Campground Review: Hidden Cove RV Resort, Arley, AL

Note: This is the first in (what will hopefully become) a series of reviews of Thousand Trails campgrounds we stayed at on our travels.

A week or so before our check in date, I received an email from Becky, the manager. It was detailed directions to the campground from every possible direction. It was a nice touch, and very useful because this place is out in the country. Hidden, you might say. In a cove. I spoke with Becky a few times, both before and after arriving, and she was always very nice and helpful. Every TT should have a Becky.

Hidden Cove is the only TT in Alabama, has 68 sites.


It’s on Smith Lake which provides for some cool features: A small marina, boat ramp, an outdoor pavilion overlooking the lake with stairs right down to a great spot to swim or kayak.

Hidden Cove also sports a wonderful (and large) clubhouse, with a game room, adult lodge area, and a big porch to watch the boats go by on the lake. There are several multi-acre fields, a ridiculously small mini-golf course, and a big playground that was a hub for several children around Eli’s age (11). The pool was closed, but seemed in good shape.

The laundry room has 2 washers and 2 dryers. They look brand new and are only $1 per load! That’s a big plus for those of us who primarily rely on campground facilities.

The majority of sites were very large; each with a picnic table and fire ring.


While there are a few attractions within driving distance, the nearest big city is Birmingham, which is over an hour away. This place is for quiet, country relaxation. There is one small grocery store 10 minutes away, and anything larger is more like 30-40 minutes.

Got Verizon? Not here you don’t. You have to leave the park to find a signal. Our T-Mobile phones got a decent 4G (not the high-speed LTE) signal, so we could use our phones. Supposedly AT&T works ok, but I was not able to verify that. Thankfully, they had free wifi, and the speeds were serviceable… typically between 1-3 Mbps. Don’t plan to stream any HD movies while you’re here, unless you are somehow infatuated with spinning buffer wheels. I was able to work, and even video conference on the wifi, but it was painfully slow. A short drive into town yielded great speeds on both Verizon and T-Mobile networks.


All things considered, this is a great place and we had a very enjoyable, relaxing time. The internet situation was a pain, but not a show-stopper.

Sarah and I both thought it would be an awesome place for a Nomadic Homeschoolers meetup (, with ample room and facilities for activities… just no walks to the convenient store for teenagers, or quick runs to Publix.