2019 – Circle M Thousand Trails – Lancaster, PA


The best thing about Circle M Thousand Trails is its location on the west side of Lancaster, PA. There’s a lot to see and do in the area. The campground itself has a few quirks that can be a challenge – or at least a surprise to a first time visitor.

Right off you want to know that the entrance to the campground is off a hilly curve on a rather busy road, Highway 741. Most people arrive from the north, driving in off of Highways 30 or 283 which means a drive through a busy area and then a hard left turn across that busy road in which the oncoming traffic is coming around a curve and down a hill. The turn in is really wide but you need to basically do a 180 degree turn in a rather tight area to enter the campground. If someone is exiting the campground as you are entering, you will likely need to sit back a ways while traffic backs up behind you while you let them get out. With our motorhome and car in tow I barely had enough room to make that big turn. All this is quite doable – as many people do it all the time, but if a person arrives at the turn without any prior knowledge of what is coming things could get dicey.

Circle M is one of the Thousand Trails that is assigning types of sites based on the RV. It also has many sites down along the Conestoga River which borders the property on three sides. The river sites are all water/electric only and most are “parallel parking” on the grass along the road. The sites across the road from the river aren’t especially level. Those that are back in sites there are almost all uphill. Honestly, the area is best for smaller campers and tents although I saw several larger rigs there.

The rest, and majority, of the campground is made up of a mixture of back in and parallel parking sites. Many of them aren’t very level. If you arrive when things aren’t real busy you won’t have any problem finding a nice spot. If you arrive after a busy weekend has started you may have to take what you can get.

The facilities at Circle M are top notch. There are two pools, including an indoor pool. There are activity rooms, a nifty covered min-golf course, a nice basketball and tennis court, a store, and a restaurant. There’s a “foot golf” course that looked like it would be a lot of fun but we only saw one or two groups trying it out. Our Verizon signal was poor and data was slow. We decided to try the paid WiFi. The startup was a bit of a challenge but once we figured out how to connect (and re-connect, which was the biggest challenge) it was okay if not great. My satellite TV setup was easy enough.

We had the misfortune of being at Circle M during a record setting heat wave. Our electric held up quite well in spite of the campground being full and everyone’s a/c being taxed to the limit.

Over all, we’ve been in better campgrounds so far as the sites in particular are concerned. However, we think that the great location and good facilities do make this a desirable campground.

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