Saturday, June 4, 2011

Guernsey State Park

Our recent stay at Guernsey State Park was a ton of fun. We had the entire campground to ourselves, and the first thing the boys did was to make some forts. Then they found sticks and had a sword fight. Then they explored the woods. Then they threw rocks into the lake. They were in their own version of paradise.

Besides exploring and playing, there was also a beach to play at. The water was cold, but there was still sand to be played in, islands to be built, water to be splashed and trenches to be dug. We completed the junior ranger program here as well, and the boys got a very cool badge and a coin for completing both the Fort Laramie and Guernsey State Park programs.
We spent some time exploring "the castle" which is the world's most amazing picnic shelter with a turret to climb up and look our over the lake (it is set on a cliff high above the lake). We also found the skeletal remains of some animal that had been drug up into a tree near our campsite some time ago. We spoke with a ranger who was very nice and he thought probably a mountain lion had drug something up there, maybe a young deer, and had a feast. Rather than being scared we were all actually pretty psyched about this.

Below is the review for the campground itself.

Nearby attractions - 5 - Close to Fort Laramie.
Staff - 5 - This is a difficult to rate. The one ranger we talked too was the nicest ranger we have met yet and told us to stay past the check-out time to see the castle. So we did and then another ranger left a get out now note while we were gone on our rig. The staff at the check-in koisks were polite but were not very good at answering or questions or offering any knowledge about the park.
Natural surroundings - 10 - Very close to nature! I was able to really explore my newest hobby - bird watching. We saw several bird species for the first time including Baltimore Orioles. Lots of goldfinches around and we were able to snap a few shots of them.

Value - 7 - We paid $18 a night for two night for a back-in with no hook-ups. They do have some sites with water and electricity, but we were never told they were available. We just saw them after we were there for a day.

Bathrooms - 6 - Pit toilets, not showers.

Roominess - 9 - Plenty long enough and lots of room on either side.

Facility fun - 8 - We just loved exploring the nature. Small museum/visitors center at the park. Beach was about a 20 minute drive.

Cleanliness - 9 - Very clean but not uncomfortably clean.

Facility usefulness - 6 - Water spickets, picnic tables and shelters.

Overall - 9 - Roughing it but lots of fun!

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