A Camping and Hiking Bucket List

A Camping and Hiking Bucket List

We aren’t necessarily attempting to visit all the national or state parks, but it is kind of fund to track those we have visited and see how much there is still to explore. Of course this list neglects many of the state and national forests, historic sites, recreation areas, and other wonderful public lands.

⛺️- camped in the park
🥾- hiked in the park

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Patoka Lake State Park

Patoka Lake State Park

This was our second attempt at Patoka Lake. We had reservations last summer that we cancelled to go to Colorado. Honestly, after the wonders of Colorado we kind of forgot about Patoka Lake.

As the long President’s Weekend approached, the weather in the Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky area seemed to be doing its normal midwest thing. South of us, a few inches of snow and rain were expected. North of us, nighttime temps dropped into the teens. Western Indiana seemed to be in a sweet spot. It would be winter camping, but temperatures wouldn’t dip much below freezing and precipitation would be minimal.

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Cumberland Falls State Park

Cumberland Falls State Park

Cumberland Falls bills itself as the “Niagara of the South” and the falls are certainly impressive – 65 feet high and 125 feet wide. It is also known as one of only two places in the world to view a moonbow. On a clear night, around the time of the full moon, a faint glow can be seen in the mist at the foot of the falls. Of course the attraction draws quite a crowd in the summer. On our first trip to the region, we were wedged into a tiny tent site in the campground and watched the moonbow with hoards of others. But this fall weekend we got to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Continue reading “Cumberland Falls State Park”

East Fork Lake State Park

East Fork Lake State Park

No need to let a weekend work event cramp our camping style! East Fork is right outside the metro Cincinnati area and has more than 400 sites.

eastforkcampmap

Though the calendar says October, the heat was peak of summer – nearly 90º. So we prioritized a shady site. Unfortunately, one of the few shady sites left, 136, was also very awkward. There wasn’t much sitting space around the parking pad – the fire ring and picnic table were both nearly on the road. Continue reading “East Fork Lake State Park”

Tar Hollow State Park

Tar Hollow State Park

Tar Hollow is a place I remember visiting back in our tenting days. We liked the hiking but were surprised by the lack of flush toilets, given the presence of showers. Sadly, the pit toilets were sufficiently unpleasant to deter us from returning. Now that we travel with our own bathroom facilities, we decided it was time to give Tar Hollow a second chance. Continue reading “Tar Hollow State Park”

Iron Ridge Campground

Iron Ridge Campground

Holiday weekends are always a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, it is hard to not take advantage of an extra day of hiking and camping. On the other hand, everyone else with a camper or tent has the same idea. We were even rather late this year in booking. At the end of July we were in Colorado with spotty internet, but I found an open campsite on the app and quickly booked it without knowing much about the region. It seemed the camping gods were on our side because we found not just a relatively quiet and beautiful campground, but I think we may have had the best spot in the campground! Continue reading “Iron Ridge Campground”

Arriving in Leadville

Arriving in Leadville

I am getting used to Blue waking us up early, but I will never get used to feeling like a ground squirrel beneath a snow drift as she fox pounces, then digs at my head. Not fun at anytime let alone 6am.

We slowly got moving, packing up to move on. Ted made cinnamon rolls and bacon for our breakfast while Blue monitored the activity of the chipmunks outside. I washed my hair in the campground showers and we all helped pack up the trailer (well, except maybe Blue – she had that whole chipmunk thing). We were soon heading west, through a series of turns and passes that got us to 12,000 feet and then back down. As Ted said, these are much better motorcycle roads than trailer roads.

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