Campground Website: McKinney COE Campground
From I-75 Exit 278 go north on Glade Road SE then turn left on Kings Camp Road SE to McKinney Campground Road SE and follow the signage. There is a three lane parking area to the right as you approach the check in station. Also there is an additional parking area to the left prior to the check-in station.
Date(s) of Stay: April 3, 2016 arrival; April 5, 2016 departure
Located on the banks of Allatoona Lake and just 30 miles from Atlanta, McKinney Campground offers 150 campsites. Both pull thru and back in sites are available, each with water, electric (30/50 amp), a fire ring and picnic table. Many of the sites are waterfront providing beautiful views of the lake. There is an entrance gate which is locked from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Standard rates are $26-$30 and are available here. Note that with the America the Beautiful Senior Pass, there is a 50% discount. Our “premium” site was $30/day but with the pass, we paid only $15/day. As with all COE campgrounds, “the same customer or family member (living in the same household) cannot stay in the same facility for more than 14 days. The customer must leave the facility for 16/17 days before returning.”
Overall Impression – 3/5
This federal campground is nice but is quite close to Atlanta and attracts a lot of visitors. Even mid-week it was pretty busy here with lot of families, but we think perhaps we hit it during the local spring break. Our impression was that at busy times it will get quite zooish here and it is not all that peaceful with noise from boats, trains and planes, not to mention the camping masses, plus partying at the marinas across the lake.
Driving a big rig here is not a problem but may be intimidating to the uninitiated. Interior roads are a bit narrow with a lot of twists, turns and elevation changes. With two way traffic, the roads were barely wide enough for a car in some spots, never mind a big rig. We would have to say that while this park is certainly big rig accessible it is NOT big rig friendly.
Being an older park there is a lot of variability in site size and quality and finding an appropriate site for a big rigs could be a bit iffy, so choose carefully.
Size – 3/5
Sites vary significantly in size, shape and levelness and tended to follow the rather hilly terrain. Many were a decent size with adequate spacing between them and we noticed several fairly level pull thru and back in sites. Most pull thrus were loops parallel to the road and some had steep curves and/or significant elevation changes. When picking out a site online pay attention to site length but be aware levelness is usually not described. Our pull thru site #43 had a curved but reasonably level entrance, but was steeply sloped and curved at the exit, so in our case it was best to back out (that wasn’t a problem) to avoid damage to our towing gear (and paint!).
Privacy – 3/5
Depends on the site, lots of variability for that too. Many have trees and shrubs between them to provide privacy while others don’t. With some it doesn’t matter because of the way the site is angled or situated providing ample buffering between you and your neighbor.
Convenience – 4/5
About a 20 minute (4.5 mile) drive to the nearby town of Acworth where you can find all the conveniences for shopping (Walmart, Publix, and other retail) as well as restaurants.
Physical Surroundings – 4/5
Nice woodsy setting on a busy lake in the rolling hills of Georgia.
Maneuverability and Roads – 3/5
Driving a big rig here is not a problem but may be intimidating to the uninitiated. Narrow, hilly, twisty 2 lane roads driving from I-75 to the park. Even narrower two lane two way roads inside the campground which some may find scary to maneuver in a big rig. We would have to say that while this park is certainly big rig accessible it is NOT big rig friendly.
Peace & Quiet – 3/5
Despite the very close to nature setting, it is definitely not the quietest state park that we’ve been to thanks to the power boats and jet skis zooming at full speed to and from the marinas across the lake, the whistles of trains rumbling through the town of nearby Acworth, the commercial aircraft which fly overhead frequently landing/departing at the Atlanta airport and sometimes the traffic noise (depending on which way the wind is blowing). Across the lake there are several marinas which we have read can generate a lot of noise from parties at the docks. We were here off season so we thankfully didn’t get to experience that. The park seems pretty popular, so at peak times it probably can be quite noisy just from the camping masses.
Utilities – 3/5
- Sewer – none
- Satellite – a few sites might be ok, most will not. We could hit only the DISH 119 and that was due to a lucky “hole” in the tree cover.
- WiFi – none
- Cellular signal – Good 3 bar Verizon 4G inside and outside without a booster. This may vary throughout the campground. At the nearby Red Top Mountain Park we had only 1x Verizon.
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – Poor to none. We locked in on NBC but it was in and out.
- Power – Very Good. Stable 121+ volts on both legs, no errors
- Water Pressure/Quality – Good pressure 40+ no significant off odors and no turbidity.
What We Liked
– Lovely views of the lake from our mostly private site
– Woodsy lakeside setting
What We Didn’t Like
– Narrow roads difficult for driving a big rig and dangerous for walking
– Noise level from boats, trains, planes and people
– Woodsy setting interfered with satellite reception
– Variable level sites often with a steeply sloped entrance and/or exit.
Would We Return
We enjoyed our stay very much but I don’t think we would come here again unless it was a slow period and we had several sites to choose from.