The Best Camping Souvenir Ever – Bringing Home Blue

The Best Camping Souvenir Ever – Bringing Home Blue

Blue Heron Campground will be memorable for lots of reasons, not the least of which because we seem to have gained a new member of our camping family.

Sunday evening, we were preparing our dinner when a ghostly creature emerged from the woods. It was a emaciated, scarred dog who circled our campsite before trotting away. Later in the evening, we learned there were, in fact, a brother-sister pair of dogs when some kids on bikes were feeding the female. We sacrificed our hot dogs and the next morning’s turkey bacon to the ravenous beast who begged with the saddest of blue eyes. But we also soon found this girl to be sweet and well-tempered. She adored the attention of the campground kids and exposed her tick-encrusted belly to anyone willing to giver her the least bit of attention. Continue reading “The Best Camping Souvenir Ever – Bringing Home Blue”

Hocking Hills: A Tale of Two Campgrounds

Hocking Hills: A Tale of Two Campgrounds

Our previous trips to Hocking Hills have been some of our favorite weekends. We love the hiking and camping in sites 152-163. We had never before camped in the full hook-up side, so we were very excited to spend a couple nights in a beautiful place with full water and sewer. I can’t remember a time we have been so disappointed in a place we had previously enjoyed.

Some of the issues with these sites included: Continue reading “Hocking Hills: A Tale of Two Campgrounds”

Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park

I will never forget our first time at Maumee Bay State Park, four years ago. I booked a weekend as a Christmas present so we could participate in the Biggest Week in American Birding. We were new birders, and had little idea of what to expect other than the high praise heaped by more experienced birders. As we exited off the highway and wound through industrial Toledo, my skepticism increased. The miles remaining on my navigation app continued to decrease but we still drove past and through mills and factories. No way was this going to the wild, nature weekend I had hoped. Yet we enjoyed the weekend enough to return ever year. In fact, it has become one of our favorite parks in the state. Continue reading “Maumee Bay State Park”

Winton Woods Campground

Winton Woods Campground

Camping within metro areas can be sketchy at best. In Cincinnati, we are very fortunate to be able to get away to the few campgrounds with the Hamilton County parks system. We grew up playing on the playgrounds at Winton Woods, but haven’t had much opportunity to explore the campground. When spring weather finally arrived, we decided to head over for the work week.

For a suburban campground, Winton Woods is rather large – 123 total sites, including 37 with full hookups. The full hook up sites (including 12 pull-throughs) are located near the entrance and feature large paved parking pads. The tent sites are not as level and are more variable in size, but at least feature 30 amp electricity and many are on the water. The tent sites are doable for all but the largest of trailers or RVs. Continue reading “Winton Woods Campground”

Kayaking around John Pennekamp State Park

Kayaking around John Pennekamp State Park

The Key Largo Kampground, while on the water, is separated from the open ocean by yards of mangroves. The only way out is by winding through mangrove passages. Despite 30 years of visiting the area, we have done very little exploration of these paths. This year, since we drove to Florida, we were able to bring all of our gear, including our kayaks.

In past years, we have borrowed kayaks and followed the tides along the shoreline. One year we encountered a rental kayak and this has been an recurring inside joke. Continue reading “Kayaking around John Pennekamp State Park”

Mammoth Cave Campground

Mammoth Cave Campground

Mammoth Cave Campground is the main developed campground at Mammoth Cave National Park. The 105 sites are laid out in three loops through a nicely forested area. Shade should be plentiful in this campground. On recreation.gov sites did not seem to be reservable until mid-May, but plenty of sites were available when we arrived after 9:00pm. Of course the lows for the night were predicted to drop below freezing, so campsites may be more scarce in warmer temps.

We selected site 81 as it was dark when we arrived and seemed no better or worse than the rest. Next trip we may try to select one of the sites that run along Green River Ferry Road. There is a little valley¬†just beyond those sites so the view and breeze seem like it would make those sites¬†optimal. Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Campground”