Ohio County Park Testing Tent Camping Sites
Campers in the metro area just east of Cleveland enjoyed a greater number of venues to connect with nature this summer as Lake Metroparks launched its first season of tent camping at five of its 36 public parks, the News-Herald, Willoughby, reported.
Celina Kosarko of Perry Township said she enjoys the escape camping offers, but not all campsites have that same sensation.
Kosarko said her first couple of camping trips at a campground weren't what she envisioned.
"I didn't expect people to be so close together," Kosarko said, noting that large campgrounds often have sites that sit nearby other tents or RVs.
Since then, she has tried finding camps online that offer secluded locations and this year, she read about Lake Metroparks' offerings.
In July, she and her fiance of three years, Bari Yates of Perry Township, reserved space at Riverview Park in Madison Township for a night out. The park has a single fire pit that sits next to Grand River.
Despite that people often fish and canoe along that area of Grand River, Yates and Kosarko said the site offered plenty of privacy and isolation.
"It's a $10 getaway," said Yates, referring to the price of reserving the park space for a night. The price is $20 for people who live outside Lake County.
"Every one of them is a single, standalone campsite," said Tom Adair, director of park services at Lake Metroparks.
"Most sites have a picnic table, fire pit and grill," Adair said. Some also offer fishing and canoeing, he said.
Adair said the public has shown great enthusiasm for the tent camping program, with 137 reservations being made since the program's season began May 1.
In addition to Riverview Park at 4895 Bailey Road, Metroparks also offers camping at River Road Park, 5808 River Road in Madison Township; Girdled Road Reservation, 12840 Girdled Road in Concord Township; Hidden Lake, 7024 Kniffen Road in Leroy Township; and Baker Road Park, 4960 Baker Road in Leroy Township.
The most popular tent site has been Hidden Lake, making up nearly a fourth of total registrations.
But Riverview is Kosarko's favorite site, or that was until she took her fiance and 8-year-old daughter, Jasmine, to camp at River Road Park.
"That place was so freaking cool," Kosarko said.
"It overlooks the wetlands and has a pond."
Kosarko said she is already planning another date night, but will need to wait until Aug. 31 because slots to her desired park are full.
Adair said Metroparks will consider expanding the tent program into more venues if reservations begin backlogging too frequently. Right now, only people who have a select preference on a specific camp site may wait a few weeks.
People interested in reserving a campsite can do so at lakemetroparks.com or by calling (800) 669-9226. Lake Metropark's tent camping season ends Oct. 31.