This was our second weekend trip out, and we wanted to go somewhere close by. We live in Florence, KY and this was an easy drive up 71 to Waynesville, OH. Although the middle of April, the weather was still cold and breezy, so there were not many campers in this HUGE campground. Our site (#89) we thought was perfect, and there was enough space for several more campers between ours site and our friends who stayed at #88. The site was fairly level and had a view of the lake. A short hike down a trail directly behind us brought you to the lake shore. The ground was wet and muddy from lots of recent rain but hard enough that it wasn’t mucky. Nice grass at the sites too. Checking in was fine. There were very few campers this weekend, but we still had to wait for the dumping station at checkout time. I can’t imagine the lines when that place is full (only 2 stations for 289 campsites). No places for trash that we could find anywhere on the grounds, and we drove around looking, so we ended up having to haul our trash home. Bathrooms were clean, but not heated, and the shower house was open on the ladies side, but not the men’s. I did not shower there due to the cold temps, and no heat in the restrooms, so I cannot comment on the water temp. Our friends inquired about a later checkout but the staff declined (several times). We thought this was silly since there were so few campers, and really, although they said they required the “cleanup” time, we found some trash on most of the empty sites. After a short drive, we had an interesting time checking out the Pioneer Village (recommended) which sadly was not yet open, but there were people there getting ready for the season, dressed in historic garb. Once gracious couple invited us into their period home-built in 1814. Another “indentured servant” explained details about her historic home, and how it was used as part of the Underground Railroad. The volunteers can “live” in these historic homes as care takers for up to 1 week and they learn about the home’s history to share with visitors. The Nature Center was very accommodating as well. We hiked to the Horseshoe Falls and Crawdad Falls and found the trails to be very easy. We also stopped by the Visitor’s Center (make sure you do). It was lovely, set up like a small museum, and had very nice staff and very clean restrooms. There are hiking trails everywhere but sadly, when you must pull out by 1:00, there are not a lot of options for parking with a trailer behind you. We really wanted to enjoy the rest of the day there, but were limited.
This was our first trip, and as novices, we were not sure what to expect. The campground was very small and the sites were on top of each other. Our site was horrible to get into (we stayed at #15). I don’t know how anyone could ever pull into the next site #13 to us. Narrow roads, trees and a poorly situated dip in the road made it very difficult for us to maneuver into the spot. Also, our fire pit was so close to the camper pad we couldn’t open our awing. We had to haul the (heavy) picnic table back over to our site, because there were two at the next site over. Some of the other sites, which were recommended to us, were booked, but we found upon our arrival that #23, 36 and 37 looked very nice. We were near the bathhouse, which was old and dated, but found it to be clean and well-heated. I showered there, and had plenty of hot water. Showers areas were roomy enough, and again well heated. It was still very chilly on this Easter Weekend, so I was happy to go to a heated bathroom. As recommended, we bought firewood locally (at the campground) but found it to be fresh wood, which did not burn at all. We loved the campground activities. They just opened a “gold mine” area but we didn’t do that with the kids. We did go on the cave tour (highly recommended). There were many closed tours due to the unfortunate outbreak of “white-nose syndrome” (killing bats) but we had a delightful tour. The kids and I attended a haunted ghost story at the Lodge one evening. The hiking was great, and we did the moderate (few rough climbs) 3.5 mile trail around the campground (recommended). Overall, the camping sites were much less desirable than the overall camping experience. I would love to go back but will definitely avoid the sites in the middle of the grounds and find another place to buy firewood. No alcohol on the allowed property and if you want a cocktail, prepare to drive 30 minutes into Moorhead because Carter County is dry!