Gay Camping?

I’m not for sure I would actually go through with this, but I would love any advice you guys could give me.  I have been considering taking a weekend vacation by myself, just to get away for a few days.  With little money to spend, I was considering going camping.  I can borrow some camping equipment (a tent and air mattress) from my sister, so it seems doable.  As I was looking at campgrounds, I found that there were four gay campgrounds here in Alabama.  Each is clothing optional and secluded.  Here are the four campgrounds and a description of each:

Private, membership only GLBT campground. 18+. Clothing optional, secluded, heavily wooded 40 acres. Mostly men, women welcome. Offering seasonal sites, tent sites, RV sites (some are pull through) with full hook-ups (30/50 amp electric, water & sewer) and cabins. Dump station, laundry, showers, swimming pool, hot tub, campfires. Clubhouse & Cabana Bar and Grill. Weekend DJ. TV Lounge. Day passes available.

Male only, 21+. Gated and secure clothing optional members only retreat on 44 acres in the Appalachian mountains. Open all year, membership is $15.00 for an entire year. Mix of singles & couples. Located atop Chandler Mountain, accommodations range from tent sites & bunkhouse, to basic cabins and deluxe cabins, pull thru RV & camper sites, with or without hook ups. Sites are available daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally & yearly. Day passes are also available. Club house, swimming pool, shower house plus outside showers. Fifty minutes from Birmingham.

A private retreat for adult men in a serene, stress-free environment. Lodge & camp located on 33 secluded, wooded acres two hours by car from Atlanta or Birmingham. Camp features trails and primitive tent camping sites, one RV hookup 30 amp electric & water, no septic dump (suitable for small RV or pop-up – this is not an RV camp.) RV campers and tent campers have access to kitchen, bathrooms, hot tub and swimming pool. Open weekends for day visitors. Overnight guests are welcome during the week by prior arrangement.  Drop-in visitors are discouraged – please call in advance.

Alabama’s newest private membership, clothing optional LGBT campground on 11.5 secluded acres on the Georgia border in Southeast Alabama. Lizard Landing is situated on the Omussee Creek, which feeds directly into the magnificent Chattahoochee River System. Amenities include 25 RV sites (all with city water), full septic hook-ups, and 30 or 50 AMP service. Other amenities include an in-ground pool, a clubhouse and gathering porch, plus 1850 feet of creek frontage. Guests can canoe and kayak from their docks to the Chattahoochee River (about 1/2 mile from the property). Lizard Landing is less than 2 miles from Columbia, AL, which is convenient for quick shopping trips, and only 18 miles from Dothan, Alabama. The campground is open 7 days a week, 12 months of the year.

So those are my options in Alabama.  Black Bear Camp Men’s Retreat is the closest to me, but all of them are within a 2-4 hours drive.  I’m not for sure though about the clothing optional part.  There is a large part of me who is very intrigued with the idea of returning to nature au natural, but another part of me is scared to death.  I’m not in the best shape, so will I be the only fat one there?  I know I’ve always heard that at most nudist areas, the men are not the most fit.  From what I can tell, Black Bear Camp Men’s Retreat is mostly a retreat for bears (the big hairy gay men, not the animal).  So would my out of shape body fit in, even though I’m not very hairy?  Do most people go fully nude at these places, or are their varying degrees of the amount of skin shown since it is clothing “optional”?  (Lizard Landing is the only one where nudity is restricted to the pool area only.) Also, if you go to the bar or cafe for dinner, are you expected to get dressed for dinner or go nude or nude to whatever degree?   It sounds like these places would have quite a sexually charged atmosphere, but any type of sexual activity is to be done in private, according to the rules posted on their websites.  Most have a “tool shed” or otherwise named playroom, and most have hiking trails which they each implies is for cruising.  Sexually charged or not, what do you do if you get a whopping erection?  Do you ignore it or use it to your advantage?  What is the etiquette here?  I’m very naive about these things.

I have so many questions.  I’ve researched online and read as much as I could about gay camping and the websites and reviews for each of the campgrounds above, but none of them answer my questions.  I’ve never gone to a nudist gathering, so I don’t know what to expect.  The only thing I really know about them (other than what I have read online) is from an episode of Golden Girls when they go to a resort and find out it is a nudist resort.  The ladies finally get the courage to leave their rooms without their clothes on, and they show up for dinner where everyone else is dressed.

Do any of you have any experiences with gay camping, especially in Alabama? Do you know of any other gay campgrounds in Alabama not listed on this site? Do any of you have any advice to share?  Let me know – leave a comment below.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

16 responses to “Gay Camping?

  • silvereagle

    Sorry…No experience!!! Let us know what you decide and your impression…

  • Adam

    I spent a weekend with friends at a men's only campground in West Virginia. It was a nice facility. Don't fret about clothing optional. Few were nude, and mainly only at the pool which provided some nice views. If your goal is to relax and socialize, be ready to introduce yourself to others. I found some very friendly folks, but you may have to take initiative. Many seemed to know each other well from being regulars. If you spring wood at the pool, you'll get a bit more attention, so enjoy it. Some gay campgrounds have dances and parties on weekends. If that's the case, you should attend even if you're not into that…it's another opportunity to meet others. It's a lot of work to set up tent, do cooking, etc. But worth the effort if you make yourself a little home away from home & meet others with similar interests.

  • Jay M.

    I think most clothing optional areas mean "nude". Certainly more will be naked than not. All levels of fitness. All of my visits have been coed, so can't speak specifically to men-only or even co-ed LGBT. If you are looking for a hookup, then discretion is necessary, as overt sexuality is typically "discouraged". "Get a tent" tends to be the rule. The all men places are probably a bit freer in this respect, though I doubt you'll see too many bending over tree trunks. How many of us really exhibitionists in that respect anyway?I'd say go for it. What have you got to lose, but some inhibitions? Take plenty of sunscreen.Peace <3Jay

  • Stew Adams

    More than anything, it's a chance to meet other guys, with possible (but not guaranteed) hook-ups.Either way, you come away with new facebook friends that really have a face.I've been a part of two camping clubs and been to one of these members-only camps. They can be fun, if you let yourself enjoy them and don't expect too much. Camping is about relaxing and getting away, leave the stress at home and unwind.

  • David Jeffreys

    . . . and mosquito repellent!David

  • Amanda

    Sounds like you would enjoy yourself and possibly meet some new friends. If you decide to go just relax and have fun. 🙂

  • Keith

    My b/f and I went to Bluff Creek falls yesterday to just check the place out for a future mini vacation. Not very busy and the folks living there were older and about half of them naked. There wasn’t a feeling of sleeziness thankfully, and we walked around for a bit clothed. I don’t think we’ll be staying there due to the lack of amenities…It’s very rustic for the most part and although we’re tent campers we’d still like to have a clubhouse, etc.
    But the folks that were there were VERY FRIENDLY !!!

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  • Jim

    I love gay camping! I’ve been toBluff Creek and had a wonderful time there. Clothing optional means just that there. If you wear clothes there it’s because you’re cold. Had a great time there and will make my way back some day. I’m 55 6 foot tall and weigh almost 300 round pounds. Nobody passes judgement at a gay campground. If they do … Well they’re there for the wrong reason.

  • Phillip

    Hi Joe. Springcreek Campground is now closed and up for sale. Who are the two hot guys you posted pics of in the camping article? Gay camping is great. We used to go to Spring Creek all the time.

  • Kelly

    I decided to do the exact same thing. I have never done anything remotely similar – ever! I booked a “cabin” at Bluff Creek Falls last week. I am not from this part of the country, so I wasn’t sure what I would see. I think this was the best decision ever. From the moment I drove in I enjoyed myself. The location is beautiful, the residents were friendly, the entire nude camping alone experience – priceless! Do it!

  • Matthew Pavelich

    You wrote this some time ago and I don’t see any responses. We’re flying down from Canada to go to Bluff Creek Falls. It’s totally random but we’re looking forward to it.

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