Category: Camping

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100 Days of Summer: Day 32- Take the Dog to Mosquito Lake

dogs at dog park wearing Mimi green collars
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Did you know that Mosquito Lake State Park won an award last year for the creation of a five acre dog park?  Your furry friends get two separate fenced off areas, one for large dogs and one for the chihuahuas ( Although I know NONE of our readers have those tiny things. We’re REAL dog people here). Dogs get access to the lake for swimming, and water is provided on hot days. Mosquito also features 7 miles of dog-friendly trails and a campground.

Check it out to inaugurate the Dog Days of Summer.

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Ohio Topographic Map

TOPO!® Michigan, Ohio and Indiana Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software TOPO!® Michigan, Ohio and Indiana Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software

National Geographics TOPO174; is the leading map software for outdoor recreation and features seamless, authentic USGS maps you can customize and print yourself.TOPO174; Michigan, Ohio and Indiana features more than 2,700 seamless USGS 124,000 scale topographic maps covering all three states in their entirety. These are not computer-generated maps, but high-resolution scans of authentic USGS quads with all the richness of detail they offer.8226; Five levels of map detail, from National Geographic Atlas maps to USGS 7.5 series seamless quads — the most detailed outdoor recreation maps available8226; Print custom-centered photo quality maps on any printer8226; Customize your map by adding trails, routes, text and symbols8226; Add notes, web links and photos linked to a location on the map8226; TOPO is GPS-ready. Transfer GPS waypoints and routes between your GPS unit and the software to find where you want to go or where you have been8226; Add latitudelongitude or UTM grids to any map8226; One-click trail profiles show you the distance along with elevation gain or loss8226; Toggle shaded relief on or off8226; Find new trails, parks, summits, campsites and more using the USA Place Finder8226; Animated 3D fly-thru feature enables you to fly along a trail you have drawn or imported from your GPS8226; Resizable split screen enables you to view maps in 2D and 3D. See a full 360 degree view8226; Live Map Update gets you the latest revised maps and software updates8226; PC and Mac (10.2) compatible

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100 Days of Summer: day 31- See the Northern Lights

Run for the Hills! A Coronal Mass Ejection is headed for the Earth! A large solar storm has burped up a huge cloud of gas that will soon envelop the Earth’s atmosphere ( Or AtmosFEAR to the media). this will ionize the upper atmosphere, causing the northern lights to spread. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a break in the clouds and be able to spot them on Wednesday or Thursday.

This just might be the perfect Camping weekend for a story no one will ever believe. Good Luck.

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100 Days of Summer: Day 24-Go Camping to your Hearts Content

Tionesta, Allegheny National Forest.
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Hearts Content recreation area area in the Allegheny National Forest is a bit of a haul from us, but it’s one of my favorite areas.

The Main Draw is the camping area: 26 family sized sites that rival the best commercial campgrounds.

There’s the 11-mile hickory trail through old-growth forest ( Cook’s Forest is nearby too.) These old growth forests were basically private homesteads that were not deforested 100 years ago like the rest of the area. Compare the look of these areas to the rest of the Alleghenies and you’ll see what I mean. For as nice as they are, the Alleghenies are the result of serious conservation and preservation efforts.

Also, bring a compass. There’s a nice orientation area to put your skills to the test. plan on spending an afternoon teaching the kids how not to get lost.

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100 Days of Summer: Day 22- Moraine State Park

Regatta and Hot Air Balloon Festival at Morain...
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OK Susan.

Work Buddy Susan has been after me to post about Moraine State Park. Especially Since we’ve walked around it with the post on Windsurfing and McConnells Mill.

I Like Moraine. It’s a multi-use park off 19 and 422 on the other side of New Castle. Not too far, and lots of Activities.

Sure we mentioned the Windsurfing. There’s a beach with concessions, nice bay for kayaking, Picnic Areas, frisbee golf, 10 Boat launch areas for motorboats, sailboats and fishing.

For Hikers there’s 28 miles of hiking trails, 7 mile paved bike trail and 7 mile Mountain bike trail. The north Country Trail Passes through the Park, with a camping shelter on site for through hikers. Also, There’s a guided tour for Cars along Washington’s Trail through the area.

But Wait! There’s More. The Lake Arthur Regatta, Rental CAbins, Primitive Camping, Hunting Areas, Winter activities…You get the idea. Get out and take a look. This is a good weekend Because the Balloon Fest is also taking place in Newcastle, so you’re going to be in the area anyway, right?

And Joe, I Think I’m Ahead.

There’s a Camping shelter on the

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100 Days of Summer: Day 10- Enjoy a Romantic Getaway At an Ohio State Park Lodge

Punderson State Park (Ohio)
Image by MikeSheridan89 via Flickr

OK. A Tenth of the way there and I feel like celebrating a little. Better take my Significant Other also.

It’s a good thing Ohio State Parks offer some pretty snazzy Accommodations at the Lodges. Not just for Couples either. Business meetings, families and anyone can book a stay at a resort. And the costs? Pretty nice.

Especially since if you get a State Park Discount Card before June 30th, You can save 25% and earn reward points.

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100 Days of Summer: Day 8- Just Get Outside and Grill Man:

This ended up being a busier week than I thought. Lots of News from ODNT, NPS and PA Game. Lots happening at home. So I’m taking a day off. And what a Nice day it is too. We have too few of these where there’s no holiday, no rain and no family obligations. Better just get outside and get some burgers on the grill.  Like the Popper Burgers Below:

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ODNR's "National Get Outdoors" Day Evants and Activities

Mountain Biking photo
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COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) invites Ohioans and visitors to celebrate the annual National Get Outdoors Day this weekend by ramping up participation in outdoor activities. Get outside and get active at one of Ohio’s scenic state recreation areas.

There are many ODNR activities and events scheduled across the state that will help individuals and families reconnect with the outdoors and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.

Many of State Parks have an array of events and activities slated for this Saturday and Sunday.  Go to for the latest on events in your area.

Those who are seeking beautiful trails can visit ODNR’s Ohio trails web site, It provides a comprehensive list of ODNR hiking, biking, mountain biking, ATV and equine trails statewide. Once the final phase of the web site is complete, it will provide outdoor enthusiasts with interactive features that will allow them to find trails that best suit their needs and abilities.

For the wildflower lover, don’t miss the latest ODNR Natural Areas Discovery Series event on Saturday, June 12.  The Ladyslipper Open House will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Portage County and is a rare opportunity to see one of Ohio’s most lovely wildflowers – the pink lady’s slipper orchid – blooming naturally in this unique wetland area.  This event is limited so please reserve your place by calling 440-632-3010.

For parents who are looking for an exciting, hands-on outing that will get the youngsters involved in the outdoors, this weekend is a great time to get involved in the ODNR’s free Explore the Outdoors program. It provides Ohio parents and youth leaders with an easy guide to lead Ohio’s young people, particularly those in grades 1-5, into the outdoors. The program also provides an interactive online resource that families can use to find exciting outdoor activities and events.

The program’s engaging activity guide recommends a variety of fun outdoor activities, including Spot a BirdHike a Trail or Camp Under the Stars. All of the activities in the book can be accomplished at state parks, forests, preserves and wildlife areas throughout Ohio. Families can also complete some of the activities at local parks, green spaces or even at home.

Explore the Outdoors participants can find special activity completion codes posted at welcome centers and kiosks in participating ODNR and partner facilities statewide. Children who enter at least two codes on the Explore the Outdoors web site,, will receive a printable certificate signed by Gov. Ted Strickland. Participants are also eligible for prizes the more codes they enter online and if they send in the detachable postcard.  Special Explore the Outdoors events are also posted on the Explore the Outdoors web site.

The Explore the Outdoors web site provides activity guides for free download and a listing of special Explore the Outdoors events. Parents can contact 614-784-PLAY (7529) or explore@dnr.state.oh.usfor additional information or to request activity guides and program resources.

ODNR appreciates Explore the Outdoors sponsors who share a desire to improve the health of Ohio children and families by getting them outdoors. Sponsors include ODNR Division of Recycling, ODNR Division of Watercraft, American Heart Association, GreenBird and Highlights.

National Get Outdoors Day is an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people are inspired and motivated to get outdoors. Partnerships between federal, state and local agencies help make Get Outdoors Day a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure aimed at reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting children to the outdoors.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at

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New Ohio State Park Reward Card: 25% discount, Stay for Free!

A campsite at the Iverhuron Prov. Park
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COLUMBUS, OH – Just in time for the upcoming summer season, Ohio State Parks is offering a new rewards program for frequent campers and cottage guests, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Ohio State Parks rewards card is free of charge, and is available through the state parks website,, the reservation call center at 1-866-OHIOPARKS, and from local state park offices.

“The rewards program is our way of saying thanks to campers who come back year after year,” said Ohio State Parks Acting Chief John Hunter. “We want to help make an Ohio vacation a little more affordable, and encourage frequent camping trips and getaways in our parks.”

For each dollar spent on camping at one of Ohio’s 56 state park campgrounds, rewards card holders earn points toward a free night of camping. Rewards card holders who stay in the getaway rentals offered at numerous state parks, as well as the vacation cottages at Buck Creek, Cowan Lake, Dillon, Hocking Hills, Lake Hope, Mohican, Pike Lake and Pymatuning state parks, will also earn points toward a free stay.  Other activities earning Rewards card holders points include camp store purchases and shelter house rentals in Ohio State Parks.

In addition to earning points for future stays, those who enroll in the Ohio State Parks rewards program by June 30 will also receive points for their camping and cottage stays in 2009. Once registered, rewards card holders may check their balances on-line at

As an added bonus, several of Ohio’s state park lodges are offering special guest room rates for rewards card holders.  Card holders who book rooms at Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee can enjoy a 25% discount on the regular room rate for overnight stays on the regular room rate for stays between now and June 11, and between August 23 and December 30.

More information on the Ohio State Parks rewards program is available on the official Ohio State Parks Web site,

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

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How To Avoid Being Eaten By Bears, 2010 Edition

Despite being quadrupeds, bears can stand and ...
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HARRISBURG – With spring well underway across the state, many Pennsylvanians are spending more time outdoors and seeing more wildlife – and signs of wildlife – in their yards and other places they frequent. Among the wildlife becoming more visible are Pennsylvania’s roughly 17,000 black bears, all of which are looking for food.

Since bears are found throughout most of the state, Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission black bear biologist, said bear sightings are common at this time of year.   Food for bears is naturally scarce in spring until green-up, which is ahead of schedule this year. But that doesn’t mean bears emerging from dens aren’t getting into trouble. After several months of hibernation, they are once again searching for food.  Thus, sightings and, in some cases, conflicts are increasing.

Spring: When A Bear’s thoughts turn to Food

“Now is the time to keep bears from becoming a nuisance later in the summer,” Ternent said.  “Bears that wander near residential areas in search of springtime foods are less likely to stay or return if they do not find anything rewarding.  Conversely, if bears find food in backyards, they quickly learn to associate food with residential areas and begin to spend more time in those areas.  As a result, encounters between humans and bears, property damage and vehicle accidents involving bears may increase.”

Ternent noted capturing and moving bears that have become habituated to humans is a costly and sometimes ineffective way of addressing the problem.  That is why wildlife agencies around the country tell people that a “fed bear is a dead bear.”

“The best solution is to prevent bears from finding something to eat around your house in the first place,” Ternent said.  “Anything edible placed outside for any reason – whether it is food for wildlife or pets or unsecured garbage – gives bears a reason to visit your property.  Homeowners should begin now to remove food sources that might attract bears.”

5 Things to do to keep Bears off your Property

Ternent listed five suggestions that could prevent attracting bears to a property:

Play it smart. Do not feed wildlife. Food placed outside for wildlife, such as corn for squirrels, may attract bears.  Even bird feeders can become “bear magnets.”  Bear conflicts with bird feeding generally don’t arise in the winter because bears are in their winter dens.  But at other times of the year, birdfeeders will attract problem bears.  If you do chose to feed songbirds during the summer, Audubon Pennsylvania offers some tips, including: avoid foods that are particularly attractive for bears, such as sunflower seeds, hummingbird nectar mixes or suet; bring feeders inside at night; or suspend feeders from high crosswires so they are at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet from anything a bear can climb, including overhead limbs.

Keep it clean. Don’t put out garbage until pick-up day; don’t throw table scraps out back; don’t add fruit or vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly.  If you have pets and feed them outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Keep your distance. If a bear shows up in your backyard, stay calm. Shout at it like you would to chase an unwanted dog. Don’t approach it.  If the bear won’t leave, call the nearest Game Commission regional office or local police department for assistance.

Eliminate temptation. Bears that visit your area are often drawn there. Neighbors need to work together to reduce an area’s appeal to bears. Ask area businesses to keep dumpsters closed and bear-proofed (chained or locked shut with a metal lid).

Check please! If your dog is barking, or cat is clawing at the door to get in, try to determine what has alarmed your pet. But do it cautiously, using outside lights to full advantage and from a safe position, such as a porch or an upstairs window. All unrecognizable outside noises and disturbances should be checked, but don’t do it on foot with a flashlight. Black bears blend in too well with nighttime surroundings providing the chance for a close encounter.

Pennsylvanians also are reminded that if they see cubs alone, it does not necessarily mean they have been abandoned or orphaned.

“During the spring, sows may leave their cubs for several hours, typically up in a tree, while they forage,” Ternent said. “If you encounter cubs, leave the area the way you entered it and leave the cubs alone.  Staying in the vicinity prevents the mother from returning, and attempting to care for the cubs is illegal and may result in exposure to wildlife diseases or habituate the young bears to humans.

“Cubs that have been removed from the wild and habituated to people are difficult to rehabilitate for release back into the wild and may result in the cub being euthanized.”

Ternent noted that, as a result of Pennsylvania’s large human and bear populations, it is not uncommon for people and bears to encounter one another.

“Bears needn’t be feared, nor should they be dismissed as harmless; but they should be respected,” Ternent said.  “In the past 10 years fewer than 20 people have been injured by bears in Pennsylvania, and there are no known records of a Pennsylvania black bear killing a human.

“Injury from a black bear is often the result of a human intentionally or unintentionally threatening a bear, its cubs, or a nearby food source, and the best reaction is to defuse the threat by leaving the area in a quiet, calm manner.”

More Bear Tips:

Ternent also advised:

Stay Calm. If you see a bear and it hasn’t seen you, leave the area calmly.  Talk or make noise while moving away to help it discover your presence.  Choose a route that will not intersect with the bear if it is moving.

Get Back. If you have surprised a bear, slowly back away while talking softly.  Face the bear, but avoid direct eye contact.  Do not turn and run; rapid movement may be perceived as danger to a bear that is already feeling threatened.  Avoid blocking the bear’s only escape route and try to move away from any cubs you see or hear.  Do not attempt to climb a tree.  A female bear may falsely interpret this as an attempt to get at her cubs, even though the cubs may be in a different tree.

Pay Attention. If a bear is displaying signs of nervousness – pacing, swinging its head, or popping its jaws – about your presence, leave the area.  Some bears may bluff charge to within a few feet.  If this occurs, stand your ground, wave your arms wildly, and shout at the bear.  Turning and running could elicit a chase and you cannot outrun a bear.

Fight Back. If a bear attacks, fight back as you continue to leave the area.  Black bears have been driven away with rocks, sticks, binoculars, car keys, or even bare hands.

“Learning about bears and being aware of their habits is a responsibility that comes with living in rural and suburban Pennsylvania or recreating in the outdoors,” Ternent said.

In 2003, a regulation prohibiting the feeding of bears went into effect.  The regulation made it unlawful to intentionally “lay or place food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals that may cause bears to congregate or habituate an area.”  The exceptions to this regulation are “normal or accepted farming, habitat management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial or industrial practices.”

The regulation enables Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) to issue written notices that direct landowners to discontinue wildlife feeding, even if not intended for bears, including songbird feeding, if the feeding is attracting bears to the area and causing problems with bears nearby.

Report a Bear

To report nuisance bears, contact the Game Commission Region Office nearest you.  The telephone numbers are: Northwest Region Office in Franklin, Venango County, 814-432-3188; Southwest Region Office in Bolivar, Westmoreland County, 724-238-9523; Northcentral Region Office in Jersey Shore, Lycoming County, 570-398-4744; Southcentral Region Office in Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, 814-643-1831; Northeast Region Office in Dallas, Luzerne County, 570-675-1143; and Southeast Region Office in Reading, Berks County, 610-926-3136.

More information on bears is available on the agency’s website ( by clicking on the “Wildlife” tab in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, and then selecting “Black Bears” From the “Mammals” section.

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