Review of Indian Trails Campground in Pardeeville, WI

Indian Trails marked our first camping outing. My husband had a meeting in Portage, WI for the WFSCA on a Sunday so we thought it would be a good adventure to camp somewhere down there. The nearest campground that sounded good was Indian Trails in Pardeeville, WI. Let me tell you, that’s about all that’s in Pardeeville, but that’s just fine with me. I like small towns.

I have to tell you how we arrived at Indian Trails. It stormed the afternoon we were to arrive, so we held off until the early evening. We set out and arrived at the campground at about 8:00pm. It had just finished down pouring there. When I checked our family in, I mentioned that we were rookies and probably would need advice in setting up. The owner Myrna called someone on the phone, who I learned later was her husband Dave, to meet us down at the site.

As a rookie camper, here are my initial mistakes:

  1. Arriving that late. We were our camper up for the first time in the dark. Boy, does that sound dumb.
  2. We brought nothing to level out the camper. I just figured, “Eh, what’s a few inches one way or the other?”
  3. I read the campground map wrong and told my husband to go down a narrow winding dirt path that turned out to be a dead end (It was our first time pulling our 26ft camper & I sent us down a dead end at night.).

So I’m sure you can imagine the status of our marriage at this point. 🙂 I was feeling like the Grandmother in Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” when she realizes she took the family on a horrible road trip to an old farm house, only to realize she had the wrong state. I felt the same way at that moment.

Anyway, as we were sitting in the dark on the dead end road, a red jeep pulled up and a friendly man (Dave) asked if we could turn around. My husband muttered yes and shot me a look. I was contemplating just setting up shop right where we were, which would have been less than scenic. In the morning I walked back to that location to discover it was a dog park. 🙂

So we followed Dave to our site. Thankfully there were several sites in that area open so we could pull through. Dave helped us get set up right away and he seemed friendly enough. It was probably a long day for him and what a way to end it. Dave looked at the level on our camper and noticed we were tipped to one side significantly. I was thinking, “Yeah, so?” He asked if we brought leveling blocks. Blank stares. He drove back up to the shop and cut boards for us. We drove up on the boards (as my eyes were very wide) and wah-lah! We were level. Then he looked for the level that tells us if the camper is even from front to back. He asked us where that was. Blank stares. He drove back up to the shop to get his level. After that was finished, he showed us how to unhook the trailer, hook up the water, and connect the electricity. By this time I was so frazzled I was afraid to even plug in the trailer without his approval. Throughout all that, he kept a smile.

The next morning we woke up to a pleasant morning at the campground!

Pros:

  1. The staff. No surprise, huh? I’m sure Dave probably isn’t real happy that I’m advertising his late night RV setup service, but hopefully this won’t become a popular trend! The staff at the whole campground was nice. We never had a bad interaction.
  2. The scenery. It’s just a pretty place to be. The lake in the center is so nice and you can walk around the whole pond. What a nice property to own! There are playgrounds on both sides. We were at 63 or 64 and that was just fine by me. No one was in that whole section. We never really ventured out into the 200’s to look at sites, but based on the rest of the campground, everything seemed nicely spaced. Granted we were there April 30th – May 1st, not really a busy time for camping. I still think there isn’t a bad site in the place. The map makes it look like we were really far from the pond, but we were not whatsoever. I could probably throw a softball into the lake from our site. Don’t forget to bring your fishing poles!
  3. The pool. Because we arrived so early, it was too cold to swim outside. Never mind that, the indoor pool was just fine. There are two cautions – It was cold that particular weekend and there is no shallow end, in my opinion, for kids under 10. I liked being able to sit in the cafe or game room and look in the pool.
  4. The cafe. It was good food and very affordable! We brought plenty of food, but I wanted to have a family order of french fries. We placed our order on the phone from our site and walked up in a few minutes to pick it up.
  5. The two Shriner fellas selling dressings at the entry. We bought a sweet vidalia onion dressing that is unbelievable. I haven’t tasted anything that good. I have often thought about taking a pilgramage back just to get this dressing.
  6. The bark park. This is the only campground that I’ve seen this at. We camp with a springer spaniel. She is wonderful to camp with! The Bark Park was a special treat to her. It even has a few obstacles for a energetic pooche.
  7. The weekend activities. We went too early to enjoy these, but as you can see there are activities each weekend. Even if you go during the week, there are plenty of other things to do (boat rental, mini-golf, et cetera).
  8. Their website. Over this summer, I’ve been doing a lot of web surfing, looking at various campsites. For those part, I find campground websites to be merely informative, not inspiring. This campground’s website offers LOTS of photographs to give the potential visitor an idea of the property.
  9. The bathroom/showers. I am learning that most campgrounds have these annoying shower facets that you have to press once a minute. Indian Trails showers, at least the ones by our site, had a nice long timer. I think I only pressed it once! They are individual showers with doors. No slimy curtains! They are modern – tiled walls and floors. All summer I haven’t seen campground bathrooms that nice.

Cons:

  1. Wifi. They only offer WIFI in the cafe and game room, which is fine. We came up there twice and it didn’t work either time. The staff said they needed to reset the router, but  I never did get the laptop connect. I wasn’t desperate to get online anyway, so we just moved on with another activity.

All in all, we will be back several times. This is the first place we went and I suspect it will be hard for all other campgrounds to top this one. Because we went before peak season, the rate was dirt cheap with a rate right under 26 dollars a night. Indian Trail’s beauty, facility, and staff will surely make for a fabulous vacation.

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