A trip long dreamed about was finally here. We set up the tent, organized our gear, then settled down for a night in the Acadia 'wilderness'. We were pumped! We read all the brochures, planned our days events, and were ready to take on the world!
Pica was restless.. She ended up finding comfort with us on our bed. First time ever! She was very good through the night though, as she only growled at one person walking to the restroom. Then our bed was losing air. By morning, we were sleeping on the rocky ground. Oh well, we'll try bed #2!
For now, we had to go.. A 4am appointment on Cadillac Mountain for the sunrise came quickly! We packed up some warm clothes and set out for the mountain. Once there we knew there wouldn't be a visible sunrise. We were in a cloud. We could see nothing, and the wind and moisture made us very glad we brought warmer clothing. Well, since we weren't going to see the sunrise, we may as well walk the trail! It was beautiful! Rocky, unique structure, and we imagined the view we would normally have! The next day, we drove to the mountain again and saw the beautiful views just after sunrise.
During the rest of the trip, we hiked a few small trails, road our bike on the carriage roads, saw Thunder Hole and Bar Harbor, went on a Boat Tour, ate lunch at Jordan Pond House, and Mark even capped it off with a hike on the famous Beehive Trail. We also took a trip to the west side of the island and visited Bass Harbor Lighthouse.
The weather was near perfect! Highs in the 70's, and lows near 60 and no rain! The campground itself was beautiful, but honestly I don't know how tenters do this on a regular basis. We enjoyed our 3 nights, but with people yelling nearby, kids screaming, and a radio?? What are people thinking! We prefer the solitude, peacefulness and safety of dispersed camping in our rig, so we'll leave tenting to the younger folk. :-)
By the way.. Night #2, our airbed #2 deflated too. For night #3 we set up our last bed option. A nice airbed we borrowed from Ruth & Darrell. It was definitely a quality airbed, because it worked flawlessly!
All in all, the park is absolutely beautiful! If you love to hike and bike, you will LOVE Acadia!
Stay Details: Blackwoods Campground; Acadia National Park ME - Site B-16
Notes: The campground is mostly for tenters and small RVs. It has modern toilets in all loops, but the shower house is outside the park nearby and is pay per use. The sites have a good amount of space, but none are totally private because of the taller trees. Sound travels very well. If you are going to Acadia, we recommend this campground. There are also a few other campgrounds in the area that seem nice.
Up near the top of the U.S., we took the higher route to Maine so we didn't have to go straight through the mountains. This allowed us more time to see things we've never seen before.
Robert Moses State Park was full of beauty. From the beach, the marina, and the locks.. Nice biking trails allowed us to get to all the places around the island, but most of all, it was really cool to see the locks so close.
The videos below, two of a time-lapse of a ship going through the locks. The other was what we think was a drunk skunk (on mushrooms maybe?) going through our campsite.
Stay Details: Robert Moses State Park; Maseena NY - Site 241
Notes: Nice campground near a beach and most sites have lake access, but it's a small walk away from the campsites. The dum station is in the other campground loop. The bath houses were nice and upgraded, and each of the sites have decent room. The island has great bike riding areas, and nice access to 2 dams and power centers.
If we were to stay in the area again, we would recommend the Long Sault Loop on sites 187-192, which are water front sites with views of the ships going through the locks.
We were planning on visiting the area when we were here 2 nights, but this resort was SO awesome that we decided to enjoy its amenities instead.
If you are ever in this area, we would highly suggest signing up for a week free stay at this resort. It's a membership only resort, and we stayed here as Coast to Coast members for free. Bring your family, and be prepared to be busy with fun!
Allegany Mountain Resort - East Otto, NY
Note: This 743 site resort packs quite a punch when it comes to amenities they offer. Once at the resort, all their activities are FREE to guests, which include canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, shuffleboard, basketball, putt putt, volleyball, 3 swimming pools (1 indoor), fishing ponds, and more! They have 2 laundry/shower houses that are very well kept, a nice store, a restaurant grill and regularly scheduled activities.
The resort is home to several permanent residents, and the area is very well kept and have beautiful views. The RV sites themselves are pretty small compared to the average state park, and because the resort is built in the mountains, plan on having to bring enough blocks to level your rig. The average size RV here was about 30', and we luckily were able to squeeze into a beautiful side site that had a great overlook view of the campers below and part of the lake. We were also serenaded with the great band they had on Friday.
I must admit, before we arrived at this resort, I concluded that I would never come to this location again. I made that judgement based on the local roads and the location farther from main towns. However, that judgement was premature, and I believe I would make the drive and brave the roads to stay here again. This time it would be longer than just 2 days. :-)
We stumbled upon a gem while at Middlebrook Outdoor Resort yesterday.. This one is worth the visit if you are ever in the east Cleveland area.
The Smolen-Gulf Covered bridge is the largest covered bridge in the country, and the 4th largest in the world. The bridge was dedicated in 2008, which replaced a metal bridge that was built in 1948, which replaced the original 1st covered bridge in Ohio.
It is 613 ft long, 93' above the Ashtabula River, has a 14' clearance, and can support all legal traffic. They built a smaller pedestrian bridge below in 2018.
Stay Details: Millbrook Outdoor Resort; Jefferson, OH
Note: Upon arriving here, we were told to park in one of the 20 Coast to Coast sites. They were close together, but they were double-length sites and we were allowed to take up the entire length so it wasn't too bad. We had 50a and water. The place was pretty run down and had a lot of permanent residents, but it did have a very nice pool and fishing pond. The staff was kind and made sure we had what we needed. There is a putt putt course here, but it's small and made from a whim of an idea.
Planned a visit with Nate to celebrate his birthday. Beth & Tim came up too, but we missed mom & dad since their power was out and they didn't want to risk leaving. We did have a good time all together though, and I hope to make this an annual event.
Nate took us for a lake tour on his boat; we sat by the fire, played games, made meals together, and even watched Nate make a Lego Car!
It was a nice relaxing 3-day 'Moochdocking' stay here. Thank you so much to Nate and Barb for being such wonderful hosts and allowing us to stay. :-)
Taking some time between friends and family, we stayed at this state park just north of Mt. Pleasant. The sites were pretty close together and there are a lot of trees scattered around so some areas are hard to navigate with a larger rig. However, we had a great site. Harrison is a beautiful little bike ride away, and we look forward to seeing the family at Nate's birthday party soon!
Stay Details: Wilson State Park - Harrison, MI - Site 29
* Note: This campground has about 150 sites that are tight together. Be careful of navigating around the trees! Sites have electric and no water or sewer. Getting into the dump station is also difficult, you will probably have to turn around in the day use area then work your way back.
Long ago, we planned a visit with friends here at Wooded Acres. We purchased the same brand campers, and we really hit it off talking about upgrades and comparisons. We both love our campers! The guys spent most of the weekend getting things done to our rigs (washing, maintenance, upgrades, etc), then we played games and fellowshipped the rest of the weekend. We will definitely make this an annual event! :-)
We did have a pretty significant storm on our first night, which the news states there was a tornado nearby. There were several trees in the park that snapped, including one tree on our next-door lot. If Greg & Lori had stayed there as planned, their camper would have been hit. Praise the Lord for HIS protection!
Greg & Lori brought Mabel, and after a day of getting to know each other, Pica seemed to enjoy her company as well. However, Pica loved her vantage point better, and liked being on the couch next to daddy. :-)
Stay details: Wooded Acres Family Campground; Houghton Lake, MI - Site 86
* Note: This campground has new owners that are working very hard to clean things up and make everything nice. They are doing a wonderful job! There are about 50 campsites, and most are without sewer. There are a lot of longer term sites, and the grounds are highly wooded. There is a pool, playground, clean shower houses, and shuffle board.
Hartwick Pines has some beautiful walking trails (dogs allowed), and some historical points along the way. This was an old logging area, and the equipment from the loggers still remain.
We would highly recommend a visit here if you're in the area.
We did not stay at the campground, but the campground is beautiful with nice large sites.
Took a day trip to Mackinaw City, and around the upper west part of Michigan, including the Tunnel of Trees. It was a beautiful day, but the haze from the Canadian Fires reduced the view across the water. Because of construction on the island, we decided not to visit this island this year, so we rode around Mackinaw City, walked the shops and had dinner. Pica was thoroughly loving her ride. :-)
This post is merely about our stay at this resort which is now owned by Outdoor Adventures; our campground membership.
I must say, we found this place to be outstanding. A stark difference from Lakeshore Resort, as this place is quiet, family-type atmosphere that is nestled among a previous ski resort. The resort was recently purchased by ODA and was left in disrepair by the previous owners, so the average person may not find it so appealing yet. However, we enjoyed it so much that we want a full 3 weeks here next year.
During our stay, we saw at least 12 staff members zooming around upgrading, mowing, painting & fixing. They still have a lot of work to do, but they have happy attitudes, and they're doing a GREAT job! Here is the list of their amenities (according to their website):
- 300' outdoor water slide - needs fixing, hasn't run since the previous owner
- Paddle Boats - there are none, but there are kayaks
- Horseshoes - they were all stolen & haven't been replaced
- Basketball - court is in same square footage as the tennis court
- Volleyball - Sand volleyball and at foot of putt putt
- Snowmobile rentals - we saw 2 run-down snowmobiles. Not sure if they run
- Putt Putt - we LOVED this course. Challenging, fun, and even good exercise!
- Tennis Court - next to basketball in same fence, but no net.
- Game room - locked off
- Fitness Center - locked off
- Playground - Large and very nice. Good view of lake as well
- Adult Lounge - beautiful and serene.
- Indoor Heated Pool - absolutely beautiful and large!
- Hot Tub - Large and great to have it in a separate corner. Loved the pool area!
- Dry Sauna - Closed until further notice
- Clubhouse - locked off
Campground: 60 sites all beautiful designed to give each camper a sense of privacy and good views. Sites on the south end (31-63) are mostly for larger rigs, but they have full hookups with 50a. They also have cement pads. Sites on the north end (1-30) are water and 30a with no sewer and no lake front sites. They are still nice and settled more in the woods. All sites are supplied with a picnic table and fire ring. These sites have gravel pads. There is a small laundry facility and shower house on the north side.
Cabins: The cabins are not rented out by ODA, they are rented by a 3rd party company that rents them through AirBnB. This means anybody can rent them, not just members. I think this is good, but it also means they charge a lot more. According to the website, a smaller cabin is $110/night, but the large house cabins are $375/night. There are a lot of cabins, and they are built aside the beautiful golf course.
Atmosphere: This is definitely worth noting. There was a sense of family here that we've never felt anywhere else. I can't put my finger on it, but everyone felt like they could talk to everyone else without tension. It's as if we all watched each others' backs. So many friendly folk, especially with the staff.
All in all, we were very pleased to see this campground is being upgraded and worked on. They have a lot of work to do, but we're hoping that when we return next year, more amenities will be up and running so we can enjoy them with the kids & grandkids. For now, we like it just fine, and it's a GREAT distance from the main U.P. attractions and Mackinaw Island!