We were looking for an easy, close get-a-way camping weekend and chose Alpine Lake RV Resort campground in Corinth NY which was literally 14.4 miles door to door from where we store our Avion.
Things went well….till check in….then backing into site……Not for the faint of heart!
Website: Alpine Lake RV Resort (Note: this is a Thousand Trails/Encore resort but accepts non-members-like us)
- Dates of Stay: July 27-29, 2018
- Site # 221– “elite” category FHU site, waterfront to Alpine Lake.
- Price points: $62-70 per night
- Arrival time: around 3-3:30 PM. Friday, (too late-read post to find out why) Check in rules are 1PM, check out is noon (nice!)
- Discount programs: they only accept Thousand Trails or Encore member discounts. They do not accept AAA, Good Sam or Passport America.
- Pets and kids.…friendly to both, and there are lots of them.
Monday.... we decided the weather forecast looked decent enough for the upcoming weekend to catch a quick camping trip just to relax and so I could finish putting up and installing all the decor goodies, etc. I had purchased over the winter months for our trailer. Tuesday we went on a scope out mission to tour the campground and to jot down various # sites at this campground. It is a nice, rural drive about 40 minutes from our home. We make it a practice to try to visit campgrounds first when possible IN SEASON to get a real feel for what the park is like in full bloom (people and rigs that is) rather than off season when sites are empty, facilities winterized, etc.
So we came up with about five sites that truly interested us for their views, size and privacy to some degree. The sites we would recommend are: parallel sites 218-220, 223, back in sites 207, 208, then along the lower south shoreline, back in sites 15, 16, 17- all these having water frontage. I have only two basic requirements or must haves for most of my camping excursions….water or mountain views or preferably both in the same venue from my campsite! To me, then it really feels like a relaxing change of pace. We tried to book our top pick on Tuesday night while we were there, but were told by a nice staffer at reservation desk that she has to keep those waterfront “elite” sites open until Friday mornings in July and August in hopes of getting someone to book at least a 7 night stay. Ugh…ok, so we were told to call back on Friday morning and if one of our choice #’s was available we could book it for the two nights we desired.
Friday came around, weather forecast still looked good. Reservation desk opens at 8 AM. At 8:03 AM I was dialing. BINGO! our site #220 was available! Yeah! “book it Danno” (those of you old enough will understand that phrase). We were happy campers….till we got there around 3 PM.
Hmm….no check in packet was ready for us..a sign all may not be well. Oh, ok, found us on the computer….site 221. Ah….no, that is not the site that is on my email confirmation or that we wanted and was told was available at 8:03 AM this morning and confirmed by Susan (who by the way, ended up we find out was the assistant manager). So now I am upset, I just had my heart set on a water view for the weekend. In luck!!…says a new and very pleasant young desk worker who was trying very hard to calm me down and doing a good job of it. She had two other sites in the same locale available and we could have our choice of either one (221 or 223). So, ok, not prime, but comparable with a few more trees blocking the lake, but livable and not sandwiched in like other parts of the park or among the many, many seasonal set ups that have everything from Tiki bars to 8 person fire pits to full blown landscaped (some nice, some junk) or the topper…the triple length dining canopy with count ’em four picnic tables together end to end right next to the road (whoa, that must sound like a rock concert or a NASCAR Tailgate party when they get ripping on a Saturday night!).
So off we go to our site road which is on a narrow peninsula causeway with a pond on north side and Alpine lake on the south side. We stop shy of the first site, 221 to scope it out and also look at 223 which was to be available. Whoops…no, someone with a large trailer had already claimed 223 and it was no longer an option. (still wondering how the computer did not know this and wonder if they actually were supposed to be at another, less priced, site and hijacked the site to be next to their friends in 222) So, #221 was it, or go home. Home was not an option for me at that point—but then again I was not going to be the one to have to “thread the needle” trying to back our Avion into our site with TWO HUGE 5th Wheels as bookends on either end. Wait…it gets better.
We got attitude from the lady in the 5er that was in 222 because she had to fold up her “rear porch” because it literally extended into our site where our tow vehicle was going to be parked. Mind you, they already had their awning out facing the water and each campsite does come with a very nice cement patio which they already had their dog pen and chairs on. To quote her, “this is why I wanted lake view so i could sit on the porch and see it”. Oh well, pack it up folks- which they did with some grumbling. About this time, a staffer from the campground showed up to assist Kevin with backing in instruction—I am sure it helped that we figured out, he also was the owner of the campground so our 5er figured they better not push things. Hey, all the campers on the street pay the same price for their sites. If a huge fifth wheel with 4 slides and towering what seemed like a full story above our Avion needed or wanted a porch (which is like four feet off the ground!)…they certainly always have the option to purchase two sites…then no issue right??
As it was, if we had allowed them to keep their porch down, we literally feel like we would be having them for breakfast, lunch and dinner under our awning each meal. Not to mention, we would not have been able, nor any one else save a mini Rpod get in to 221.
The folks in 220 (the site we had reserved) were actually really nice. They explained they had booked the site back in January. We suspect that they had actually booked 221 but because that big “porch” 5er was already parked, our nice neighbors could not maneuver their 5 slide huge fifth wheel there either. They let it slip that when trying to get into the site they backed over our sewer hook up. Nevertheless, they were nice and good neighbors for the weekend. We were impressed that with four teenagers we did not see them all hunkered down over ipads or cell phones or blaring music. Instead the kids were out fishing, kayaking or biking–nice job raising kids to disconnect during camping (LOL…wish i could get Kevin to do that—he was on his ipad a lot and I am just as guilty on my phone posting photos, etc. to facebook)!
Well so now to the good part. The campground is nice (busy…but it is summer afterall) and the amenities are nice. So many of the other campgrounds in the region are minimal, run down and do not offer much. There are a couple higher end resorts, this one is kind of upper/upper middle but not quite at the top. The pool is well kept, there are two of them. One is only max 3 feet deep. Graduates from 1 foot to 3 foot. Great for toddlers, our grandkids would have loved it…..we did too because we were the only ones in there for a while and even once some young kids came in it still was less busy than the main pool The main pool is a little wider, same length but deeper. Nice thing is this is one campground that actually posts there are “Adult only” hours from 8-9 PM nightly. Sure wish more campgrounds did this rule! The chairs, lounges and umbrella tables were plentiful and the entire area was very well maintained and landscaped. In fact, the landscaping throughout the campground was very good for this region.
The main lodge, which is waterfront has a very decent snack bar restaurant with everything from pizza to quesadilla’s, ice cream to jalapeno poppers. I had a chicken Caesar salad, $9 which was very decent. Kevin had a burger with toppings and chips, again, $9.
They serve lunch and dinner x 7 days per week and breakfast starting at 8 AM on Sat/Sun only. The breakfast special was two different kinds of omelets for $7, add homefries and bacon for an additional $2. Not bad, but we prefer breakfast in camp and relaxing in our PJ’s and bathrobes enjoying the quiet view of the lake. The pizza smelled good later that night as we took a 7 pm dip in the nearby pool. The restaurant was packed for dinner from what we could tell on Saturday night.
Other amenities: The laundry facilities were just OK. Did not seem large enough for the amount of total sites on property but when we were there on Saturday afternoon, none were being used so perhaps its fine. As I mentioned there are a lot of seasonal sites and I suspect a lot of folks do laundry mid week at their homes, not at camp. The main shower room was a hike from our campsite and next to the laundry room. It was decently clean but not spotless. What i did not like was that the shower stalls only had flimsy curtains for privacy. They did each have a bench to put your towel, but that was right next to the shower so not sure how dry your towel is going to stay. I prefer showers to be separate with their own exterior entrance with a lockable solid door rather than feeling somewhat like a high school locker room. The shower stalls were clean. Kevin said he tested one of them and it ran 6 minutes before you would have to reach outside the curtain to reactivate the button to turn it on again. Not a great system but I understand why they must be timed to prevent from being left on by pranksters or absent mindedness.
Beware of visitors! The sites along the lower lake level, southern edge of Alpine Lake are all back in’s and because of their being literally on grade with the lake I would be careful when tons of rain is forecast. You may end up with a very soggy site, or worse, your tires sinking. You will most likely always end up with two legged visitors….Canada geese. There is a large flock of them on the lake and while they look majestic gliding smoothly along the lake, they make a total mess with their poop along a lot of the walkways, roads and yes….lakefront low lying campsites. We could see from across the lake on our high ground, many of the low lying sites having to constantly shoo away the geese who were coming to visit their campsite. Signs everywhere say please do not feed them. No kidding-they might try to hop onto your picnic table if you are not careful and put on a bib!
Beach and fishing areas: We did not try out the beach area- it is large and roped off so fishing folks do not enter, but one thing is for sure, both lakes (or some may call them ponds) on either side of our site road are good for fishing. We could see the little devils rabidly groping at flies as the sun set in front of our campsite. Not sure if they stock but there were lots of folks enjoying fishing. Some put their bass boats in the pond on our north side and could use the beach to pull them up for mooring. The campground does have kayaks, peddle boats, sail boards for rent as well as golf carts if you are so inclined. BTW a lot of the seasonal folks have their own golf carts and the roadways are quite busy with back and forth traffic. I can’t say I blame them. This is a large park and if you have one of the seasonal sites far back it is a long hike to the pool, lodge and other activity areas which are clustered near the main entrance.
Other amenities at the site include a few activity pavilions, a camp store (not the best we have seen, but decent) staff is friendly and do their best to make you feel welcomed. The park does offer a daily trolley ride service ($4 pp) if you want to spend the day in Lake George without bringing your car and dealing with parking meters, etc. In July and August the trolley also goes to nearby Saratoga Springs in case the horse race track is your thing. Saratoga also has awesome boutique shopping and really good restaurants in their downtown. We did not partake in any of their organized activities but could hear the DJ clear enough on Friday night (was on the calendar as a movie night with DJ on Saturday night- so not sure what happened there). Quiet times appeared to be enforced while we were there however other reviewers have said that noise after hours has been a problem…I suspect they were on that seasonal row with the four picnic table freight train!.
Oh, BTW…yes, they have dinosaurs too….but honestly they are out of place in the ADK’s and they need a bit of TLC at this point. Not sure why they are here, but could be a throw back to when the park first opened in the early 1970’s when kiddie themed type stuff was big in this part of upstate NY. (There is a giant chipmunk next to the lodge restaurant too).
So despite a rough start not getting the site we paid for, we still enjoyed a lake view site, relaxing time and will plan to come again to Alpine Lake RV Resort. Next time though we are going to hold out for sites 207 or 208 which are opposite the beach, on the high ground (sans Geese) and back in sites. This will make for a far easier in and out no matter how packed the park is.
Hope you enjoyed this review! Let us know if you plan to visit this campground in the future!
One life…Live it!