I tried to find a similar description on the official Naval Submarine
Base Kings Bay
website but came up short on a nice
little summary . . . so I'm resorting to Wiki again.
how to pick a safe RV park, don't we?
Nuclear subs. Oh, my. We're either very safe or we're risking this
being a prime target of our enemies. We accept that risk every
time we stay at a military installation but FamCamps are some of our
favorite places to camp.
Google map showing Kings Bay Sub
Base in gray; I marked the
location of Eagle Hammock RV Park
by Lake D with a red dot.
In the last entry I described the most excellent RV park at Kings Bay
called Eagle Hammock.
In this entry I'll show photos of more of the base
that I've taken on hikes and bike rides. Although the base is large we
don't have access to the eastern half of it where the subs are kept.
The best I can do to show you the guts of that area is to include this
picture from the web:
The submarines are in a second secured part of the base where even
military retirees aren't
allowed. Everyone needs proper ID to get in the Franklin or Stimson
gates; only authorized personnel have the proper ID to reach the area where
the subs are kept.
We've asked various people about a sub tour for retirees but haven't
had any luck with that so far. Visitors can get close to this
decomissioned buried sub near the Jackson Gate, though:
That's the USS George Bancroft, put on display in 2000 to commemorate the
U.S. submarine forces' 100th anniversary.
You know you're on or near a submarine base when you see these
stickers displayed on vehicles:
Jim saw that SUV at the commissary and took a picture
with his cell phone. Little subs indicate dad, mom, and three kids
instead of the usual stick human figures you see.
BASE SCENES FROM OUR BIKE RIDES
Jim has been officially informed that his entry was accepted for
the Leadville Trail 100-mile bike ride in August. The odds of getting
into the race through the lottery were very low but proof of his many
years of volunteering at the bike race paid off.
LT100 is a tough, tough race on dirt and paved roads and trails at
altitudes ranging from 9,200 to 12,600 feet in the Collegiate Mountain
Range west of Leadville, Colorado.
Riders in the 2004 LT100 bike race leave the town
of Leadville and head toward the mountains.
Mounts Elbert and Massive are in the background;
they are Colorado's highest 14ers.
We know the terrain because we've run and/or volunteered at the
100-mile foot race many times since 1998 and worked the bike race most
years (it's a week before the foot race).
Now Jim has a definite focus for his training and the hard work
Jim starts out on a bike ride
from our campground at Kings Bay; Lake D is on the right.
Even though the terrain is flat and near sea level here in coastal
South Georgia, Jim's been building up his cycling mileage for several
weeks. With all the nearby paved and dirt roads on and off base he's
done several 40-50 mile rides already and numerous shorter rides on his
Jim has more good places to ride here on base than he did at Mayport
Naval Station -- Kings Bay simply has more miles of bike paths
Here are some scenes we've passed on base:
Above and below: the Strategic
Weapons Facility is located about 1/2 mile from our campground.
Barracks on base for "unaccompanied" enlisted
One of many ponds on base; this one is near the
track, fitness center, commissary, and NEX.
Pavilion near several eating
establishments on base, including the Pirate's Cove and Irish Pub
In addition to all the miles that Jim can ride his bike on base,
his options for riding off-base are more plentiful and
enjoyable at Kings Bay because this is a more rural area than metro
At Kings Bay the active duty housing for couples and families is just outside a gate on the
north side of the base. Jim likes to ride through that residential area,
past the nearby military golf course, and through Crooked River State Park.
He also likes to ride down to the historic little town of St. Marys
to get in more miles and have work done at the bike shop there.
One of the handsome 19th century
houses in St. Marys
Most of the photos in this section are ones I took on my bike rides,
which have been less frequent and shorter than Jim's.
My main sport is hiking, partly because we've got two active Labrador retrievers who
need lots of exercise. Because I have weak shoulders and
Casey-pup has more energy than she knows what to do with, I have to walk
the dogs separately. I spend so much time walking with the dogs that I don't have much
energy left to ride my bike.
However, I've gotten out several
times for 5- to 10-mile rides on base. Since I'm not "in training" for
anything anymore I have no problem stopping whenever I want to take a
picture of something. I especially enjoy riding around all the ponds in
the heart of the base services and administration area:
The photo above is a memorial to missing and fallen submariners.
PHOTOS FROM MY HIKES AROUND LAKE D
As noted, I spend a lot more time walking with the dogs than riding
my bike. My favorite place to hike is around the lake that's right out our door.
There are several scenic freshwater ponds and lakes in the part of the base
where we have free access. I've shown three of them above.
Eagle Hammock RV Park is located at the southwest corner of Lake D,
the largest lake in this part of the base. It is centered in the
Lake D Recreation Area, which has two fishing piers, two covered
shelters, a children's play area, and places for fishermen to put in
With only some cursory research I haven't been able to find out how
large Lake D is but it's a good three-mile hike to do a complete circuit
with the dogs. Most of my route is as close to shore as I dare take them
because of the alligators.
In almost any body of water in Florida and all the southern
parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas there is
the potential for alligators. If I can't clearly see the bottom of the
stream or pond in potential alligator territory, I won't let the dogs get in
There are signs around Lake D warning people that "alligators may
be present in these waters:"
The signs should say that alligators are in
these waters. I've seen and heard at least two of them on the banks and
in the water. The one that likes to sun on a bank on one of the islands
about 500 feet from our campsite is at least ten feet long and maybe more:
So far the gators haven't been a problem with either Cody or Casey.
Cody is a mellow fellow at age nine. He loves getting into streams
and ponds but he obeys commands very well so he does fine off-leash on
the bike path, grassy areas, and trails around the lake:
Above and below: Cody on
the double-track path on the far side of the lake
Casey is still very impulsive at five months of age so she's on the
leash most of the time. The problem when she's off-leash is that she'll
just run up to people or other dogs if she has the opportunity --
and that's never a good thing.
I'll let her run off-leash in more remote areas if I'm pretty sure no one is
around. She sticks close to me but is able to investigate things
more easily, chase sticks or balls, and do her goofy "devil runs" where
she acts like she's possessed. The only place that's relatively safe to
let her run off-leash at King's Bay is for about a mile on the far side
of the lake (photos above). I've never seen anyone else back there.
Continued on the next page: lots more nature photos
around the lake (flora and fauna)
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2013 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil