Ah, Piney Grove. Our home away from home.
We have been camping at Piney Grove for the last 18+ years. It has become the campground of choice for our friends and family. It’s stunningly beautiful, clean and close to home.
It is a well-kept Corps of Engineers park. If you’ve ever been in a COE park, you know what that means: it’s clean, the grounds are maintained, the staff is helpful, the bathhouses are nice, the pads are level, it’s beautifully designed. As we’ve said here before, the Corps of Engineers parks beat the MS State Parks in almost every way.
Piney Grove is on Bay Springs Lake. The water is clean, the views are long and the lake is gorgeous. It’s a watersports paradise. On the weekends, the water is buzzing with boats and jetskis. During the week, you can still get the feel of the Old Piney Grove before everyone in 3 states discovered it.
On any given summer weekend, the park is probably 97% full. They usually put on a Saturday night show at the ampitheatre and the Park Rangers usually do Friday night educational programs for the kids. I have seen bands of almost every genre at the ampitheatre, singing groups, comedy shows and even a puppet show. You really have to experience Piney Grove to understand it.
There is almost always a festive family atmosphere on the weekends. Everyone decorates their campsites with all manner of lights. It’s like Christmas every weekend. We love to walk around and look at the lights. The kids love it too. We call it the Happiest Place On Earth. The sounds of children playing and the smell of cooking and campfires fill the air.
The park has 144 sites. There are 3 nice bathhouses. There is a laundry facility with 3 sets of washer and dryers. It’s a bit of a trek from the back circles, but it’s kind of nice because you can usually get all your laundry done at once.
There is a fish cleaning station near the boat dock. It has sinks, tables and garbage cans for your fish cleaning convenience.
There are 2 playgrounds. While they are nice, there isn’t anything on them for the little kids. There are also 2 basketball courts and 2 tennis/volleyball courts adjacent to the bathhouses.
There is a nature trail called The Dogwood Trail. It’s a nice walk, but not as well maintained as you might expect. There is no way you could get a stroller up and down it. But the bench near the end that overlooks a small bluff is worth the hassle.
The beach at Piney Grove is legendary. It’s like they lifted a small section of the Gulf of Mexico and set it down at Bay Springs. I have included pictures in the galleries. You have to see it to believe it. The sand is white and clean. The grounds are immaculately maintained. There are showers, bathrooms, picnic tables, a basketball court, a volleyball court and several pavillions. The beach is a short drive or walk from the camping area, and it’s open to the public. That can mean hundreds of people on holiday weekends. There will be dozens of people on any pretty summer day.
There is a primitive campground on an island only accessible by boat. The camping is free. There is a beach, a dozen or so campsites with patios, picnic tables, fire rings and garbage cans. There is even an old fashioned outhouse in the woods. We used to camp there when we were younger. It’s a paradise to camp in or to see.
Piney Grove is a great park which only suffers from it’s popularity. The camphosts told me they have been camping for 40+ years and have never seen a park like it. I believe it. If you are in the area, you should try to see it.