Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Campground Review: Venango Park Marquette, KS

I'd blown it by not lining up a Memorial Day campsite.  I had wanted to camp at the Corps of Engineers park on Kanopolis Lake near Marquette, KS but I had put off trying to secure a site and when I finally did try all the full hookup sites were reserved.  In a Hail Mary I drove to the park anyway hoping for a cancellation I could snap up or, failing that, a boondocking spot that would have a sub-optimal location away from the lake.

Beautiful Kanopolis Lake.
The ranger station where you check in was closed for an hour at lunch when I arrived so I drove around the camping loops seeing nothing but "Reserved" signs on the campsites until I got to site sign!  I parked the Tank in the site to "reserve" it and waited for the rangers to get back from lunch.  When I went to register the site the ranger said "Oh yeah, 29 doesn't have hookups so most campers ignore it."

Site A29, the site nobody wanted, right on the lake!
So having a solar setup allowed me to get a premier site on a major holiday weekend that nobody else wanted (I was still pretty lucky!).

Here's the Venango Park data sheet:

Hookups:                                             30 & 50 amp, water and sewer                                  
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                             
Water Access:                                     Yes                                                                             
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                                                 
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                                     
Toilets:                                                Yes                                                     
Showers:                                             Yes                                                                             
Dump station:                                      Yes                                                     
WiFi:                                                   No                                                      
Level sites:                                          Yes                                                                 
Laundry:                                              No                                                                              
Store:                                                  No                                                                              
Pool:                                                   No                                                                  
Shade:                                                Yes                                                                 
Verizon reception:                              4G, 3 Bars                                                      
Internet reception:                              3 bars              
Cost:                                                 $18/night for full hookups, $12/night no hookups

My daily rate was supposed to have been $12 / night since I had no hookups but by playing my Senior Pass my rate was reduced to $6 night....on a major holiday weekend!  The pass costs $10 and is good for life.  It offers holders a 50% discount at all Federal campgrounds, areas administered by the Corps of Engineers (like this one) and will probably pay back the $10 it costs the first time you use it.

Cost me $10 and saved me $18 this use alone.
My campsite was on the eastern end of Venango Park and during one of my walks I discovered how big the park is.  About two miles from my site was the swimming area.

Venango Park's sandy swim area.
On my return walk from the swim area I ran into this guy just outside the Tank's campsite:

Wild Turkey anyone?
Every Corps of Engineers park I've visited has been meticulously maintained with immaculate restrooms and Venango Park is no exception.  I screwed up by not camping in Kansas for my first three years full-timing in the Tank.  There are a lot of great camping locations in the state and I'll be back to camp them in the future.

Thanks for reading! 

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