WINCHESTER, Tenn. — The Fairview “Devil Step” Campground, located eight miles from Tims Ford State Park in Winchester, will auction off its seasonal camping sites beginning at 1 p.m. on March 25.
The campground has upgraded to accommodate campers with newer recreational vehicles (RVs), and contains five spots for handicapped campers.
The Fairview Campground opens officially on April 1, and includes a boat ramp for boaters, according to Tims Ford State Park Manager Kenny Gragg.
Originally created in the early 1970s by TVA and the Tennessee Elk River Development Agency (TERDA), Fairview Campground became a part of the Tims Ford State Park in 1998, said Gragg.
“In 1998, the campground offered spots to camp, with some electricity and water and a bathhouse,” said Gragg. “It’s been in disrepair for some time now. This project has been a long time coming.”
Angel Construction, located in Pikeville, was contracted to complete the upgrades, improving electric outlet options, as well as repairing parking pads and installing a new modular bathhouse, said Gragg.
“The upgrades project was funded using a state capital improvements grant through the governor’s office,” said Gragg. “Some money was provided after Elk River Development Agency sold the land to the state, but I’m not sure of the exact amount of the renovation project because we did not handle the financial portion of the project.”
After the renovations, the campgrounds are better equipped for campers who own RVs, as well as handicapped campers, said Gragg.
“Before doing the project, we didn’t have the electricity or the power supply to offer to those who camped with RVs. Now we can offer spots to handicapped campers as well,” said Gragg. “Being able to offer more to our campers is always a good thing.”
Every site was upgraded during the renovation project, said Gragg.
“All the sites used to have little or no parking pad. Some sites had 30-amp electrical outlets or not at all,” said Gragg. “Before the upgrades, campers had to park wherever they could find an electric outlet. This is not the case anymore.”
All 82 sites at Fairview have 20, 30 and 50 amp electric services to choose from, said Gragg.
“Most of your bigger RVs these days need the 50 amp hookup; the camper typical outlet is only going to be 20 amp,” said Gragg. “After the project, the campgrounds caters to a larger demographic.
All 82 sites have water service, as well as new picnic tables and campfire rings.
“Before the project, we had concrete picnic tables that were falling apart,” said Gragg. “The contractors added gravel to sites that needed it, which added length to all sites. Some of them can now accommodate 65-foot RVs.”
The water service and amenities were ageing, and were also in need of repair, said Gragg.
“One of the upgrades for campers includes a new modular bathhouse, offering men’s and women’s restrooms as well as private showers with locking doors. Before, the bath house was just a brick and mortar structure in disrepair. The contractors are currently wrapping up installation on it right now,” said Gragg. “We’re waiting on some greenery to be installed by the contractors, but the campground will be open at noon on March 25 for the seasonal auction starting at 1 p.m.”
All 82 sites have also been renumbered. The site numbers were not organized prior to the upgrades project, said Gragg.
“Guests who had their favorite site number memorized may want to check the website to see what its new number would be,” said Gragg. “This is especially true for the seasonal auction sites. With the old numbers, there wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to the numbering system. We didn’t even have a Site 1. We started with Site 2, and some site numbers were missing, so now the sites are numbered one through 82.”
Sites 1-18 will be auctioned off during the seasonal auction.
“People will come in and bid on those sites for the monthly rental rate for six months,” said Gragg. “The minimum bid for those spots is $300 to $350.”
Tims Ford State Park offers other services to the community, said Gragg.
“We’ve got the Friends of Tims Ford, the swimming pool, hiking trails, camping and the golf course,” said Gragg.
Campers can pay for their sites when they get to the campgrounds, or pay online, said Gragg.
“Everything can be handled online for renting a camping spot, and you agree to park rules and regulations when you go online,” said Gragg.
The campground is located at 263 Fairview Campground Rd., Winchester. For more information, visit <http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/tims-ford>.
—By Jacqui Atkielski, Tullahoma News Staff Writer; additional information from state press release; Jacqui Atkielski can be contacted via email at <email@example.com>.