On 7/21/12, Carol and I rode the 35 miles from Cleveland to Grafton Ohio to stay at the American Wilderness Campground and Event Center on Route 83 just a few hundred feet south of Route 303.
We arrived, expecting a pleasant stay in the primitive area. It looks like a really nice place on their website. We got there and were registering for us and our friend Nancy: three adults, two tents, one car, one night primitive.
Apparently it was because we had two tents. We said no thanks. We could stay at Findley State Park for less with two tents on one site. Then a woman, presumably, the owner (?), said in a decidedly condescending tone, we could indeed go stay at Findley. I was dumbstruck. Then she said, “but you can’t drink there.”
Even more dumbstruck.
Finally she said she’d make us a deal because she wanted us to come back. She knocked off something like $10. We still balked. This is, after all, primitive camping- no water, no electricity and just a port-o-potty. We were giving in, because it was HOT and we didn’t relish the thought of another 10-12 miles to Findley, but we still thought about it.
In the end, she let us have the site for $29, plus $10 for Nancy’s tent. $40 and some change with tax.
We cleared our heads, blew off the irritation and walked back to our site. The roads are gravel, so pedaling was not an option at that point.
We went back to the primitive area. It looked pretty bleak. The roads were rutted, there was broken glass all over and the port-o-potty looked like it hadn’t been serviced in at least a week. None of us ever used it, choosing instead to take the 3/8 mile walk up to the main bathroom.
Click the pics to enlarge them.
The main bathroom was pretty lame, too. Two sinks, two toilets, two showers. By nine am Sunday, the women’s room was out of toilet paper and by noon, so was the men’s room. Nancy told the front desk about the ladies room and they said, “oh, the guy that cleans the bathrooms will be here pretty soon.”
To be fair, the rest of the place looked nice. There is a small man-made beach with tent camping right next to it. The office and banquet facility look nice too. There was a wedding when we were there. There was a really good band playing when we arrived. maybe they were for the wedding? There is also a really big picnic shelter.
If we ever do go back, look for us to get a standard tent site with electric and water for $32- a difference of $3 from the primitive sites!!