Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bandit’s Roost Corps of Engineers Campground NC

01 main gate

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains some of the nicest campgrounds in the country, for my money. And speaking of money, with a Senior Pass you get a 50 percent discount from already reasonable rates. Click on the photo above and you’ll see prices here run from $18 to $25 per night. Divide than by two, if you’re old enough, and have had the good sense to get a Senior Pass!

Now, Bandit’s Roost is in the Other Carolina, a fairly long drive from Columbia. But last week it was hot as the dickens at home, and a trip North sounded like a good idea. I don’t recall the mileage, but it was about three hours of uneventful highway driving. Not much to report about I-77.

02 Aliner on site

Campsites at Bandit’s Roost are convenient. Here you see Site # 27, a pull-through near the water on all sides. It had a 50-amp hookup for those of you with the enormous rigs. The Aliner gets along with 30-amp, but it’s nice to have it available. This site was almost perfectly flat. No BAL Leveler required. And it had a solid stone/dirt surface. We didn’t have rain last week, but I doubt that it would get the least bit muddy. The only disadvantage of this site, and of many sites at Bandit’s Roost, was the lack of shade. The sun was hot, so the Aliner’s air conditioner got a workout. Cool enough at night, though, to keep the windows open.

03 beach across water

This wading/swimming beach area was just across the water from my campsite. Beautifully maintained sand.

05 swimming area

And here’s a similar, if a bit smaller, swimming area just a short walk from my campsite. Click on the photo to take a closer look. You’ll see that it is well maintained. Beautiful sand. No trash. Plenty of safety equipment. No life guard, of course. But you can’t have everything.

04 campground general

This is another view of the campground to give you a better idea of how things are arranged here. Quite different from the South Carolina State Parks I usually visit. Not better or worse, necessarily. Just different. It’s obvious the Corps of Engineers has more money to spend than the South Carolina Parks System. Roads are in better shape, for example. Campsites too. Still …. Oh well, comparisons are bound to mislead. Let’s look around some more.

07 mountain victory trail

Here, just to the right of the Campground entrance, you’ll find the Overmountain Victory Trail. Click here for more detailed information about this interesting feature. Now, this is worth some attention.

08 trail sign

This trail is some undertaking. I’ve visited King’s Mountain State Park in the past, and the adjacent national park at the site of the Battle of King’s Mountain. (Click here to access those posts.) One of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War. The beginning of the Patriot victory. This trail commemorates the “Overmountain Men” who achieved that remarkable victory in October of 1780. They came from Tennessee, Virginia, and the two Carolinas. Here we have the opportunity to follow their progress. A lot more comfortably than the Overmountain Men traveled in 1780!

09 boat ramp

I spent much of my time at Bandit’s Roost working on the second novel in the Ray Raether South Carolina RV Travel Mystery series, so didn’t get out and around much. This Park, though, is a boating enthusiast’s dream. Kerr Lake, or Kerr Reservoir, is ideal for boats of any size, including kayaks. I’d hoped to dip a paddle while here, but it was just too darn hot. The photo above is of the boat ramp at the campground. Everything you need here. Wikipedia has a good article devoted to the Lake, or Reservoir. Click here to read more about it.

10 lake map

Here’s a large map on the wall of the Headquarters Building. I’ve added a yellow arrow to indicate the location of the campground. I hope to return with my kayak when the weather cools down a bit. Though they’re open only through October 30th. Better hurry.


Stay tuned for a trip to a remarkable coffee shop in nearby North Wilkesboro. Talia Espresso is what we all hope for when we enter an up-scale coffee shop. Owners Jim and Kathy Kozak even agreed to sit for a short interview!

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