In our years of RV’ing, we have camped in gorgeous, leafy state campgrounds as well as cramped, inner-city campgrounds next to overflowing dumpsters. Thankfully, Carter Cave State Resort Park, between Lexington, Kentucky, and Charleston ,West Virginia, provided a wide-open site, surrounded by trees and grass.
As you can guess by the park name, several caves are available for exploring. One guided tour warned that the strenuous tour, “requires crawling on your stomach through narrow, wet, muddy spaces.” The description went on to say, “The cave is really cold, rocky and dusty.”
Yes, we passed on that tour! If you have adventurous children, they might be interested in a Kid’s Crawl Tour where they crawl through small dark passages lit only by flashlights. No parents allowed!
Exploring Above Ground
We did take one of the numerous hikes throughout the park. Easy-to-spot signs let you pick trails ranging from one-half to 3.5 miles. Our hike lead us to a sandstone arch, Raven Bridge, where you get a feel for the vast geologic formations above and below ground. While we stayed at the 89-site campground with our El Monte RV, some people stay in the lodge and enjoy their private balconies.
Whether camping or enjoying the air-conditioned lodge, the park also offers horseback riding, golf, birding and fishing. Kids enjoy spending time in the swimming pool, an unusual feature at a state campground.
I loved watching the family next to our campsite interact with each other as they returned from a hike. Dad semi-skillfully peeled potatoes with a huge carving knife while mom and the kids put meat and carrots in aluminum foil pouches. While the meal bubbled over the barbecue, everyone played Apples for Apples and laughed at their wacky answers. Sure beats sitting around the TV!
Other Campsite Options
If you are in the Lexington area, Carter Cave State Resort Park is worth a visit. Maybe you’ll be brave enough to sign up for the cave tour that requires you to crawl on your belly through the mud!
We stopped at this state park because it happened to be on our route. Another option is to check out the Go RV’ing website and find out information on campgrounds across the country. Simply put in your state and where you want to camp. You’ll be amazed at the wide range of campgrounds offered, from luxury “glamping” campgrounds, to rustic, back-to-nature sites with out houses! Go RV’ing also gives helpful information on items to pack when camping and ways to keep kids engaged in the outdoor experience.