“When I saw the park, I thought it was a jewel,” says property manager Arlene White. “My ambition was to bring tourists here.”
The park, which is twenty-four acres, includes a clubhouse, fire rings and fifty-four RV sites, most of which have water, electric and sewage hook-ups. There is also a one-mile nature trail that is designated as one of the Great Gulf Cost birding trails. Animals that have been spotted include armadillos, raccoons, deer, bobcats and once, even a black bear.
“The trail makes a loop through the middle of a forest,” says White. “It’s amazing that it’s so close to downtown Abbeville.”
According to White, approximately half of the park’s visitors are local and the other half are from out of state. The locals usually stay a few days, but the tourists sometimes stay as long as four months. Visitors have come from as far as New Zealand.
“We have a lot of retired Northerners who come here for the winter,” says White. “The people who stay here become a big family.”
White’s responsibilities as property manager include book keeping, advertising, maintenance and general overseeing of the park. She also manages and works with host campers, who live at the park in an R.V. One couple lives there in the fall and winter months and the other in the spring and summer.
“The best part of this job is meeting new people and sharing our culture,” says White. “My most memorable moment was when the Airstream caravan committed to coming here year after year.”
White also runs a full service travel agency called, Travel and Events. She enjoys the travel industry and showing tourists our culture.
On my recent visit to Abbeville R.V. Park, husband and wife, Dave and Linda Andrzejewski from New Hampshire drove into the park pulling their classic Airstream R.V. White recognized them as returning visitors, and greeted and welcomed them like they were old friends.
“We come to Abbeville every year because it’s the perfect place,” said Mr. Andrzejewski. “We have to get our Cajun fix.”
While I was talking to them, an armadillo scurried out of the forest onto a path, coincidentally called Armadillo Alley. I tried to get a picture of it, but it quickly ran away. I guess when you have an alley named after you, you’re too important to bother with the media.
My favorite part of the interview was walking on the nature trail that cuts through a thick forest filled with a variety of plants, trees and flowers. Every few hundred feet are little wooden bridges that cover small ditches and swampy areas. It was so picturesque that it made me want to take up residency with the armadillos. But only if I could one day get an alley named after me.
The hiking trail is opened to the public, but everyone must check in with the host campers. To reserve an R.V. site, call 898-4042. For more information on the park, visit www.abbevillervpark.com. For information about Arlene White’s travel agency, Travel and Events, call 893-0013.