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Old 07-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
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jnp_macklin's Avatar
Ford Super Duty Owner
Georgie Boy Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Hamilton, Ohio
Posts: 116
Starve Hollow State Recreation Area - Vallonia, IN

Just got back from a 4-day weekend in South Central Indiana at Starve Hollow S.R.A. and had a great time.

We went for our annual rally for the "Great Lakes Pop Up Club" (GLPUC) and met up with members from the states that surround the Great Lakes. Some folks had been there for a whole week, others; who lived closer, came just for the weekend.

Lots of fun, games, great friends, good campfires, and a potluck supper which if you went away hungry... Then it was your own fault.

The park was great! Lots of activities on site, as well as around the area. Folks too tours of the old covered bridges in the area, others went for the round barns, and a few of us even managed to make it all the way down to Louisville, KY for a trip to Cabela's for a few specialty items that were needed for equipment and to let the kids have some time to wander. The kids spent most of their time riding bikes (My son got a good case of road-rash by trying to turn his trike a little too quickly on a curve) playing capture the flag, ghost in the graveyard, or cooling off at the beach on the lake.

Signage pointing the way, from major roads, is pretty good but getting to Starve Hollow takes a leap of faith. When it came to driving on the county roads that are about a 1 1/2 lane wide roadway that dips and weaves through Indiana farm country, you start to think to yourself "Good heavens, where am I going to turn this thing around now that I am lost...." And then.... there it is.

The SRA surrounds a small lake, which permits fishing (with license) and non-gasoline motors on boats. I like that, because you don't get the "weekend warriors" that go roaring off to get to the other side of the lake for their prime fishing spot, first thing in the morning. There are ramps available to launch a canoe or kayak that are easily accessible.

Nice sized campground, available with full hook-ups. and HUGE campsites! They also had lakefront spots that were electric only, or primitive. As you got closer to the lake, the real estate between campsites became smaller and smaller and you felt confined. I don't think I'd want to try and back in my 33' motorhome into a downward sloping gravel drive campsite, just so I could push my inflatable kayak into the water from my back door. There's plenty of distance from major traffic sounds, and the only thing we heard was a crop-duster make a couple of passes over a nearby field. At night, lots of stars are visible, thanks to the small farm towns that don't light-wash out the night sky.

If you forgot something, there is a local grocery store (Jay-C's) which has a pretty good selection of food items, and basic supplies. We even had a local townie offer to let us use his discount card for our purchases. If you're more into a big-box/Walmart-type supermarket, you'll have to travel about 30 minutes to the next town (Seymour, IN), but still... not a huge inconvenience.

We stayed in the full hook up area, and had plenty of shade around our site. So much so, that my single AC unit kept the coach at 64* with minimal effort.

All full hookup sites were paved with asphalt, with an extended patio for your awning so that you didn't have to tromp through mud if it rained. Each site had a 30" fire ring, two full sized picnic tables, 30/50amp electric, two spigots for water, and your own sewer connection. They were clean, well maintained, and fully functional. At the full hook-up area, you could easily park a 35-footer with plenty of room to spare.

Shower houses were older, but still clean, and functional. (It was a shower house, not the Waldorf Astoria) Nice hiking and biking throughout the SRA. The beach was busy, but not overcrowded. Kids playground equipment was older, but still functional and handicapped accessible. There were picnic pavilions available to reserve/rent but the weather was so gorgeous that we took our chances out from under cover. Of course, we got a pop-up shower just at the end of our potluck supper on Saturday evening, but it was over before it started. We had warnings of thunder and had a chance to retrieve the food before the heavens opened up. Nothing ever turned muddy, and the sites stayed clean.

Volunteer staffing was good, and spent most of their time tending to shower houses and latrine duty. IDNR security/ranger/conservation officer drive-through's were frequent, but not intrusive. Only gripe we had was getting into the campground on the afternoons, took some patience. The check-in house for the campground did not have a pass-thru lane for those guests that were already registered. Some of our group, had to wait for a motorhome and two fifth-wheelers to check-in, before being waved through with the camping permit tag. That would be one of the first things I would recommend to be updated in that park.

All in all, a great trip, a great park, and a great campsite, although I must admit.... there are a few lake front sites I might check into for a repeat visit opportunity. Out of the way, but 30 minutes from a major interstate (I-65). Fix the check-in booth/bypass lane situation and it's even better!!

Rating: 8.5/10

The Macklin's - 1998 Georgie Boy 'Pursuit'
Pete: Pilot/Mechanic - Jen: Navigator/Travel Planner
Taylor & Patrick - Along for the ride....
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 246
Thanks for the great write up and review! Lots of very useful info for us as we are headed there in three weeks or so. Glad you enjoyed your stay in Indiana.
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