Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Spring jaunt to Ohio

It's been a long winter at home this year, and the snow continued to come down, right up til April 17. We decided to take a couple of days and see what the US shore of Lake Erie was like this time of year.

Sat Apr 21
We headed south to Buffalo to start the drive. The usual route of Hwy 10->410->403->QEW got us there well before noon. After crossing at Fort Erie/Buffalo we got on to I90 South for a short bit, then off to #5. This was a nice change, going right along the waterfront. It also took us right to Camp Rd (#75) in Hamburg, where we had a visit to the Camping World store there.

We've been using a Mr Buddy propane heater in the van for the past 4 years when we don't have electricity. It has worked well, but even on Low it kicks out more heat than we need most of the time. We decided it was time to replace it with a Wave 3 heater, and Camping World had them at a relatively decent price. We can't get these in Canada, although we can get the larger Wave 6 and 8 models from, for an exorbitant price.

From there we just drove along southwest, sometimes near the lakeshore and sometimes on I90, ending up at Geneva State Park for the night. Unlike most of Ontario's Provincial Parks, the Ohio parks seem to be open this time of year. Self-registration, but electric sites are available, the main washrooms are open and some even heated. This park is right at the lake, so cooler than inland, but still slightly above frosty overnight. Sorry, no pictures for today.

Sun Apr 22
Today we could be tourists for a while. Unfortunately most of the lakefront viewing was of cottages and fish camps, until we got west of Cleveland and stopped at Lake Erie Bluffs.
This is a large park with hiking trails and camping, and a tower view of the lake. Pretty cool today though.

As you can tell, it was cool and windy. But no snow!

Later on we got to East Harbor State Park, a little north of Sandusky Ohio. This park was also open with self-registration and good facilities. $30 for a back-in site with electric. There were a number of other campers, but hundreds of sites to pick from. It's pretty close to a wildlife area we want to visit, Magee Marsh.

Lots of water around this park, as it's out on a peninsula:

Mon Apr 23

We had a good night’s sleep overnight. The Park was quiet, and we had  turned up the electric heater so we were both more comfortable. After a pretty leisurely morning with showers and some reading, we packed up about 10:00 and headed out to Magee Marsh.

What a nice area Magee Marsh is! It was still cool near the lake, but sunny and pleasant. The main warbler migration wasn’t in full swing yet, but there was lots to look at anyway. Because it was pre-season and a weekday we didn’t have crowds to contend with. Apparently the place gets extremely busy through May.

Welcome and info center, and gift shop

Lookout from the Welcome center

 Interesting Martin houses

A new Goose family already
Turtles catching some rays

A highlight of the marsh right now was the nesting Bald Eagles.

A patient photographer waiting for a picture

One parent at a time at the nest

Apparently there were 3 nestlings, we could see extra heads sometimes
The area right around the nests was closed, but we could see them pretty well.

This was definitely the highlight of our short trip. After this, we just headed west to Toledo, north via #23 to I69, and home.

The seasonal difference between our place and south of Lake Erie was remarkable. No snow at all down there. Away from the lakeshore, people were even cutting their lush green lawns! A nice break.


  1. What a fun excursion, around lake Erie so nice to find their parks open this time of year. We did a similar one 25 years ago. Such a huge difference in the weather from Ontario too.

  2. Nice to see where you both went!
    Funny, catawba island is where some rug hookers live!!
    She talks about it and nice to see the area,,,
    they are everywhere!!♡
    Looks like a nice place to visit , for sure,,
    Thanks for posting!

  3. I would say that was a nice little round about trip down along the southern shores of Lake Erie and back. Although a bit on the cold side it's nice being able to walk around and see things without crowds of people all over the place. I sometimes whish we had a smaller RV for shorter trips like that.