Last fall, while Chris and I were on our first annual date weekend in Shenandoah, we started to think about what our big trip for 2018 could be. One of us (I think it was Chris and Chris thinks it was me… so who knows??) came up with the idea of doing a trip around all five of the Great Lakes. We considered the idea of camping on the United States and Canada sides of each lake, but ultimately decided to stay stateside as the boys don’t have passports and we didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting them and going through customs.
One day Chris mentioned extending the trip beyond the Great Lakes and going a bit further south to Illinois before heading back home. Chris’s parents are from Illinois and Chris grew up spending summers with his grandparents in his parents’ hometown. He’s always wanted to show me and the boys the area, so it seemed like the perfect time to do it since we were so close.
After months of research and planning (thank you, Chris!), we established our route and booked all the campgrounds! This was our final itinerary:
On Friday August 3rd, we were all loaded up and began our two week adventure!
We left home at 1:30 pm and traveled 4ish hours to Hejamada Campground, a private campground, in Port Byron, New York. It was open field type camping with campsites close together, but we were able to stay hooked up so it worked well for an overnight stay. We had ample time to walk/ride bikes around all the loops and check out the playground, which was a hit with the boys.
In the morning, we left Hejamada Campground and headed to our first Great Lake! We were camping at Four Mile Creek State Park on Lake Erie again, which is still to this day one of our family’s favorite campgrounds (and part of the inspiration behind our new dog’s name, Miley!)
We only stayed here for one night as we had been here the previous year and had a lot of ground to cover this trip. The boys were excited to play on their favorite campground playground — Carter was hopeful the friend he met last year would be there, but he was not (as we warned him)! We made our way down to the lake so we could officially touch Lake Ontario and check it off our list.
One of the greatest parts of camping at Four Mile Creek is the amazing sunsets over Lake Ontario. After dinner, we headed over to watch the sunset and snapped our first Great Lake family selfie. I decided after taking it, that there were two rules for this trip…
- We had to actually touch each Great Lake
- We had to take a family selfie at each Great Lake.
That wraps up the start of our Great Lakes Trip. Next up, we explore Lake Erie!