"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Day Three at Spruce Row Campground -- We hit a few roadbumps and make a big splash

by Jim Bessey

The Cement Pond Spruce Row Campsite Ithaca NY
The Cement Pond at Spruce Row (website photograph)

We've spent two nights at Spruce Row Campground and RV Park, just north of Ithaca, NY. Both nights have been gorgeous. The first morning didn't go so well, though.

Make no mistake: this is a lovely campground. It's big and green, has a dandy pool (more on that in a minute), and enough shade to dodge the harshest sun. Oh, but the showers--not so good.

The showers are old, and weren't high budget to begin with. But, for me, as long as there's some hot water I'm okay. A little water pressure never hurts, either. Unfortunately, these facilities have neither force nor heat. Have to admit, that's a risk you take when you go camping. We found a fix for that...

The pool! I read one disparaging review of that pool online, before we arrived. Let me just offer my opinion to the contrary, loud and clear. It's a great pool.

They call it The Cement Pond, like in the Beverly Hillbillies. Turns out, it really is a cement pond. The owners dug a hole the right size and shape and poured concrete to fit. It takes you a minute or two to get used to the idea, but it works very well.

All four sides of the "pond" are step-tapered into the water. The shallow end goes from zero inches to about two feet, and the deep end bottoms out at seven feet. You can perch a lawn chair at the edge and let your feet trail into the water, all the way around.

The water itself was just plain perfect, maybe 80 degrees. It was heavenly. We'd swim a bit, then lounge on one of the sloped sides, then plunge back in again. Loved every minute of it, and I'm headed back soon to cool off again. (We still have temps in the low 90s today.)

As for the bumps...well. I understand about Slow Down and Speed Limit 5 mph. Every campground has trouble with drivers in a hurry. But this place has some serious speed bumps. Even carefully easing the truck and camper over these rattles things loose inside both vehicles. Some are about 8 inches tall; I measured. Ouch!

So that's where we're at. A couple small complaints, and one great big Oh Yeah! for the pool. Anyone for water polo?

How about you? Do you have a campground review you'd like to share? If you'd like to submit your review for posting, you can reach me via Comments or by using the link at the top of this page.


  1. HI Jim! GREAT post and review!
    I believe a good old 'cement pond' is a wonderful thing when the temperature hits the 90's ! As for the showers, cold water, low pressure encourages the judicious use of water! Good plan, isn't it?
    Some entrepreneurs get a little too serious about speed bumps. Such is life, drive carefully!
    Sounds like you're enjoying yourselves for a change! Enjoy! No wonder we like camping better! ":) ~R

  2. How nifty! Glad you're having fun.