Campground Website: East Bank COE Campground
Dashcam Video: Eastbank COE approach, drive thru and exit
Getting Here: A bit off the beaten path but worth it! If you come to Eastbank DO NOT let your GPS direct you for the final stretch after exiting I-10, even if you have entered the Lat/Lon – it may lead you astray or down some undesirable roads. Our Garmin was way off, although Google Maps on Android was mostly right on. You can follow the directions on recreation.gov, or to avoid some narrow shoulderless roads, we suggest following our preferred route below:
If traveling eastbound on I-10 we strongly suggest taking Exit 142 to SR71 north to US90 east. Likewise if heading westbound on I-10 take exit 192 to US90 or exit 181 to SR267 to US90. The distance is similar and US90 is a pleasant drive on a nice road with shoulders and in some places is 4 lane divided. Turn off US90 in Chattahoochee onto N Bolivar Street and follow the signs for the campground from there.
Date(s) of Stay: March1, 2016 arrival; March 5, 2016 departure; previous stays in February, 2012 and February, 2011.
East Bank Campground is located on Lake Seminole on the Georgia-Florida state line (about 50 miles northwest of Tallahassee) near the Jim Woodruff Dam and is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It has 64 sites with water and electric but there is a dump station as well. Most sites have 50A, water, a picnic table, a fire pit with grilling grate, a charcoal grill, a fish hanging pole and a fish cleaning or utility table.
There aren’t a lot of amenities but it is a lovely, very relaxing place to stay. Seminole Lake has a surface area of 37,500 acres with 376 miles of shoreline making it a popular spot for fishing, camping, boating, picnicking, hiking, biking and birding.
There are three loops in the campground, A, B and C. Some of the sites on the A & C loops are right on the lake and many are direct waterfront, while the B loop is towards the back of the campground and is away from the water. B loop would be the least desired from our perspective, but I don’t think there is a bad site here depending on your particular likes.
In the image below the A loop is at the top left, the C loop the bottom left and the B loop on the right.
Our rate here for a waterfront site was $11. The normal rate is $22 but a 50% discount is offered to the holders of the Federal Senior America the Beautiful pass.
Overall Impression – 4/5
Two years has passed since our last visit. As we pulled into our site which was right on the water, I was wondering why we waited so long to come back! Guess it just didn’t work into our itinerary. Eastbank is a beautiful and peaceful campground, a great place to commune with nature, relax and unwind. It is not the place to go if you want to go shopping or eating out.
Sites are generally spacious with mostly cement pads and pea stone patio areas and are surrounded by grass. There is no vegetation to provide privacy but it doesn’t matter because in most cases there is a wide buffer on both sides of the site. Besides visiting the dam, there is not a lot to do or see in the area so it is easy to just sit and relax outside on the banks of the lake watching the coots float by and the beautiful sunsets.
Size – 4/5
Sites range in size from 40′ to 100′ in length so no problems for a big rig on most, but some are smaller so be sure to check (the site lengths are listed on recreation.gov). Some of the sites have full concrete slabs, while others are packed gravel or crushed asphalt. Plenty of room between most sites.
Privacy – 3/5
There’s no vegetation between most of the sites so there is no privacy but in most cases the sites are far enough apart so this wasn’t a problem in our opinion.
Amenities – 3/5
50/30/20A Electric and Water only at the sites. A dump station is provided but it is at the top of the hill near the entrance gate. Flush toilets, showers and drinking water at two bath houses, one also has laundry facilities. A group picnic shelter and boat ramp are also available.
Convenience – 3/5
Getting here is a bit off the beaten path but worth the trouble. The small town of Chattacoochee is nearby but there isn’t a lot there. There are a few small restaurants, a Subway, a small Food Mart and a CVS. Larger grocery stores, Walmart, etc. are about 21 miles away in Bainbridge. Many of the businesses seem to be closed on Sundays.
Physical Surroundings – 5/5
Beautiful, natural setting on the lake shore teeming with birds and other wildlife. Tall pine trees create a pleasant wooded environment. The dam is within view of the campground but is not unpleasant to look at in our opinion.
Maneuverability and Roads – 4/5
Big rig friendly in general. Main roads are paved and fairly wide although the loop roads, while one way, are a bit narrow. Turning from the main road to the entrance to C loop is a bit tight but easily doable for a big rig if you approach carefully. Maneuvering into the campsites is generally easy due to the appropriate angling of the back in site driveways. There are a few pull thru sites of the parallel loop variety, some of which may be a bit troublesome for a large rig. Site C24 in particular is shaped such that a big rig can certainly pull in, but may need to back out – not a problem in our book as this is one of the best sites here. Note that after you check in at the gatehouse and start the trip to your site you will be greeted by a long fairly steep hill down to the water. This is not a problem but make sure your brakes are in good working order!
Peace & Quiet – 4/5
Very quiet and peaceful setting. No noticeable road noise, trains or planes.
Utilities – 3/5
- Sewer – no sewer, dump station near gatehouse.
- Satellite – should be no problem for most sites. On site C31 we had a clear view of the southwestern sky and received all three sats (110/119/129) on the DISH Western Arc.
- WiFi – none
- Cellular signal – marginal Verizon inside and out, some calls dropped. LTE 4G data good with booster.
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – Basic CBS, ABC, NBC only with careful antenna pointing.
- Power – Very good 123+ volts, 50/30/20 amp with breakers
- Water Pressure/Quality – good pressure, 40+ psi, no odors, good clarity.
What We Liked
– Waterfront sites
– Spacious sites
– Peaceful and pleasant setting
What We Didn’t Like
– Far away from conveniences, but unless you need something who cares!