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“Great Communal Amenities, But Lousy RV Sites”
Review of Harpers Ferry KOA

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Harpers Ferry KOA
Sarasota, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Great Communal Amenities, But Lousy RV Sites”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I gave Harpers Valley KOA a rating of 3, which is sort of an average of the things that we found great and not so great about the campground.

What's great:

The community facilities here - pool, jumping pad thingy (whatever it's called), the store (which includes a very nice little theater and free movies), and so on - are among the best we've seen from all the campgrounds we've stayed at, and at this point in our RVing "career" that's quite a few. This includes a very generous parking area in front of the office for registration. There are lots of activities available for kids and families. Taken on their own, the facilities would easily rate a 4, and for families I would daresay a 5.

The location is also perfect for visiting Harpers Ferry and the Shenandoah River area. You can, of course, drive the 1.5 or so miles to get to the "downtown" area, or you an walk on a trail that starts from the park just around the corner from the KOA. For those who, like us, enjoy sampling wines, you're only a few minutes away from an impressive set of vineyards. If you need to do any major food or other shopping, or you want to expand your choices in restaurants (although Harpers Ferry has some very good places to eat), Frederick, MD is only 25 minutes away.

The Not So Great:

We stayed here in our 38 foot motorhome, so I can't comment on the tent camping areas (which seemed decent enough to my inexperienced eye) or the back-in sites for smaller rigs. But I can say that the larger RV sites, especially the pull throughs like the one we had, were awful, among the worst we've ever had. The asphalt roads through the RV area are in horrible condition, with several areas suffering from major erosion that hasn't been addressed by the park staff (note: we also saw evidence of erosion problems in other areas in the campground). I would guess that in a couple places the ruts on the edge of the disintegrating asphalt are more than six inches deep, with one area that we had to skirt cut out about a foot deep. Most of the sites are terribly off-level, so plan to bring plenty of blocks to boost your wheels and jacks (our front right tires are up about six inches off the ground - on blocks, plus blocks under the front jacks - and that still wasn't enough to get us level). On top of that, the slope from the gravel pad to the roadway when you pull out of your site can be precipitous. We decided to back out of ours, because I was afraid of bottoming out the tail of the RV. The sites themselves are gravel (which isn't a bad thing, but just wanted to note that). The power pedestals also looked a bit worn, and ours had an intermittent short in the 50 amp plug that the maintenance folks quickly fixed. Unfortunately, on the driver's side was a junction box for the cable TV system that was standing open with wires sprouting from it - very ugly to see when you open your door to step outside. This was not addressed by maintenance.

The sites are also pretty narrow. We had room enough for our slides and awnings, but if you're the type of traveler that has lots of patio "stuff", you might find yourself straddling your neighbor's sewer hose.

Another thing that was a bit annoying was that the previous guest apparently left the picnic table - which on our site was huge, probably big enough to seat 10 people! - right in the middle of the site. No one from staff had checked over the site to make sure it was ready, so we had to stop, get out, and drag this monstrosity to the side so we could get in. Last but not least, our sewer connection was up on a rise next to the site, which made it a real pain when dumping the tanks: water tends not to flow uphill very well.

So, my rating for the RV site experience would be a grudging two stars. I hesitate to give it one, because I know there are worse places out there, but the RV site area does not at all come close to the standards of the communal part of the KOA. This site was hands down the worst among the 20 campgrounds we stayed at this summer.

Also, typical of most campgrounds, the wifi was essentially useless. Depending on your carrier, you may or may not be able to get a network connection on your smart phone or hotspot - we have Verizon, and our phones generally weren't able to connect at all, but our Jetpack (fortunately!) could.

Bottom line: if you're on a family vacation and are camping in tents (with the caveat that I can't really give an effective evaluation of the tent camping here, but it looked pretty good compared to the RV sites!) or have a small rig or camper, this would probably be a great place to stay. If you're traveling in a larger rig and are drawn by the KOA's location or amenities, be prepared to negotiate some crappy roads in the campground to reach your site, and as I mentioned earlier, have lots of blocks ready to help you level up.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank KreelanWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

My 6-year old son just loves to camp, thanks to this place. There are a lot of things to do- go swimming, jump on the huge balloon, watch movies in a theater, go to the game room, play basketball indoors, go hay riding, play in the playground, rent bikes, play mini-golf, etc. Plenty of things for kids to do.

As a single mother, this place makes our stay feel like a vacation. The only hard work I need to do is set up the tent and cook if we feel like it. They even provide free pancakes daily for breakfast. Pure bliss for me.

As for safety, I must admit, I do feel that this is a pretty safe place to be, especially since I'm Deaf. I haven't had any problems except for the recent incident where the police came to a tent site close to us and apparently had the couple check out immediately in the middle of the night. I have no idea what happened, but I still felt comfortable enough to stick around.

Next time we go camping there again, we will try water rafting. That's another activity we can do out there.

Highly recommended if you want to just relax in a natural setting or close to it. This place is less than 1.5 hours from DC. Can't beat that.

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nikki S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Strasburg, Virginia, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We have camped at Harpers Ferry KOA several times. After reading the reviews, I felt compelled to write my own and say "take the reviews with a grain of salt".

We have had different sites each time we've stayed. Yes, there are some that are small and unlevel, but for the most part we have had good luck getting a good site to fit our needs. The bath houses, pool, and other activities are in a central location, with most of the camp sites surrounding them, making it good for people with children in tow (we sometimes camp with our grandkids). If you want a shaded site, request it when you make a reservation, because there are some on the right, coming in, that have absolutely no shade.

FREE pancakes every morning. Enough said.

Some of the reviews stated that quiet hours were not enforced. Every time we've stayed here, quiet hours HAVE been enforced. When we stayed a few weekends ago, we saw a staff member come by on a golf cart, stop at the travel trailer in front of ours and ask them to turn their music off. It was 10:05pm. Quiet hour starts at 10pm (stated online and in their brochures). The music wasn't bothering us, but we could hear it at our campsite. We were not traveling with children. Maybe if we had been it would have been a nuisance past 8:30-9.

Bathrooms could have been cleaner at times, but I blame that on unattended children sent to the bathrooms by themselves. Staff was regularly cleaning, several times a day.

We've also camped here during hard rains. No trees have ever come down anywhere in the campground that I've seen or heard about.

Overall, this is a great place for couples or families. Clean, a lot going on if you like that sort of environment. Worth a try, definitely.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Kimberly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VA
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

My family spent two nights here and have to stay, probably the worst ever. Two days earlier, we stayed at a KOA in Charlottesville, VA that's was the Hyatt compared to this hole. Unattended youth running through camps all hours of the night. College kids having frat parties till 4am. Bathrooms by the bunkhouse were deplorable! For the price they charge, it's unacceptable. Will not come here ever.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Akmk1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worthington, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

This is an RV park and as such, it has a lot of big RV's crammed in but also has a lot of stuff to do like mini-golf, game room, pool, and activities. We stayed here for a family reunion and were able to use the pavilion. The free pancakes in the morning were nice, and the campstore was extensive. As usual, you can have quiet neighbors or partying neighbors -- Thursday through Sunday, they have a couple of guys on a cart as security. Great access to Harper's Ferry park and town.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hurlock, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

My family wanted to visit Historic Harpers Ferry and staying at the KOA Kampground was a great choice for our family of 4, including 2 teenagers. We rented the 2-room cabin. The main room had a kitchenette, futon, kitchen table and chairs. There was an area for bunkbeds and a separate bedroom with a full size bed. The cabin was clean, appliances clean. There were AC units in both rooms. The kitchenette had a microwave, coffeemaker, stove top and full size fridge/freezer, and this allowed us to save $ on food expense during the vacation. There is a Food Lion, Dollar Tree and Walmart just 6 miles down the road for supplies. We had a problem initially with the television and maintenance came and fixed the problem with the outside wire as soon as we reported it. Maintenance also came immediately to spray when we noticed ants (to be expected in this setting). The cabins are near the pool and so at times it was very noisy. A walk to the other side of the camp made me realize they were having a much quieter stay; however, the convenience to the pool was good for us. We brought bikes but didn't really need them. The campground is not really a good setting for bike-riding. The jumping pillow was fun (for all sizes too). The movie theater is great and they offer movies all day long. The miniature golf course was fun but is in great need of repair and updating. A few young men got rowdy and foul mouthed in the pool area, and staff quickly dealt with their bad behavior and took them to their parents. I was pleased that this was not tolerated and handled quickly. There were a lot of activities scheduled throughout the day and plenty to do. We arrived on a Tuesday and left early Saturday morning. The amount of people increased greatly beginning Thursday evening. I think it would have been a little too crowded for my liking over the weekend. The campground is very convenient to Harpers Ferry National Park (literally next door). There is a shuttle bus that runs every 10 minutes from the National Park to Historic lower town of Harpers Ferry. I would highly recommend staying here if your goal is visiting the Historic Park or other local activities. The sites may be a little too small if your goal is a relaxing getaway vacation destination spot.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Sara E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VT
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

First the positives: Betty, who met us at the gate was helpful, polite and directed us where we needed to check in. The grounds seemed to be maintained decent enough (questionable on the mini-golf). Bathrooms were not as clean as could have been but that as probably due to some of the patrons. Most sites are the usual for KOA's, nearby neighbors but enough room. The campground couldn't be situated much closer to the National Park grounds as is adjoins it. And, it has its own part in the history of Harpers Ferry.

Now some negatives. Our site, lets just say this, should never have been listed as a site. A small gravel tent pad that could not accommodate our 10x16 tent. We tried to situate it on the site but drainage ditches (or runoff ditches) on either side of it limited that as did the multitude of tree roots all over the site. We ended up on the embankment just off the road. When it rained or should I say poured, the water ran through the two ditches and unfortunately, underneath the tent. I apparently missed the beginnings of the third ditch that ran under the tent. This site, if you can call it that, should never have been turned into a site. The site was chosen by staff and since the campground wasn't full, why they would consider putting anyone on this site was mind boggling. There were tons of other available sites.

I knew it would be a bit on the pricey side, after all it was a KOA. And, it had a bunch of things for the kids. Yet, to pay over $50 for a site with no hookups ($8 resort fee included) and have it as bad as this, was disappointing to say the least.

Another thing was that when I booked I indicated we had a dog. We even called to verify they took our breed. I paid in full online, or so I thought. When we got there I was charged another $2.12 for the dog. Possibly for the dog park, which we never used! I guess it wasn't included in the resort fee!

We never bothered to try to change sites. I decided I shouldn't have to point out the obvious. We simply opted to make due with what we were dealt and I decided to post my opinion here. After all, if they treat one guest this way, they will treat others the same.

Some words of advice. If you stay here, enjoy the area and even parts of the campground. Do not stay at site 285. If you do, bring a really small tent and good ground cover.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dunkledore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Harpers Ferry KOA

Property: Harpers Ferry KOA
Address: 343 Campground Rd, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-5168
Region: United States > West Virginia > Harpers Ferry
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Harpers Ferry
Number of rooms: 44
Also Known As:
Harpers Ferry Koa Hotel Harpers Ferry

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