Trip Planning

Unique Campground Series: Land-O-Pines Family Campground

Check out the unique campground, Land-O-Pines, in Covington, Louisiana!

There’s no question that Halloween-themed activities are gaining traction in campgrounds across the country, some of which have campsite decorating contests and trick or treating as early as July or August. But this year, Land-O-Pines Family Campground has them beat. The Covington, Louisiana campground is planning its first round of Halloween-themed activities on the last weekend of April, when the 279-site campground will celebrate Walpurgis Night, a Scandinavian celebration with medieval roots that included bonfires to ward off evil spirits and witches.

Land-O-Pines General Manager Leanne Everhardt learned about Walpurgis Night while researching ideas for interesting campground activities. She thought there were enough similarities between Walpurgis Night and Halloween to create what is likely to be the first Halloween-themed weekend in a campground this year, but with a twist. Instead of focusing solely on costume and campsite decorating contests and trick-or-treating, Land-O-Pines will also have a bonfire contest.

“On Walpurgis Night, they built bonfires to ward off the evil spirits. But we will have a bonfire contest in which guests will need to make their bonfires look like something, like an art structure,” Everhardt said, adding that the contest will focus on creativity.

Everhardt is used to coming up with creative ideas. For more than 30 years, she has been developing some of the most interesting and unique campground activities and themed weekends in the country.

For example, Land-O-Pines' Father’s Day weekend activities include a dad/child waterslide race and a “Find the Hidden Beer” game. The park’s “Wet and Wild Saturday,” July 8, includes a variety of water fights as well as a contest to see who can design the “Best H2O Battle Vehicle,” with entries including golf carts, bikes, wagons and trucks.

The “Under the Sea Beach Weekend,” July 14-16, includes a “Finding Spongebob Contest,” a hamburger cookoff, a “Best ‘Mr. Krab’s’ sandcastle sculpture contest,” a starfish dig, a bikini contest for all ages, and a block party with a DJ. A “Great Cajun Weekend,” July 21-23, features live zydeco and rock fusion music, a cajun parade, and a “Find the Hidden Alligator Contest."

Land-O-Pines has live music scheduled for 22 weekends this year, Everhardt said, with bands performing as frequently as every weekend during the peak summer season.

“We have a big dance floor in our outdoor pavilion,” Everhardt said, adding that her park frequently has bands that perform pop, rock, country, zydeco, and “Swamp Pop,” which she said is like the top 40s of the 1950s and 60s.

Land-O-Pines also has several cooking competitions and events throughout the year, including Big Al’s Crawfish Boil April 21-23 and a gumbo cookoff Sept. 22-24. The park’s cajun-themed weekends also include gumbo and jambalaya cookoffs.

“The people that enter don’t pay to enter our cooking contests. They compete for prizes,” Everhardt said. “But they have to surrender the dishes they make, and all the campers that come through get to sample their food for free. They like to cook and compete and show their skills to see who’s the best.”

Land-O-Pines' most popular activities, however, are its five Halloween-themed weekends, most of which sell out.

Campers can expect a family atmosphere at Land-O-Pines, which has been owned and operated by the Williamson family for 37 years. Everhardt’s parents, James and Mary Williamson, purchased the park in 1986, which currently has four generations of the Williamson family working there.

“My dad, who is 86, still comes into work here every day,” Everhardt said, adding that her three grown children and two grandchildren also work at the park, which complements its RV sites with three cabins and 30 RV rentals. More information, including a complete activities schedule, is available on the Land-O-Pines website.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.