Three parks in one day

Spent some time exploring the park where we slept last night, Patoka Lake State Park.

Exploration nearly came to a sudden stop when the road abruptly narrowed (see below). Squeezed through with literally inches to spare, and made it down to the beach. Robyn read the educational board about the area while I helped Ross and Ryan figure out the sun dial. The boys wanted a mobile version.

Drove up the road a bit to a very tangible version of history at Spring Mill State Park. The park has quite an extensive pioneer village, with buildings that apparently are authentic examples from this area, built in the early 1800s. A remarkable aqueduct or mill race was built to bring water from a small stream fed by a nearby spring to the village mill. The park still operates some of the milling features.

From the one stream of water that pushed a very large wooden wheel, the village was able to grind grain inside and saw logs outside.

Very lovely park, with the proverbial babbling brook running through a long, shady picnic area.

With the day nearly over, we headed north on the final 15 miles to Hardin Ridge Recreation Area, a national forest campground. Made the mistake of simply typing in the address to our phone Google mapping function and following the result.

Big mistake.

The shortest distance might be a straight line, but the Big Taxi needs a road, not a line. Our first clue there might be a problem was when the road suddenly didn’t have a center line. Too narrow for that.

Up, down, and around through lovely landscapes, but the road was a county afterthought. Dreadful pavement that shook the coach within an inch of its life.

Oh well, we made it. Wonderful campsite nestled back in tall trees, with plenty of room. The twins qualify for a lifetime pass to all federal parks and forests, and half-price on campsites. This one costs $13.50 per night, with the big 50amp electric service. Yep, we’re staying for a bit.

1 thought on “Three parks in one day

  1. Looks like you all found a lovely place to rest for a while. The pictures are great. Love the lake and beach area. Makes me really miss the UP

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