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Thread: Early Arrival Camping Destination

  1. #1
    Adventure Traveler wackettrw's Avatar
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    Early Arrival Camping Destination

    Sue,
    Early arrivals at the Vermont National last year were directed to camp at Lake Carmi State Park. Although there is not going to be an official early arrival rally campgound destination sponsored by BMWMOA and a local BMW club this year, I would appreciate a campground recommendation where we early arrivals can meet.

    For example, I plan to sightsee Wisconsin up to a week before the rally. I will tour Milwaukee (H-D factory, beer brewery, cheese factory), The Dells, try out your Rustic Roads, University of WI in Madison, Mississippi River tour, etc. I'm aware that Pike Lake State Park (Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine) is within 5 miles of the rally, but Lake Pike only has 32 campsites. This may not be enough campsites available in July since Pike Lake is very popular with the locals and we had over 250 early arrivals at Lake Carmi at last year's rally. Is Lake Pike State Park the best camping place for early arrivals based upon the above concerns? Or do you recommend some place else?

    We'd appreciate an official camping recommendation from the Rally Chair, even though not "an official rally destination sponsored by BMWMOA". It is just a helpful central point for us early arrivals to meet so we can "go out & play".
    Sincerely,
    Richard

  2. #2
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
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    This is a tough one. There are so many wonderful areas to camp in Wisconsin that I wouldn't want to push anyone in one direction or another.

    Here is one of my favorites. It's close to Beemer Hill. Lots of trees to camp around. It's about 50 miles from the rally site, right on the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive.
    Ottawa_Lake_State_Park

    Another grteat state park is Kohler Andre State Park. It's right on Lake Michigan. It's about 40 miles from the rally site, to the northeast.

    Kohler-Andre_State_Park

    Glad to hear you are coming in early. Wisconsin has a lot to offer.... Be sure to look at some of Santa's posts with some of the great photography of things to see.

    Sue
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  3. #3
    Ambassador BeerTeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rihn-Manke View Post
    Glad to hear you are coming in early. Wisconsin has a lot to offer.... Be sure to look at some of Santa's posts with some of the great photography of things to see. Sue
    Hi Sue, maybe we should have a sticky on the West Bend Pictorial. The Forum default setting is 30 day of Post. To find the post now you have to go back 100 days.

    The link is here:
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  4. #4
    HODAG
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    WI state parks are very nice, but at times they can be crowded. If you don't mind trading amenities for less people I suggest you check out our County Parks and their campgrounds. Also no non-resident State park sticker is required, which will save you $35.

    a few close ones that I frequent are:

    Calumet County has a very nice campground, with sites right on Lake Winnebago. Its about 45 minutes north of the Rally Grounds.

    Horicon Ledge county park is another good one with relaxing hiking trails of the Niagara escarpment. Its about 1/2 hour west of the grounds.


    here is a website that provides a link to each county, and the WI map showing each county

  5. #5
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    After reading that US Senior Open Golf Pro Golf Championship at Kohler, July 2-8 (40 miles NE of Rally) and with Summerfest going on at the same time period. That could make it difficult to finding a hotel or campgounds from Greenbay area to Milwaukee area during that period when those major events are going on.
    Michael Johnston
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  6. #6
    HODAG
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    Quote Originally Posted by vetbmwrider View Post
    After reading that US Senior Open Golf Pro Golf Championship at Kohler, July 2-8 (40 miles NE of Rally) and with Summerfest going on at the same time period. That could make it difficult to finding a hotel or campgounds from Greenbay area to Milwaukee area during that period when those major events are going on.
    it shouldn't be to bad...its not like the Packers are playing at home...

  7. #7
    tuber1
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    Cool

    I would agree with hodag, used to be called 'High Cliff State park'. Nice scenery, lake flies should be gone, you could even scoot up to Door county for some site seeing

  8. #8
    HODAG
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuber1 View Post
    I would agree with hodag, used to be called 'High Cliff State park'. Nice scenery, lake flies should be gone, you could even scoot up to Door county for some site seeing
    There is still a High Cliff State Park, its a little further north along lake winnebago than calumet county park. Also very nice, well worth the walk up the observation tower to see the far end of the lake.
    Last edited by Hodag; 04-25-2007 at 12:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    Summer Fest in Milwaukee will be over by that weekend.
    Dave L.

  10. #10
    Registered User MORGEN's Avatar
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    CAMPING in WI - Before and After?

    ItÔÇÖs hard to suggest a campground that will meet the needs of all the early arrivals, especially for those like yourself planning to enjoy the state for the week before the rally, which I highly recommend. Difficult to coordinate a central location in a state that offers so much for so many different tastes.

    Folks might enjoy Northern Wisconsin, Door County Peninsula, SW Wisconsin or the rally area n SE Wisconsin wonÔÇÖt be likely to seek the same campgrounds. If you want to enjoy the BMW Community in the week before or after the rally, I would suggest posting your own destination plan with an invitation for people planning to be in the area to join you before (or after) the rally.

    In summer months, my experience has been that many campgrounds will fill up over the weekends, but be very available Sun-Thursday, so depending on your plans, availability may not be much of an issue. Campgrounds with access to large bodies of water (lakes and rivers) fill up fastest, so if you left your Boat at home, you might look for those that do not boast a water feature.

    Wisconsins County parks are a great alternative to state park facilities, as they typically do not charge for a State Parks fee, you pay only the camping fee. Unfortunately there is no centralized reservations or booking agency. The State Park fee of $30/year is generally charged FOR EACH VEHICLE, which kind of upsets me  being my wife and I on 2 bikes pay twice what the family of 17 in the 60 Winnebago with a trailer load of quads and jet skis will pay. And much as I snore, I believe our environmental impact is less

    SW Wisconsin:
    Ledge Park, Astico and Derge Park are all pretty near the rally site in Dodge County. Ledge is a good recomendation and probably the closest to the rally site. Ledge Park is $15/night electric, $12 non electric.
    http://www.co.dodge.wi.us/planning/r...arks-ledge.htm

    SE Wisconsin
    The town of Soldiers Grove in Crawford County is a nice park that now hosts the a BMW rally each year. Crawford County offers really great riding including easy access to Wildcat Mountain and the Spring Green area. And itÔÇÖll be a lot less congested than the popular Dells Area. This would by far be my recommendation for pre or post rally camping.

    Map (notice squiggly roads on zoom 6-ish) :
    http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?&co...state=WI&mag=7

    Crawford CO Tourism: http://www.crawfordcountywi.com/

    http://www.soldiersgrove.com/Visitor%20Info.htm
    Village Clerk: Tammy Kepler
    (608) 624-3264
    Email: sgrove@mwt.net (I have a note out then for rates  there are no fees listed

    White Mound Park ($15 annual + $3.00/night  Group camping rates)
    At 1,100 acres, White Mound Park located off Highway 123 between Reedsburg and Spring Green is a great treasure to the county. Has pay showers.
    http://www.co.sauk.wi.us/dept/parks/index.html

    Devils Lake State park is a great park very near the Dells area, but will have higher fees.
    http://www.devilslakewisconsin.com/

    Door County Area  Manitowoc County parks dont allow camping. Anyone with a suggestion would be helpful. Though I would offer one interesting suggestion. Apparently the USS Cobia submarine, docked in Manitowoc, is not just available for tours, but for overnight group stays
    http://www.wisconsinmaritime.org/overnight.htm

    Up North I just dont have a best single reference  Ive camped at a number of the national forest/park campgrounds and always had a good experience. Both the Chequamegon and Nicolet forests offer camping for bout $10 a night, but have multiple many sites, and someone headed that way woul have to pick a favorite. Chequamegon is more central, but Nicolet is a LOT easier to spell

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/cnnf/rec/camping/index.html

    Camping in Wisconsin Web Review:

    http://camping.about.com/cs/campgrounds/a/wisconsin.htm

    Morgen McClelland
    morgen@wi.rr.com
    2007 Hospitality Co-Chair

  11. #11
    Bear n Cass 2beers's Avatar
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    Camping Info

    Just some suggestions:

    If you can email wiparks@dnr.state.wi.us to ask for information to be sent for WI Parks or take a look at www.wiparks.net . It is a booklet showing the WI State Parks and what they offer for sites.
    Up in the Northern Kettle Moraine Park (Campbellsport area) there is Long Lake and Mauthe Lake 1-262-626-2116

    If you aren't just set on staying at State Parks you could go to www.wisconsincampgrounds.com or phone 1-800-843-1821 to get a campground directory of private owned places.

    Near the rally in :
    West Bend -Lake Lenwood Beach& Campground 1-262-334-1335 www.lakelenwood.com ($26.50-31)

    Campbellsport - Benson's Camping Resort 1-920-533-8597 ($25-75).

    Fond Du Lac- KOA Kampground 1-920-477-2300 www.koa.com/fdl

    Glenbeulah-Westward Ho Resort 1-920-526-3407 www.westwardhocampresort.com ($27.50-37.50)

    Plymouth Rock Camping Resort 1-920-892-4252 www.rvinthesun.com

    Hope this is informative
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  12. #12
    Adventure Traveler wackettrw's Avatar
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    OFFICIAL Early Arrival Destination

    I appreciate all the suggestions for sights to see in Wisconsin and campgrounds to stay at for early arrivals to the rally. However, my original question or thread was to get the rally chairperson to commit to ONE SPECIFIC campground that early arrivals could meet like 250 of us did at Lake Carmi State Park for the Vermont Rally last year. Although I am aware that there won't be any one specific BMW club that will sponsor the ONE SPECIFIC campground location like the Vermont MOA did at Lake Carmi (for example, they served free coffee & bagels/muffins each morning), I was hoping that the chairperson would step up to the plate and so designate such a meeting place, even if not officially endorsed by BMWMOA. I tried 3 times, 3 different ways to get Sue to commit! Alas to no avail!

    For whatever it is worth, I plan to arrive a week early and camp at Lake Pike State Park (approximately 5+ mile southwest of West Bend). I would not mind "doubling up" & sharing my campsite with others, as we did last year at Lake Carmi. I have lots of sights planned to see in Wisconsin for the week and I'm open to further suggestions. There appears to be a lot to see in Wisconsin. I will head out in a different direction each day, using my campsite at Lake Pike State Park as a "base" camp. Others are welcome to join me. We can make plans each evening around a campfire, as we did last year in Vermont.

    Regards,
    Richard, BMWMOA #87222 (also BMWRA & COG member)

  13. #13
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wackettrw View Post
    I appreciate all the suggestions for sights to see in Wisconsin and campgrounds to stay at for early arrivals to the rally. However, my original question or thread was to get the rally chairperson to commit to ONE SPECIFIC campground that early arrivals could meet like 250 of us did at Lake Carmi State Park for the Vermont Rally last year. Although I am aware that there won't be any one specific BMW club that will sponsor the ONE SPECIFIC campground location like the Vermont MOA did at Lake Carmi (for example, they served free coffee & bagels/muffins each morning), I was hoping that the chairperson would step up to the plate and so designate such a meeting place, even if not officially endorsed by BMWMOA. I tried 3 times, 3 different ways to get Sue to commit! Alas to no avail!

    For whatever it is worth, I plan to arrive a week early and camp at Lake Pike State Park (approximately 5+ mile southwest of West Bend). I would not mind "doubling up" & sharing my campsite with others, as we did last year at Lake Carmi. I have lots of sights planned to see in Wisconsin for the week and I'm open to further suggestions. There appears to be a lot to see in Wisconsin. I will head out in a different direction each day, using my campsite at Lake Pike State Park as a "base" camp. Others are welcome to join me. We can make plans each evening around a campfire, as we did last year in Vermont.

    Regards,
    Richard, BMWMOA #87222 (also BMWRA & COG member)
    Richard,

    We had the official camping at Lake Carmi last year because we had a firm early arrival policy in place and we knew that hundreds of early arrivals would arrive before we were ready to welcome them. This is a tradition with the MOA rally, a huge number of "special" people (well they are more special than you or me) pretty much ignore the published start time of the rally and they start to arrive as early as Monday morning. Last year for every volunteer on site setting up the rally we had four early arrivals try to crash the gate so they could get a better campsite or something.

    We had the designated (and subsidized) camping at Lake Carmi because we felt that if we were not going to be able to accomodate early arrivals we better have a place for them to go.

    The other thing is the camping in a nice state park is always better than the camping in a fairground. I was surprised that more people enjoy Carmi, it is a real gem and unlike a fairground you could have a fire. I like your idea and if I arrive early I'll join you. As it is now my plans are for a nice three or even four day tour from Rhode Island to arrive to the rally either Thursday evening of Friday morning.

    It is my understanding that if you simply arrive to the site and tell them you are volunteering (I think you can sign up on the spot) then you will be welcome to come in a camp anytime after Monday.

    If I am incorrect I am sure the 07 Rally Chair (Sue Rhin-Manke) will provide the correct information.

    Best,

    Rob Nye
    2006 Rally Chair

  14. #14
    Hogaan! testinglogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Richard,

    We had the official camping at Lake Carmi last year because we had a firm early arrival policy in place and we knew that hundreds of early arrivals would arrive before we were ready to welcome them. This is a tradition with the MOA rally, a huge number of "special" people (well they are more special than you or me) pretty much ignore the published start time of the rally and they start to arrive as early as Monday morning. Last year for every volunteer on site setting up the rally we had four early arrivals try to crash the gate so they could get a better campsite or something.

    We had the designated (and subsidized) camping at Lake Carmi because we felt that if we were not going to be able to accomodate early arrivals we better have a place for them to go.

    The other thing is the camping in a nice state park is always better than the camping in a fairground. I was surprised that more people enjoy Carmi, it is a real gem and unlike a fairground you could have a fire. I like your idea and if I arrive early I'll join you. As it is now my plans are for a nice three or even four day tour from Rhode Island to arrive to the rally either Thursday evening of Friday morning.

    It is my understanding that if you simply arrive to the site and tell them you are volunteering (I think you can sign up on the spot) then you will be welcome to come in a camp anytime after Monday.

    If I am incorrect I am sure the 07 Rally Chair (Sue Rhin-Manke) will provide the correct information.
    I am somewhat apprehensive about allowing people in to the site early. I arrived in VT around noon on Thursday, and there were already a LOT of people on site. I am volunteering for rally registration first thing on Thursday this year, so I will arrive Wednesday mid-afternoon, I imagine (I'll also fill in on Wednesday, if needed). I'm expecting at least what I ran into at VT, if not worse. I hope to be wrong about this, of course. I'm hoping if it doesn't work out well, we'll go back to the NO ENTRY UNTIL THURSDAY policy.

  15. #15
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
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