MadleyHadley is no longer being updated. For similar posts by the author of MadleyHadley, visit Toad in the Garlic.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Night and Day in the D.A.R.

This past weekend we took a short camping adventure at the D.A.R. State Forest in Goshen.  And really, with state forests like this one, who needs to travel for hours and hours to find the perfect place to camp?  This was our first overnight outing with Little Madley, and we got a late start on reservations, so one night was all we could manage; but it was a successful one and I'm already excitedly thinking about our next camping trip.

Our site, with a so-called 4-person tent -- plenty of room for another tent or two.
In brief, the woods were beautiful, the sites were nice, there were multiple trails for biking and hiking, a lake in which to swim, fish, and canoe -- and even showers and flushing toilets!  The only fault I found, which isn't really much of a fault, is that there were no logs or stones set up around the fire pits, which meant that if you wanted to sit comfortably, you had to have your own chairs (which we didn't).  Also, pets are allowed, and there were many dogs around camp.

Below are the pictures documenting the camp; be sure to read the informative captions if you have any interest in camping.

An empty site.  Two vehicles are allowed per site.
The site neighbouring ours.  The view is somewhat obscured, but not entirely; and, there is a path between the two, in case you camp with friends.
Each fire pit had an adjustable grill.  Wood must be purchased onsite and costs $5/bundle; we easily used 2 bundles in our overnight.  (Be sure to bring firestarter and a hatchet -- kindling from around camp is damp and the logs are large-ish.)
There is a beach and swimming area reserved for campers.
The beach is a lovely place to go at sunrise or sunset.  The light plays out wonderfully on the water, and you might see a family of ducks or a heron.
A lovely trail through the woods by the lake.
View from that same trail -- the Long Trail, or the path to Al's Chapel.
This review wouldn't be complete without a picture of a facilities -- water and washing stations.
The bathrooms, with running water and electricity.

Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of the showers -- they were in use when I had my camera out for documenting.  But they were painted cinderblock, like the bathrooms, one room (free!) showers with wooden benches and shampoo racks; wear flipflops and you'll be fine and clean in no time.
The park service also sponsors activities like campfires, hikes, skills lessons, birding, and more.  Calendars/schedules are posted at camp.

After setting up camp, we all happily ate hot dogs and grilled/steamed veggies and marshmallows for dinner on Friday night.  We followed that up with a trip to the campers' beach to watch the end of the sunset and visit with a family of ducks before tucking into our sleeping bags.  Saturday started with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and cereal, and then Mr. Madley and Little Madley were off on a cycling adventure up the hills and around the dirt roads.  I enjoyed the peace and calm of a quiet walk through the woods before scrambling to get everything packed back into the car and ready for departure.
After checkout (11am) on Saturday, we headed to the open beach where there were lifeguards, grills, and picnic tables.  We were able to swim, relax, nap, picnic -- and Little Madley ran around and fished with friends he had made a nearby campsite.  All in all, a delicious way to spend a Friday and Saturday.  And like I said before, with state forests like this one, who needs to travel for hours and hours to find the perfect place to camp?

To plan your camping trip at the D.A.R. State Forest, visit  Rates may vary according to season or days booked, but start at $12/night (there is also an online registration fee to factor in).  And if you're not into camping, but just want a nice place to spend a day swimming and hiking and picnicking, the parking fee is $5 and well worth it.

No comments: