This is a neat little place. Sugar Grove and the Sea Bee park are really the same location on NIOC in Brandywine WV. The sad side is that all the base personnel I spoke with mentioned that the base is scheduled to close... As time goes by more and more of these smaller bases are closing. Location: You won't stumble on this bases/community. It really is tucked in the mountains and entirely self contained community. GPS: N 38* 34.368 / W 079* 16.413. Cleanliness/Hospitality: the base is very well kept and EVERYONE I ran into was very friendly. Amenities/Facilities: The is a ONE PUMP gas station, a small Commissary (but all you would need), an NEX(Shopette, a Community Center with bar that serves dinner (I did not eat or drink there). There were 3 full hook up (30 AMP) sites by the services building and six(E&W) sites in Seabee campground which is really the same location. I considered the E&W site but when told the electric should be good but no one had used the site yet this season and my lack of a surge protector I stuck in the full hook up. There is no true bath house but behind the shopette was a pool and changing room. The pool was closed but the showers were open, clean and hot water with good pressure. No laundry on base. I was told I could eat in the mess facility but I did not so I can't comment. Cell service (Verizon) is NON EXISTANT in the mountains and on the entire base. There was wifi that I could pick up from the rental cabins (not reachable in the rustic sites). It was a good speed but connectivity dropped occasionally. They have a Redbox movie rental at the Commissary and a car wash. Again, it really is a small little base - but I liked it. Value: 10$ a night... Nuff said. Overall experience: I truly had a nice time at this location. The MWR staff was awesome and all people were very nice and quick with a smile. I hope the location is very slow to actually close for the active duty and for us retirees looking for a nice like spot to visit. I hope to return one day.
Sugar Grove Cabins and Sea Bee Park are really co located, less then a quarter a mile apart. The web site map is deceiving. We stayed in the cabin and the Suite. This location is definitely, "in the eye of the beholder." We liked it. Tucked out of the way, quiet and definitely friendly. The whole base is probably smaller then some Navy ships. The thing that we were impressed with were the three small kennels, a small dog house with a run. But they had heating and air conditioning. We don't have a dog so we can't tell you how they worked. Food was great at chow hall (galley), and club or you could get food at commissary and cook your own. The car wash was free. Just a good place to get away from it all. Cell service was nonexistent, we have Verizon but everyone there said the other carriers weren't much better. And I suggest you follow the directions and don't follow GPS. Ours took us on some roads I considered farmers fields and one lane wooded areas.
We arrived on Friday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend. All three of the W/E hookup sites were open, but one of the electric boxes was out of service. If you're here, it's because you specifically wanted to be here. It's pretty far from anything but the beautiful backwoods country of West Virginia. This base supports radio telescopes and other radio listening sites in a 35,000 square mile "radio quiet zone" of WVA. The CG is small and rustic. The concrete pads for the w/e sites are only large enough for the wheelbase of a large van, and larger rigs wouldn't do well here. Since we have a GTRV pop-top van, we were a perfect fit. The electric connection for each site is a single 30 amp type plug--no 20 amp "appliance-type" plugs--so I had to get out my adapter for the electric hookup. Good voltage reading of 129 volts ac at the power post. However, checking the water we found that none of the water hookups in the CG was functioning. I went to the MWR office at the auto hobby shop and found an outstanding customer service guy in the person of Ralph Parker. He called the public works folks and got the water turned on in short order...it seems we were the first RVers to come since the water had been shut off for winter, and they just hadn't turned it back on again for the spring and summer. A little while later, he came by just to make sure we were all set and that the water had been turned on. Great service, and a friendly, helpful guy. There is no bath house in the CG, but we were advised that the base gym serves the CG. It's about a 100 yard walk from the CG, and it's open 24 hours a day, every day. The gym is a very nice facility, and includes all manner of exercise equipment, weights, a bowling alley, and a full-sized hardwood basketball court. The shower and toilet facilities were clean and well maintained. The NX/commissary is a short walk away and is small but well-stocked and very well organized. It's open every day. There's a single, unleaded regular gas pump next to the gym, which will take a credit card. However, the price, by law, must match the local prices which, in the backwoods areas are relatively high. If you even think you'll need gas while here, stop in one of the larger towns like Harrisonburg or Franklin to fill up. But it's nice to know it's available in a pinch. There is a dining hall on base and, happily, retirees are welcome to eat there. They serve only breakfast and lunch, every day, and the cooks & cashiers are friendly and welcoming. It's such a small and isolated base that they know the individual troops that eat there by name, and make strangers like us feel completely welcome. There is also a community center/all-ranks club that has a good variety of dinner dishes and sandwiches on its menu. It also has a nice bar. This facility opens at 4pm each day. The bar stays open later than the restaurant side. The community center has a wi-fi hot spot if you want to use your own laptop for internet access. Cellular service here only functions if you are an AT&T customer. We found this out from the folks stationed here. Sprint (our service) has no signal here. There is a pretty creek running alongside the CG, but it's on the other side of a chainlink/barbed wire fence. I was longing to find a way to get to it and do a little fishing when, lo and behold, a security policeman escorted a family down to a gate in the fence, unlocked it, and let them have access. I spoke to the SP, and he told me I can do the same if I go to the SP desk, fill out an access form, and give them my driver's license. When I'm done fishing, I return to the SP desk, get my license back and they come down and lock the gate. The stream is lively and I had a couple of good fishing days, including a two pound largemouth bass. Good deal all around. Speaking of the Security Police, they were very helpful, pleasant folks, led by the daytime watch commander Lt. Lawrence. They're good to get to know, and they're a great source of info on the base facilities and the surrounding environs.
Sugar Grove NIOC is in the beautiful mountains of Eastern W.V. Sea Bee Park is on the base in a wooded area on the bank of the South Branch of the South Fork of the Potomoc River. The park has 3 FREE 20/30 amp/water hookup sites, no reservations. However, you need a small rig (20 ft or less trailer, or small motorhome or truck camper) to be able to get down the skinny road and maneuver through the trees to reach the sites. My husband and I travel in a 32ft 5th wheel, and we were unable to take advantage of the electric. We ended up dry camping in the lovely grass meadow which is also part of the park, and has no trees to worry about hitting. There are no sewage hookups or dump station, but you can dump at Brandywine Lake National Forest Campground, about 2 miles east of the town of Brandywine on US-33. We were able to run a long, long hose to reach one of the sites to get water during our stay. We came here on our way north just for the commissary - tiny, but has a great variety of items, although not too much of any one thing. We were able to buy most of the items that we are used to finding in the bigger commissaries. There is also a tiny PX, bowling alley, MWR/ITT with free computers to get on the internet, and a free car wash. The Pharmacy at the medical clinic will accept handwritten retiree prescriptions. These are sent to Bethesda to be filled - drop off by Wed, pick up on Fri of the following week (304-249-6380). There is also a Fitness Center and Trail, part of which runs thru Sea Bee Park, complete with exercise stations. My husband and i stayed here for 6 days in May 2007 and totally enjoyed ourselves. There were lots of birds in the park and on the rest of the base, including eastern bluebirds, baltimore orioles, northern yellow-shafted flickers (woodpeckers), and an osprey fishing in the Potomoc. There were also lots of wildflowers blooming - mayapples, dame's rockets, wild (red) columbine, white violets, and the common blue violets. There is also a hiking trail thru the woods, and plenty of paved shaded roads to walk or jog on. Call before coming to make sure there is an opening (run by the Auto Hobby Shop). This is by no means a destination resort, but if you happen to be near and need a quiet (no cell service!), relaxing place to stay, and want to stock up on the great prices at the commissary, then Sea Bee Park is for you!
Enjoying This Site?
I hope you're enjoying and finding this site useful.
This site isn't sponsored or paid for by the Department of Defense. This site is 100% operated by a private individual, proudly retired from the U.S. Air Force. The operation and growth of this website depends on the support of it's users.
Your support for the operation of this website is greatly appreciated.