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Suzi’s Blog

The U.S. National Forest Campgrounds Guide website,, is a wealth of information about developed campgrounds in all 176 national forests and grasslands across the country. It is basically an encyclopedia, straight forward and impersonal. Suzi’s Blog adds a little personal touch to the website with postings about our experiences, adventures, and discoveries along with other postings related to camping, national forests and grasslands, and family fund.

I am Suzi Dow and I hope you will find something interesting, something helpful, something informative, but mostly something that will help you get out and discover our national forests and grasslands.

Busy Backseat Map activity for children

Avoid the “Are we there yet?” from the backseat by providing each child with their own map each morning at breakfast. (I provide a map of our “before lunch” route to one child and an “after lunch” map to the other one.) You can print such a map from Google maps on the internet or   Read More >>

Entertaining children while camping

Frankly, when camping with my grandchildren, all I need to do is find a clear flowing creek with a sandy bottom and they are entertained for hours.  I think they are all part waterbug.  But here are some other ways I have found that do entertain those children when on dry land: – An inexpensive   Read More >>

Modernize & upgrade of nf recreation sites – Good/Bad/Whatever?

Just heard about a movement by private industry to “modernize and upgrade national forest recreation sites, particularly campgrounds and marinas.” Full hookups, wifi, yurts, and the list goes on. Sounds good, but it means the campground or marina would be privatized, meaning handed over to a concessionaire, for upwards of 20 years. FYI: One of   Read More >>

Vermont Country Store

When we research a campground, we always ask about things to do near that campground.  Vermont Country Store, in Weston, VT, is close to the Green Mountain National Forest’s  Hapgood campground and a must.  This is a store you could spend all day browsing through and still feel like there is more to explore.  Wood   Read More >>

Water Pump – A solution that works

Years ago,  a neighbor gave me a lecture on how to conserve water while washing dishes.  I just smiled and let her talk.  As a long time camper, conserving water while washing dishes has become a way of life.  I mean, if you want to teach people how important it is to conserve water while   Read More >>

How’s attendance at your favorite national forest?

Friday, July 13, 2011, USAToday ran a story titled “More people visit national parks but spend less time in them.”  Meghan Hoyer, author of this article states, “While the National Parks have seen an uptick in visitors over the past two decades, the time spent per visitor has dropped nearly 15%. Officials say a decrease   Read More >>

White Mountain NF’s Become a Junior Ranger Program

Camping near us in White Mountain NF was a family of five.  After a third rainy morning, my heart went out to that family and, during our meeting with the District folks, I asked if Smokey might has some “stuff” to help entertain that soaked family.  They handed me a “Junior Forest Ranger Activity Booklet.”   Read More >>

White Mountain NF is loaded with waterfalls

Our stay in the White Mountain National Forest was great, wet but super.  It is a great national forest but day after day of rain seriously limited our plans of hiking.  I had hoped to do a couple with waterfalls as their destination (figured all that rain would make the waterfalls impressive) would be rewarding.   Read More >>

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Fred and Suzi Dow