I worked for the Wayne National Forest as a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) member when I was 18! We would meet at this beautiful building every morning to head out to do maintenance on the trails. The building has a lovely welcome center / small gift shop that is full of SUPER useful maps and information on trails, camping in the Wayne, the ATV trails, etc. There is a huge parking lot in the front and the side of the building and the roof is covered in solar panels! There is also a lovely native plant garden / pollinator area outside with informational signs. Additionally, there is an old (but well maintained) fire tower in the backyard (unsure if this is open to public). Overall a very great place to visit to get more information about camping in Wayne National Forest.
The Hanging Rock Recreation area features tons of well kept ATV trails for motor bikes or quads (max width allowed is 50 inches). Besides the ATV trails, there are tons of little lakes that are ideal for fishing! There is a large parking area in the middle of the park with a restroom, and at least one other restroom further down the road. I noticed several “fire pits” in gravel pull offs in the park. Not sure if fires are allowed though.
We hiked here today to retrieve some trail cameras from the surrounding Wayne National Forest for a spotted skunk study at Ohio University. Along and just off the trails were tons of gorgeous wildflowers like trilliums, violets, showy orchids, and more!
I used to live by this park and I visited it all the time with my cousins as kids! There are a couple playgrounds, swing sets, and tons of open areas for children to enjoy. The trails are nice and fairly well kept. The little sandy beach is by far my favorite part of the park though! The water is shallow and warm in the summer. In fact, the water is so shallow that you can wade almost 400 meters out or more! There are often crabs, small fish, and sometimes jellyfish floating about. There is always cool driftwood and shells to collect along the sand. Belle Isle is a great place to visit for day trips or over night camping! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone in the area that wants to get a small taste of the Chesapeake Bay and it’s wildlife and plants.
The Nelsonville Music and Arts Festival is one of my favorite summer festivals of all time. It is usually the first week of June. NMF is big enough to have some great artists play (Ween, the Avett Brothers, Mac Demarco, the Flaming Lips, Twin Peaks, and many more!) but small enough that it isn’t too crowded and most of the people there are friends or acquaintances. The campground for the fest is just outside of the music festival. You can drive in and purchase a camping pass, then drive to a spot, park your vehicle, and set up your tent right next to it. The area is broken into cool “streets” with unique street names. There are also camper and RV spots available. You can purchase firewood and ice on site. Alcohol is allowed in the camping area, but not on the road or parking lot. Outside alcohol is also not allowed in the festival. If it has been rainy the campsites and dirt roads can get muddy - turning the area officially into Mudville. The best sites are those along a road in the forested area however. During hot years the trees provide shade which helps keep it cool. They also protect from rain. There is always a stage set up in the campsite area on the “rowdy” side of the campgrounds. This stage hosts late night bands and DJs! It’s always a fun time.
Dolly Sods is a wilderness area within the great Monongahela National Forest. I backpacked here in early March a few years ago. Definitely be prepared for high winds and rain. We hiked in in warm weather and once we reached the top of a long entrance road (where one trailhead was) we found snow. A lot of the snow had melted making the ground very soggy and oversaturated in some areas. Despite this, our short Dolly Sods backpacking trip was an amazing first trek for myself and a fiend. Dolly Sods is absolutely gorgeous and is a completely different and unique ecosystem than the surrounding area. I also have friends who have camped here later in the year - mid to late summer - and have highly, highly, recommended that I go back during that time.
I stayed here during a long cross country road trip. You basically go off the highway and drive in on some gravel roads and apparently can camp anywhere as long as you are 100 m away from any roads or trails! No amenities. I was alone and was nervous to camp alone. But I slept fine (besides some wind) and woke early and got back on the road.
There is a backpacking trail along the snake River near the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Right away there is a pretty wide stream crossing. Following that, a long flat trail through grassy fields and forest. Along the way, we found soooo many garter snakes both on our hike in and out. There are several campsites along this trail. We stayed at a campsite that forked off to the left. After crossing another small stream the campsite is just beyond the rocky shore below a grassy hill amongst some trees. Campsite itself is level and has some bear hangs. A small fire pit and places to sit. Very primitive but beautiful. Had a blast both times I stayed here as a wildlife research technician in the park.
I camped here in early July while I worked as a wildlife research technician in Yellowstone. The campsite wasn’t that bad - the hike was longer and had decent elevation change. There are several campsites along this trail. Our campsite had an outdoor toilet, bear hangs, a nice fire pit with natural benches and a stream not too far away to collect water to filter. However, the mosquitos were soooo bad (again this was July 1st through the 3rd) we had to hide out in our tents right after work for hours and we couldn’t fully enjoy the beauty of the area. It has annoying to cook dinner with all the mosquitos swarming is. Going out of the tent to use the bathroom was unthinkable unless it was an emergency! Overall, the campsite and surrounding area were very lovely. Shoshone lake is gorgeous and cold.
I worked in YNP as a wildlife research technician during the summer of 2019. The park service boated my crew out to this site to conduct bat research o two separate occasions. The boat ride was over an hour long! There are pretty much no amenities. You are also required to use bear canisters as there are no pre made bear hangs or tall enough trees to use as bear hangs. We camped inland the first time and near the beach the second time. It was GORGEOUS both times. Tons of wildlife and fish! Some of the most beautiful fields of wildflowers I have ever seen. Also, this site in Yellowstone is one the most secluded places in the entire park. It’s the furthest away from any form of civilization I’ve ever been. True seclusion.
I camped here twice last summer when I worked in the park as a wildlife research technician studying bats (This cabin may only be available for park staff). The hike in is best done as a through hike with a planned pick up on the other side. The trail is hard to follow in some areas. Starts out flat then you go up Mary Mountain where the cabin is located. The Mary mountain cabin is small but has enough bedding for up to 5 or 6 people. It has bunk beds, cots, tons of sleeping bags and pads. There is a cute porch, pic nic table, fire pit, and a double seated outhouse. Locks up nicely as there are definitely bears in the area. The small lake in front of the cabin is cold and clear. One of my favorite places in the park!
Love this forest both for its day hikes and backpacking trails. This would be a great place for a first time backpacking trip. The trails are well maintained and marked. Lots of cool history in this area too. Definitely would recommend for anyone in the area to check out.
I study wildlife conservation and my professor has flying squirrel boxes here that we check every winter. A couple cute cabins that I believe are run by the Girl Scouts. Short trail in a residential area but definitely pretty! I love running up to this area and jumping on the trail real quick to soak in some natural beauty.
I’ve gone to several small festivals here! Such an amazing community and fun place to gather. There is an area for a communal kitchen, dining areas, fire pits, and even a stage! Tons of cool things to discover here.
The trail in is super steep. The climb is totally worth it though. Some amazing rock out croppings and views up there! There are several boulder routes as well. At the end of the short trail is a cool rock shelter! A very neat local treasure.
No camping here! However the trails are nice for biking, hiking, or trail running. The deeper you go into the trails here the better. There are some cool rocks and some cool rock shelters. There are also a ton of fun bouldering routes. Make sure to bring a crash pad or two. Dogs are also a regular site and very welcome!
The lake and the beach are very nice! Sometimes the water isn’t very clean. Often times the beach is littered with goose droppings. The beach area can sometimes be crowded in the summer. The trails are worth it though! Lots of mountain bikers and trail runners frequent the trails. Strouds is a great place to rent a paddle board, kayak, canoe, or pontoon. There are pic nic tables, a beach volley ball area, and bathrooms. The bathrooms are sub par but all you would really need anyway.
Lots of available places to tent camp or park an RV! There’s a nice little beach area along the lake. Several large pavilions. Playground for the kids. During the summer they set up large inflatable slides and create a makeshift lake waterpark! I camp here EVERY year during the Annual Pawpaw Festival in mid September. They have local art, music, beer, and all kinds of pawpaw products! Such a blast! Highly recommend!!!
I used to work at Wayne National Forest as a YCC crew member! I fondly remember visiting these sites for weekly maintenance. Happy to report they are still very clean and well groomed! There are several platforms for tents and a trail that eventually meets up with the lake.
Several fine camping spots for a fair price! Always clean. Private. The lake and lodge are very nice. A somewhat secret treasure in the area that deserves more attention! Fun for day trips and multi-day trips.
I camp here allllll the time. Secluded spot and an easy yet pretty trail. Perfect place for a first time backpacking trek. I will note I have seen this site crowded before. The parking lot can be full of cars and a lot of the obvious / easy campsites along the trail can be taken. BUT I have also camped here and no one else was around. There is a restroom and garage can at the trail head. The trail has a smaller loop and a larger loop. Both are fairly easy hikes. I recommend visiting Wildcat hollow in the springtime as the forest floor will be carpeted with beautiful wildflowers.