Quick report: River Bend camping with a kid at Folks Fest

So, since I had many questions about camping at River Bend with a kid, I thought I’d give a quick report on my experience in case it helps for someone next year…

I showed up Thursday morning at 7:30 to find 5 or 6 folks already waiting. Things were really casual and we were able to walk around and check the lay of the land before they let us in. The space is really amazing – lots of great, soft grass and a tape line keeping folks from setting tents up on the lower level down by the river. Supposedly, the west side was reserved for families, but the volunteers said that it wasn’t worth the bother, and they suggested going to one side or another if we wanted to avoid any noise from people playing by the firepit. Turns out there were no late night jams (or if there were, they were very quiet.) Later I heard that they didn’t mean to let people camp on the west end, but there were a half dozen tents set up over there. (There was a bit of shade there, but no new sod.)

When 9:00am rolled around, there were about 20 people there, so the rush for a good space was all but non-existent. Plenty of shade was available (including under the large events tent that is there semi-permanently.) Some folks laid out tarps to stake out their space, most set up tents. Things filled in a bit over the weekend, but it was not that bad (there was even enough space for one group of teenagers to play a small game of lacrosse.) According to one volunteer, they had 700 campers for Rockygrass and only 200 for Folks Fest.

Unlike Meadow Park, River Bend had river access this year which meant that with the gentle waters, we were easily able to tube from the festival grounds to the campsite. I splurged for the parking pass, and was glad I did when we needed a place to shelter when a storm started Friday with a lightning bolt hitting a tree directly across the creek from us as we sat outside. (If you go, look up on the ridge for a pine tree with no needles.)

As for amenities, there were no showers, just port-o-lets and a water tap over by the west side. In addition to the parking lot, there were a number of cars parked over on the west side. The whole site was pretty quiet and everyone I met was super friendly (big surprise). Other than the lack of showers, my main complaint was that despite the volunteers saying the site was non-smoking, folks were smoking around the tents, which was a bit frustrating at times.

So, in the end, I was extremely glad I chose River Bend (over Meadow Park) as it was scenic, quiet and had great river access. My daughter loved it, too!


Thanks for The info on River Bend.