Yellowwood Lake Trail

Yellowwood Lake Trail

Just about three miles from Brown County State Park is Yellowwood State Forest. The trails in this region ranked well on AllTrails.com and we were eager to see as much of the area as we could in a day.

The length of the Lake Trails seems to be a bit up for debate with the two maps available at the Forest Serve office offering lengths of 4.5 and 5 miles. My Fitbit (which is never accurate) clocked the trail at just over 7 miles, but my guess that was due to the snowy conditions requiring picking footing more carefully and therefore more steps per mile.

Speaking of maps, the maps available at the forest service office are grainy photocopies and the trail has a few confusing intersections, so it is important to pay attention to trail signs and/or have a written description of the trail. The Lake Trail blazes are white waves.

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We began the trail from the Forest Service office. Alternatively, the trail intersects parking areas at the north and south ends of the lake. At the Forest Service Office a short access trail leaves from across Yellowwood Road. When the access trail reaches the Lake Trail we chose to head right and complete the loop in a clockwise direction. I don’t think there are any particular benefits of either direction. Continue reading “Yellowwood Lake Trail”

Hanson’s Point – Red River Gorge

Hanson’s Point – Red River Gorge

Frequent visitors of the Red River Gorge will tell you that some of the best trails in the region are unofficial trails. Anyone who is truly interested in hiking the gorge must buy Jerrell Goodpaster’s Hinterlands book. It has long been considered the Red River Gorge hiking bible and without a doubt, it your best bet for finding Hanson’s Point and other great features.

img_6711 Continue reading “Hanson’s Point – Red River Gorge”

Park Loop Trail – Shawnee State Park

Park Loop Trail – Shawnee State Park

We originally picked Shawnee State Park because we remembered loving the Shawnee Forest Day Hike Trail. Unfortunately, we caught a case of the morning lazies and didn’t get started until late morning. And then we had to run to the gas station for a few quick supplies. And then it was nearly lunch so we might as well swing back by the camper for chicken salad. And then we switched on the TV to catch a great episode of Wild Ohio on PBS. And then it was after 1:00pm – kind of late to start a seven mile hike when it starts getting dark before 7:00pm. I’m sure we could have done it, but we opted instead to hike out the Knighton Nature Trail.shawnee trail map Continue reading “Park Loop Trail – Shawnee State Park”

O’Bannon Woods State Park

O’Bannon Woods State Park

I am not sure why so few of our trips have been to the west. Very few of our normal campgrounds had sites available a week out. Our requirements were someplace within three hours of our home, accessible for Mom coming from Tennessee, and with two sites next to one another.

O’Bannon Woods State Park is a 2,294 acre park located in Southern Indiana, approximately 30 minutes outside Louisville, Kentucky. It is harbored within the Harrison-Crawford State Forest, a lovely example of the re-wilding of the Indiana farmland that has taken place in the last century. Signs along the road note when assorted tree groves were planted.

The campground has 234 sites with electric, plus an additional 36 horse sites. We reserved 191 and 193 as they seemed most remote and were listed as full shade and only a slight grade. I think we picked two of the nicest spots in the campground. Both backed up to the woods with ample space for a fire ring and picnic tables. Sites were far enough apart to allow for reasonable privacy. Sites in loops A and B seemed to have more traffic and noise, so they wouldn’t be my first choice. Continue reading “O’Bannon Woods State Park”

Less In Tents

Less In Tents

We caved.

Our first real camping trip as a couple was Yellowstone in 2009. We began to camp obsessively in 2013.

We have camped in rain, wind, heat, and cold. We have braved bears, lightening, mosquitoes, and sketchy campers.

But in all these years there have been times we have cancelled trips because of conditions. We anxiously watch the weather in summer and winter, hoping for temps we can tolerate. In the spring we do dances to the rain gods in the hopes we won’t be washed out. If only we could be guaranteed a warm, dry spot to sleep, we would be fine with most of what Mother Nature has to offer…

Finally, we decided life is too short to waste waiting for good weather. Introducing… Continue reading “Less In Tents”

John Bryan State Park

John Bryan State Park

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Typically, the secret to enjoying summer in Ohio is a mixture of air conditioning and swimming pools. On the rare occasion that summer storms bring lower humidity we make a bee-line for the nearest park. It seems we were not the only people with this idea on Saturday. The trade off for not hiking in sweat soaked socks is a trail as busy as the mall in December.

John Bryan State Park is located just outside the quirky town of Yellow Springs. It is home to a 59 site campground. Unfortunately, the only toilets available are single stall vault toilets and they did not smell particularly great by mid-summer. Some sites on the perimeter have relatively level pads, but much of the camping is in the middle of a grassy field. I honestly wish the facilities were a bit better because there are so many great activities to explore in the area. But based on the lack of free camping spaces mid-day Saturday, it seems we are the only ones hesitating to camp. Continue reading “John Bryan State Park”