Settled next to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest state Park, Wanapum is a state run recreational area located just along the Columbia River with little beaches and panoramic views. The Petrified Forest is 7,470 acre large and Wanapum is the designated camping area for the park. With over 27,000 feet following the shoreline of the Wanapum Reservoir along the Columbia River, it is a popular location for fishermen, boaters, and water recreation, as well as geologists, paleontologists, and tourists. The campground has 50 full hook-up sites with two rest rooms. While geared for RVs, tenters are permitted but have to pay full hook-up fees. The campground is subject to high winds due to location on river, so tenting should have deep stakes and secure placement. This is a popular camping spot during the concert season at the Gorge. While windy, it was a great time camping. Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Fort Worden, Washington
Right in the heart of Port Townsend is a historic US Military fort turned into a State Park. It resides along the Admiralty Inlet that flows by Port Townsend. The fort property, now owned by the National Park Service consists of 433 acres, originally as a US Army base to protect Puget Sound from invading forces from 1902 to 1953, named after U.S. Navy Admiral John Lorimer Worden who commanded the USS Monitor during the American Civil War. After it was decommissioned in 1953 and purchased in 1957 converted to a juvenile detention facility, and then turned to a State Park in 1973. Because the Admiralty Inlet was a strategic defense location for Puget Sound, three forts were built along the shores – Fort Worden, Fort Casey, and Fort Flagler creating a “Triangle of Fire” with huge guns thwarting any invasive force coming from sea. The forts were never used for war and never fired a shot. During World War I the guns were removed and used in Europe. It was primarily a training base for military applications. During World War II it became the headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command and jointly operated by the Navy and Army in a team effort. The artillery units were disbanded after World War II and gun batteries dismantled. During the Korean war a 2nd Engineer Special brigade was stationed here before being ordered to Korea to reinforce the Far East Command. After this, in 1957 the fort was in the hands of the state of Washington for diagnosis and treatment of troubled youths. Remnants of various batteries litter the landscape, some of which are open to explore by park visitors. The park also houses the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, a balloon hanger used by airships, three 3-inch anti-aircraft gun emplacements, several restored quarters on Officer’s Row, Point Wilson lighthouse, a campground, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and lots of beaches for recreational use. In 1983 the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” was filmed here. In 2002 the movie “The Ring” was also filmed here.
Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground, Olympic National Forest, WA
As opposed to the rustic natural state of the Olympic Hot Springs, Sol Duc is the developed National Park Service hot springs resort in the Olympic National Forest. We wound up going here when we found out the road to Olympic Hot Springs had been washed out (March 2016). Sol Duc is well known for its pool, soaking tubs, and camping. It lies off the natural springs dotting the Sol Duc River. The original inhabitants of the area – various Native American tribes who frequented the Springs, believed them to be healing and therapeutic. Euro-Americans took over the area in the 1880’s as usual pushing out the aboriginal visitors. They opened a resort in 1912 here but it was burnt down in 1916. It was rebuilt in the 1920’s with less scale operating until the 1970s until problems with the spring occured. After the problems were resolved it was rebuilt again in the 1980s operating since. The current Springs are operated and managed by the National Park Service, open for visitors from March 25 until October 30th each year. The pools can be accessed from 7:30 am until 10 pm daily. Cabins and campsites are available for overnight lodging. There are 32 cabins that sleep 4 each, dining facilities on site, gift shop, store, a river suite that sleeps 10, 17 RV sites, and a primitive campground. There is no wifi, telephones, television, or radios offered. There are three modern pools, regulated and cleaned daily to soak within.
Folklore: Native American lore talk about two dragons who lived in the adjoining valleys who often would fight together. Their fights would be so fierce that the trees in the mountain’s upper realms would be destroyed so badly they would never grow back. The dragons experienced a even match each fight, and never able to prevail against one another. After years of struggling they each retired to their own valley, living under the earth, and it is their hot tears that feed the waters of the springs creating the hot springs – the Olympic Hot Springs and Sol Duc.
Geology: The springs are located on or near the Calawah fault zone extending from the southeastern Olympics to the northwest into the Pacific Ocean. The water is vented from a hot spring caused by geothermal heat coming up from the Earth’s mantle by geothermal gradient with water percolating up after contact from the hot rocks. Because the hot water dissolves solids, high mineral content is mixed in the waters ranging from calcium to lithium even radium causing healing effects on bodies soaked in them. The Springs are managed by Olympic National Park.
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Continue reading Sol Duc Hot Springs, Olympic National Forest, Washington
* Pomeroy, Ohio * http://www.wisteria.org/ * * firstname.lastname@example.org * 740-742-4302 *
I remember the first time I ventured into the fabled lands of Wisteria. That was for Pagan Spirit Gathering held by Circle Sanctuary back in 2002. Alas, Pagan Spirit Gathering is no longer held here. But just as Starwood was akin to Brushwood, Starwood is now held (and for quite some time) at Wisteria. Wisteria is a great place for nature lovers, naturalists, Pagans, earth spiritualists, and alternative campers. It is also a fabulous site for festivals and events as acclaimed by the infamous festivals held on its grounds. It is a great place for large gatherings or small get-togethers, weddings, music festivals, and spiritual events. They are equipt to handle small groups of just a handful upwards of several thousand participants. Wisteria is set with a grand stage, bonfire circle, hiking trails, a faerie shrine, sacred sites, stone circle, an ancestor mound, a turtle mound, sweat lodge, workshop sites, the permanent setting of Caffeina’s Cosmic Cafe Restaurant and Coffee House, The Green Man Tavern, a swimming pond, a merchant loop, a playground, shower house, and wifi. Groups can rent space in the campground or hold private camping events. Wisteria is managed by itself as well as services of the site to make it an easier place to hold events by organizers. Wisterians are open-minded, professional, and very experienced with events large or small. They will custom tailor their event services to the festival organizer’s needs.
Brushwood Folklore Center
* http://www.brushwood.com/ * * 8881 Bailey Hill Rd. * Sherman New York * 14781 * 716-761-6750 * email@example.com *
One of my favorite campsites and festival grounds is Brushwood Folklore Center, nestled in upstate New York. A rustic wooded retreat on over 180 wooded acres outside of Sherman, New York in rural Chautauqua County. A clothing optional campground and resort focused on creativity, community, and spirituality. A great place to relax, become one with nature or with others, or to be part of the fabulous festivals held year round including bonfires, drumming, dancing, swimming, and soaking in the hot tub. The grounds are full of lots of temples, sanctuaries, altars, and sacred spaces where various groups host numerous rites and rituals every year. Family and community run since 1970, Brushwood is a family and community oriented campground.
The campgrounds have seasonal campground sites, co-ed showers, flush toilets, a swimming pool, and two hot tubs. There are three covered pavilions near main camping, lots of outdoor space for workshops, lectures, ceremonies, and performances. An heated indoor lodge for year-round use and heated indoor sleeping areas for over a dozen visitors. Camping fees are only $10 /night (2013 rates) with day passes at $6/day until 6 pm. The heated indoor lodging (dorm-style trailer) is $15/night – all per person. On occasion, potluck dinners are held to promote opportunities for community to meet and share meals together. Home to numerous annual festivals, some of the famous festivals like Starwood in the past, now Summerstar, Sirius Rising, Wellspring, and many other events each year. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Fontana Village Resort
* http://www.fontanavillage.com/ * Fontana Village Resort | 300 Woods Road • P.O. Box 68 | Fontana Dam, North Carolina 28733 * Phone: 828.498.2211 *
We were seeking an escape to the mountains and while this time of year the blue ridge parkway had segments shut down, we ventured via main roads to the Smoky Mountains National Park. On advise from a co-worker, we settled in on the “Fontana Village Resort” which was running a special lodging rate, and decided to check it out. We checked into the “Willow cabins”. Nothing more than manufactured houses in cabin style, with a porch and rocking chairs, a nice living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom … we settled in for the afternoon. Check-in was easy, and it was peaceful and quiet for the stay. The resort was pretty empty, as winter was upon us as well as the holidays calling others to family gatherings. Still there were families out venturing to collect firewood. Our cabin however did not have a fire place. no phone, just basic tv. While it didn’t advertise a wifi signal, one drifted in and out sporadically for us to stay in touch with the outside world. Given it was winter, the resort had many of its facilities shut down … including the convenience store (only open 9 am til 1 pm – and we arrived at 4 pm), grocery store, and other restaurants except for the main lodge. Closest grocery run was a town 30 minutes drive each way. With the rain that hovered over us, we couldn’t participate in many of the outdoor activities the resort offers – but it looked like a great array of choices to choose from. We just enjoyed the solitude. We’d stay again for sure. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
A refreshing break from the metropolis of Melbourne, me and my travel mate Sir Bluey, headed off for some camping along the infamous “Bittangee Bay” in the Ben Boyd National Forest. A unpaved dirt road led us to this amazing campground overlooking Australia’s rugged South Coast. In fact, we had quite an adventure with it that you can read about here. This small picturesque bay is located on a remote rugged coastline just south of Eden in New South Wales of Australia and is one of the few safe harbours in the area between Twofold Bay, Mallacoota Inlet, and Eden making it a popular night stopover for boaters travelling inbetween for the night. The campground is rugged as well to match the Bay in its entirety. The campground is serviced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Bay is also home to the “Bittangabee Bay Ruins” which the campground is above. The Bay and the camping area was once used by the Yuin Nation and the Thaua people as a important camping and teaching grounds for indigenous “secret business” and was seen as a “men’s area”. On the other side of Green Cape to Bittangabee Bay was believed to be the resting place of the Rainbow Serpent. They utilized the area for over 6,000 years until the Europeans started taking over the bay for construction of the lighthouse, fishing, and industry. At this time, the Bay was known as “Pertangerbee” and by European occupation with constructions of the the storehouse in 1844, was later called “Bittangee Bay”. The Campground also has a nice hiking trail to the Green Cape lighthouse as well as down along the beach of the Bay. Lots of wildlife in the area – our 24 hour visit blessed us with seeing kangaroo, wallabee, wombats, and oppossums. Highly recommended place to camp. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Mt. Kosciouszko, New South Wales, Australia
Along the highway of “Alpine Way” heading from Thredbo to Albury lies a nice little picnic and camping area called “Leather Barrel Creek”. It hosts over 10 campsites and is accessible by sealed roads. GPS: Latitude 36° 31? 32.52″ S; Longitude 148° 11? 34.8″ E. Nice wading stream, great for fishing, and some hiking. Camping at this site is a first come, first serve basis and is a “free” camping site. ($16 vehicle cost to enter the park) The site is located in a lovely little valley along the creekside. Toilets are available, as well as picnic tables. There are no showers or drinking water accessible on site. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
* http://parks.state.co.us/Parks/CheyenneMountain/ * Highway 115 across from Fort Carson Gate 1 * Colorado Springs, Colorado *
Colorado’s newest State Park, Cheyenne Mountain State Park took over the lands of the old JL Ranch that is nestled in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain right in front of NORAD. It is roughly 1,680 acres large. It was acquired in June of 2000 by the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado State parks, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Colorado Lottery, El Paso County, and other local private organizations. It represents protection of one of the last significant open spaces along the southern section of the Colorado Front Range. The environments consist of open space of the eastern flank of Cheyenne Mountain and the borders of Colorado’s plains covering the wide variety of landscape, wildlife, botany, and geology the transitional panorama offers. Wildlife consists of deer, elk, mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, foxes, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles. The park first opened in October of 2006 and is currently El Paso county’s only State Park. The Park hosts over 20 miles of trails open to hikers and bikers. Dogs and horses are not permitted since many ground-nesting birds are in the area. The Park has a large information center, gift shop, educational displays, interpretive programs, campgrounds, picnic areas, playgrounds, evening programs, nature hikes, restrooms, and a camp office/store. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. Visited 1/8/2010; 1/10/2010; 1/18/2010.
- Acorn Alley Trail
- Blackmer Loop Trail
- Bobcat Way Trail
- Boulder Run Trail
- Coyote Run Trail
- Cougars Shadow Trail
- Little Bear
- Medicine Wheel
- Raccoon Ridge Trail
- Talon North
- Talon South
- Soaring Kestral
- Turkey Trot
- Zook Loop
Breitenbush River & Detroit Lake, Oregon
Through the Mount Jefferson Wilderness of the enchanting Cascades of Central Oregon lies a spiritual river known as the Breitenbush. It spurs off the North Santiam River in western Oregon draining one of Oregon’s most rugged Cascadian forests just east of Salem. The Breitenbush river comes from several short forks and it is the South Fork Breitenbush River that begins with creeks from Bays and Russell Lake at the elevation of 6,000 ft flowing West-Northwest. The North Fork Breitenbush River is the most popular as it beigns at Breitenbush Lake joining with another fork passing by Pyramid Lake and is where the infamous Breitenbush Hotsprings reside. The North and South forks flow together just east of the community of Breitenbush where they weave together in a wrapping twisting rhythm of love where they join the North Santiam at Detroit; and its lower 2 miles cut what is now Detroit Lake that is created by the Detroit Dam. Detroit Lake is a reservoir created by the Detroit Dam on the North Santiam River. It’s located roughly 46 miles southeast of Oregon’s capital city – Salem. The lake rests atop the old historical road bed of the former Oregon Pacific Railroad which was built by Colonel T. Egenton Hogg. But due to funding issues, the line never made it past Idanha which was southeast of the lake. The lake was created in 1953 with the completion of the dam, washing out where the railroad sat, now holding 455,000 acre-feet of water when full. This 9-mile (14 km) long lake has shoreline of 32 miles (51 km) when full. Its a very popular location for watersports, swimming, jet-skiing, water-skiing, fishing, and boating. Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife stock the dam with over 125,000 catchable rainbow trout, fingerling rainbow, kokanee and chinook salmon. The lake itself breeds a large population of brown bullhead catfish. Detroit Lake is designated as one of the 32 lakes in the United States for recreation as managed by the U.S. Forestry Service. At a surface elevation of 1,450 feet the lake can seasonally rise to 1,569 feet. Definitely a lake I’d like to spend more time at in the future. Beautiful.
Breitenbush Hotsprings * PO Box 578 * Detroit, OR 97342 *www.breitenbush.com
A very restful and relaxing intentional community and resort nestled in the Oregon wilderness. It is a retreat and a conference center that is worker-owned community that specializing in spiritual retreats and holistic healing. Surrounded by the Willamette National Forest it is indeed a piece of paradise in the woods. It is located 10 miles up in the hills from Detroit, Oregon and about 50 miles away from the capital of Oregon (Salem). The resort was built atop the natural geothermal springs known as the Breitenbush hotsprings which feed into the Breitenbush river. Its a serene and beautiful place with great spots for meditation, healing, and contemplation. It certainly gave me the rest and relaxation I needed for the leg of my pilgrimmage to Faerieworlds. Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures, as I wasn’t sure what the policy was, and only took pictures when no one was around which was extremely a rare occasion. Especially since it is also a naturalist resort down by the water at least, which is usually symbollic of no-photography. According to the resort, the springs was a frequent gathering place of local tribes. The tribes were apparently pushed out by Hudson’s Bay Company trappers who homesteaded it in 1904. Merle Bruckman purchased the site in 1927 and created the resort. It closed in 1972 after two devastating floods. Purchased in 1977 by Alex Beamer who wanted to host a full time community on site. The community took it over in 1985. The average temperature of the springs subsurface is 356 °F (180 °C) and contains minerals such as sulfate, calcite, analcime, anhydrite, chalcedony, microcline, muscovite, quartz, wairakite, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and lithium. The surface temperature of the springs is about 180 °F (82 °C)—the lower temperature due to heat transfer to cooler rock near the earth’s surface. The buildings at the Springs are heated from one of two of the wells. The retreat and conference center, founded in 1981, is a very counter-culture popular venue for many events, gatherings, festivals, holistic/spiritual/New Age retreats. The grounds has springs, spas, hot mud baths, and saunas – plus a river for cooling off – all clothing optional. There are 7 hot tubs and a sauna open to the guests, and a private one for the workers. The sauna is a small wood house with slatted floors over a hot springs creet that sits 12. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails, rustic cabins, a lodger, tent platforms, a meditative labyrinth, a sanctuary, a gift shop, and a conference center. Services include massage, yoga classes, meditation, community vegetarian dinners, and other healing arts. The community is based on sustainability and generates its own hydropower electricity. Cell phones, televisions, and non-satellite radios do not work and there is no internet. All buildings are heated by geothermal energy. The community runs and manages it year round living on the 154 acre site. There are roughly 50-70 community members. New members are accepted by a community consensus after a year of work and paying a deposit. The place is pretty amazing and definitely one of my new hotspots to visit. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. (August 2009) Another visit, this time during winter towards the end of January in 2010 I found a very pleasant visit with brisk dips in the hotsprings, a steamy sauna, and catching up with friends. The Vegetarian buffet in the main hall was delicious. Definitely a wonderful time. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. (1/29/2010)
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area – “Firehole Canyon” campground
Wyoming * http://www.wyomingtourism.org/overview/Flaming-Gorge-Recreation-Area/32475
* Elevation: 6,300 ft. * Open Seasonally May 12 – September 18 * $14 per day – Single * $28 per day – double * Maximum Stay Permitted (days): 16 * 7 water spigots * hot showers * pay phone * 40 sites * Swimming * Boating * Fishing * Camping * Hiking *
We weren’t sure what we were in store for since we wandered off I-80 from Rock Springs forest road located from Highway 191 south at 1:00 am in search for a affordable camping location with showers. Morning demonstrated a most fabulous hidden and unpopulated camping spot that I’ll be sure to visit again, many times. I’m not even sure where I found this special little gem in my GIS/Topographic map collections, as its not highly advertised. This however is the closest National campground to I-80 south of Green River. Also the first of many outlets into the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Its a bit of a jaunt off the interstate trail, but not unbearable, even at 1:00 am. At 1:00 am, we rolled in, did the courtesy drop-payment pole, and quickly found a campsite. There were only about 2-4 other camps staying there out of the 40 spots they have available. Not bad for a thursday night in the heart of summer, with a lake. Campsites overlook the Green River and the chimney rock formations in the horizon. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area consists of 201,000+ acreas of land surrounding the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The Reservoir which is fed by the Green River is 91 miles long with over 375 miles of shoreline ranging from low flats to cliffs more than 1,500 feet high. The River and Reservoir are a very popular fishing destination amongst Americans as it offers trout fishing year round. Plenty of boat ramps located close to all the campgrounds make fishing very easy. The area has alot of history as well as alot of petroglyphs can be found in the region from Native Americans who lived in or passed through the area hundreds of years before European contact. The Crow named the Green River “Seeds-ka-dee-a” which means “prairie hen”. Prior to 1848 this area belonged to Mexico but was annexed to the U.S. after the Mexican War. Other areas of the park were once posessed by France, Spain, Britain, Mexico, and the early state of California and the Mormon state of Deseret. The area was combed and explored by Major John Wesley Powell who mapped the area initially and gave it the name “Flaming Gorge” during his expeditions down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869 and 1871. The area is speckled with amazing geological formations from pinnacles to chimneys, various stratum layers, and formations accumulated from silt and mud as early as 40 million years ago. The area is also populated with many floral and faunal fossils from the prehistoric times. The campground is on the north end of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Firehole Canyon with a single loop on a sagebrush covered flat above the reservoir in the shadow of the North and South Chimney Rock landmarks. Each campsite is clustered next to another with a shared ramada and side-by-side parking, picnic tables, fire pits/grills, and some scattered Russian Olive trees. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 7/1/09-7/2/09.
- DIRECTIONS: In Rock Springs, WY, at intersection of Business Loop I80 (Dewar Dr.) and I80, take I80 west 2.8 miles to exit 99 (US Rt. 191 south). Turn left onto Rt. 191 and go 13.9 miles to Firehole Can. sign (County Rt. 33). Turn right at sign onto Rt. 33 and go 9.9 miles to Firehole sign. Turn right at sign and go 0.5 miles to campground.