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Favorite Camping Places for your Troop?

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Our troop is located in southeast Michigan. Some of our favorite camping spots are in Ontario. Lake Superior Provincial Park and Pukaskwa National Park, north of Sault Ste. Marie, and the Bruce Peninsula National Park, north of Port Huron/Sarnia. (There is a picture of us playing in a waterfall in the March/April issue of the Scouter Magazine.)

We also like Hocking Hills State Park in southeast Ohio.


Does you troop have any favorite place around here that we could check out?

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One of the units in our district in Central Wisconsin is going to the Porcupine Mts. in the upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you go north of Sault St. Marie, this wouldn't be too much further. It borders Lake Superior, and has very good hiking trails, etc., so I'm told. Not sure if that is what your looking for?

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I am curious Troop 185, could you fill me in?


How many scouts usually go on these trips? The travel times of some of your trips must be as much as 8-10 hours, how many days do you spend lets say on the trips north of the Sault? Are trips like these normal monthly trips or special trips done in the summer? What is the cost per person?


Are guys like backpacking on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan off Leland and car camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes after the tourists have gone in the fall.

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The Porcupine Mts. are a great place. We had a group of scouts backpack there three years ago, the week after Easter. (They have been doing the Appalachian Mts. the last two years.) The water was high from the snow run off, and they got some wet feet.


I use to take a group of first year scouts every other summer to the Porkies. We would rent the 8 man cabins, and backpack from one cabin to the next for 3 or 4 days (Watch out for the leaches in Mirror Lake!) Also, we stopped at Picture Rock National Lakeshore and at Sylvania Recreation Area, each for a night on the way up.


On the way home, we took the ferry across Lake Michigan from Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan. I guess the reason I stop taking this trip was that I like Ontario better, it is not as crowded, and I do not have to worry about booking cabins a year ahead. If you plan on camping in the campsites along the trail in the Porkies, they fill up fast in the late summer (when the bugs are not so bad). Isle Royal is the same way. You better make camp by 2:00, or you might not get a place.


The trips north of the Sault are special summer trips, lasting 6 to 8 days. The group size to go into the interior at Lake Superior Provincial Park is 9, and at Pukaskwa, it is 8. The last two summers, we had two groups up the same week in August doing different itinerary. (Again, the bugs are not bad this time of the year!)


This last summer, I charge $125 for a canoeing trip down the Sand River - 8 days; and $110 for the 1st yr. scout trip - 6 days. Each group took the Agawa Train into Sand Lake, the 2nd group took the train out the next day. I own the canoes, canoe trailer, etc. so we do not have to rent.


The trips to the Bruce Peninsula and Hocking Hills are usually every other year, 3 day trips. I had 50 people at the trip to Hocking Hills last April. We do the Bruce Peninsula trip Memorial weekend.


I have never been to North Manitou Island, but have been to the South Island two times. Every June, I backpack one or more scout groups into the Nordhouse Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan (south of the Sleeping Bear) for one night. I believe it is the only Federal Wilderness Area in the lower part of Michigan.





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although i have many, here's one:



Swift Camp Creek Trail, Red River Gorge, Kentucky. part/near the D.Boone National Forest.


a rugged backpacking trail, for First Class & above.


once one gets to the bottom of the gorge, the Creek is full of stocked rainbow trout.....


a wonderfull place.



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I would like to hear more about the Red River Gorge area. Have any other troops been there? Five years ago, I spend half a day there. It look like a interesting area, if you knew where to go. The word I got, was that the locals in the area were into illegal activites (moonshine),and it might not be the best place to take youths.

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Troop 185,


see the book "Kentucky's Land of the Arches" by R. Ruchhoft, published by Pucelle Press of Cincinnati, OH


frankly, i'd be more concerned about stepping off the edge of a cliff than any local misfits (hence my comment about 1st Class and above).


the book is very accurate in rating the ruggedness of over two hundred trails there. it also lists auto-tours, rock climbing, rappelling, and canoeing opportunities in the Gorge.


hope that helps,



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Red River Gorge is awesome, and gives opportunities for all levels in scouting. Most troops in the Kentucky area visit there regularly. Here are a few highlights -


Koomer Ridge Campground. If you're into comfortable camping, this place is great. Nice showerhouse, well-laid out campground. Two problems - practically no firewood, and they don't take reservations. During peak camping season, you have to get there early on a Friday.


Trails - Trails vary from short and simple for your Cub Scouts to the very difficult. Our guys put together a series of trails that totaled about 7 or 8 miles. It was fairly rugged, and had a couple of opportunities to get lost if they weren't paying attention. It was a good test for the first year scouts, and allowed them all to complete their map & compass requirements. There are also some long, difficult trails, that are great for backpackers, including troops wanting to do shakedowns in preparation for Philmont or other long treks.


Climbing - There are hundreds of places to do climbing and repelling. Repelling of an arch is a real adrenaline rush. Our guys watched some climbers at Gray's arch last month. Now they want to try it themselves.


Arches - The area is known for its many arch formations. Natural Bridge is the most famous, and is a "must see". Sky Bridge and Gray's Arch are two good choices. These provide lots of opportunities for the guys (and venturing girls) to explore.


Here are two links:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/boone/rrg.htm (This site contains just about everything you need to know, including information on the campground, trails and regulations).



You can also do a search on google and get lots of information about trail preferences. The trails at the gorge are mostly pretty short, but they are in clusters. You can link several trails together to get a longer trail. Several websites give you suggestions for doing this.

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