Last weekend hubs and I had planned on backpacking through Wildcat Hollow, a 20-mile trail within the Athens Ranger District of Wayne National Forest, broken up between Saturday and Sunday. I was intensely excited to hike in and camp, as I’ve only ever camped in designated campgrounds. Unfortunately, the weather was against us; last weekend southeastern Ohio got pummeled by storms and flash floods. Because I had put so much effort into prepping our packs and food for the weekend, hubs was kind enough to indulge me in creating a last-minute backup plan based on the which area of Ohio looked least likely to drown per the radar. Welcome home!
We decided to stay at John Bryan State Park, which is a little over an hour from downtown Columbus heading east on 70. We figured that if it was dry(ish), we’d hike along the gorge and within the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, and if it not we could hangout in nearby Yellow Springs, a little liberal college town populated by the cast of Portlandia. (Yellow Springs, you know I love you. I’d move there if I could!)
We arrived Friday evening around 7, got set up and enjoyed the lovely sunset. The campground was clean, staffed by friendly folks, and the other campers were respectfully quiet past 10 pm. That said we were disappointed in the lack of privacy; the sites are set up in a large field bordered by trees, not in a forested area. You can easily see your neighbors. Unfortunately I think it is the only nearby campground.
We woke around midnight to raindrops, but hubs did a commendable job securing the rain fly so we stayed dry. Unfortunately, the rain never let up, so we ended up heading into YS for brunch, where our trip culminated in an appearance by YS resident Dave Chappelle. After that we felt satisfied enough with our excursion to give up on our camping dreams and go home. I’m still eager to hike Wildcat Hollow and will update you once I do!