A delightful stay in the woods. Be prepared for mud (my minivan got stuck in the mud on the first day--so heads up about the mud!) but my actual camp area wasn't muddy, I made a wrong turn looking for my site. I was in site 6 (formerly site 10) and it was mostly quiet and private. On one of the days there was a fair amount of foot traffic through the site from people who were hiking to or from a specific trail, but it all turned out OK--it's just weird when you're a woman camping alone to have random people walking through your site when you're not expecting that. If you're looking for an absolute guarantee of solitude, you're probably not going to find it here, but site 6 is as close as you'll get.
The campsite was large and pretty flat--you'd be able to put a few tents there and not have too much trouble finding a level spot. You also don't have to worry too much about tripping on the way to the porta-potty in the dark since it's pretty flat (and not muddy.) Keep in mind, the water spigot is a good ways away, so fill up before you come if you can, or just know you'll walk a ways to get water.
I hiked on most of the trails and found them quite nice. The trail that goes around the property is longer than you might expect, and at one point it was mostly trampled grass, vs a well worn dirt trail, and I started to wonder if I had gone off trail and was going to end up in a coyote den or something. It went full circle and I made it back to the start. I especially enjoyed the downhill portion of the trail where you come around a bend and start downhill through a meadow of little white flowers, green ground covering and deciduous trees. It was very pretty. I also enjoyed the ancestor area as well.
The first night I heard some sort of animal that woke me up at 2 am. Sounded a lot like geese honking, but geese are not nocturnal, so either something was chasing geese (in which case I didn't want to know what) or it was something else like coyote, which I also didn't want to meet face to face. They came through the campsite and around on a trail and that was that. I also heard many types of birds, including an owl, ravens, robins, and MANY hummingbirds, as well as a squirrel who didn't seem pleased to have me around since he kept giving the warning call.
Michael, the camp host was absolutely delightful in every way. He was helpful and available--and helped me get my car out of the mud. He also has magical hair.
All in all, this was a great place to camp and have quiet rest. I'd stay here again and refer anyone I know to do so as well.
This was my first hip camp experience and didn't know what to expect. It was really a great experience; it was more private and peaceful than I expected. I didn't know if I'd have to share a table and toilet with other campers, but each site had its own. The hosts were very helpful and friendly, and I enjoyed meeting the goats, llama and dog. Frank the Cat was otherwise engaged in busy farm work when I arrived. The site is near the Buxton trailhead for the Banks to Vernonia trail and I rode my bike a few miles on that. When I returned to camp, I spent a couple of hours dozing and day dreaming in the hammock which was really delightful. I heard owls throughout my stay. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to get away from the city. One thing to keep in mind is the road getting to the campsite is really bumpy, so if you have a car that sits low to the ground, you might have a tough time. My minivan made it OK, however.
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