Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Must-See Adventures

by Robert Weir

From Hershey sweets and fabulous Philly, to wildlife and island ponies, the Mid-Atlantic awaits, rich with sights you won’t want to miss

One of the best inspirations for taking our RV on a new adventure has appeared on recent bestseller book lists, titled 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz. A corollary book on the U.S. and Canada can be a wonderful source of potential adventures in our own Mid-Atlantic region. Many of these places not only are great destinations but also are complemented by the personal service and family atmosphere we enjoy at RV parks located close enough to call home while we explore and build our repertoire of scrapbook memories. The destinations in the book inspire adventures we can experience as RVers.

Keystone State Excursions

There are more than 25 “places to see before you die” destinations in Pennsylvania, and who wouldn’t list Hershey as one we’d all expect to see on the list. While Hershey and the many attractions in Philadelphia readily come to mind as being at the top of the list, the guide also suggests traveling to Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s finest horticultural displays, with 20 outdoor gardens, 20 greenhouse gardens, four lakes, and 11,000 different kinds of plants in the more than 1,000 acres. If this weren’t already one of the places on your personal to-see list, reading the book’s description would definitely make you want to add it.

“Many of our guests enjoy the gardens at Longwood, “says Klaas Balkker of nearby Lake in Wood Camping Resort. “Our property is also very garden oriented; we really cater to garden enthusiasts and to family fun as well.” The camping resort offers themed cabins, and Balkker explains that guests have a lot of fun with the Gnome Dollars, which visitors can use at the campsite. So, not only can you enjoy the beauty of the gardens, but also have a great time at a phenomenal resort with some very unusual fun.

Just 40 miles west of Philadelphia, there’s more than scenic beauty to enjoy in the historic Revolutionary War area of Brandywine and Chadds Ford (the home of famed artist Andrew Wyeth).

Exploring the Garden State

It’s an easy trip to New Jersey and another unique destination at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School near Waretown. The story of the school is a fascinating one. Tom Brown spent his younger years and much of his life following the teachings of an Indian boy, based on the boy’s youth in the wilds. In the mid-1970s, Brown re-turned to his hometown in New Jersey and subsequently established a school to pass along this knowledge. The school offers more than 30 courses, ranging from basic to the intense.

According to Ray Rimaldi, pro-prietor of the Surf and Stream Campground, located close to the tracker school, “We offer a lot of shade … shady relaxation along the Union Branch of the Toms River, which can be extremely relaxing after a short course at the tracker school.” Pointing out how close the campground also is to Seaside Heights and Island Beach State Park, Rimaldi recommends it as a home base for the part of your team who has chosen more leisurely pursuits. “We have many campers that have been here for over 10 years,” he says. With free live entertainment at the campground on Saturday nights, generally “a good time is had by all.”

Maryland on the Wild Side

In Maryland, with more than 13 must-see destinations in the book, you may want to consider visiting Assateague Island, where you can stay at The Island Resort Campground, an off-the-road location just a short drive from this peaceful beach and wildlife attraction.

“We offer a wide range of facilities, including 93 RV sites as well as some cabin camping,” says Rod Ewell, Island Resort owner, whose 25-acre lake is stocked with catfish, bluegills and bass, and has just recently been opened to fishing. “We are seeing an influx of customers from Canada and Pennsylvania who are attracted by our proximity to the island,” he adds. The campground is a 45-minute paddle away from the bay and offers a small brochure that provides traffic-avoiding shortcuts to Assateague. While this park borders on both Maryland and Virginia, the best access is on the Maryland end.

The major attraction is the wildlife, particularly a herd of wild ponies that wander close to the roads and hiking trails. If you sign up with a park ranger, you can get close to the ponies on a short, very instructive walk through this beautiful area. Who doesn’t love watching wild ponies feeding and playing in the surf? While nearby Ocean City might attract some of us, the campground is also close to the small town of Berlin, where visitors will find a restored 1895 Victorian hotel, antiques shops and cafes. “We are a peaceful place where RVers can stay, says Ewell. “We are close to the beach areas on Assateague Island and, at the end of July when the pony swim is in progress; our guests have a lot of fun enjoying the wildlife.”

And, as always, your trip could include any of the other dozen destinations selected from the book’s list of Maryland places to see.

Whether you are traveling to a longtime favorite site or visiting places you’ve never seen, the campgrounds listing at Woodall’s Web site ( ) will help you match a series of 1,000 Places to See before You Die in the USA and Canada with campground/resorts where you can enjoy visits worthy of scrapbook memories.

For More Information

Harrisburg, Hershey, Carlisle
Welcome Center

Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School
P.O. Box 927
Waretown, NJ 08578
(609) 242-0350

Hershey Highmeadow
1200 Matlack Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036
(800) 437-7439
(717) 534-8999

Island Resort Campground
9537 Cropper Island Road
Newark, MD 21841
(888) 641-9838

Lake in Wood Camping Resort
576 Yellow Hill Road
Narvon, PA 17555
(717) 445-5525

Surf & Stream Campground
1801 Ridgeway Road
Toms River, NJ 08757
(732) 349-8919