Somewhere near Lake Hughes, California, about 3,200 feet high in the foothills of the Sierra Paloma Mountains, campers at the second annual LGBTQ & Friends edition of Camp No Counselors will be gorging s’mores fireside with friends new and old or enjoying an open bar in the middle of Angeles National Forest this Columbus Day.
Billed as the largest gay campground in the world, Cactus Canyon can often seem like it too. Nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains of Southeastern Missouri, it seems an unlikely place for gay campers.
Camp Mars is a quiet, serene property. The forty acre park is alongside an endless pasture across which campers can enjoy spectacular Key West style sunsets. In years past sunset potluck dinners took place on the lawn in front of the office; the potluck dinner became so popular it is now an integral part of the Camp Mars culture happening every Saturday night.
Located ten miles from Saugatuck and a fifteen minute drive from Oval Beach, Campit is easy to get to and get to things once there. Primarily for gay men, women and even accepting straight people are welcome. Join the women’s social mixer every Friday night when mixers and some appetizers are supplied; bring your beverage of choice.
“Dinner Bitches!” screams the drag queen holding drooling hungry gay men at bay until the clock strikes six, opening the potluck table for consumption. In that call to consume resides a distinct flavor of Joe’s Hideaway. Owner Mama Joe controls the place like the quintessential dictator he is, with his call to dinner, his frequent behavior modification signs strewn throughout camp and his customers clear knowledge that their continued residency resides in Joe’s whim. Be it real fear of expulsion, as proclaimed on signs at the pool, or smiles behind hands is as yet undetermined.
Located in rural Western New York an hour southwest of Rochester and an hour southeast of Buffalo, Jones Pond is located near picturesque Angelica, a nearby community.
Lizard Landing is located at the end of the road on the Omussee Creek. The end of the road location being the benefit of a washed out bridge that was never replaced.
Getting to Long Fork is a lesson in perseverance, the first time you go. From the moment you exit I-79 and begin the nine mile trek up the holler, the back woods of West Virginia surround.
Oz is a natural stop for gay travelers leaving or returning to Florida. Located about nine miles east of I-75 in south central Georgia it is a day long trip from Sawmill. When leaving South Florida it’s easy to overnight at Sawmill and then Oz.
Rainbow Woods is a whole different kind of gay campground. Best described as primitive, sometimes it barely lives up to that. The place seems more suitable to tenting than to RV’s. It is actually a part of a mainstream camp called On the River. When registering be certain to pull into the circular drive or exiting will entail encircling the entire campground all the while scratching along untrimmed trees.
Roy’s takes a bit of getting to. Located well off I-16 it’s sort of midway between Macon and Savannah, or a few hundred miles and three hours southeast of Atlanta. Once there, who would want to be elsewhere?
Sawmill is the premier Florida gay campground setting the standard for gay camping in Florida. That standard is being raised in 2016 with implementation of a new resort wide smoke free policy making all indoor spaces and much of the pool area smoke free.
Located near Lehigton Pa, in the foothills of the Poconos, The Woods draws a huge crowd from Lehigh University. Adding to a significant seasonal camper group the university crowd has a large effect in diluting the average age at The Woods on any given weekend.
‘Tucked deep in a hollow of the Southern Appalachians is Timberfell Lodge, a paradise for men seeking either solitude or camaraderie with their gay brothers and where inhibitions are shed as easily as clothing.’ Timberfell is an excellent example of gay campgrounds being overpriced for gay travelers. Though basically empty weekdays it cost two memberships of fifteen dollars each plus RV parking at $42.50, including tax the overnight charge was almost eighty dollars; in the middle of nowhere with nothing going on.
(Mirror) On one of my first gay camping trips I made a point of reserving a site as far from the activity center as possible. My preconceived notion of camping was one of quiet in the woods. I found that, and also found myself quickly drawn away from my quiet spot to the real fun.
Camp Mars cannot be introduced without a favorite quip: Camp Mars is located west of Jupiter, near Venus. Check it out on a map, it’s true.
Located near beautiful Saugatuck, Michigan, there is a great deal to do around Campit if you tire of all the activities offered on property. There are nearby wineries, farms, orchards, South Haven, Saugatuck, and Saugatuck Dunes State Park.
Open May into October, Freedom Valley Campgrounds is a great, reasonably priced campground with super kind owners. Michael and Jeff make a point of being available to everyone.
Located at the base of the foothills of the Appalachians in northeast Georgia in rural Canon, In the Woods is a fantastic place to enjoy your choice of camping experience, from rustic to all the amenities!
Hats off to the fun, outgoing, and awesome Jones Pond owners Bryan and Matt for their constant efforts to make sure your time there is a great one! Matt and Bryan are caring hosts and make sure every stay at their campground is a memorable time. They’re friendly owners and are really passionate about their campground, taking pride in their park. They are always improving facilities and infrastructure.