Alabama Campground Wins 'Readers Choice' Contest
When Ed Rose lived in Columbus, Ohio, working in the ministry, people used to come up to him and say, "We've got to go to Alabama."
Rose found out quickly after coming to Alabama and Mountain Lakes Resorts on Guntersville Lake in nearby Langston, according to The Huntsville Times.
"We would come down here with our ministry and come to Mountain Lakes," Rose said. "And we kept coming back. In fact, we couldn't wait to get back. North Alabama is beautiful. At Mountain Lakes, you've got the lake view with the sunsets and everything else here.
"I moved here six or seven years ago and my gosh, I don't intend to leave."
Of course, Rose is the marketing/sales director at Mountain Lakes Resorts, but he's also preaching to the choir of readers who voted Mountain Lakes the best campground in The Huntsville Times' Readers Choice contest.
"We're thrilled to win the award," Rose said. "We think we are the best. It's a great honor for us."
Mountain Lakes is a private members resort located about 50 miles from Huntsville. It's on the main channel of the Tennessee River with almost a half-mile of shoreline on Guntersville Lake.
In short, it's the Hyatt of camping grounds, a step above throwing up a tent or parking the RV and chillin' by the river or lake. It's also what Rose calls a "wholesome family environment" with lots of activities to supplement the camping experience in a secure environment. There's even 24-hour security.
"We're a five-star resort," Rose said. "We're probably in the top 10% of all campgrounds in the U.S. We're also affiliated with the Resorts of Distinction, which are the upper quality campground resorts in the country based on a criteria they set."
Once you get there, you realize Mountain Lakes is different. It features 215 full hook-up, pull-through RV sites plus 30 different rental accommodations, including two bunkhouses that sleep 16 and 23 people, condos, two-bedroom singlewides, efficiency cabins and tent camping.
There's also a two-story clubhouse, Country Cafe and general store, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, boat launches and slips, sports courts — including basketball, tennis, shuffle board, volleyball, horseshoes and mini golf — a playground, game room and teen center, adult activity center and fitness room, a chapel with regular Sunday services, mid-week Bible study and gospel singing concerts throughout the year.
Rose said the MVP of the resort is the activities director, who makes sure everyone has fun.
"Sometimes when you go camping, the kids are bored silly," Rose said. "You have a creek bank and fire burning and nothing else to do. We've got activities and a game room and a place where kids are entertained."
Of course, Rose emphasizes Mountain Lakes isn't "party central," and quiet time starts around 11 p.m. each night.
So how much does all this fun cost? It's not cheap, but if you like to camp and vacation, it's worth it. Families can activate a special membership for $775, which gives them a lifetime membership valued at $2,995 and also includes the first year's maintenance fee of $475.
Mountain Lakes Resort is also offering Times' readers a free four-day, three-night camping visit, or a 10% discounted stay in one of their rental units.
You can rent cabins, condos and bunkhouses at the resort starting at just $25 a night. For more information, go to mountainlakesresort.net.