Our first camping trip of the year took place at Lake Alma State Park, during our girls spring break. This was our first time camping this early in the year, but with our new camper we wanted to use it as much as possible.
We traveled approximately 80 miles southeast of our home and the new 5-point Equal-i-zer anti sway bar worked great. It does take some time to get used to the “popping” noise they make while turning though. As we drove farther down 23 south the beautiful rolling hills of southern Ohio started. A few trees started to have buds on them and a great awareness that spring is coming was welcomed by all.
When we arrived at Lake Alma we almost drove past the campground entrance. (our review of the campground itself will be coming in the next few days) Lake Alma’s entrance isn’t as “official” as other state parks we have been too; there was a very tiny park office which was still closed for the season. By the time I looked through my email for our site number we had already passed by our site. So we drove to the middle of the campground and used their only turn around to come back toward the front of the park. The roads are pretty tight at Lake Alma and navigating with larger campers or new drivers could be problematic. After we turned around we came back around toward the front and found our site, number 64, it was one of the very first sites into the campground.
My husband worked on the narrow roads to back in-between 2 trees, as mentioned previously the roads are pretty narrow and turns were much tighter than most other state parks. This time it was a lot of back and fourth to get close to the water and sewer hook ups and far enough from trees on both sides for our slide-out and the awning to be expanded.
Our first night was pretty cold. 37 degrees when we arrived….brrrrr. Sean worked at getting everything set up outside. First thing of importance was getting us hooked up to electric so we could turn on the heat. We have an electric fireplace in our new Springdale camper which is great for taking off the chill or maintaining heat in the camper. Our girls stayed in the warm truck while the camper warmed up a bit. I plugged in our instant-pot which had our dinner in it, chili! An easy recipe (see link) that I cooked at home during the day and stayed pretty warm during our travels. Which was perfect for our arrival at the campground shortly after 6pm, we were all pretty hungry.
That night it got down into the 20’s, we stayed warm inside running the furnace off our propane and using our electric fireplace. We decided to try dripping our faucets to prevent the water lines freezing but our water hose on the outside still froze. We discovered that in the morning when our oldest daughter tried to flush the toilet. So Sean got up and realized that the hose from the faucet to the camper was frozen! He unhooked the hose and sat it in the sun to thaw. We ended up bringing the hose in the shower, thinking the warm inside of the camper would help it thaw. Even though we have been camping for 4 years, we are still learning. Thankfully our Keystone has an “arctic package” (to allow for 3+ season camping) and the underbelly stayed warm enough we didn’t have any pipe issues. The next two nights we decided to unhook the hose over night and reattach in the morning, as well as drain our lines as a precaution.
After lunch it warmed up and we went out to explore Lake Alma! The girls played on the playground for awhile and then they took their scooters around the lake. Lake Alma has a really nice paved 1 mile loop. You share the road with one-way traffic but it has a nice “walking/biking” lane. We took Oscar (the pup) on this walk. Perfect for people concerned about having a level surface or for people with disabilities. There were a few hills but smooth footing underneath.
When we got back Sean worked on seasoning and removing rust from our Blackstone (more on that to come!) grill for the year before we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. We watched the beautiful sunset over the lake and the girls met friends at the campground and played until it was time for bed.
The following day we hiked the Acorn Trail. It took us about 90 minutes to hike 1.9 miles. Max elevation was 861 ft. The girls loved it, well at first our youngest complained about her legs hurting. But when we started treating it like a scavenger hunt we didn’t hear any more complaining. The trail took us up and down hills, across small creeks, and maneuvering over trees that lay across the path. Overall a great hike for families with young kids. There was one area that was steep (see picture) and Sean went first to help the girls. Otherwise the obstacles we faced were fun adventures for the girls to do alone with low risk of getting hurt and trails were marked well with paint to keep you moving in the right direction.
A map of the trails that are offered (left)
We took the Acorn Trail and finished on the Sassafras back to the campground
The girls also learned the phrase “if it has 3 leaves let it be!” We saw what we believe to be poison oak/ivy. Enjoy some of our pictures below!
Click (coming soon) here for our review of the campground layout and what to look out for when booking certain sites!