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  1. #1
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    Question Old Man's Cave section (Ohio)

    In two weeks I am going on a 3 night 4 day shakedown hike through this area. It is a 43 mile section on the Buckeye Trail, which is also part of the ADT and the NCT, through SE Ohio.

    I have been looking for info about camping while backpacking. Most of Ohio is not too friendly to backpacking (I have heard stories of people being woke up in the middle of the night with police threatening to charge them with vagrancy), and all I can seem to find is info about family campgrounds, and RV campgrounds. I'm somewhat familiar with the area, but my experience there has been limited to day hikes. If anyone has camped in this area or is familiar with camping rules I would appreciate it if you could inform me. Thank you for any input.

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    You might try the North Country Scenic Trail www.northcountrytrail.org/ web site. They may be able to point you in the right direction. I've hiked chunks of it in Northern Michigan. It's still a new trail but should be good once completed. I believe it will be about 4,000 miles long and the longest trail in the US.
    If you find yourself in a fair fight; your tactics suck.

  3. #3
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    I know I read information on hiking in the area you mentioned recently when searching online for information about Emma Gatewood. I'll see what I can find.

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    Last I knew camping was permitted only in campgrounds in Hocking Hills State Park. However, it's rugged enough in spots that it could be done. Just don't stay too close to one of the major attractions such as Ash Cave or Old Man's cave.
    I love the smell of esbit in the morning!

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    Default Hocking Hills SP links

    Click on Hocking Hills State Park for more information. You'll find a phone number. Call and ask; only then will you know and be legal. Why create problems for yourself and others?

    I'm not sure anymore where I saw information on Emma Gatewood leading hikes there years ago. If I remember correctly, it was one of her favorite places.

    To view Hocking Hills State Park's Special Events Calendar for 2008, click on that link you just passed.

  6. #6
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    I camp there about every other year, but it’s in a camp ground.

    I had this info on my Palm Pilot give them a call and get it directly from the horses mouth.



    Hocking Hills State Park


    19852 St. Rt. 664 South
    Logan, Ohio 43138
    Park Office (740) 385-6842
    Reservations (740) 385-6841

  7. #7
    Registered User otterman's Avatar
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    You might want to check with Lion King. He did that section on his hike. He didn't seem to have any trouble finding places to camp, but he did say that the section south of Hocking Hills was very poorly marked, overgrown, and difficult to follow.

  8. #8

    Default Hocking Hills area

    Found the following in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources site for the parks.

    Camping is allowed in designated areas only. Off-trail camping is not permitted in Ohio State Parks.


    I've only camped at the designed spots at Hocking Hills -- they do have a "primitive site" not too far from the car campground.

    If you're a bit flexible for your shakedown hike, maybe go to Zaleski State Park, not too far from Athens Ohio in the southern part of the state. They also only allow camping in sites, but at least they're designed for those who hike in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHBob View Post
    Found the following in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources site for the parks.

    Camping is allowed in designated areas only. Off-trail camping is not permitted in Ohio State Parks.


    I've only camped at the designed spots at Hocking Hills -- they do have a "primitive site" not too far from the car campground.

    If you're a bit flexible for your shakedown hike, maybe go to Zaleski State Park, not too far from Athens Ohio in the southern part of the state. They also only allow camping in sites, but at least they're designed for those who hike in.

    I camped in the primitive site 2-years ago. Itís mostly made for large groups (Boy Scouts) I liked it more then the main area as did all that were in my group. Itís about ĺ mile long road with camp sites on each side, at the end is a turn around.. the beast sites are at the end of the road. Itís about 8-min from the main camp ground.

    I was there on the fourth of July weekend and the only other people in the primitive area (30 or 40 sites in this area) was a Boy Scout troop. It was like our own private camp. But the main camping area was packed full.

  10. #10
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    Default try Wildcat Hollow and Burr Oak Lake State Park

    It's hard to do 35 continuos miles here in Ohio and also be able to camp. Check out Burr Oak Lake State Park and the adjacent Wildcat Hollow Trail in Wayne National Forest. It shouldn't be too hard to connect the two trail systems using country roads (I think they're only a couple miles apart anyway.) Also, because half of it is on National Forest (Wildcat) you can camp wherever you want. I've also noticed campsites marked on the Burr Oak Map for the Lake trails. You should be able to find topos on line for both at the state park and Wayne National Forest websites.

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    Shawnee State Forest may be an option, too, if your ADT plans don't come together. There's close to 60 miles of trails in 2 loops. Good luck with your shakedown. It sounds like fun. I went past Zaleski SF last Monday coming home from Athens on Rte. 50. I would have stopped but it was late, and I'm getting old.

    http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/forests/s...6/Default.aspx

    TWS

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    I would advise you to do all your camping/backpacking outside of Ohio.
    There are some halfway decent day-hiking areas there.

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    Default Hikers' Expectations

    From what I've seen in this thread alone, there are many hiking/camping options in Ohio to say nothing of long-distance hiking options. Some people need to open their minds a bit and become more flexible, especially when considering hiking through more populated areas.

    Most places are not anti-hiking and the people who live there would be happy to have you visit what they consider to be their home. Not all places are the same and hikers should not expect uniformity.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the info everyone. I would love to do my backpacking outside of Ohio, but I'll get plenty of that in about a month. For convenience sake I chose somewhere close to home and as far as flexibility goes I fully intend on following the rules that have been set by the state, I just wanted to explore my options. I don't neccesarily think that folks in Ohio are anti backpacking, I think it's more of a question of education. Outdoor activities here usually consist of hunting and fishing. Backpacking is just something that people know very little about. For instance, a hiker coming out of the woods with four days of dirt and sweat on them, trying to hitch hike would probably be suspect. I could be wrong on this, and hope that I am.

    Shades of Gray, you make a good point. I seem to remember reading about someone who hiked the entire Buckeye trail (1440miles) and they said they would ask people if they could camp in their yards or fields, and was only refused twice. Anyway, I'll find a way to make it work legally. Thanks again, and if you hear anything else let me know. I'll give everyone the scoop when I get back.

    p.s. T-dubs, are you still going to be on the trail next month? I should be on the Approach trail on 4-23. See you on the trail.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSUBCS#1 View Post
    Shades of Gray, you make a good point.
    Thanks, it's gratifying to learn someone's reading what I wrote and thought I was making sense.

    In areas where locals are not familiar with footpaths in their communities and hiking, it's especially important hikers are on their best behavior and do everything they are able to educate people they meet. Their efforts can make a big difference to other hikers who come along later.

    Best wishes and happy trails to you. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

  16. #16
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    Default Zaleski State Forest

    Check out Zaleski. Has about a 15 mile loop trail with designated campsites along it. No facilities, no people, and some really nice views. Some very good ups and downs to get the body in shape. You will be pleasently suprised.

  17. #17
    Registered User hammock engineer's Avatar
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    A side note on Shawnee state forest. It says on their website to wear pants because the trail is overgrown in places. I went there in September a couple years ago and it is completly true. Lots of thorn bushes growing in the trails. I also remember parts of the trail almost following the middle of the creek. Might think twice after all the rain we have been getting around here.

  18. #18

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    I will also second the Zaleski Backpack Trail. It's muddy and challenging but you'll have it mostly to yourself this time of the year. There is also water provided at the three designated campsites saving a lot of time when setting up camp.
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

  19. #19
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    I just did Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave and back this past weekend. Don't skip this section just because there's no good "free" hiking. Just pay $20 and camp in the non-electric sites of the main campground. There's a 1/4 mile trail leading from Old Man's Cave gorge trail to the campground. Just make so you END your hike for that day at Old Man's Cave and you'll be fine.

    Bigben

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the info on Zaleski, that seems to be more of what I am looking as far as a shakedown goes. I may adjust my plans to hit both places since Hocking Hills is on my way to Zaleski. I don't know how I overlooked Zaleski, I read in Backpacker a few months ago that they voted it one of the top 5 hikes in the midwest. Once again, thanks for the input, I'll keep you all updated.

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