Brannon M.

Pro

Canton, OH

Joined June 2020

Ohio: Where deep woods and great stories abound. Dad to 3 incredible kids, we take our homemade trailer to fly fish & camp in the Midwest.

Old-Fashioned Family Camping :)

Cutty’s is good old fashioned family at its best! They’ve been in the business for years and it shows! From catch and release fishing to laundry facilities, the staff at Cutty’s has thought of everything.

Nearby attractions are: The Hartville Kitchen (seriously worth it), Hartville hardware (again, worth it - believe me), Quail Hollow State Park, Football Hall of Fame, McKinley Museum, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

As far as the camping, you can expect a lot of golf carts, big campers, and a bit of evening noise. Big it’s really okay. Everyone is pretty friendly and there’s actually a real sense of “community” owing to the seasonal campers.

You can easily spend a week here without feeling bored - especially if you’re with the family :)

Quick tip: The welcome brochure mentions area attractions for a reason: Get out there and enjoy!

Ummm...

So the grounds are beautiful! But there are Private Property signs all over. If this place is open, they sure don’t won’t any attention. Because I didn’t have a reservation ahead of time, I didn’t feel the freedom to pull in and ask for any openings. Oh well. Up the road…

Quick tip: I suppose the only tip is to call ahead. The website looks good, but doesn’t mention anything past 2019.

In Town...if that’s your thing :)

Came across the Canal Fulton campground on a tour of the Towpath Trail in North East Ohio. This campground is nestled in the small town of Canal Fulton with plenty to do!

Very few campsites can say they totally cater to families. This one does! From mini golf, nearby ice cream, canoe rentals, volleyball, and even a playground for the little kids. This is family camping “the way it used to be.” ;-)

True to most of the campgrounds along the towpath trail, this one seems built for hikers, bikers and primitive campers. But UNlike most, the Canal Fulton campground has plenty of sites to choose from: 17 total. Granted, most of those sites are right on top of each other, but all in all it’s pretty good for an in-town campground.

The only potential downside is the proximity to town traffic. It’s definitely not the “quiet and reclusive” type of site, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, this place is sure to satisfy :-)

Quick tip: reserve your canoe spot up to 24 hours in advance. Definitely the big draw for this campground. you can Count on a nice float down a lazy river :-)

History-Rich Sweet Spot

I came across the Towpath Trail Peace Park while looking for small places within an hour of home. With 4 primitive camping sites, Towpath Trail Peace Park is a charming roadside site within easy distance of Canton or Akron. It’s definitely geared for primitive camping with only one site available for trailers, or a small RV.

This might sound a little over-romantic, but for those who have ever dreamed about the great hiking pilgrimages in Europe, even the Appalachian trail here in the states, the towpath trail is Ohio’s answer for historically-rooted hiking. And sites like this, are the Midwest’s equivalent to the famous European stop-overs for through-hikers: a warm reception, great conversation, and a place to lay your head. Can’t beat the price either!

Joe, the site host, has his private residence on site, and he’s always ready to greet you with a conversation, and a quick game of ball with his golden retriever, Airbud :)

The historical significance of the site something most campers might be unaware of. The entire Bolivar area, the Erie canal, the towpath trail and even some of the nearby historical landmarks date back to the mid-18th century. Interesting fact: George Washington even mentions the area and some of his early writings as a surveyor.

The only potential downside is the traffic. Joe let me know that the train passes through more frequently than some campers prefer. Also, if you’re sensitive to road noise, you want to know that the road passes fairly closely to the campsites. But if you’re biking, hiking, or traveling through the area. This is one of the sites you’re probably gonna want to hit :)

Quick tip: Learn about the history of the area before you camp. The property line is on one of the most significant places in Ohio history. You are literally camping 200 yards from where Native American wigwams used to stand. Pretty cool!

First to Review
Great place!

Part of a larger county park system, Big Creek Great park has a little bit of everything. Most of the trails are small, well-marked, accessible, and easily walkable for families.

As far as camping, there are two rent sites (A and B), two lean-to sites (C and D), plus a tree house :) Really cool structures that are available to rent through the website.

Quick tip: Bring some fishing rods! There are a few ponds on the property, complete with fishing docs, that are stocked with bluegill and small man fish. Have at it!

Truly a Hidden Gem!

Perry Township Park campground is exactly what campground should be: great accommodations, beautiful views, tremendous service, and easy accessibility to a lot of fun stuff :-)

Most of the tent sites (there are only a few), are pretty uneven. But the views are incredible! You are just a stones throw away from Lake Erie, a boat launch, and a private beach. There’s no lifeguard on duty, so it’s definitely everything “at your own risk.“

Quick tip: make time to swing by the nearby town Geneva on the Lake.  plenty of touristy kind of stuff for those interested!

Close to a lot; Close to each other ;-)

Nimisila Reservoir is a pretty solid, but small park easily accessible by Akron, Canton, and Green. Several sites have electric (they are actually the most spacious ones), and most sites are fairly spacious.

The sights on the outer rim of the loop (often, the even numbered sites) tend to be the better sites. The latter number sites - sites 28, 26, 24, 22, are nestled inside tall Lodge Pole Pines. You are sure to find a great canopy in the evening, and pine needles throughout your site.

It’s always a challenge separating “the experience,“ from the campground itself. In my case, my neighbors stayed up late listening to the same 12-track CD on repeat ;-) Common courtesy is an issue at all campgrounds, but I hate to say this soured the experience for me.

Nimisilin seems perfectly poised for those eager to launch kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and boats with small motors. I saw several people fishing, and at least a dozen people out on the water. Seems like a great opportunity for those who are able!

Quick tip: If you’re able, rent a kayak. The shallow water, lengthy shoreline, and scenic views make for a great paddle.

Quiet, close to fish ;-)

So I’ll be honest: Sometimes I camp just so I can get close to flyfishing. This particular review has less to do with the specifics of the site (although this campground is great!), and more to do with the flyfishing in the area (also great!).

Pennsylvania is home to some of the best wilderness trout streams that you’re ever going to find. The area is just plain beautiful! If you like hiking, fishing, and getting it to enjoy some of the pristine wilderness of the Allegheny National Forest, this campground is your gateway to its natural beauty.

The campground near Tionesta (pronounced: “ty-NES-ta” for those out-of-town) is standard, but pretty nice. Everything you would expect for camping near ANF. The sites are well-maintained, and most of the locals seem pretty respectful.

The little town of President (and Porcupine Creek) is just up the road. This is one of the most pristine wilderness brook trout fisheries in the area. You can even find a wild, native Rainbow if you‘re lucky enough ;-)

Quick tip: spend more than a day here. If you like scenic drives, you’ll in for a nice surprise.

Good few hours :)

Bendigo State Park is what you might imagine when you think back to the day when families pulled off to enjoy a picnic & some fresh air. There aren’t really any campsites, but there are plenty of other amenities to fill up some quality time.

There’s a swimming pool, picnic areas, public grills, and of course the Clarion River for fishing. All in all, the park is a great roadside stop if you’re in the area.

Quick tip: Remember to bring your swimming suits. This is a place to cool off in the heat of summer :-)

Perfect All Around!

We spent two incredible nights here (and a full 3 days!) in mid-July.

Our site: we stayed on site 202. Our site is in the furthest loop back, and therefore the most remote. The site itself wasn’t particularly level, but didn’t prove too much of a problem. If you are staying with a large group (20-30), the inside of the furthest loop back might be a great way to reserve a section where everyone stays together. During our trip, it was used by a family of about 30 folks. Looks like they a great time!

The campground: The campground is nicely laid out, with a variety of deciduous trees and large pole Pines. there’s a nice playground for the kids, open field for throwing a frisbee, several restroom and shower locations. During our visit, everything is clean and in tiptop shape. Happy to recommend for those who are concerned about such things ;-) There’s also firewood available to purchase on site for reasonable rates.

Things to do: Cook Forest is nestled in an area along the Clarion River that’s full of possibilities! The biggest draw seems to be canoeing and kayaking down the river. We took advantage of one of the local liveries with really reasonable rates. The host/owner was incredible, and our 4-hour trip was perfect - even in low water. There’s also a fire tower (built in 1929!) across the street from the state park campground. It’s a 1.5 mile hike from the campground via gravel road, or you can drive and park. Worth the climb!

Quick tip: if you’re able, bring your bikes. It seemed like we were the only family who didn’t ;-)

Busy, but not too bad :)

Stayed a night here near the end of June after a rainstorm. A few quick highlights:

  1. Because there are a ton of sites, you can expect one thing: variety. There are plenty of aluminum Airstream, Winnebago, fifth wheels, pull behind, and tents. You can expect to find a little bit of everything here.

  2. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Mill Creek might not be for you. Most of the sites seem to be typically pretty packed. Generally, people respect quiet hours, but with sites so close to each other, noise is a factor.

  3. The surrounding area seems to be pretty spartan. There’s a grocery store about 10 minutes up the road, a bait shop about three minutes away, and a drive-through (with some light groceries and drinks) about two away. Nice enough folks in all three :) Super helpful and accommodating.

  4. Berlin lake seems to be the big draw. Plenty of boats, jet ski‘s, kayaks, and swimming opportunities. If that’s your thing, plan accordingly and you won’t be disappointed.

Overall, Mill Creek is a pretty solid site within driving distance of Akron / Canton. I’ll be back, with adjusted expectations.

Quick tip: My particular site was pretty muddy upon arrival. Granted, that was after a bit of rain. But it wouldn’t hurt to bring an extra pair of shoes ;-)

Family Retreat at its Best!

Hocking Hills State Park and campground are the perfect spot for families looking for a quick getaway! The campground is clean and well laid out, with sites that feel pretty comfortable. 

Hiking through Hocking Hills (a 5 min walk from most camping sites) is also the perfect mix of challenge / reward for the little ones. There's plenty to see and keep them interested. My advice: Plan on a full-half day with a picnic lunch along the trail.  

Driving time: Columbus = 1h, Cincinnati = 2.5h, Cleveland = 3.3h

Quick Tip: Check out neighboring attractions in the area. We went gem mining and the kids had a blast!

Perfect Family Hike!

People get down on Illinois. And I get it. It’s a typical Midwest state and it’s mostly pretty flat. But…then there’s Starved Rock! Easily accessible to most of IL residents, Starved Rock is a great half-day for anyone looking for hiking, waterfalls, and views, views, views!

Quick tip: We enjoyed a quick trail mix snack at the bottom of the steep inclines. Gave the kiddos the energy they needed to make it to the top :)

Not much, but that’s okay ;-)

It’s a pretty spartan campground in a pretty minimal place. But that’s okay! Our family stopped by on our way through the U.P. If you’re looking for a pullover lunch, and a place to stretch your legs, this might be the place.

Quick tip: Yes, yes, yes. This is right on the Fox River - the likely the location where Hemingway fished. Nostalgic as heck, and darn pretty too ;-)

The Great Midwestern Beach ;-)

This is a great area for those who (like us) have made I-80 a semi-annual migration pattern ;-) All kidding aside, this is a perfect spot either to or from the Chicago area. From Indiana Dunes State Park all the way up the coast to New Buffalo, the area is dotted with great little restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Tourist-y without being tacky.

There are plenty or rentals for those looking for a house-type stay.

Quick Tip: Prepare for cold water! Lake Michigan is usually pretty cold until later in the summer.

Shoreline Beauty!

I spent a day in Geneva State Park during early November. Definitely a little chilly, but absolutely beautiful! Prepare for wind, waves, and “Wow!”

Quick tip: Come at dawn for a beautiful sunrise over the Lake!

Chilly in early spring, but great!

Stayed overnight at the Wolfkiel Run Shelters just down the road. It was early April, the snow had just fallen week before, and it got pretty cold during the night. Still, the hiking trails were in great condition! Runoff was happening, so oil creek was pretty flooded.

The lean-to shelters are a great feature for a group of 2-5 (especially if you bring a tarp to close off the wind).

Quick Tip: If you're camping with kiddos, try turning over the rocks in area creeks to find little aquatic insects. A little creepy, but a lot of awesome ;-)

Great small spot!

Tent camped here in late April. The solo camp ground can be a little hair-raising as it’s perched about 20 feet from the edge of the canyon wall. Beautiful setting, great fishing (stocked trout in April, Smallmouth all year).

Quick Tip: Bring sandals for wet wading in the creek. Head upstream for a 1/4 mile for really awesome views.

Good campground - Great walking!

Spent just one night here with my son. We were most interested in fishing for the stocked brown trout in the Clear Fork at the Mohican river. Turned out pretty well :-) The campsite was nice, but nothing remarkable. Overall, it’s a great place to family camp with lots of trails and a lot of variety. We will be back!

Quick Tip: If you're planning to walk the trail from the covered bridge to the dam, you have two options: A level, gravel trail on one side and a more rigorous trail on the other side. We like to take one up and one back for a little variety.

Beautiful (sigh)... :-)

The smallest of all of the campgrounds in the Allegheny national Forest, this little slice of heaven is just perfect! With only six campsites, it’s definitely “first come, first served.” The sites are well proportioned (not right on top of each other), and perfectly situated at the base of the trailhead.

Several of the sites back up to minister Creek. Home to some of the scrappiest brook trout I have fished for. Such a great place to get away!

Quick Tip: Perfect spot for star-gazing. So set the alarm for 2am and enjoy :)