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.
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 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”→
Some of the flowers we encountered at Lake Vesuvius over Labor Day weekend. I normally think of late August/early September as too late for flowers, but this weekend was one of the most spectacular we have ever seen outside spring.
Labor Day may mark the end of the official summer season, but our trek around Lake Vesuvius was our sweatiest and most miserable exploration of the summer. Fortunately, we had amazing views and spectacular wildflowers to distract us. On more than one occasion, I leaned into the humidity, lush plant-life, and the cacophony of birds and insects and pretended I was on a jungle exploration. Fortunately, the weather was made manageable by the knowledge we would have a cold shower and air conditioning before bed.
We ended up at Lake Vesuvius because the Iron Ridge Campground had availability a month before Labor Day. The 8.25 miles of the Lakeshore Trail beckoned as a perfect way to enjoy our first day in Wayne National Forest. We set off from the boat ramp parking lot from which the Rock House Trail also departed. We were fortunate to encounter an employee at Kountry Kayak, the boat concessionaire, who offered a fantastic map of the hiking trails in Wayne National Forest. I had studied this map enough at home to be confident of finding our way by following the lake, but this was a waterproof version that covered lots of trails and will be a great addition to our map collection. Continue reading “Lake Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail”→
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”→
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.
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”→