Top-Rated County Park Campgrounds & RV Parks
County park campgrounds are a great option for RVers. They provide lots of room to explore as well as plenty of outdoor activities.
Some are set on lakes or have ocean views. Plenty of trees and shaded sites are the norm, and they are generally reasonably priced compared to RV resorts and private campgrounds.
Not all county park campgrounds have full hookups, so call before you go. If you like to boondock, you will love these campgrounds and everything there is to experience.
What are county park campgrounds?
Before we get into the best county park campgrounds, let’s take a look at what exactly is a county park campground. Simply, they are just how they sound. They are usually owned by the county in a particular state and can range in size from very small with a few campsites to massive acreages with hundreds of campsites and lots of amenities.
County park campgrounds can often be less expensive than state parks or private RV parks, but it just depends. County parks are often partially funded with local tax dollars, so you might see two separate rates—one for county residents and a higher fee for non-residents.
Make sure you get all the details when you reserve a county park campground site. You will find that they may vary in the kind of hookups they provide. Often there are primitive camping sites, as well as those with only electricity and water.
Research the campgrounds ahead of time on RV LIFE Campgrounds. Campground reviews will give you all the details of specific campgrounds, plus photos and tips from real campers.
Check out these top-rated county park campgrounds for your next RV trip.
James Island County Park, South Carolina
With more than 124 sites on this 643-acre park, James Island County Park is a beautiful and convenient place to explore nature, as well as Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry.
Sites are on dirt or gravel and can accommodate up to 42-foot RVs. Located along the Stono River marsh, this park also offers 10 cottages for rent and is open year-round.
You can enjoy your spacious campsite, then play the 18-hole disc golf course, hike a trail, take your dog to the dog park, or try your hand at saltwater fishing. The city of Charleston is nearby and a great area to explore the history, check out the dining options, or take in the sites and sounds of the Charleston City Market.
Other park amenities include a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, climbing wall, splash zone (April 1-Sept. 30), and challenge course. You can also rent a bicycle, pedal boat, stand-up paddleboard, or kayak.
The county park campground is highly rated on RV LIFE Campgrounds, with an average rating of 9.0/10 from over 400+ reviews. According to a recent reviewer,
“This campground is within a 600-acre county park that’s loved by locals on James Island. Miles of trails, a dog park with a beach for the doggos, a huge fishing dock, a big playground, an awesome holiday light display (depending on the time of year), and a full hookup campground to boot. It’s really awesome. Laundry is on site and takes quarters. The machines are outdoors on the back of the bathrooms. T-Mobile worked great. Starlink was fine for streaming but was obstructed by all the trees so probably wouldn’t have held video conferencing calls very well (I went into a co-working space downtown Charleston to work while at this stop so didn’t use Starlink for work these 3 weeks). Harris Teeter, a southern grocery store, is a mile up the road, along with gas, restaurants, etc. We camped at James Island County Park in a Travel Trailer.”– via Life With Beth And Court
Fort De Soto Park Campground, Saint Petersburg, Florida
Pinellas County is home to Fort De Soto Park in Saint Petersburg (in the Tampa Bay area). This is an extremely popular campground, so make sure you plan well ahead of your trip.
The park is located right on the Gulf, and the park is made up of five interconnected islands. There are plenty of sandy beaches to explore, as well as playgrounds, trails, a boat launch, fishing piers, and a waterfront dog park.
There are 238 campsites in this 1,136-acre park; all campsites have water and electricity (30 and 50 amp) hookups and are located near the water. You can park an RV up to 40 feet on the gravel sites.
If you have time, check out the nearby Dali Museum, which contains a collection of the works of Salvador Dali. Take a historic tour of Saint Petersburg on a segway tour or a guided kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve.
The Fort de Soto Park Campground is also highly rated, with an excellent 8.9/10 average rating. Learn more about the campground and view photos, amenities, and reviews on RV LIFE Campgrounds.
“What a gem of a campground. Bring your bikes, lots of nice paved bike trails. Ride to the beach or the fort. We camped at Fort De Soto Campground in a Motorhome.”– via Dell&Terry
McDowell Nature Preserve Campground, Charlotte, North Carolina
McDowell Nature Preserve offers 1,116 acres with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. The park includes eight miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, shelter rentals, geocaching, a nature center, and more.
There are some 56 campsites, ranging from full RV hookups to primitive sites. Campsites have a bathhouse, laundry facilities, and a playground. There is also group camping available at Copperhead Island. Group camping is limited to 40 people in six campsites.
A volleyball court, horseshoe pit, and shelter are available (be sure to bring your own equipment). There are also paved trails, a restroom with one shower, and two large charcoal grills. Leashed pets are welcome.
It is recommended that you get a reservation and check with the campground office for sites that will fit larger rigs. The campground is gated and walk-ins will not be served after business hours.
If you visit Charlotte you can see the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, take in a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, or wander the 7th Street Public Market for restaurants, quaint shops, and much more.
The campground has an excellent 8.5/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. One recent reviewer said,
“Gorgeous campground. Gated. Exceptionally well manicured sites with picnic table patios, paved sites. Clean bathhouses with individual shower/toilet rooms with Vacant/Used locks. Easy to navigate; good signage. RV Site 6 is a small pull through (our 16 teardrop and Highlander TV just fit). Many large, private sites. Only negative – site required many blocks to level. Short drive within park to lake front walking trails (Lake Wylie – border between NC/SC). We camped at McDowell Nature Preserve in a Travel Trailer.”via GoGoYears
Wenatchee River County Park, Washington
This beautiful county park boasts 49 sites in the middle of Washington State. It is located off Highway 2 on the Wenatchee River in Monitor, WA, between Cashmere and Wenatchee. It is about 15 miles from the Bavarian town of Leavenworth.
The park’s spacious sites include pull-throughs, water and electric, and dry campsites. About 43 sites are full hookups.
Amenities include laundry facilities, showers, restrooms, a sand volleyball court, basketball hoops, horseshoes, free movie usage, a library of books, an outdoor ping pong table, a playground area, and a swing set.
Free Wi-Fi is available, as well as areas to ride bicycles, a post office, a small store, and a restaurant nearby. For antique lovers, there are acres of shops just a few minutes away, as well as many wineries in the area to enjoy.
Wenatchee River County Park is highly rated, with an 8.9/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. Here is just one of the recent reviews:
“Uniquely arranged sites, adequately spaced. Lots of open common area. Well kept. Reasonably quiet. Fire rings, tables and landscaping all in good condition. Road surface in park and sites all paved. We’ll stay longer next time! We camped at Wenatchee River County Park in a Motorhome.”– via Charles LeMay
Quintana Beach County Park, Texas
On the 52 beachfront acres of Quintana Beach County Park, on the Texas Gulf Coast, you will find an escape from the summer crowds with full hookups, paved RV sites, cabins, picnic tables, covered pavilions, a wooden lighted fishing pier, access to the west jetty and more. The Discovery Event Center can be rented and holds up to 80 guests.
The natural beach is maintained by tides and weather, and it can have sargassum seaweed and other plant life washed up on the beach. Organic materials provide nourishment and stability to the beach.
Outdoor attractions include birdwatching, fishing, nature watching, swimming, surfing, and beachcombing.
History enthusiasts can check out the remains of WWII, which includes the site of Fort Bates (1862), Freeport Harbor Defense (1942), and two historically significant houses.
The county park campground has an excellent 8.1/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds.
“The $16 a night reflects what we paid for a 34-day stay. Hard to beat that price for a campground with full hookups along the Gulf Coast. The sites furthest from the shore are only a seven minute walk to the beach. Although you cannot see the beach from the campground due to the landscape, you can watch huge cargo ships pass through the nearby channel and dock a few blocks behind the campground (it was cool to watch).
Our site was a pull-through site. The pull-through sites are close to each other, much like you would find at a private campground, but we didn’t feel it was tight. Each site is pretty level and has an asphalt pad. The roads and asphalt pads are old but decent. Between the two sections is a wooden bathhouse with bathrooms, shower stalls, and a small laundry room. There is a small playground near the circular loops and a larger one near the office and park buildings closer to the beach.
This is a nice park for bird watchers: in addition to being next to the Gulf of Mexico, the campground is just a few block from a bird sanctuary. During our stay we saw ducks, pelicans, black vultures, white cranes, and a few great blue herons. There are signs warning about snakes in certain areas of the park, but we never saw any (they may be more of an issue in warmer months). Mosquitoes are also prevalent but again weren’t too bad because it was still winter. There are plenty of wide-open grassy areas to walk dogs, though some areas can be squishy after a good rain.
In terms of cell service, the best speeds I got on my Verizon Jetpack with MIMO antenna during our stay were between 30 to 50Mbps down and 15Mbps up, and those speeds were pretty consistent, resulting in nearly flawless video streaming. The one speed test I performed on my AT&T phone showed 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up. The campground offered WiFi but we never tried it. We enjoyed our stay there and hope to return one day. We camped at Quintana Beach County Park in a Fifth Wheel.”– via bcswartz
Scott County Park Campground, Elridge, Iowa
With over 400 sites, Scott County Park in Elridge, Iowa can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. The park is located on some 1,280 acres and offers six separate campgrounds in the park (including two campgrounds with full hookups). There is a mix of reservable and first-come, first-served sites.
The park has game fields, nature trails, a playground, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Take advantage of the picnic areas and shelters with tables, grills, and fireplaces. Winter activities include sledding, cross-country skiing, and tobogganing.
The park is just 20 miles from Davenport where you can enjoy the Figge Art Museum or check out the German American Heritage Center. Visit Bootleg Hill Honey Meads and learn about the mead-making process, or head downtown to listen to live music or take in a comedy performance.
The Bald Eagle Campground is highly rated, with an 9.7/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. According to a recent reviewer,
“SCP is a large, county owned and operated public park. And you do not have to be a Scott County resident to enjoy it. There are six separate campgrounds within the park; two are primitive, one electric only, one W/E and two FHU. One of the FHU campgrounds has pull-through sites. In Bald Eagle only 11 of the 52 sites are resolvable, so call early. There was a lot of cruising the area looking for available sites. The park is very well maintained and manicured. The sites are large and the pads are deep and level. There is a nice concrete patio with a table and nearby fire ring. Our site was near the bath house, so we did experience some traffic, and the parking lot was great for kids to ride their bikes. The utilities are located together and convenient for the camper. The voltage and water pressure were strong. The wi-fi signal was also quite strong. There is no cable TV, but I wouldnt really expect that from a county park. There were plenty of broadcast stations from the Quad Cities. We had a very pleasant experience at SCP. Hope to have more We camped at Scott County Park, Bald Eagle Campground in a Motorhome.”
Bastendorff Beach County Park, Oregon
Bastendorff Beach County Park is just a few miles from the scenic Cape Arago Highway near Coos Bay, on the Southern Oregon Coast.
The campsites are minutes away from the beach, which can be reached by walking or driving, and the views overlooking the ocean are amazing. Of the 99 campsites, 74 sites have water and electricity and the other 25 are generally used for tent camping. There are also two camping cabins available and a hiker/bicyclist campsite.
The campground is arranged in five loops in a mature conifer forest with plenty of shade. Sites are well-separated with plenty of foliage for privacy between camp spots. Campsites in Loop E can be reserved for large groups.
Enjoy the day-use area for playing softball or volleyball. Use the nearby horseshoe pits and basketball court, or take the kids to a unique playground that is popular with locals and campers. Stroll the beach or fish in the surf, but be wary of sneaker waves and dangerous rip currents.
Don’t forget to check out the nearby marine complex for some boat watching or the Marine Life Center aquarium. Do a tasting at the Stillwagon Distillery, or take pictures of the beautiful Cape Arago Lighthouse. Charter services are available in the area for fishing or sightseeing.
The park has a good 6.8/10 average rating, with only 20 reviews so far. Here is what one RVer recently shared:
We camped in the D loop and our site had nice separation from neighbors with hedges. There was also an open grassy area with no real privacy. Super clean bathrooms and showers! Great hiking and beach walking nearby. We camped at Bastendorff Beach County Park in a Travel Trailer.”– via -TCA-
Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona
Located on the west side of the Tucson Mountains, Gilbert Ray Campground is a great winter destination. The campground has 130 RV sites with 30-amp electrical hookups, nearby water, and a dump station.
The campground is just south of Saguaro National Park and west of Tucson. You can enjoy desert hiking and stunning sunsets at this popular campground. Reservations are highly recommended in the peak season (January to March), and the seven-day stay limit is strictly enforced.
If you have a chance for sightseeing, there are several can’t-miss activities in Tucson you might want to see. This includes Saguaro National Park, where you can explore the Tucson Mountain District or the Rincon Mountain District. These areas preserve the Sonoran Desert landscapes, fauna, and flora, including the giant saguaro cactus.
Check out the Pima Air & Space Museum or the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The Mini Time Machine of Miniatures is dedicated to miniature houses.
Gilbert Ray Campground has earned an excellent 8.6/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. One recent reviewer said,
“The camp is surrounded by Tucson Mountain Park with most sites having lots of privacy and great views of the mountains. A very quiet, peaceful park. Maximum stay is one week, but you can come back after a week and stay again. Electric only. Large, clean bathrooms with big sinks behind for washing dishes and your hair! Level, gravel sites. Great place to hike, mountain bike, and kick back. No WiFi, but good cellular (Verizon) We camped at Gilbert Ray Campground / Tucson Mountain Park in a Motorhome.”– via Bill&Patty
Estes Park Campground at East Portal, Estes Park, Colorado
While this park is best suited for small RVs under 30 feet, you can get some awesome views of Rocky Mountain National Park.
With 68 sites at 8,300 feet in elevation, this park has water and electric hookups and a few full hookup sites. You will see plenty of wildlife including elk, deer, black bears, and foxes. You will also have access to the East Portal Reservoir, which is great for fishing.
With shady sites, this park is well-suited for families and outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore nearby nature and trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. The nearby town of Estes Park has opportunities for more hiking, as well as biking, horseback riding, boating, golfing, and fly fishing. Take in family-friendly activities like go-carts and mini golf.
The park has an excellent 8.0/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. Check out this recent review:
“This is a quiet, rustic park with just water and electric hookups located six miles from the town. It is a great place to escape the crowds of Estes Park. The views from many of the sites are beautiful – the Rocky Mountain National Park adjoins the RV Park. No WiFi and infrequent and unpredictable Verizon reception. The sites are somewhat unlevel, but can be taken care of with some leveling blocks. Believe it when they say that no rigs over 22′. It is true! We felt big at 19′. The camp hosts and front desk personnel were very nice and helpful. Our space, A-1, was large, private and with a great view, but was very challenging to get our 19′ trailer in place. We camped at Estes Park Campground at East Portal Reservoir in a Travel Trailer.”– via alm
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, Minnesota
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park is only a half-hour from Minneapolis-St. Paul. The park boasts 579 acres, with more than 3,800 feet of scenic river shoreline along the St. Croix River. The campground has 26 pull-through sites with water and electric hookups, back-in sites, and modern bathrooms. Rolling upland prairies, wooded ravines, and bluffs are a hallmark of this park.
Guests can enjoy hiking trails, picnic areas, and a motorized boat launch with 50 trailer spaces. A ball field, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, a half basketball court, and two tennis courts are located in the picnic area, as well as a large play structure.
Make a day trip into the Twin Cities and visit the Minnesota Zoo and Fort Snelling. Note the city’s distinct design, including the Walker Art Center. See a show at the Guthrie Theatre or shop at the Mall of America. Dine at restaurants on Nicollet Avenue and check out the live music scene in Minneapolis.
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park has an excellent 9.4/10 average rating on RV LIFE Campgrounds. One recent reviewer said,
“Nice amenities, well kept. Modern utilities and public facillities. Great spaces, open areas, playground and beach. This is a dry park. No alcohol allowed. We camped at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in a Travel Trailer.– via etravlr
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County park campgrounds are a hidden treasure for RVers. From outdoor enjoyment to nearby city life activities, couples and families will find a lot to do and see.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
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Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.