US Campgrounds

If you are here, you are looking for the campground information that my father, Thomas Hillegass, gathered. My father loved camping in public campgrounds and swimming in rivers. He died on April 12, 2015 of a brain tumor. If you are here, you are the kind of person he liked and respected.

I took over care of the website, but I have not been a good steward. In early July of 2023, I upgraded some software on the server and everything broke. I am taking the site down.

My father was very proud of the data; he gathered it from many sources and worked hard to make sure it was correct. So, I'm releasing the data as a set of CSV files.

You are welcome to use this data in any way you wish. I'm not responsible for anything bad that happens if you use it. And there is no documentation.

Here is what is left of the old site: The Old Site

Aaron Hillegass

Thomas Hillegass

My father had time to write his own obituary. Here it is.

Always very curious, inventive and a skeptic, Tom was a Civil Engineer (BSCE Villanova), transportation planner (MSCE, Purdue) computer systems developer and manager (MSIS, George Mason). In 1999,ending a long, varied and interesting career, Tom retired as Chief of the Truck Safety Data Information Division at the USDOT Federal Highway Administration, the office that is in charge of automating, gathering and utilizing truck safety data from all 50 States to get unsafe truckers off the highways.

One of his close colleagues, brilliant friends and adventuresome buddies in this effort, Michael Blevins, says of Tom, “Of all of the people I know, you are the most successful in a truly meaningful way. You have done a great deal of exciting things in your life and more importantly have a fantastic family in all respects. “

“I certainly have enjoyed our friendship all these years and remember many of our work and travel adventures. I remember sailing in the Virgin Islands with you and that time when we showed up at the Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs with dirty camping equipment falling out of the car as the valet parking guys came out to assist.”

Tom has been very fortunate to enjoy a long and personally rewarding retirement. Initially as a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences and the FHWA, then volunteering in many capacities including Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together Arlington, and 10 years teaching career-transition and computer skills to recent immigrants at Computer CORE. Learning rock n’ roll bass guitar at age 60, he played at some family weddings, but found fame difficult to achieve when in geriatric garage bands that can only play “Brown Eyed Girl”.

He is father of 3 (Moses, Aaron, Sarah), grandfather of 3 (Walden, Otto, Natalie). He was partner to Suzanna in a 48 year marriage that thrived mostly on love, commitment and the principle that a solid relationship requires lots of work and communication.

Marriage, according to the great thinkers, is both an opportunity and a challenge. Forty eight years have brought us to a more honest and connected place. We didn’t always understand or accept how our early experiences influenced out life together. It took much discipline and communication to make us into a successful and loving couple.

In retirement, Tom was a web-site developer whose sites have introduced millions of Americans to the small, magnificent wonders of our country ( had 2 million visitors in 2014, and www.USCAmpgrounds)

One Last Word

My father worked under Ford, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes, and Clinton. He felt that the work that he did for the federal government was too important to be slowed down by the politics of the place.

In his private life, he was a progressive. My father believed that if we were brave enough, we could make the US a better place for everyone. After his retirement, he worked on the Obama campaign and made significant donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

If you have read this far, please try to be the brave citizen that my father believed you are; please try to make this country better for everyone.