Kenpocentaur K.
Milford, OH
Joined May 2019
Cabin by the river

Cabin A, . Check-in time is 2pm and check out is 12pm. Please remember to bring your own linens, Morgan's does not supply sheets for the cabins. There are 2 twin mattresses and 1 full size mattress. **Helpful information from their reservation email. 

They have 4 cabins in our area which would be nice to get another family to join us.  Then each family has their own cabin to retire to at the end of the day. 

https://www.morganscanoe.com/ This site is close to King's Island and Fort Ancient. It also was next to a bike trail.  Close to the Little Miami Bike Trail this was easy to walk on with my friend and her two little ones.  The trail was paved which was a huge help for those of us who were extra short and didn't always attend to their surroundings when walking. 

We were a little nervous as the cabin is so close the river. This is part of the charm but when you have a 3 year old in your group then it is smart to keep an extra sharp eye on the kiddo as the river is a huge draw.  We enjoyed being able to be close to the river and then being inside with a floor/door which a tent wouldn't have given us that extra security.  We had plenty of space for my friend, her two kids, and me. 

The cabin didn't have heat and I tend to get cold easily.  For the average person in the summer and spring you will be fine. I needed to layer up. We had two little ones so during the day instead of the usual King's Island we went to Entertainment Junction. https://entertrainmentjunction.com/ and I was also able to get a Groupon to reduce the cost. 

Price:$60.00/night for 2 Adults and up to 3 kids(3-16 years of age) 2-night minimum  required for weekends and 3-night required for holiday weekends.  The cabins weren't on top of each other. I felt that this was a better deal than some other local cabin prices and the atmosphere was better as well .

The tent sites which I explored on my walks are huge. A great camp site to have a bunch of friends meet up and camp at as it is so close to Cincinnati. This camp site, is far enough to get away but close enough.  This means that everyone can easily get there after work. We didn't want a long car drive with two little ones and this was a great way to start exposing them to camping in our "backyard". 

The prices equal the local state parks but the sites are bigger.  The area has huge trees and grassy areas to put your tents up without feeling like your neighbors are right in your space.

A fond memory of a cabin

I was looking for this camp site on Dyrt as I had a fond memory of the quiet night that I spent there on a Sept. school night. I needed to be close by and this was perfect for me. 

The cabins based on current information from their website some of them are not being rented due to the massive amount of rains we have had in recent times.  The cabins were clean, warm, and safe. The price was reasonable.  I enjoyed the quiet nature of the campground as I was there during a week day and non-peak season. 

I also knew that it was close to an outdoor drama. I was researching the play again but I have just realized that I have missed the season again. I will try again next year to make it back to the classic play. I went as a child and want to see the play again with adult eyes.  http://tecumsehdrama.com/

I am not a bike rider but I do know that I saw a bike trail very close to this camp ground. 

I went by to the near by town to Frankfort and had an enjoyable pizza meal. The owner of the campsite was able to give me some ideas for meals.  I then put the left overs in the fridge in the cabin.  She even guided me to the cabin when I had trouble finding it as it was tucked away in the hill side (part of the charm).  The leaves falling it made it tricky for me to be confident in how to get to the cabin.

Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire (Mohican State Park)

This trip was memorable for so many reasons but the Chestnuts really make this park stand out.  The park has several Chestnut trees which is usually a rare find these days.  Later on, I found a sign explaining why the park had so many Chestnut trees. They are working to bring them back.  We used our grubstick to roast them over the open fire.  Many of us fondly think of the Christmas song but how often have you roasted your own Chestnuts while camping?

The tent sites (short walk from parking lot) and one car per tent site.  Our site was not the traditional walk up/park camp site. It was a nice change of pace.  More space and great neighbors. 

The camp store at this park had a lot of great things such as corn hole outside, a mining activity for the family, trikes you could rent, and most importantly ice cream.  

The camp store is right across from the pool.  The pool is currently closed but not many state parks in Ohio have a pool right in the camp ground area.  This is a rare treat. The pool had the traditional pool, kiddo pool, and small splash pad. You could also see where they had installed a curb cut for those in wheel chairs or needing ramps. No pool lift that I could see to help someone lower in and out of the pool. This may be put away for the season so call to find out. They also had a ramp installed that led up to the pool. One side the old steps and the other side a new  ADA ramp. 

 The fire wood was in a white bag and that made it easy to move and kept the car clean which I appreciated. They also had bait so if you wanted to walk behind the pool and continue to the river it wouldn't be far to go fishing. 

The shower house by us did not have an ADA bathroom and I didn't get a chance to look for the ADA shower.  

Behind the campsites (our section) you could grab a short trail to the river. This was a lovely surprise as I followed a foot path.   We opted not to do the overlook hike to the gorge as we had fellow campers with us that couldn't do a long hike for safety reasons.  It as a nice surprise to learn that one could also drive to the overlook if they need to and all parties could enjoy the view together. Two different ways to get to the same place which means if you need to split up your campers based on physical skills then you could do so and then eat at the shelter together. 

The camp ground has been FULL several times this season so make sure you make your reservations. This park also has a way for you to put on and take out of the river.  You will see folks walking around with their inner tubes as they will float down the small section.

We also drove 10 miles away to the Mohican Lodge to treat ourselves to some food and an OSU Football game at the bar downstairs. The bar has a great back patio and view of the lake.  It too has a variety of games in the back patio. They were awesome and turned on the closed caption feature for us.  Those of us that wanted to watched the game and others were able to play various games at the lodge (Ping pong, pool, read a book by the fire, go see the owls on site, and more).

The pool at the lodge is being redone at the moment. I may try to upload that information later.  So look for it to be new and improved. The pool also has a sauna for those that need some help to warm up/relax tight muscles. Usually, you can get a day pass for the lodge pool even when you are staying at the camp sites. This is a small fee but well worth it.

While we were at the lodge an outside non-profit group was there with 2 owls.  We hope to drive up to Mansfield sometime to explore their property (90 acres) with birds they have rescued or are helping. https://www.ohiobirdsanctuary.com/  they come to the lodge usually on Sat evening at 7 PM. 

For those who are a fan of Shawshank Redemption the movie you are an easy day trip away from the Mansfield Reformatory. https://www.mrps.org/explore/tours

Welcome Back to Hueston Woods

This was my second visit to the park. Some things have changed:) The park was very busy over the holiday weekend.  The movies were a highlight and the Friends of Hueston Woods had some tasty snacks you could purchase.

We opted not to swim at the beach but it is quite lovely. It wasn't over run with Geese.  You have a sandy area, grassy area, volley ball area, and playground. It is one of the better beaches for Ohio State Parks in the southern part of the state.  We bought a day pass to the pool at the lodge. This was a wonderful evening swimming late into the evening past sun set. 

In 2020, some of the campsites are being improved (see sign below). We camped on the RV side in our tent. This area is more populated and the bathrooms are better. It is more "groomed" the grass and landscape.  If you go to the primitive campsite side the grass is mowed but it has a more rustic feel to that side of the camp ground. 

The red covered bridge that is near by you can either drive to or walk to from the primitive side of the camp ground. The bridge is still beautiful but be prepared that folks have taken to writing on the bridge. Some of it is chalk or mud but it doesn't follow LNT. Not a fan of names or other tidbits on the bridge. 

The nature center here does a great program as we were able to look at various birds of prey. This was a highlight. 

We thought about renting kayaks but didn't want to wait. They don't do specific time slots so it is a wait around approach. We had better things to do than wait around. We went out on the trails. Some of the trails were better marked and others were not clearly marked.  We were able to figure it out but it was a bit tricky. 

**Photos and videos are not uploading fully so I will be back to upload more at a later time.

Kabin 7 and Kabin 11

The KOA was what one expects of the KOA lots of features and not very secluded. The Kabins were lovely.  

The design is nice as the bunk beds are in their own separate room. This means the back room will sleep four individuals. They also included little tables and benches so you can organize yourself in the room.  The front room has a large bed that sleeps two.  Then outside is the picnic table.  Due to health code rules you have to cook and do food outside of the cabin.  

Our first cabin some of the light bulbs were dead and as a result they moved us to another cabin. Problem solved. 

The bathrooms were very clean and the folks at the camp store were very helpful. I will say that my friend that took a shower was frustrated as one shower was scalding hot and the other was cold.  The floors were slippery as they didn't have a way to stop the water from going beyond the shower (no rim or lip).  She didn't get to use the Family Shower as you have to get the key from the store.  Shower time was usually before bed time with two little ones as they would get dirty playing during the day.  Since the camp store closes at 8 PM she would just use the standard shower with her kiddos. We thought this was a great feature and would have liked to get a look at the family shower set up. 

At the camp store, they would drop off the wood via golf carts as you purchased it.  I was able to buy three bundles for $18.00 as it is cheaper that way.  I also purchased two bags of ice.

The cabin was fun and we were able to keep our trip simple by packing less due to the cabin.  Buckeye Lake State Park is close by and if you don't have a boat they really don't have a lot to offer non-boaters unlike other lake state parks.  We didn't see any trails.  We did go to the "beach" but opted not to swim. Our time was spent at the near by Dawes Arboretum and Newark's Earthworks (mounds). 

**Will try to come back and upload more photos and videos later as tonight many of my posts are not fully uploading.

Full Moon night paddle on the Lake

Cowan Lake State Park - A friend and I were able to kayak on the lake the night of a Friday the 13th moon. It was beautiful. Sadly, no pictures as I do not have a water proof camera. The next day we also went out for another paddle under the bright sun.  The boat ramp and parking lot is easy to use and has a good layout.  They do have some tent sites close to the boat ramp area and you can see the lake from those tent sites. 

Our campsite did not have any trees but they have planted a lot of new trees. I assume this due the previous trees having to be cut down due to Emerald Ash borer damage. Our campsite didn't have any shade but others did so you really have to pick wisely. 

The trails here are easy and short.  I loved the informational boxes and tags that they had on the trees or plants.  This is helpful if you have little ones with you or if you are like me and just like to learn about the animals/plants on the trail. 

The park also had a lending library and walking stick lending program. I thought these were simple but memorable features for this park. 

Our campsite was close to two different bathroom structures.  One right behind our site was toilets only. This did mean that sometimes folks would walk on the edge or through the camp site at times.  The other bathroom structure was further down the road and it had both toilets and showers.  The larger bathroom had an ADA shower in it as well. 

The camp store was well stocked and you could rent bikes from the store. These bikes were often all over the campground so be extra careful when driving in the park.  They do have the orange flag but as they are low to the ground it is hard to see them at times. 

The cabins here have both a fire ring and grill. This isn't the case at all Ohio State parks so it was a nice surprise.  They also have a porch that is screened in with a view of the lake. You are not able to walk down to the lake from the cabin but it is a lovely view. 

For those who want to "Walk-On" camp please take a look at the photo of the neon yellow paper as how the park approaches this will be different in the future. 

**Not all photos or videos uploading so some information may be missing. I will try to upload again later.

Beautiful and Busy

The park is a gem and the Natural Bridge is something you need to experience. I go every year but I won't take the little ones onto the bridge.  It is easy to fall if you are not paying attention. For my friends that can hike a short distance we will also take the chair lift up or down. You can do both.  It really depends on the weather and the trail as to how we tackle the trail. The chair lift is a small fee and well worth the view. 

Cell phone signals are hit and miss down here so make sure you have a clean plan for connecting with folks prior to parting ways.

National Treasure

This camp ground was a federal site that was wonderful.  It just had so much to do in the campground and near by as well. We went to look at the light house, sand dunes, lake, beach, and even rode the train into Chicago for the day.

3 Dunes Challenge

This was a great State Park and loved the sand dune challenge as it got us out hiking. The sand dunes were beautiful.  The views were stunning on top of the sand dunes. The trail is well marked and should only be done by those in good shape.  It is tricky to walk on the sand.

Rain and Mud but Fun

Zaleski has a few backpacking camp sites in the forest.  Be mindful that the first one is rather close and we kept going.  The other camp sites are a haul.  They do provide a latrine but make sure you bring your own TP.   The loop is easy to navigate but the mileage is misleading so prepare to do some extra miles.

Campground

This is your standard Ohio State Park campground.  It has the usual parking, water, restrooms, camp store, and activities. 

East Fork is rather nice as it has the lake and long trails.  Just be prepared if you go on hikes to get turned around.  The park is huge so not everything is in the campground area.  If you drive around to the other side and do some of the trails over there be aware that two trails use blue blazes.  They could use more blazes on the trails in general but watch out for the two blue blazes in the same area as it got us turned around. 

This is great when you want to get away from the city but you don't want a long drive.

REI backpacking trail

The backpacking site was a great site for new backpackers.  It isn't too long but doing the full loop does let you know if your gear is working or going to be an issue. They provided fire wood for the site.  it is a tricky site to reserve as they only do it for a short season and in that season two weekend a month to avoid over use. The bridge was a lot of fun but I did slip on it in the rain as it was hard to get traction on the wood. I cannot wait to return to the site in the fall.  Each site has it's own personality we picked the further out sites of 6 as less foot traffic by park visitors.

Neat History

We enjoyed the history at this state park. I enjoyed learning about the salt making process and also Daniel Boone. They had a lovely museum for a small fee. They even have a fort on the property that we found on one of our hikes. The camp sites are ample size and do have electricity.  The restrooms were good.  My camp partner did hear some road noise so be sure to bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.

Hoosier National Forest (Hardin Ridge)

The campsite was small so if you have a large tent be prepared for it to take up most of your site.  The area was beautiful and had ample trees.  We would have been better off splitting into two camp sites due to the size (married couple and two friends).  It was a challenge to get both tents and a shelter set up on the site with the two cars as well. 

I was able to also set up my hammock in the near by trees. Do explore the area as lots to do and see.  The lake naturally:) but they also have a cool fire tower and cabin in the area.

Yurt life

This camp ground is pretty standard for Ohio State Parks. It does have a cool new sleeping option. Yurts! We enjoyed our time in the yurt.  They also have trails that are easy to tackle and well marked at this park. 

We were able to easily have the kids in one bed and we were in another bed.  The small fridge and microwave made it easy to pull a meal together. The fan kept us cool. 

Water is a short walk away and so are restrooms. You have to bring in local fire wood for your camp fires.

Deer Creek State Park (Ohio)

We rented a small cabin as we had kids with us on this trip.  The cabin was lovely and fit our needs. Simple but with some amenities. I especially loved the shelter next to the cabin as that is where we would cook, arts/crafts, and I also connected my hammock to the pole. Near by restrooms and easy access to water. We were able to park about 20 feet away from the cabin so it was easy to transport everything into the cabin as it was a flat walk. 

We were able to swim one day at the lake and then we bought a 1 day pool access pass the other day.  This was easier to keep new "swimmers" in the toddler pool and some of us in the adult pool. 

I will say that watch out for the raccoon around this cabin as they have become use to humans equal food so I had to keep a sharp eye out as they were all to willing to get into my personal space.

Back Country Campsite Dayton Five Rivers MetroParks (Germantown)

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.

Possum Creek Camp Site - Tulip (1 of 5 sites)

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).

Five Creeks Metro Parks (Dayton) -- Twincreek Group Site #2

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.

Winter escape

We actually stayed at the lodge and it was lovely. We would hike around during the day and swim inside as it was before spring. Lots of great trails. We hope to come back and back pack one of the trails