Dates Of Stay: August 5 – September 6, 2016
(All photos by Kathleen Zimmerman. Thanks, Kathy!)
Pine Harbor Campground has been around for a long time, and that is part of its charm. Being at the campground is like stepping back in time. The restrooms, showers, and laundry building probably dates from the 1960s and could use a bit of updating. But, everything works and is kept very neat, clean, and tidy, and it feels like the summer camp of your youth.
Pine Harbor Campground is near Lake Wissota, but it is not on Lake Wissota. It is at least a 15-minute drive to Lake Wissota State Park, where there is a small beach.
The campground has a secluded and quieter tent area, shorter-term spaces for RVs and motorhomes, and “Seasonals,” or those who have a vacation cabin in the form of a park model, trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome at the campground. The campground closes at the end of October, adding to that summer camp feeling.
Phil and Pat, the owners, live on the premises.
Phil can always be found in his Oshkosh overalls, and Pat is busy every waking moment, working on the grounds. She mows, weeds, gardens, waters the flowers, empties the garbage and recycling, and even picks up the pine cones. Lawn sculptures and bird houses are sprinkled throughout the property. It is very clear that they take great pride in their campground. The park also hosts parties, like luaus and ice cream socials. On Labor Day, they passed out boxes of fresh-popped popcorn. Here’s a photo of Pat with the Hortons, who are Seasonals:
If you are looking for a posh RV resort, this is not your place. This is rural Wisconsin, complete with deer and bunnies and squirrels, and there are few amenities for full-timers.
For example, for shorter-term RVers, there is a dump station only. During a one-month stay it is no fun to move everything around, bring in the slides, unhook from water and electric, and drive to the other side of the park to dump. While the monthly rate of $450 made it a little easier to bear, I have stayed at other parks in that price point that had sewer hook ups. And while this is not Pat and Phil’s fault, there are no clean-out services or motorhome washing services in the area, and the one mobile motorhome repair person I was able to find was a gross disappointment.
There is no gravel or concrete at the campground. If you are parked under trees, there will be little grass. As a result, things can get very muddy and flooded very fast when it rains.
I chose Pine Harbor Campground because of its proximity to a friend’s lake house. As it turns out, we only went to the lake house on two occasions. I would rethink my accommodations if I visit the area again and stay closer into town, be that Chippewa Falls or Eau Claire. While there are a few bars and restaurants near the campground (such as the Connell’s, our favorite supper club), pickings are pretty slim for entertainment in the immediate area.
Still and all, it was a pleasure to meet such good folks like Pat and Phil and some of the other Seasonals at the park, and to hang out in the woods in Wisconsin for a month.