In the short videos I posted you will notice that I did not add a transcript. Please turn on your Google Accessibility for Live Captions to access the spoken information within the video clips.
Shawnee State Park (Little Smokies of Ohio)
Has a great ranger/naturalist (Jenny) she made the days go by in a memorable way as we were able to do a creek crawl with her one day, kayaked for free with her on the lake, and had several other activities that we enjoyed. ODNR has a gem in Jenny as she was able to tailor the events to a wide range of abilities, interests, and ages.
Cell Phone service is weak at the park. We didn't always have a signal at the camp grounds but if you go over to the lodge you will have a signal. You can also access Wi-Fi while at the lodge if needed. The lodge has a restaurant that you can eat at if you wish. They also have an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and an indoor hot tub. If you camp at the state park campsites you can pay for a day pass. This is a great thing to do when you need a change of pace or if it is rainy and you want to swim indoors. They even have a game room (old school arcade).
Near the Shawnee State Park is a dairy bar that my family has gone to for many years. It is a part of the tradition to get Turtle Sundaes. https://www.facebook.com/Buckeye-Dairy-Bar-Miniature-Golf-166451746787194/
In the Shawnee lodge if you look closely at the main mural you will notice Raven Rock. We totally overlooked this while we were growing up. Thanks to the internet we now know this is a nature preserve. https://ohiodnr.gov/wps/portal/gov/odnr/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/raven-rock-state-nature-preserve
Our first campsite was number 12. We arrived at 5:55 PM and the camp office closes at 6:00 PM. The gal waited for us to check out the site and we promptly came back as she did indicate it was a rough site. This site and 13, 14 is what I would expect for a backpacking campsite. Not for a traditional car camping non-electric campsite. If we had any older or younger family members with us it would have been inaccessible. We didn't like the walk up to the site and the big draw back was the table in the poison ivy. We promptly for the 1st time in my camping career paid a fee to switch to a new site. Luckily the park was not super busy as it was a weekday.
Bathroom access such as the stairs, bathroom stalls ADA, and other access points will need to continue to be improved for those with mobility issues. This would have greatly impacted my friends and family had they been with me on this trip.
The showers in the bathhouse are motion sensor based. That means if you get too far from the sensor the shower will turn off. Also, make sure you take your shampoo items etc. out with you before you get dressed as if you reach back in to grab your items you will promptly get sprayed.
Another favorite spot is the fire tower https://ohiodnr.gov/wps/portal/gov/odnr/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/copperhead-fire-tower Please make sure to respect the fire tower as it is one of the few fire towers that you can still go up in and look at the beautiful view. You will not have a signal here so make sure you also ask about how to get back as we didn't have a GPS signal for the way back and just explored our way back to civilization.
The park was not super busy while we were there in June. It is a well kept secret as I found this to be one of the most charming parks that I have been to in a long time. I suspect the cell phone signal and location has impacted folks coming to this park compared to others. It isn't super close to a major city but for me that is part of the charm.
For those of you who like to mountain bike do check out the new mountain bike trails. I cannot report on those as I am not talented enough to go out on those trails;)