Sleep like a log at Five Rivers MetroParks camps

Connecting with nature is easy with MetroParks camping options. CONTRIBUTED

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Connecting with nature is easy with MetroParks camping options. CONTRIBUTED

A ceiling of twinkling stars and a symphony of nature sounds – camping can be a night to remember.

And Five Rivers MetroParks has options for everyone from camping rookies to veteran outdoor adventurers. Two new opportunities include a camping package and trailside camping.

“We really want to break down barriers to get more people outside,” said Brent Anslinger, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation program manager.

Camping package

No tent – no problem with the MetroParks camping package.

The package includes a frontcountry campsite permit, camp set up and tear down – which includes the tent, sleeping bags and pads – along with a stove and some fun activities. There is also a staff orientation to the equipment and ideas to make the weekend camping experience one to remember.

“We hope these opportunities invite new campers into the MetroParks who then decide to invest in being outdoors more as a family and kicks off a whole new lifestyle that includes more time in nature,” Anslinger said.

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There is also a backpacking package which is similar to the camping package but does not include camp set up and tear down.

“In both cases we wanted to provide an introductory experience for campers and backpackers to give them an easy place to explore what may be a new activity,” Anslinger said. “We hope the experience stretches their comfort zone and inspires them to camp again either in our MetroParks or beyond.”

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The Five Rivers MetroParks Camping Package includes camp set up and tear down, including the tent, sleeping bags and pads. CONTRIBUTED

The Five Rivers MetroParks Camping Package includes camp set up and tear down, including the tent, sleeping bags and pads. CONTRIBUTED

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The Five Rivers MetroParks Camping Package includes camp set up and tear down, including the tent, sleeping bags and pads. CONTRIBUTED

Trailside camping

Trailside camping fills a niche to support hikers, cyclists and paddlers who are traveling through Montgomery County on the paved trail network, water trails, long-distance hiking trails or bicycle touring routes.

“These travelers may be out for a few days or on a multi-month adventure that covers thousands of miles,” Anslinger said. “Trailside camping is one more critical amenity that welcomes adventure seekers to the area and really supports our designation as a Trail Town.

“It also supports local trips for people who want to try out bicycle touring for the first time with a one- or two-night excursion from home. It’s always important to increase opportunities for people to connect with nature, camping along the paved trail network is one more way to do this.”

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The new trailside campsites are located along seven long-distance touring routes that run through Montgomery County including the Buckeye Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail, Great American Rail-Trail and Great Miami River Watershed National Water Trail.

“It’s really great to have these new opportunities for beginners in addition to supporting the needs of experienced travelers,” Anslinger said. “After all, we are the outdoor adventure capital of the Midwest.”

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The MetroParks trailside camping is ideal for hikers, cyclists and paddlers traveling through the area. CONTRIBUTED

The MetroParks trailside camping is ideal for hikers, cyclists and paddlers traveling through the area. CONTRIBUTED

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The MetroParks trailside camping is ideal for hikers, cyclists and paddlers traveling through the area. CONTRIBUTED

Five Rivers MetroParks camping options

Frontcountry camping: Designed for campers seeking vehicle access, fires, and/or the ability to have larger group experiences.

  • Amenities – Picnic tables, fire rings and, in some cases, shelters. Sites may be near developed areas such as trailheads, lakes and park roads.
  • Reservations – Must be booked at least three days in advance. Prices range from $15- $45 depending on size of site and time of year. Some sites can handle more than 50 people.
  • Locations – Possum Creek, Germantown, Twin Creek, Englewood

Backcountry camping: Designed for backpackers seeking a remote experience when they want to feel “away from it all.”

  • Amenities – Limited amenities other than a place to pitch up to two small tents, a common cooking area, and an outhouse. No fires are permitted. These sites are only accessible by hiking more than a mile on the trail system.
  • Reservations – Can be booked same day, $5 peak season, $3 non-peak season.
  • Locations – Germantown and Twin Creek along the Twin Valley Trail

Trailside camping: Designed for travelers who want to camp while backpacking, cycling or paddling on a multi-day trip along the paved trail network and water trails.

  • Amenities – Limited amenities other than a place to pitch up to two small tents and a nearby park restroom. No fires are permitted. Sites are only accessible by hiking, cycling or paddling.
  • Reservations – Can be booked same day, $5 peak season, $3 non-peak season.
  • Locations – Eastwood, Island, Taylorsville

For more information on these options or the camping and backpacking packages, visit www.metroparks.org

Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.

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