We were a bit late in finding a site near the Hershey RV show and we did not want to boondock at the show itself. We found a place to hangout for a few nights at the Lancaster/New Holland KOA.
Although the weather forecast was originally sunny and warm, we found a mostly cloudy and overcast weather pattern for our stay. No rain, but most of the scenery was tempered by a greyish mood to the light.
The New Holland area is home to Lancaster County’s Amish community. It is really quite a beautiful area and we will go back so that we can spend a lot more time here. The Discover Lancaster website is a good resource if you are thinking about travelling in this area.
We loved the area. We had a quiet campground with awesome views of the countryside. It felt private and it was also very quiet. The customer service at this KOA? About what I expected when reading the reviews for this campground. Mixed. If all you need is a place to park for a few nights and nothing else, then this place is fine. If you need anything outside of the basics, be warned. Bonnie, who has a bit of a reputation online, is not what I would consider to be a customer focused individual.
That said, we were gone for most of our time here. It took us about an hour to drive to the Hershey RV from this campsite. And we left early and returned late each day that we were here.
On our first night, we enjoyed a meal at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord.
Oh my goodness. What a place.
Good thing that we had not eaten very much that first day. So much great food!
Shady Maple is very popular so best to avoid it on the weekends.
So, without further fanfare, here is our review of the Lancaster/New Holland KOA.
Overall I would rate this park 7.5 out of 10.
We don’t mind paying more for a nice experience however this campground is overpriced. We paid $87 per night presumably for the view and the location. There is really not much else to this KOA. A basic gravel pull-through site with full hook-ups. Water pressure was low at our site and we elected to fill our freshwater tank and run off the internal water pump.
The park was well maintained. And it was very quiet. Not much in the way of kids probably because there is nothing for them to do here. Which suits us fine. We enjoy quiet and peaceful surroundings and this KOA delivers exactly that.
Getting into the Park
Be prepared for an adventurous drive getting to this campground. I have never seen such a convoluted route on a GPS. We were coming southbound on I-81 and spent almost 2 hours after leaving the Interstate to get to this KOA. We must have crossed every possible turnpike and roadway in this part of Pennsylvania. Tight roads, lots of hills, numerous small towns. If you are driving a big rig, well, let’s just say the drive to the campground will be a bit challenging.
This KOA is located in the country. It is near the small community of New Holland and it is actually a fair distance from Lancaster. We thought that we would have a relatively moderate drive of 6 hours or so. It took us more than 10 hours to get here. The toughest part of the drive was the last 2 hours. The Interstate was smooth for the most part although there was an extensive amount of construction work on the bridges of I-81 that proved interesting for a big rig. Someone needs to tell those highway folks to put the cones on the other side of the lane marker. We hit several areas where the cones were set inside our lane by a good foot or so making it very tough to stay between the lines.
Although complicated to get to this site from the Interstate, this part of Pennsylvania is truly beautiful. Wonderful vistas for the passenger. For the pilot, well I had to stay pretty focused on the driving.
Pulling into the KOA you will find a barrier just before the office. We were let in as we had arrived during office hours. The office check-in was quick. We received a basic map and a keycard with a stern warning to bring it back or pay a $20 penalty.
We were assigned X10 although any of the sites from X1-X14 are nice. Great views in front and not tightly packed. Sites 32-41 are also very nice. Similar views as the X sites. Access to the gravel sites is via paved road. Our site was level and we had no issues pulling in and getting set up. One well used picnic table and one fire pit. No trees in the X sites.
Very quiet park catering more to older couples
Clean and well maintained
Good lot size and expansive views of the Amish countryside
Limited services and facilities so make sure that this park will work for you and your family
Lots of mixed reviews on the web in terms of customer service
Our customer service experience?
Well, we had rented a car from Enterprise. We needed to leave early Sunday morning and getting the car back to the rental agency would take us about 40 minutes out of our way. We had to make the drive home in one day and we knew from our experience coming down that the drive was more in the range of 8 – 10 hours.
Enterprise kindly offered to pick up the car at the campground. Leave the keys at the office, park the car outside the gate and they would come by and pick it up.
Only Bonnie would not support that kind act. Her view was that they were not in the car rental business and that they would not hold the keys nor would they allow the car to be left outside the gate.
Fair enough. But I really did not understand why this would be such an imposition.
We travelled all the way into New Holland to return the car and travelled all the way back before we could begin the drive home.
Not a big deal but just be warned. The reviews on this KOA are mixed and I can understand why. This won’t be the type of place that will look to go much beyond the basics.