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“Cool” Camping on Hot Summer Days

It’s hot outside now, but families usually start thinking about camping in the winter months when they start to get the cold weather blues and can sometimes forget the importance of planning to stay “cool” in the hot summer months.  Summertime is the season when people take the RV out on the open road, but it can also be a time of extreme heat.  Today’s modern RV’s have excellent climate control systems but they can still get hot and stuffy as you travel during the hottest months of the year. 

When you hit the road this summer, keep these tips in mind to help keep your camping trip “cool” no matter how high the thermometer goes.

Camping in a RV can be “cool” when you travel to Hickory Hollow Campground located in Somerset County, PA.  Somerset County, typically sees an average July temperature of about 80 degrees making it a great destination for mid-summer camping.   Located in the heart of the Laurel Highlands, Hickory Hollow Campground accommodates today’s larger motorhomes with wide roads, tree lined drives, scenic mountain and wooded areas, and gentle breezes softly blowing off Lake Ann.

Motorhome drivers have the option at  Hickory Hollow Campground of using back-in or pull through sites which provide an opportunity to orient the RV so the sun shines on the side with the least number of windows keeping the RV a bit cooler on warm days. The shaded campsites are popular with our campers, but so is the large, clean swimming pool located just a short distance from the campsites.  In the heat of the summer, the pool can be a great source of cooling off, along with a refreshing cold drink.  If you forgot your sunscreen or drink, no problem, just visit the camp store and check out the large assortment of “camping necessities” available. 

Staying “cool” while camping takes some planning, so do your research and ensure that the campground you choose has the right amp to properly run your air conditioning unit and equipment.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how good your air conditioning is, it is only as good as the power on which it runs and you could easily burn out your unit if the amp isn’t correct.   Small fans can offer a littler support to your air conditioning unit and can be the perfect addition to use under that awning or at night in the RV.  By strategically placing a few fans within your RV, you can keep the air circulating and your campers cool. There are many portable and mountable fan options available, as well as battery powered fans so find one that meets your expectations.  Proper maintenance is also crucial to keeping air conditioning units running and it is important to perform regular cleaning and filter changes throughout the course of the summer.

    

Seasoned campers offer a little bit of advice and suggest purchasing a RV that has good quality windows and plenty of them that open wide.  When choosing your own site option is available, which is not always the case during peak season, aim to park the RV in a shady spot at the campground. Keep your shades lowered during the hottest points of the day, and open the windows to let fresh air in during the cooler evening hours.   Cover large picture windows with ultra violet protective shades or a reflective bubble product called Reflectix.  Remember to cover the skylight in your RV shower area also, as this typically is a large exposed area that invites the heat in.  Ensuring there is enough ventilation in the RV is also important if you want to stay cool in the heat of summer.  Ventilation allows you to pump the warm air out and bring the fresh air in, so make sure your vents are clean and free from blockage.   To help with ventilation, open the windows on the shady side of the RV and close them on the sunny side of the RV.  The use of awnings or tarps are another opportunity to provide some afternoon shade when you’re trying to stay cool outside the RV. 

As camping becomes more and more popular, new and exciting technologies are changing the way RV’s are powered and cooled.  Solar power is becoming a popular alternative for some seasonal campers at Hickory Hollow campground as well as the rest of the country.  Drive through a campground and you will see RV’s with solar panels on their roofs and maybe even the latest lithium ion batteries.  Hopefully someday, we will see many more self-contained RV’s that get all the electricity they need to run air conditioners, microwaves, and other devices using solar power, thus giving the environment a healthy boost.    

RV’s are great and offer the camper the convenience of taking their kitchen with them.  However, cooking indoors in a RV can create a lot of excess heat, so think about cooking outside on a camp stove, the grill, or using a Dutch oven over the campfire as a cooler option for some delicious meal alternatives. 

Staying cool in your RV this summer is possible – just remember these 4 points — locate-ventilate-insulate-coordinate.  And the most important thing to remember when camping in the summer, turn off the TV, shut down the computer, and get outside and enjoy all the wonderful amenities that the campground has to offer. 

Check out Hickory Hollow’s website or camp office for a list of activities for this weekend.   You won’t want to miss the Duck Race Memorial Fundraiser for Tika Hetrick and Cory Roadman on Saturday, July 10 at the pool at 10 am.  Ducks are $5 and all money will go to purchase a campground memorial for the couple.  

“When the weather is hot, keep a cool mind. When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart.” – Ajahn Brahm

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Make it a Red, White and Blue Kind of Weekend

Camping is a favorite tradition for America’s hard-working men and women and Hickory Hollow Campground invites you to spend the Fourth of July at our friendly campground located right in the middle of “America’s County”.  Summer is made for camping so why not take time to bask in the summer sun and celebrate the nation’s freedom.  It is estimated that approximately 20 million households are planning to camp during the upcoming fourth of July weekend according to the monthly research report put out by KOA.  Did you know that Pennsylvania is listed on the report as the third most popular state for July 4th camping, right behind California and New York? 

Hickory Hollow is kicking off the holiday weekend with some all-American favorite activities you won’t want to miss.  What’s more American than an outdoor Flea Market which will be held on Saturday, July 3 from 9-2 pm, or America’s favorite pastime, BINGO?  Our popular golf-cart/lawn chair BINGO will be held both Saturday and Sunday evenings from 6-7 around the Pavilion. Abbie, our Activity Director, has some great activities planned for the kids so stop in to the camp office and check out the schedule.  The Fourth of July wouldn’t be complete without some music and dancing so plan on joining DJ “D” Saturday night from 7-9 under the Pavilion and DJ Poosa on Sunday night.    

July 4th has been celebrated with festivities like fireworks, parades, barbecues, and family gatherings since 1776.  Just because you are away from home, and hopefully camping at Hickory Hollow Campground, doesn’t mean you can’t include a little red, white, and blue into your weekend.  If you are looking for some fireworks, the Somerset Jaycees and local sponsors invite you into Somerset on Friday, July 2nd for their wonderful explosive celebration with the fireworks set to start around 9:30 at the football field located at 645 Columbia Avenue.  If you’re planning to leave the campground and head over to Idlewild and Soak Zone in Ligonier on July 4th, they will end the day with a firework display also. 

Many times, campers will opt to have their own little sparkling celebration on the 4th by lighting up the summer evening with the crackling glow and trail of light from Sparklers.  Everyone seems to love this backyard tradition, but it’s important to take precautions and keep safety in mind when doing so.  Kids get excited when they start waving a sparkler around, but keep in mind these “little fireworks” made of chemicals and metal can reach very high temperatures causing burns to little hands and legs.  Please follow these tips for safe sparkler use while at home or the campground. 

  • Only use sparklers in open outdoor areas
  • Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person, give them an unlit sparkler and then light it in their hands and only one at a time.
  • Stand at least 6 feet apart from others when holding sparklers.
  • Be aware that sparks can ignite clothing, so avoid loose fitting clothes that could catch on fire.  Wearing closed toe shoes is best to prevent foot burns.
  • Always drop the used sparkler wire into a bucket of water to prevent burns and fires as the wires remain hot for a long time after the flame burns out.

Adopt the “sparkler safety cup” idea this summer which will help prevent those little hands from getting burned while playing with sparklers.  Take a plastic cup and poke a hole in the top which will allow the sparkler stick to be held from inside the cup thus preventing any close contact to the sparks. 

If fireworks aren’t on your itinerary, maybe a festive flick will do the trick as you relax quietly with the puppy in the RV.  Think about watching “Independence Day”, “Top Gun” “The Patriot” or “Captain America” to stay in the spirit of the holiday. 

Fireworks and sparklers certainly add a little color to our 4th celebrations, but so can your camp snacks and drinks.  For the adults who are into “firecracker cocktails,” just remember “If you drink a fifth on the fourth, you may not go fourth on the fifth”.  Here are a few easy, fun recipes that will have your campers bursting with excitement.   

Make this year memorable by counting your blessings and truly appreciating your freedom.  Hickory Hollow wishes everyone a happy fourth of July and God Bless America!

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Celebrate Dad at Hickory Hollow

Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20 usually brings nice weather and plenty of opportunities for family fun at Hickory Hollow Campground.  Whether you opt to spend some quality time just you and Dad or get the whole family involved, the campground has some great ways to spend Dad’s day.

Have you ever wondered about the history of Father’s Day and how it became declared as a national holiday?  Celebrations for Mother’s Day go back as far as 1860’s and this paved the way for Father’s Day which dates back to 1908 when a church in West Virginia held a sermon to honor 362 men who were killed the previous year in a coal mining explosion, most of them fathers and this became the country’s first ever event to strictly honor fathers. The following year a woman named Sonora Dodd, one of six children raised by her single father, started her quest to establish Father’s Day as a national holiday. States celebrated celebrations individually for fathers since around 1910, but in 1972 President Richard Nixon signed it into law and Father’s Day became a recognized holiday.  

Hickory Hollow has come to know many great fathers, uncles, brothers, grandpaps, and father figures who have camped with us over the years and we celebrate you!  Lots of great memories have been made while camping on Father’s Day weekend.  Some big fish — lunkers, monsters, giants, whoppers and a few tiddlers — have been caught, and many stacks of pancakes have been consumed, usually by the campers – not the fish. This year will be no different as we kick off the weekend with our annual fishing tournament on Saturday, June 19 at 9 am along the banks of Lake Ann. The lake has been stocked with some great fish and they are “jumping” to join in on the excitement of Father’s Day weekend.  On Sunday, June 20th treat Dad to the traditional “all you can eat” Pancake Breakfast when owner Doug starts flipping the delicious cakes at 8:30 am. 

 

Dads work hard all year, and even harder to get the campsite set up for everyone to enjoy, so if he wants to just kick back and relax over the weekend, Hickory Hollow Campground is the place to do it.  There are plenty of nice cozy relaxing spots for him to pull up a lawn chair or hammock and relax for a few hours with his refreshing drink, music or mystery novel.  If dad is more adventurous, take him down to the pool and play some water games as the temperature starts to rise. Hickory Hollow welcomes you to get creative with cool ways to chill out together while celebrating Father’s Day, so here are a couple of fun games you can try.  Start a beach ball blaster game in the grass and invite some kids or dads to join in, or hang some water balloons from a pole and try your hand at balloon pinatas.  How much fun would it be for the family to try their hand at batting practice – fill some small balloons with water, grab a foam bat and make Dad be the catcher – the family will be laughing hysterically every time Dad takes the impact from the hit and gets wet. Go ice excavating together – have Dad fill a bowl with small trinkets and water then freeze – the kids can try their hand at uncovering the treasures using small utensils trying to crack into the ice.  These activities can be so much fun for the entire family and Dad will be thrilled that there is very little expense and planning needed to carry them off.   

The fun is endless at Hickory Hollow Campground with so many organized activities and your endless imagination, but if Dad is looking for more adventure check out some of the local attractions and activities available this weekend. Somerset County’s Aero Club will be hosting their 71st annual Fly In event (8:30-3pm) complete with airplanes, car show and chicken BBQ (noon) Sunday June 20th. If Dad is a baseball fan, the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Cleveland Indians this weekend, and every Saturday night is race night at Jennerstown Speedway located about 20 miles from the campground with engines revving up at 6 pm.  Caddie Shack, located about 20 miles from the campground, is now open for the season and is home to a 50- acre adventure park that includes a grand prix track, bumper boats, miniature golf and arcade.     

If Dad is looking to explore, remember that June 20th is also known as National American Eagle Day, so venture out to the local state park or Somerset Lake and you have a good chance of seeing a bald eagle. If you are fortunate to see one of these incredible birds of prey, take note of their beauty, large size and the astonishing ability to soar at extreme heights.  These majestic birds symbolize many things such as freedom, courage, honesty, inspiration, victory and pride, many of the wonderful aspects that fathers have, so it’s fitting that we celebrate both of these wonderful species on June 20th.   

As you celebrate your father or his memory this weekend, remember “A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” Hickory Hollow would love to see some fun photos of how you celebrated dad and his special day at the campground – so go ahead and post those special pics to our Facebook page.    

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Cooking in the Great Outdoors

Hickory Hollow Campground makes camping easy, but it takes a bit more planning if you are going to be cooking in the great outdoors.  Cooking over an open fire is great but can be an entire adventure in itself, but one definitely worth the effort. With the proper planning and prepping, a scrumptious meal can be easy, and enjoyable for everyone.  It’s important to remember the best food for camping is non-perishable, sturdy enough not to get squished in the cooler, nutritious, and filling. 

Unlike your kitchen, the open fire doesn’t come equipped with a 350 degree oven and a timer set for 30 minutes.  Instead, this form of cooking requires gauging and controlling the level of heat for the best results.  Prepping is key, the less chopping and mixing that needs to happen at the camp site the better.  This will present less opportunities for cross contamination or foodborne illness, and definitely less mess to clean up.  Heavy duty aluminum foil can be a camper’s best friend when cooking over the open coals, so make sure you’re stocked well. If not, check out the camp store for a wide range of non-perishable camping necessities.   

Outdoor cooking can be experienced in many different ways, you can make it quick and simple or plan it as a family event for the day.  Most people agree, no matter how you cook it, the food cooked at camp always taste delicious. With so many methods to choose from, maybe you want to try and experiment with a few different methods to see what kind of fun creations you can come up with.  Everyone’s familiar with the propane grill, but have you tried using charcoal lately, or a wood fire? You can’t go wrong with the purchase of a Dutch-oven, long handled cast iron pie maker or extendable skewers. If you’re on a budget, teach the kids a new trick and try foil cooking or the tin can method for a tasty layered meal. Get creative with your cooking, try various seasonings and BBQ sauces, and don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Use the pie iron to make tasty tacos. Just spray the iron and fill with small tortillas then add 2 tablespoons each of prepared taco meat, refried beans and shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese. Add jalapeno peppers for a little zest, then trim off any excess tortilla with a knife after closing the iron, cook over the open fire and voila, Mexican made easy.  Try it with fish for a healthier fish taco alternative.   For a breakfast alternative try making some French toast in that pie iron also.  Just dip bread in egg batter and cinnamon then spray the pie iron with nonstick cooking spray and heat over the coals left over from the late night campfire. So easy but so delicious.  Check out the recipe attached for easy campfire doughnuts, something else you may never have tried but worth attempting. 

Taste of Home recommends foil packet meals as one of the best camping hacks because they taste amazing and cleanup is a snap.  Individual meal packets can be prepared at home prior to camping and stored in the cooler until ready to cook.  One of my favorites is grilled sausage with potatoes and green beans, try it using the recipe from allrecipes.com

Use your grill and an old muffin tin to make simple poached eggs. Coat the muffin tins with cooking spray and crack an egg into each hole. Place on the grill and grill over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until desired doneness.  Try adding some chopped peppers and onions to spice them up a bit.

Treat the kids to banana splits before bed in place of the traditional s’mores.  Cut a whole unpeeled banana halfway through from end to end. Place marshmallows and pieces of chocolate bar in the slit. Wrap banana in the foil with the cut end up. Place in coals for 10 to 15 minutes until chocolate and marshmallows are melted.  Open foil carefully and scoop from the banana peel the delicious treat.  For an even faster dessert try Skillet Bananas.  All you need to do is melt some butter in a skillet, add some frozen orange juice concentrate, and some cinnamon and stir to mix. Slice some bananas into the warm sauce and toss gently.  Yummy!!

I’m sure you have roasted a marshmallow, but have your tried roasting an apple over the fire? Place an apple on a cooking stick and roast over hot campfire coals until the apple peel splits and ‘sizzles’. Carefully peel away the skin (adults should help kids with this) and roll the apple in cinnamon-sugar for a tasty alternative.  Instead of the traditional graham cracker and chocolate bar s’mores, be a little creative and try fudge-stripped cookies with a marshmallow in between. Or how about using peanut butter cups in place of the Hershey chocolate bar layered between chocolate graham crackers instead of the plain ones.  

Outdoor cooking can really be a fun adventure for the entire family but with the right equipment, it can be so much easier.  Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a bunch of fancy gadgets to cook delicious treats while camping, but Shekitchen.com recommends starting your camping journey off with one or more of these handy essentials. Campfire tripod and Dutch Oven and lid lifter, cast iron skillet or loaf pan, pie iron, campsite popcorn popper, portable grill, and extendable skewers, and of course a good cooler  —  packed correctly.     

How to pack a cooler to keep food fresh longer according to allrecipes.com* 

  • Chill all food and drinks before packing them.
  • Seal food in waterproof container to keep it dry and uncrushed.
  • Pack food in layers, with ice between the layers
  • Keep the cooler as full as possible.
  • If possible, have a separate cooler for drinks so the cooler doesn’t lose its cool every time someone opens it to get a drink.
  • Keep the cooler in the shadiest spot you can find.
  • Don’t drain melted ice water – it actually helps keep food cool longer.

Hickory Hollow Campground doesn’t care what your preferred camping cooking method may be, but we would love it if your shared some of your favorite camp recipes with us on our Facebook page. 

Julia Child once said “the comforts of life’s essentials are food, fire, and friendships”. 

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Camping Is The Answer -The Question Isn’t Important

One of the best things about early mornings during the month of May, is that it starts to smell like a camp morning. Each morning you wake to a new spring growing louder and louder, the mornings are full of light, the birds are singing, color is popping up everywhere, you have a head full of dreams and a heart full of hope, and beyond the door the sun beckons you to come out and play.  As we kick off a beautiful new spring, listen to your heart and let the road lead you straight to Hickory Hollow Campground.

Hickory Hollow Campground officially opened on April 15th and that means taking the RV out of hibernation.  If you took the proper steps to winterize the RV, it should be ready to go with minimal preparation.

RV Spring Cleaning Checklist

Follow this handy checklist to ensure your RV is as ready as you are and won’t let you down.  

  • Check the unit for any damage – tree limbs that fell, or rodents that may have enjoyed the warmth over the winter, etc.
  • Check the outside components for cracked side vents, missing light covers, baggage door operation, turn signals etc.
  • Check to make sure the license plate, insurance and registration is current.
  • Check the tires for proper air pressure and cracks in the sidewalls. Don’t forget the spare.
  • Make sure the carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, LP detector, and fire extinguishers are all in working order. 
  • Make sure the water level in the battery is correct and terminals are tight.
  • Flush and fill the freshwater tank to check for leaks.
  • Clean the air conditioning filter
  • Give the inside a thorough cleaning and evict any unwanted visitors like bugs and mice.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date fully supplied first aid kit.
  • Air it out and make sure all windows and vents are in working order.
  • Restock with fresh towels and linens that may have been removed last winter.

Okay, the family is ready to start their fun camping adventure in southwestern PA after being cooped up with a mask on all winter. You have reviewed the spring checklist and the RV is ready to go straight to the beautiful Laurel Highlands to breathe some of that fresh mountain air as well, so what’s the next step to enjoy all the wonderful amenities camping offers? 

To enjoy the great outdoors…the way you like it, just go straight to the Hickory Hollow Campground website https://hickoryhollowcampground.com, take five minutes and make those reservations for the summer.   With 75 acres of beautiful rolling hills, a lake, and many wooded areas, Hickory Hollow Campground offers the serenity you are looking for. RV sites are pull-through with water, electric, sewer, Wi-Fi and cable TV.  New or first-time campers may enjoy renting one of the beautiful premium or rustic log cabins available overlooking the lake, while seasoned tent campers keep coming back to enjoy the shaded sites and hammocks overlooking the entire campground.  

The Laurel Highlands, a beautiful summer destination, is easily accessible and offers numerous adventures and experiences for the entire family. Your itinerary will easily fill up with unique and thrilling activities for everyone in the family.  Activities in the Laurel Highlands range from water parks and petting zoos for the toddlers; cave exploring and escape rooms for the teens; thrill seekers can check out the oval track on a Saturday night, axe throwing or whitewater rafting; and for those inclined to relax, don’t miss the local farmers market, live music and spirit sampling; we have history buffs covered too with the 911 memorial, museums, and so much more.  Visit https://www.golaurelhighlands.com for experiences available in the area.

So, the next time you are in a ZOOM virtual meeting, looking like you are listening…but really thinking about how much better life is when you’re camping, remember what Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” The campfire, the stars, and Hickory Hollow is calling out to you for some much-needed outdoor therapy!  We are looking forward to seeing you this summer.

2020 Hickory Hollow Recap

It’s no surprise that the world took a drastic turn this year and left everyone with a lot of uncertainty about what was going to come about 2020 in every sense, and camping season was no exception. There were a lot of campgrounds that were not able to open on time (in some areas they may not have been able to open at all), but thankfully Hickory Hollow was not impacted quite as much in that sense. Our campground opened in April, with quite a few restrictions that we had to follow due to the different guidelines that were brought about during the global pandemic. Our staff did a wonderful job keeping up with cleanliness and making sure our campground was a safe place to be for all of our campers.

We welcomed so many new people into our campground this season! Camping turned into being one of the best activities for people to do in a time where social distancing is important. This makes sense since most campers come out in their own little “home” and activities that take place while camping are held outdoors, which gives people the perfect opportunity to social distance. It’s also a fantastic way to relax and escape the harsh reality of what is happening out in the world. We weren’t expecting so many first time campers to come and find us at our little campground in Rockwood, but we are so happy that they did.

Along with all of the new campers that we invited into our campground, we also were fortunate enough to continue holding a lot of our annual activities (plus some fun new ones) that, even though we had to adapt for the current situation, we’re extremely successful! Some of the biggest highlights this year were having Bill Schaudt Wood Creations make some amazing pieces of art that our campers loved, the Puzzle lights that one of our campers teaches how to make (see what they look like on our Facebook), our yoga weekends led by myself (Tika), the 13th annual Chili Cook-off that included tons of delicious chilis made by our campers, an adapted version of our Wet & Wild Water Wars that incorporated the coolest foam machine ever (thanks Doug!), the annual Poker Run even if there were some mix ups (we love you Lori!), the Jimmy Buffett Beach party with the awesome Randy Myers performing some hits, the annual Labor Day Picnic, a variety of kids crafts, all of our fun Halloween activities like trick or treating and of course Haunted Hollow (this weekend is the final weekend Oct. 30 & 31) right across the street, and so much more! If you want to see what any of these activities entailed, check out our other blog posts, Facebook page, Instagram page, and YouTube channel where we highlight lots of our activities pretty frequently. Each of these pages are linked below for your convenience.

Father’s Day Fishing Tournament
Golf Cart/Lawn Chair Bingo
Decorated Golf Cart Parade/ Poker run
Christmas in July

With that being said, we want your input for next year’s camping season! What activities did you love this past year that you’d like us to continue to do and what would you like to see us add to our schedule? We would love to know what your thoughts are. We will start planning next years activity schedule right around the new year, and I’d love to have as many ideas as I possibly can get so that we have a successful season that our campers will love too. Feel free to comment your ideas below or send us a message through our Facebook or Instagram pages. Also if you have a recommendations on how we can better our campground in general, we would love to hear from you.

Thank you all for being a part of our camping season! We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without all of our wonderful campers and all of their support. We will miss you all during our off season, but cannot wait to see you all next year! We wish everyone safe travels, happy holidays, and a wonderful winter season!

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Every Fall leaf is like a Spring flower

As our camping season starts to come to a close, it’s no surprise that Fall is the prettiest of all the seasons, especially in our area. The Laurel Highlands are known for the changing of colors during this season and Hickory Hollow Campground is fortunate enough to be surrounded by the beauty of the trees. I hope you enjoy the photos of our lovely campground in this blog post. Feel free to share it with your friends and recommend them to stay with us. We have been booking fast all year, so if you want a campsite next season be sure to book it as soon as possible. Also, don’t forget the other fun fall activities such as Haunted Hollow right across the road. It’s open every Friday and Saturday for the rest of October. Book your tickets online HERE so you get a chance to get spooked too!

If you have pictures of our campground and would like to share them, feel free to send them to our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @hickoryhollow_campground We love seeing photos from our campers!

Poker Run & Fun at Hickory Hollow!

Not gonna lie, sometimes it’s way more fun hanging out with the adults than it is the kids. Our campers at Hickory Hollow know how to have a good time, whether it’s putting boobs on the front of your golf cart (pictures to follow), runaway golf carts while no one is looking, or just sitting back and watching the parade of decorated carts make their way through our campground. We not only had a blast with the parade, but we also had some fun celebrating a birthday of one of our campers (even though their was so much talk about her being 119 years old!) While the riddles were confusing at times, and sometimes our card dealers didn’t know what the heck they were doing (Lori is never going to live this one down…lol), there is nothing better than getting out and spending some quality time with the people around you. We have such a great community of people here and are always welcoming more into the fold (wow a poker pun that was completely unintentional…)

I hope you enjoy and get at least a slight chuckle out of some of the photos from our weekend at Hickory Hollow Campground. I also hope this might entice you to come out and stay with us in the future. If you want to see the video of the Tropical Golf Cart Parade, just go to our YouTube page by clicking the link HERE! Make sure you like & subscribe to our channel to see more!

Tracy, Jim, & Landon’s decorated cart
Jim & Christa’s Hula Cart (winner of best decorated cart!)
The masked cart by the Mack ladies!
Tropical Pup Cart
Coming around the bend to the next stop
Happy Birthday Della, You look great for 119!!! LOL
Tika & Missy

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow us on our social media accounts.

Camping Fun for Everyone

Are you trying to figure out what to do while you’re camping? Here are 10 ideas that are simple and perfect (especially if you’re staying at Hickory Hollow!)

Enjoy Nature
The whole point of camping is being outdoors, right? So take some time and enjoy the scenery around you. Watch the clouds take shape. Look for insects and wildlife that live in the area you’re in. Check out the beautiful plants and flowers that decorate nature with their beauty!

Go on a Walk or Hike
Not getting enough nature from your campsite, then get out and walk around. I highlighted some of the favorite places for campers to hike around our campground in my last blog post. Read it here. We are located in a beautiful area where there’s always places to go to enjoy nature’s beauty.

Enjoy Nighttime Peacefully
One of the absolute highlights of camping, in my opinion anyway, is enjoying the peaceful and serene evenings. Looking up at the stars is so relaxing and fun to do for everyone. Try to find each of the different constellations that surround our world and forget everything else that is happening for a little while. This isn’t something you can do in a busy city, so appreciate it where and when you can.

Follow Bill & Kelly who camp with us to see some lovely pictures of Hickory Hollow

Play Games
It doesn’t take up much space to pack some cards or board games that you and your family can enjoy. This is a great way to spend some quality time together without even leaving your campsite.

Outdoor Games
Some campgrounds have places to enjoy some outdoor games as well, like basketball and volleyball (we do at Hickory Hollow!) You can always check out what your campground has on their website before you go or you can pack your own outdoor games too. There are lots of inexpensive games like frisbee, catch, or football. Our campground also holds Cornhole tournaments, but I know lots of campers who bring their own boards too!

Swimming
Hickory Hollow has a small poll that is for campers use, but even if you’re staying somewhere there isn’t a pool, I’m sure there are other options. Look into local beaches at State Parks (Laurel Hill is beautiful) or even Rec Centers that offer pool hours. I know this is a favorite of the kids in my life, as well as the kids that camp with us!

Ride A Bike
If you enjoy riding your bike, then bring it along camping. Our campground is perfect for a leisurely ride, but we are also located near the bike trails in Rockwood.

Fishing
Again, Hickory Hollow has a beautiful lake that our campers can fish at while they are here. There are also lots of local fishing areas that are available to fish at and aren’t far away. This is always a fun and relaxing activity for anyone.

Read a Book
This one might not be as fun for all kids, but it’s definitely one of my favorite pass times whether I’m camping or not. There’s nothing like sitting down with a good book and escaping reality for a short period of time. Pick out your favorite book and just relax. If you want any recommendations for books, I’m a book nerd! I’ve posted some of my favorite titles on my personal Facebook page, Instagram, or my own blog. You can click the links to check those out too!

Make a Campfire
This one is a must for any camper. You need a campfire, so why not get some enjoyment out of it other than just the warmth it puts off? Make some s’mores (try out the different kinds that I have here), make some campfire sundaes or other yummy dishes over the fire! Then just hang out and talk, tell stories, reminisce over the past, talk about the future, just enjoy being together during this time. It’s the best thing anyone can do.

If you liked these ideas, or have more of your own, leave a comment below. Feel free to share this post with your friends. You can share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or wherever you see fit! Drop some ideas of what other blog posts you’d enjoy in the future!

Hike More, Worry Less

There is nothing better than getting outside and breathing some fresh air. Checking out beautiful scenery is always a bonus too! Taking a nice walk outside in nature is good for the soul and there are quite a few local trails near Hickory Hollow campground that make for a great afternoon walk.

I went ahead and asked some of our campers, as well as took from my own experiences, what some of their favorite trails to hike/walk or bike on near our campground. They were very helpful and I want to share those trails for you to check out too!

Great Allegheny Passage Trail
This is a 150 mile trail that has mountain views, wildlife, and traces the paths of three rivers, the Casselman River, the Youghiogheny, and the Monongahela. This trail is non-motorized, but is great for hiking and biking. In the winter time, you can even enjoy cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. You can easily plan a trip and have an access point to the trail right in Rockwood! Find out more information or sign up for the next GAP Trail Relay on their website (click name above.)

Laurel Hill State Park Trails
Laurel Hill has multiple hiking trails that have beautiful scenery and are perfect for anyone of any age. They are moderate trails and if you take a look at my photos, you’ll see there are some beautiful sites to see while walking them. If you check out the All Trails site you can check out some of the best hiking trails in the state park.

Pumphouse trail is a personal favorite of mine, and quite a few others. This is a loop trail that is about 5.9 miles that has a beautiful waterfall and other enjoyable scenery.

There are quite a few other trails in Laurel Hill State Park that you can check out too with beautiful views!

Kooser State Park Trails
Like Laurel Hill, Kooser State Park is nearby and has quite a few trails that people enjoy hiking and biking on. According to All Trails again, there are a few top trails that they suggest. Like other state parks, it is open from dawn to dusk and offers some true nature adventures for anyone who wants to endure it.

Hickory Hollow Campground
I know what you’re thinking, obviously the campground is in nature, but why are you including this small area as a trail? Well let me tell you, this wasn’t one I planned on adding initially, but when a camper told me that the walk around Lake Anna was their favorite trail to walk I thought to myself “I couldn’t agree more!” Eventually, we would like to build on our walking/hiking paths, but this one is good for any of our campers and I highly recommend walking it! You get to see the campground from a new, beautiful point of view that you normally don’t get to see. It’s not too short (or too long) and is a fun thing to do on those cool summer evenings.

If you have any local trails that you enjoy and would like to share, leave a comment below. Feel free to share your photos as well on our social pages. We love to see what our campers are doing!