In a quest to find lake front camping for a short getaway this summer and not wanted to travel too far, I came across Lake Shelbyville while looking for camping options on Recreation.Gov website. This was the first time for us camping at a COE (Core of Engineers) campground so I was eager to see the difference (if any) between a COE campground and a standard state park. There really isn’t much of a difference.
Originally I really wanted a site with a water view but none were open the first few days we were going to be there. So we opted for a site with a slight water view. We arrived early on a Saturday afternoon to a somewhat crowded campground. The nice thing about Lone Point is that most sites are fairly spread apart so there is ample room to spread out.
After checking in we immediately headed for the dump station to fill up with water. That was easy to find – and it was located across the road from our site. What wasn’t clear at the dump station was were the water was. Unlike a typical state park campground where there is a clearly marked hose for fresh water, in this campground it was no where to be found. After driving around the campground looking for water and heading back to the main office, who told us it’s at the drinking fountain next to the dump station (really?) – we headed back to the dump station to find a small faucet at the bottom of a drinking fountain – because that’s very clear!
Our site was very large and the picnic table, fire pit were located on the hill behind the RV (up some stairs). Fairly unique – I think ours was the only site like that. At the top of our little hill you can see the lake between the trees. Not exactly the water view I was hoping for but the spot was pretty level and very easy to back in to so no complaints on that end (plus there was tons of room). The driveway on the bottom left of the above photo is actually a service parking spot so our nearest neighbors were on the other side of that.
Right next to our campsite on the elevated part was a small outdoor theater. When we made the reservations we noticed this but thought, what would really be going on and didn’t think that much of it. Upon checking in, there was a sign about an event that night “Creatures of the Night” at the theater (what are the odds?). So that night a bunch of our fellow campers started congregating next door at the theater. Truth be told it was getting dark out so there were a few that wandered through our campsite (normally a no no but in this case what are you going to do. Plus, they were very apologetic once they realized).
The “Creatures of the Night” event was basically a info session run by two park rangers to talk about the types of animals found in the Lake Shelbyville area. Great for little kids and it was a nice night out and hey we learned a few things (did you know that different animals have different eye colors at night to help identify them? I didn’t!).
Going back to the campground – it was very large with a number of loops. Several sites had fantastic views of the lake but we realized that most of the sites were on angles (and some hard ones at that). We seem to have gotten very lucky in picking one of the few level sites. Also the campground store was located outside a neighboring campground. So you had to drive about 10 minutes to get firewood and any other essentials (good thing we had a car!).
After Sunday most of the campground cleared out and aside from a few folks we had a lot of space to ourselves. Lots of places to walk the dogs w/o having to worry about other dog encounters (our older dog is not the best when it comes to seeing other dogs on a leash).
Unlike our July 4 trip to Johnson Sauk Trail State Park – the weather was very pleasant (and even a little cool for a few days). My kind of camping weather. I did a lot of exploring around the surrounding farm country. Rows and rows of corn!
Overall a nice campground. It’s closing down early for the season to undergo a total renovation. We hope they make the sites more level esp the ones on the waterfront. It would be nice to be able to have had that view.
More Photos: Lake Shelbyville and the Surrounding Area