In July 2019 we stayed at the Blackhawk RV Campground, which is a family campground that was purchased approximately four years ago by RV on the Go and added to the Encore property list. We stayed here as part of the Thousand Trails Collection pass that is added onto our base membership. There were no additional nightly fees beyond our “trails collection” pass, no daily resort fee, etc. We were very happy with the park overall. Through the “backway” you can get to Janesville in about 15 minutes from here and to a number of other tourist destinations in Southeast Wisconsin within an hour or less.
We actually ended up here because the Thousand Trails reservation system lost our reservation. Even though we had a reservation number they had no idea what happened, so they moved us from one campground to this one and we are very thankful for that effort. Getting moved to this campground was a great blessing, we will likely return to this campground annually as it is well-positioned to various sites such as Madison, East Troy, Lake Geneva, Milwaukee, and Janesville.
The campground has some structural issues with the historical amount of rain and floodwaters received this year. Talked with one of the younger staff here and he said that RV on the Go has put a lot of money already into making repairs since they bought the property and he also said the management has been great to work for here. We would have to agree, when we arrived we were given a spot in which we could not possibly level our motorhome on a slope. As well as the electrical pedestal had been damaged and they were not aware of that. So we had to be moved again. The staff worked hard on a Sunday night after the office closed to address the issue. Security and management were so accommodating.
Beware of what they refer to as “IV” (a/k/a Indian Village) area of the park. That is where they wanted to put us as a big rig because it was easy in and out. This is the bowl in which all of the rain for that section of the campground pools and it can get almost 2 feet deep with enough rain. When we arrived there was a small puddle and lots of mud. After a heavy overnight rain, we woke to find at least one RV island in the middle of a sizable pond about six inches deep. We were thankful we were up further on the hill away from this.
The park has a nice pool and an event pavilion, but that is about it for the amenities in the park. (If you don’t count that rain collection pond!) The beach was closed due to the flooding of the attached lake. Record high water levels in the area have really given trouble to this park. The sewer system has been destroyed and they offer a free “honey wagon” service. This actually is helpful, no need to pull out through the dump station when you leave. As a Thousand Trails park in the area, we saw many large rigs come and go here. The first thing many needed was this pump-out service.
Area Attractions and To Do’s
Without traffic, you can get from here to the core of Madison in about 35 minutes, with light traffic it is about 1 hour. Over the two week period, Jason commuted into the “city” five of the days. It is a solid hour (plus a little) to Milwaukee from this park, there are no direct routes to the East and you have to meander up to I-94. From here you are less than 30 minutes from the Illinois border and only about 5 minutes off of the interstate.
East Troy is a popular tourist destination in the area. Several things caught our eye there. Unfortunately, the East Troy Railroad Museum and the line were closed when we stopped in. This is one of the last remaining electrical service lines in Wisconsin (or the country?) there. That is right next to a great ice cream shop with authentic “soda jerk” service with old fashion ice cream and phosphate creations.
The July summer evenings lent for a great night to take off the top of the jeep and we enjoyed a quick drive back over to East Troy from the campground. There are numerous beautiful country backroads to enjoy. A must-visit for dinner when you are really hunger is Gus’ drive-in at East Troy. While it is now only counter service, the food is very amazing and you can eat under the watchful eye of a genuine Canadian “muffler man” that has been restored. There is an excellent set of informational signs along the side of the building telling the story of this muffler man’s find, restoration and repositioning to his new home.
About an hour to the East is the Lake Geneva area. This is where we took an ice cream cruise on Geneva Lake with a short narration about the lake and the amazing property that is on it. Does ice cream seem to be a theme around here? The tour takes you around the lake and gives you a new view on some of the most expensive property in Wisconsin. There are numerous companies that you can rent various types of boats and personal watercraft from, in addition to a number of lunch or dinner cruise options.
Even though we did not actually get there this time, we did add Old World Wisconsin to our map for a future stop.
- Milwaukee Grill – Janesville, Wisconsin: we stopped in here three times in two weeks it was so good. The service was also amazing. Limited handicap accessibility though. The potato pancakes were amazing.
- Anchor – Edgerton, Wisconsin: Frickles are good, but too spicy for Barb. The Victouriss was a good burger as well as the classic brat. Electric lemonade and island rum punch were really good too.
- Gus’s Drive-In – East Troy, Wisconsin: the patty melt and malts were pretty good. Check out their classic muffler man rescued from a scrapyard in Canada.
- J. Lauber’s Ice Cream Parlor – East Troy, Wisconsin: amazing ice cream creations from an iconic soda fountain set among a variety antiques including cameras, phones and a number of period pieces. The mint shake is not much chocolate and more like a classic grasshopper. “Beber” sundae was just ok. All and all great experience.