Best event in the area
There's a great backpacking trail that's challenging and an easy middle meeting place for friends/family from Columbus and Cincinnati that can meet in Dayton Metroparks/Five Rivers - Germantown and take on the TVT challenge, beautiful hike through hilly terrain, and great spots of overlooks. Bring your pack and hiking poles and take advantage of trekking into the forest. Vault toliet, away from busy/crowded campsites and surrounded by nature. Access to a river for water source (bring your filter system) camp in a tent or hammock.
This is part of the Dayton Metro Parks (Five Rivers Metro Parks) and it is at the Twin Creek metro park. This is an old boy scout camp (Camp Hook) back in the day.
During these COVID-19 times we wanted a place to park that wasn't the traditional Ohio State Parks camp site. We didn't want to share a common bathroom/bath house or playground area. We picked this as the Twin Creek camp site only has 3 camp sites within the park. Even then they are out of side from each other. You can somewhat hear the other two camp sites (rarely). This meant with two little ones we wouldn't have to constantly remind them to socially distance or put on masks. We were alone but had plenty of park supports. We had two great park volunteers/security stop by to make sure we had everything we need.
The nice thing about the Dayton metro parks is that each night in the front county camp sites they include a bundle of fire wood. This is not the small sad bundle that you often buy at gas stations or other markets. This is a huge bundle. It is dry and cut in an easy to use manner. It is also kept in a little box so it is dry even if you do have weather while camping. If you wish to add an additional bundle of firewood the price is very reasonable at $10.00. I do this every time I camp there to support their campsites/metro parks. I have yet to use up their firewood in the box when I camp for a whole weekend. It is also nice that we don't have to put it in our cars so less clean up after camping. It also helps with the whole burn local fire wood so you are not transporting bugs. Or you don't have to cross your fingers and hope someone close by sells firewood.
The nice thing about their site is the additional tables made it easy for us to socially distance. When I camp at local state parks and we only have one table it can be tricky to keep coolers, food, and people separated. We also were able to have kids do craft at one of the tables while we were preparing meals. This camp site is listed as a 10 person camp site. There is no water on site so make sure you bring all the water that you will need.
We also were able to hike the easy trails around the camp site. No need to put the kids in the car unless we wanted to. Which we still did:)
We drove into town and discovered a covered bridge that I had missed on an earlier camping trip. (Germantown). This town also has the Florentine which is one of the oldest inns in Ohio. It was closed while we were in town but it is well worth a stop. The town also has a community pool as well that you can buy a day pool pass.
The campsite does have two spots that would be neat for a wedding. You can reserve an amphitheater.
The campsites during peak season are $20 during week days and $28 for weekends. I still find this to be one of the best values for camping in Ohio. Especially, when you consider the level of privacy that you have on these sites. The vault toilets are one of the best as they are always clean. We have hand sanitizer and toilet paper. We didn't have to share our vault toilet with any other family units.
All of these small touches really made COVID-19 camping with kids much easier. We look forward to being back at this camp site in the fall.
Here is the website to make a reservation https://www.metroparks.org/rentals-permits/reserve-a-campsite/?id=786190&api=facilities&type=camp
My first real backpacking experience, shared with my boys. Ostensibly a “city” park, Germantown MetroPark provides visitors with well-kept trails over rolling hills through old forests, leading down to lush river valleys of the Twin Creek watershed system. The creek runoff is managed by the Germantown Dam, and the park is upstream, so the heavy rains we’d been having had left the valley and banks very sloppy and muddy, but that was not the fault of the park. If there is one complaint, it would be that there is a dearth of potable water stations, so all water needs to be packed in from trailheads with water, the Welcome Center, or pumped from non-potable sources, filtered and/or treated. The Oak Ridge backcountry campsite is situated about 1/2 mile in from the Welcome Center, in among a few trees dotted in a wildflower prairie. There’s a pond here, with little water movement, so it’s not the best source for potability. There a three separate sites, and a common cook area, and a privy. Site C is grass-covered, clear of roots, rocks, and stumps, and easily handled 2 tents with four campers. The Twin Valley Trail is actually a collection of trails in the Germantown and Twin Creek Metropark, interconnected by a rugged, heavily wooded trail with switchbacks managing the climbs and descents over the limestone bluffs and cuts overlooking the downstream portion of the Twin Creek. The Seibenthaler Nature Center is atop one of the wooded outcrops, with an associated parking lot down a staircase from the Center. The Cedar Ridge Backcountry Campsite is 1.6 miles of switchbacks and ups and downs of the TVT, from the Pink Trail in the GMP to the north, and 0.6 of a mile from the OH-725 highway bridge across the Twin Creek to the south. The sites are situated 0.1 miles in from the main trail, climbing up a little wooded ridge. The campsite, again, has three separate sites, a common area, and a privy. Site C is nestled in the trees, with a tent pad a tad smaller than the aforementioned Oak Ridge site. It also has little to no grass, a few roots and rocks in the soil, so the setup of camp is a little limited, but manageable. The common cook area has a little “counter” to set up a stove or what-not, and two parallel logs to sit facing each other while eating. Here, the closest water source is the Creek, at the bridge crossing, which also makes a good place to slip off the boots, slap on the water shoes, and wade in to cool off the tootsies a bit (when the creek isn’t in flood stage, of course!). Overall, for a 3-day/2-night backcountry experience not too far away from civilization, this is a great park! I estimate a total hike distance covered of about 13 miles across the different trail systems.
This was a lovely backpacking trail that is both challenging while not being too hard for new backpackers.
They provided a common cooking area between the backpacking sites. Logs to sit on and cooking surface.
Backpacking camp sites also had posts to hang your food bags from which made it easy for food access.
Latrine was very clean and well stocked. Toilet paper was available and hand gel to get your hands clean.
The Twin Valley Trail was well marked and had a variety of ravines. While you might think this is small park it actually covers around 2,000 acres. "The Twin Valley Backpacking Trail combines the existing network of trails in Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks.These trails connect to create a longer, more integrated trail system totaling more than 25 miles " taken from their website We also used the near by river to filter some additional water for our return trip which was nice. No water or fire wood is provided as this is a back country camp site.
This is the 5 easily accessible campsites and a few are near the lake. We picked the site further away from the lake as we had little ones. We were still close enough so we could easily walk to the lake. At this camp site you can see your neighbors more and it is easier to see the camp sites.
No water so bring your own and the latrine is an old one (cement blocks).
In addition to the lake, they also had a farm on the property that was enjoyable for the kids to see the animals. You can hear some of the animals but we enjoyed this aspect.
Interesting trails here from Prairie land and to a forest with former amusement park remains. Lots to see to motivate short legs to keep hiking.
Your camping permit comes with one 2' x 2' bundle of firewood per night. Additional firewood available at checkout (+ $10.00 per 1/32nd of a cord).
This was a lovely campsite with 4 picnic tables, fire ring, and a very clean latrine. The other two group camp sites were far enough away that you couldn't hear or see them. It was a camp site that was flat enough for tents and did have trees to hang your hammock.
The nice thing about the metro parks camp sites (front country only) is that they provide a bundle of fire wood free each night and you can purchase additional bundles (See below). No water so be sure to bring your own.
Paved parking lot for the larger groups which is nice. Near by within walking distance a lake, amphitheater, and more as this was once a boy scout camp ground. Capacity is 25 individuals and ample parking.
Note: Your camping permit comes with one 2' x 2' bundle of firewood per night. Additional firewood available at checkout (+ $10.00 per 1/32nd of a cord). as this is great as it is left at the camp site in a protected spot.