Austin Lake RV Park – Toronto, OH
The sites at Austin Lake RV Park are so tiny that in our small hybrid camper, our bed was about 2 feet from the gazebo at the site next to us, and the slide of the camper on the other side was overhanging onto our site.
There is no traditional one-way loop for traffic. This means that if your site is near the entrance (ours was) you get tons of traffic from both directions. Cars, bikes, golf carts, etc. non-stop. The bath house does not have free hot water for showers. You must pay $0.50 for five minutes of hot water. Seriously?
There is no sign at wrong-turn. GPS/Google maps/etc. send you the wrong way. The owner knows this and puts this information on the map you receive when you check in. However, that’s not very helpful when you’re on your way there and don’t have that map yet. There is one wrong turn by a baseball field, which we took. We got stuck on a hill pulling our camper, and had to be towed over it. The people that helped us out said that it happens all the time. People are constantly making that wrong turn. I don’t think it would be difficult to put a sign at the turn indicating that to get to Austin Lake you should continue straight, not turn as indicated by your GPS.
There is an entrance fee. You pay $3.75 to enter the park, THEN pay to do each individual activity. Our family paid for a pavilion for our reunion, but each attendee also had to pay to enter the park.
As far as the activities… The tube slide is advertised for 4 and up, but the children aren’t allowed to drag the tube back up the hill. They aren’t allowed flip it up the hill like a tire flip. They aren’t allowed to put it on its side and roll it up the hill. They must pick it up and carry it up the hill. What four year old can do this? Heck, what 10 year old can do this? When we complained, the owner said, “Well you should just carry it up the hill for them. That’s what I’d do for my boys.” Really? For hours you would carry a tube up the hill, then walk back down to meet them at the bottom to carry it up again? Also, the tube slide is run by the concession workers. At one point, my kids were told they were no longer allowed to slide because the worker had to go back to the concession stand.
Wifi… it’s pretty much non-existent. Instead of setting up one network with multiple access points, it’s set up as multiple networks. So every time you move from one area to another, you have to switch which network you’re connected to. And there is zero overlap, so if your campsite is on the fringe of a network (ours was), the signal isn’t strong enough to stay connected, but you aren’t close enough to the next network to connect to it, either. Because there is no cell service at all, you’re reliant on this “wifi” for any sort of communication. Be prepared to walk to another area of the campground to have a strong enough signal to be able to connect.
The fire ring at the camp site was very nice. The proximity of the creek to our campsite was fun. There are lots of things to do to keep kids busy if you’re willing to pay extra. Multiple playgrounds (free) that are mostly newer nice ones with a few older, but still serviceable ones, mixed in.
I understand that it’s a business, not a non-profit organization, but it felt like every single thing was done solely for how much revenue it could generate. I would’ve rather paid a little more for the campsite and had free hot water, reliable wifi, a little bit more space, etc.