Benny & I had a weekend to ourselves and we decided to test our outdoors acumen with a brief camping jaunt to Ohiopyle, PA (yes, the place with the natural water slides that we visited the week prior). We reserved a campsite online a couple days in advance, this was critical as the campsites were all sold out by the time we arrived.
Here are the positives of the Ohiopyle campground:
- Nice showers & bathrooms, very well maintained
- Great access to surrounding parks, trails leading to Youghiogheny river
- Campsites clean, easy to access with vehicle, nice picnic tables and fire rings
- Very close to the town of Ohiopyle, about a 2 mile drive
Here is the negative:
- Campsites are close together, I would say 40 feet separated campsites, plus there was a campsite directly across the street. This was not an issue, everyone was wonderful, but it did not leave you with an alone in the wilderness vibe.
When Benny & I arrived Friday evening, we quickly set up the tent while we still enjoyed daylight. We cooked up hot dogs on my portable propane grill and then went to bed for an early night’s rest. When Benny entered the tent, he started to run around the interior walls as fast as he could like a cyclone from hell, he was bouncing off the walls, growling, barking, and picking up steam, I started to yell at him, “Good God Benny, calm down, what the hell are you doing, RELAX!!!” I can only imagine what the campers forty feet away must have thought about the events transpiring inside my tent, fortunately, the commotion subsided within a couple of minutes and we were fast asleep.
The campsite was flat and rock hard, which is absolutely fine if you’re prepared for it…I was not. I had packed a sleeping bag, which was not cushioned enough to make the rock floor comfortable. Benny & I were awake at 4:30AM, it was pitch black, we decided to get going. I grabbed my flashlight, fishing rod, and used the map on my cell phone to navigate down to the river. The trail was steep, but well worn, and we made it fine using moonlight 80% of the time and complimented it with a flashlight for the balance.
When the sun broke through, we were on the river’s edge and saw warm fog coming from the water. The river is framed by huge boulders, in many case, 30 to 40 feet tall & wide.
After a productive day or hiking and fishing, we went into town to grab an air mattress, this made the second night a huge success. I also found a distillery called Ridge Runner and sampled their vodka, apple pie moonshine, and regular moonshine. I purchased a mason jar of moonshine, but haven’t cracked it open yet. I also stopped at a general store in Chalk Hill, PA where I picked up an ice cream cone, two red beet eggs, and a half pound of cheese for my burgers. On the ride home, I ate a red beet egg and it was delicious. I ate half of the other and gave the second half to Benny, he spit it out, it sometimes worries me when I am eating something not suitable to a dog.
On Sunday morning, we hit up Cucumber Falls and it was gorgeous, then got an early start home and started planning the next trip!