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.