We have made numerous trips to Dreher Island State Park, each one different, each one fun. Different seasons and events definitely make a huge difference.
We have made several trips to the annual 4th of July fireworks show. It is the first large public event I ever went to, stepping out of my comfort zone. I grew up not attending public events of the sort. However – I quickly fell in love. Most folks go with their families and have a good time meeting their neighbors etc. A lot of people bring games and play sports while waiting for dusk to arrive. The fireworks are always spectacular!
This past year we had our first reservation there of any kind. In the past, we have always just gone for the day, etc. We booked through Reserve America which even has a helpful app for your phone / tablet.
However – this round was the first negative experience we have ever had with the park. Communication was rather difficult. I wanted to be sure we understood all the rules and had a few questions. The park had trouble emailing me / calling me, but finally left a voicemail. They were very kind and gave their personal office number for a one time use. They were extremely accommodating during our conversation.
Once there – we had a fairly upset neighbor who was not expecting our picnic spot to be reserved. In turn, we had a fairly stressed park ranger who was addressing the complaint. He had made assumptions before knowing the entire picture (in the process, being rude to my hard-to-upset hubby, who had the bigger picture, which he later shared with me since he was not permitted to speak in the conversation). It was quickly sorted out – and all was well. However, it did make for dark spot on our birthday festivities. I honestly think he was just having a bad day and he was too quick to jump. We did have fun, we didn’t have any more problems, and we met new friends along the way.
All in all, it is a lovely place for camping, fishing and water play.
There is a little store that sells refreshments and such. There are grills at the picnic areas as well (but they will let you bring your own). If you have a boat, there are three boat ramps and even an in-water refueling station. We have taken our bicycles before too. It’s not extremely fun with a new rider, unless it’s a really slow day. There was a lot of pulling over to let cars pass.
My recommendation – if you are just going for water fun for the day, spare the reservation, go early, find a comfy spot along the water, and have a blast!! (That said… I have already made a reservation for next year 🙂 certain dates and celebrations do merit the comfort of knowing I have the spot I want, lol).