J&D Campground, Catawissa, PA

3

For going to Knoebels in Elysburg, PA – you basically have 3 camping options:

  1. Knoebels’ Campground
  2. Knoebels’ Lake Glory Campground
  3. J&D Campground

If I recall correctly, Knoebel’s Campground is electric only sites and can be snug for big rigs. Lake Glory has water and electric sites but very few with sewer hookups and even limited 50amp sites but they are definitely more big rig friendly. J&D Campground had the full-hookups that I prefer (including 50amp service) and was still quite close to Knoebels itself (in fact, it appeared to be closer than Lake Glory).

J&D Campground was a nice place for going to the amusement park. The sites that we were at were a little snug (especially with our opposing slides in the bunkhouse) but we still had a great time. Note for GPS folks: the campground is on the opposite side of the from which my GPS woman told me.

Sites (Fully gravel)

JD Campground - Site #22A
Site #22A, fully gravel from front to rear; a little snug width-wise

We seemed to be put into either a transient area or big rig area that was up front. The site itself was incredibly deep and the hookups were well placed (right about mid-ship for us which matches our hookups quite well). They weren’t very wide and were fully gravel (in fact, their rule is nothing can be setup on the grass). We backed to a field (which was good for the kids to burn off their s’mores energy!) and then a road. The road did bring some road noise with trucks and their jake brakes at night.

The fire pits were at the very back left corner of the site. This worked out that we used the area behind the camper as our nighttime congregating area – kicking back with a brew, roasting some hot dogs and relaxing (which was funny to do after a fully day at the park and leaving there at 9pm or later!).

Big Rig Friendly? (Yes)

Camp Fire Treat - Banana, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter
Camp Fire Treat – Banana, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter

We were in site #22A but we did drive around in just the truck or car to check out the other areas. There were limited other sites that we would fit, but not turns or curves that would seem problematic. Though, I do think that they keep these “A” sites dedicated to big rig folks- but that’s just my guess.

Bathrooms and Showers (Acceptable)

I didn’t use the bathhouses or showers, but friends who came with us did (we all wanted showers after our day at the park and 8 people showering one after another would have been painful so their family of 5 went up to the bathhouse). They didn’t come back with complaints which tells me they were acceptable to decent.

Amenities (Average)

4 Kids Playing in Storage Hatch
All the amenities you could want, and these 4 play in the storage hatch!

Our real reason for going was going to Knoebels- so we didn’t use anything but the pool. The pool itself was pretty tiny and crowded the day that we got in. I do recall it having short hours and would have liked it open a little longer on our non-park days. But, all told- it was fine.

Cell Phone Service (Not great)

My cell service was really dependent on where I was and if I was moving around. If I wasn’t out back of the camper and sitting still, I’d lose my call. Cell phone data was pretty abysmal. This was one place that the campground WiFi was slow, but still much better than cellular data.

Over-the-air TV Service & Cable (no OTA, cable was good)

This was actually the first that I ever had (or used) cable hook-ups at the site; in fact, my father-in-law had to bring me extra cable and a connector since mine was just about 2″ short. I was pretty much in awe that we received so many channels while camping!

Camp Store (Tiny to non-existent)

Across the road, maybe associated with the campground, was a RV Parts/Service place. The campground itself had little more than a check-in desk and ice cream case.

Overall Rating/Comments (4 out of 5 stars)

JD Campground - waiting for check-in time
Queue of campers waiting for check-in

I really liked it here (could be that we had excellent company – my in-laws for 2 nights and friends for another night). My biggest dings were the fairly tight site and to a lessor extent, the short pool hours. We got there after check-in time on our arrival day (we’re late risers and slow drivers) so we were pretty surprised when we checked-out on a Sunday to see a parking lot full of trucks and campers waiting to check-in at check-in time. The cable connection was a nice change of pace for us, though we still didn’t watch much TV at all.

Website/Address

J&D Campground

973 Southern Drive (Rt. 487)
Catawissa, PA. 17820
570-356-7700

3 COMMENTS

  1. My rating of J&D from this week was 2 out 5. Clean campground. Not much to do for kids. Pool small and limited hours. Sites were deep, but skinny. Lots of rules about being on grass, moving fire ring, etc. Once we moved camper to put fire ring where they wanted, our cable wire (purchased at their main office) didn't reach and sewer hose than ran uphill. Their placement of fire ring put our campfire dangerously close to neighbors extension and awning. We were told we couldn't move it. Staff and management were purely rude. Permanent campers children hung at pool and playground 24/7 and proceeded to fight and curse the entire time around my 3 & 7 year olds. which prevented us from using those areas. Knoebels Amusement Park was cool , fair prices, very cool rides. Employees for most part were miserably unhappy. We won't return.

  2. I had heard that they were sticklers about being on the grass. For us, the placement of the fire ring didn't pose a challenge but knowing some of the close quarters- I can see how you would have had an issue. I agree- we didn't like the short pool hours, especially in that we were there primarily for Knoebels. I don't think our kids used the playground but we didn't experience poor behavior at the pool. And our interactions with the staff were quick but pleasant. I can definitely see how you would have a sour review of the place given your experiences, though!

  3. Yeah, I think it could be a nice place…..but it needs some polish and fine-tuning. Management needs to take a more customer service oriented approach. Interactions with staff from our experience were short and curt, I wouldn't say pleasant.

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