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.
Continue reading “Patoka Lake State Park”
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.
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”
Camping in January? Of course! Last year we took advantage of a warm weekend to tent camp in January. This year, weeks of the flu, record cold, and snow made for some pretty severe cabin fever and any above freezing daytime temps suddenly seemed like great weather.
Winter camping can be tricky for many reasons, not least of which is the major shutdowns that happens at campgrounds during the off-season. Surprisingly, many campgrounds don’t do a great job communicating the degree to which they will be open. A few state and national agencies seem to do their best to discourage winter camping, but not the Indiana DNR. They provide a fantastic PDF on winter camping detailing the amenities that will be available at each state park campground. A few minutes of cross-referencing this list with a couple hiking resources and mapping sites made Brown County State Park an easy choice. How have we not yet visited the “Little Smokies”? Continue reading “Brown County 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”
When one thinks of Indiana, cornfields and basketball may come to mind. But turquoise waters lapping tawny sands? Only those who have discovered Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the adjacent State Park would think of that.
This place has long been on our list. Last weekend, I started considering a camping trip and checked out weather.com. Rain, rain and more rain – except for the very northwest segment of the circle formed by the four hour driving radius that I consider possible as a weekend trip. This area was supposed to get bad storms on Friday night, but the storms would bring in cooler temps and dryer air. This seemed like our best chance for a camping trip. Continue reading “Indiana Dunes”