it would be somewhat “refurbished ” but it was not. The fire pit grill was rusted beyond saving or use and had clearly not been dug out in a long time. We ended up grabbing a shovel and digging it out ourselves. There was not a lot of organic debris on the site, but there was trash. Someone left a tote lid, found some glass shards by our door, and the slope had some weathered cans etc. The wood barrier was no longer standing straight up, and the wood was begging to split in areas. I would not want to count on it to keep me from falling down the hill.
Maneuvering: Getting into the site was easy. I did notice some of the loops looked a little tight, but there were RVs larger than pop-ups in the loop, so it must have been manageable.
Bonus: Our site was within walking distance to a grave. A very, very old grave. Not everyone might think that’s a bonus, but I thought it was neat, and the family name was Mckinney so, there’s a significant amount of history there. Who doesn’t love a tombstone and some history? Tombstone is difficult to read, but its the wife of Mckinney, born 1832 and died 1858. I couldn’t find any info online about the history of the family or how it all came to be. Only the above linked site confirming the information on the Tombstone.
Pros: For us, close to home. Private. Woodsy. On the lake. Large site.
Cons: Maintenance was lacking, the dump stations weren’t parallel. No rinse hose on dump station. It could use a really good clean up overall.
To be fair, we had some bad weather, and a lot of rain the in days leading up to our visit. With a large amount of campers coming and going, I could see where getting to clean out every site between reservations would be a challenge. And we are just barely out of “winter” season, so it has been really cold, maybe it was difficult getting out there to tidy up.
All in all, it was GREAT. and we would come back. And will be back since it is so close to home. The issues were fairly trivial, compared to the peace and quiet. There was nothing bad enough to make us want to stay away, and it was so quiet the entire time that we drank coffee, sat by the fire and I pretty much fell asleep. The peaceful atmosphere was like a drug. The campground was not packed thankfully, so I think the season is just getting started.
Looking forward to a great season 😁. Thanks for reading!