We weren't actually in Columbus, Ohio for Columbus Day weekend, but pretty close. We had hoped to stay at John Bryan State Park in the charming little town of Yellow Springs, very close to one of our favorite bike paths, the Little Miami Scenic Trail. But John Bryan is a small park and was fully reserved for the weekend. Turns out that there was a fall festival going on in Yellow Springs, so it would have been busier than we like anyway.
As an alternative, we tried out Caesar Creek State Park, near Waynesville and not too far from either Cincinnati or Dayton.
This is a huge (248-site) state park, and a popular one. All reservable sites were already taken for the weekend, but the A loop is first-come, first-serve, along with half of the E loop, so arriving before 1 pm on a Thursday, we found about half of these sites still available for those of us without reservations. Even though the sign above says check-in time is 3 pm, the staff didn't balk at our arrival time. By Friday night, all sites in the campground were taken. We were really glad we arrived on Thursday!
We found an excellent site with a great grassy side yard to take Paisley out in and neighbors only on one side. Amazingly, we lucked out as their fifth-wheel was there all weekend, but they were not. We found out later that the husband got injured, and they had to leave their rig in the park and take off for him to be treated. Apparently it had been sitting on the site for weeks! We were sorry to hear that, but it certainly worked in our favor since there was no noise nor campfire smoke coming from them.
All sites in this campground are electric only, but there are threaded water spigots in various spots and two dump stations. Our Verizon 4G LTE signal was a bit weak, but we did pick up a lot of over-the-air TV stations. There is a lake and large parking area with a boat ramp for motorboats. This would be a great place to kayak or canoe as well.
Barry spied this guy enjoying the sunny day near the trail.
On one of our days here, we took a long bike ride, just under 47 miles. We were farther from the Little Miami Scenic Trail than we'd hoped, but we were determined to get over to ride part of it, so Barry figured out a route for us using Google Maps. We got a great day for it as it was sunny and warm, in the 70s, and the last really warm day for awhile.
We rode on a somewhat busy rural road with no shoulder and rolling hills over to the trail, about 11 miles. We got onto the trail in the small town of Spring Valley and rode south to just beyond another small town, Oregonia. We went as far as we could before reaching a trail closure for construction. The trail was lovely as usual; this is our third or fourth time riding at least part of it.
Although this sign heading north on the trail advertises Caesar Creek State Park as being only 3.3 miles away, unfortunately that is not the part of the park where the RV campgrounds are. We would have loved it if it were really that close!
In Oregonia we turned off the trail and onto the road for our return trip to the campground and were immediately confronted with the Oregonia Road hill, one of the nastiest hills we've ever climbed! Barry had ridden it the day before while checking out the route so warned me, but it was the shorter way back and with less traffic than the Spring Valley route, so I opted for it. This hill was long, winding, and very steep, with no shoulder at all. Fortunately, only one vehicle came from behind the entire time, which was good since I had to walk half of it. My Trek road bike just doesn't have low enough gearing for this kind of hill!
Once to the top, the road flattened out (whew!) and was only flat to lightly rolling the rest of the way back to the campground. These roads were very pretty and rural, with light traffic. It was a fun ride, but I don't think I ate or drank enough, and my legs were burning for the last 10 miles. Barry too would suffer after doing this climb two days in a row, as the following day his shoulder started ailing him.
On our last morning in the campground, we looked out and were astonished to see this stunning sunrise. What a wonderful way to greet the day!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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