Thursday, September 28, 2017

Our Camping Experience at O'Bannon Woods State Park

            Hey folks! Now that I'm finally feeling better and the “morning sickness” has gone away for the most part, we were finally able to go camping again! It kind of worked out for the best because neither of us like camping when it's hot out and I was nauseous most of the summer. Anyways...
            Although I didn't get to visit nearly as many state parks this year as I would have liked, I was wanting to visit O'Bannon Woods State Park. It was fortunate that it happened to be really close to the cave that we needed to visit for another review. Don't you love when a plan comes together so easily? So, just like we did in May camping at Brown County, we headed to O'Bannon Woods after the holiday (Labor Day). (Have I mentioned we're just a smidge anti-social?!)
            Not that it was packed by any means, but we were actually kind of surprised by how many people were there camping the weekend we went. As I mentioned, it was the weekend after Labor Day AND the park itself is fairly out in the boonies, if you will. In case you're curious, there are a little over 200 sites with electric hook-ups.
            If you've never been on ReserveAmerica, it's a great resource for campers. We used it to scope out campsites ahead of time for our Brown County trip, but this was the first time we actually reserved a spot ahead of time. We probably won't be doing that again. Through no fault of their own, let's just say the spot we reserved was not nearly as level as it looked like in the picture online. Needless to say, since we tent camp, our first order of business upon arriving was to switch spots. Luckily, there was one right across the “road” that was much better!
            So, what were some things we enjoyed?

*It was pretty quiet!

*There are 4 bathhouses, so the majority of the sites aren't too far away from any given restroom. (Important for tent campers AND those with young children!)

*Their bathhouses were actually pretty clean. They had their cleaning schedule posted near the door and you could tell someone actually kept up with it. I have found bathhouses a bit lacking in a lot of our past camping experiences since, let's be real: There are a lot more RV and camper campers than tent campers in most campgrounds. It's easy to see why bathrooms would get overlooked!

*Plenty of picnic tables at each site. Like, seriously. It was kind of insane how many tables they had. I think there were at least two at each site, if not more. Ours had three!

*The staff was relatively friendly.

            Other than the camping part itself, we also enjoyed:

*All the persimmon trees. There were a ton!

*All of the wildlife we saw. Lots and lots of deer. We even saw some turkeys in the campground!

*The 1850's farmstead was fun to walk around. I've always been into pioneer living and stuff like that, so I enjoyed it. Everyone else did too, even the kids!

*The big area for picnicing and whatnot next to the Ohio River section was nice. It kind of felt like a smaller park within a bigger park. The view of the river and Kentucky on the other side were great. We went for a short little walk along the trail next to it as well. My only regret? Not bringing our fishing gear! (Not that you could have fished from the bank, as high as it was, but I'm sure there were probably plenty of other areas nearby to go fishing at.)

*The nature center was AMAZING! I cannot say enough good things about it. I was actually surprised by how many displays and whatnot they had for being such a rural park. It was a big center with lots to see! Live snakes, turtles, and other aquatic creatures, as well as a bird viewing room which included displays of butterflies, moths, other creepy crawlies, and bird feathers. We were even able to pick up a bird house kit for a small donation and picked up some sheets on how to build other types of bird houses and bat boxes. Cool!

            A few complaints...

*Like I said, there was the issue with the picture online of our site being misleading and having to switch, but that issue was easily resolved.

*The campground office did not open anywhere close to what it was supposed to Saturday morning. John kept waiting and waiting so he could buy some fire wood, but the lady still hadn't arrived by the time we left, which was around 10:30. We did eventually buy some from the front gate when we got back mid-afternoon.

*The locks on two of the three bathroom stalls in our bathhouse didn't work. Again, not too many people frequent the public restrooms, so it wasn't too big of a deal, but still.

            Overall, we all had a good time. We really enjoyed what we were able to check out at the park and regret that we didn't have more time to check out some of the trails. However, and not to sound too contradictory to my previous statements, but we will probably not be back for a couple of reasons. First of all, the distance! This park is over 2 hours away for us. And number two: The other campers weren't very friendly. It was kind of bizarre. It kind of made the atmosphere weird and “ruined it for us”. I don't know how to explain it and I'm sure I sound like a nutbag, but it is what it is!

            If nothing else, stop by O'Bannon Woods State Park for the afternoon and have a picnic next to the Ohio and wander around the nature center and 1850's farmstead. They're worth it if you're in the neighborhood!

P.s. Be sure to watch the video below for more elaborating on certain things, better views of the farmstead, and more!

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


  1. Looks like a nice place to go for a family trip! Glad you had a good time (even with the hiccups) :-)

  2. Yes, I try to look on the bright side of things, even if it doesn't always come across that way. ;)

  3. What a lovely outings! I really like the bird house - they are so unique and interesting too. Glad you had a good time there, except for a few hiccups. xx

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