If you missed the first two parts of our Great Lakes camping trip, you can catch up on our stay near Lake Ontario here and Lake Erie here.
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On Tuesday morning, we said goodbye to Lake Erie and Maumee Bay State Park and made our way to Harrisville State Park, one of Michigan’s oldest state parks. Harrisville State Park has 107 heavily wooded acres with 226 campsites. There are many waterfront sites but unfortunately we were unable to get one with a view of Lake Huron.
We arrived at Harrisville State Park around 4 pm. Our campsite was nice and luckily we didn’t have a neighbor on our outdoor living area side.
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:
We had plans to go camping Mother’s Day weekend, but ended up canceling them and stayed home instead. By the end of May, we were eager to go camping again as we’re not as able to camp in June due to hay season. Hay season began on May 23 for us this year. We finished up baling and stacking on Friday night, and we were able to leave Saturday morning to go camping.
We decided to check another state of our list and headed to Vermont! We left early Saturday morning and were all set up at Woodford State Park by 10:30 am. The campsite was nice (especially since we didn’t have a neighbor on our outdoor area side) but it was SO BUGGY.
We made reservations many months in advance to camp at Assateague Island National Seashore in April, but ultimately decided to change the date of our camping weekend to coordinate better with Carter’s baseball schedule. Assateague Island National Seashore was booked for the weekend we now wanted to visit the area so we booked a campsite at Assateague Island State Park instead.
Assateague Island is a 37 mile long barrier island in Maryland and Virginia. The island is best known for its wild horses, pristine beaches, and the Assateague Lighthouse. The wild horses, who are owned and managed by the National Park Service, are the island’s most popular residents and a popular tourist attraction for the island.
If you missed Part 1, you can catch up on our first day and half in Shenandoah here!
After we finished our lunch, we headed to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. There are almost 70 overlooks on the 105 mile stretch of Skyline Drive with stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley.
We entered Skyline Drive at the Thornton Gap entrance station in Luray at milepost 31.5. Jackson fell asleep on the drive over so he missed out on our first view point, hence his absence from our family picture below. Our first stop on Skyline Drive was Hazel Mountain Overlook at milepost 33:
Two weeks ago, we kicked off our camping season by heading down south for spring break! Our school district always has spring break the week before Easter, which was early this year, so it wasn’t typical spring break weather.
The Shenandoah area was forecasted to receive about a foot of snow a few days before we were booked to stay there, which threw us through a loop. Chris ended up booking a site at Pocahontas State Park in Virginia where they weren’t predicting as much snow as a backup. Luckily, Shenandoah only ended up getting about four inches of snow. Chris called the campgrounds the Wednesday and Thursday before we left to check on the snow situation and help us determine where we were going. We ultimately decided to stick to our original plan and head to Shenandoah as the campground was basically snow free.