On Mother’s Day, 2015, Lake Whitney Thousand Trails was hit by a tornado that damaged some buildings and did considerable tree damage throughout the park. Because of that storm the park had to be closed for several days, and, as a result we had to adjust our travel plans. When we arrived a tree trimming crew was hard at work clearing campsites so the park could be open over Memorial Day weekend.
Since we arrived a day before the primary influx of campers for the holiday we were able to find a 50 amp site that suited us just fine. That wasn’t before we tried another site that was simply too unlevel side to side for us to use. After 20 minutes or so of trying to get level we gave up and moved across the way to the other available 50 amp site. It wasn’t perfect but it we much better and we settled in with no further problems.
The campground boasts two nice pools and two activity centers. The main pool and activity center is near the check-in booth. The adult pool is at the far western end of the campground, quite a ways from check in. There is also a nice workout room, library, and spa at the adult activity center.
It’s more common than not for Thousand Trails to have roads in poor repair and that’s true at Lake Whitney too. In fact, getting to Loops A & B which are closest to the adult sections of the park entails a drive of a few minutes over some of the worst roads in the place. Something I found interesting is that in spite of the place being called “Lake Whitney” there’s no real access to the lake from the campground aside from parking in a parking lot at the western end of the road and then hiking a trail onto Corps of Engineers land to a finger of the lake. If a person came here expecting pleasant lake-side views or a place to launch a boat they would be disappointed.
We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Usually, they told us, there is very good WiFi in Loop D where we stayed. However, the tornado had taken all that out and it will have to be repaired. Our Verizon, though, worked pretty good and worked excellently when I used the Wilson Sleek booster. Also, there was what looked to be a nice mini-golf course. Sorry to say it was close to tornado ground zero and was buried underneath downed trees and limbs.
More on the trees: the campground is in a forest of cedar. If you have a problems with cedar you might want to think twice before coming during the time of the year when the trees are pollinating. This shouldn’t have been a problem for us this late into the spring but I think the storms stirred things up and both of us began having sinus problems after a few days.
The nice town of Whitney is just down the road and there are plenty of fast food places, a grocery store, and an old downtown that is showing some life.
In addition to the tornado of Mother’s Day this area has been pounded by big storms for several weeks now. We happily missed the tornado, but had two severe thunderstorm warnings during our one week stay. We understand that is not the fault of the campground but the potential of more severe weather pretty much deflated the camping experience here for us.
I was told by management that the tornado has spurred several big projects for the campground. In addition to insurance money, more money is coming in to upgrade much of the campground. I hope that some of that goes into leveling the campsites, fixing the roads, and upgrading the electric so there are more 50 amp sites. I’ll look forward to making a return visit and seeing all that has been done – and, I certainly hope, enjoying the campground without having to keep such a close eye on the weather.
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