| Secluded, Very Nice|
|Reviewed on June 19th, 2020|
|Took the kids for a trial backpacking run. IMHO, this state park is great for a starter backpacking trip, trails are well marked, easy hike in and out, they even put in stairs and rebar supported boards, trails are very well maintained. Tent pads are flat and fairly level. It's backpacking utopia.
Site 14 is 8-15 minutes down the river from site 13, depending on how fast you are and how heavy your pack is. Also, site 14 is a good 1-2 minutes off the trail, very secluded. You could pitch 3 to 4 tent and it's right on the river. I passed sites 3-13 and thought site 14 was the best of the lot, mainly due to being secluded.
There's a toilet a little up from the camp (there's a pole marker for it).
And I do mean just a toilet, not in an outhouse, it's a pit toilet on a platform in the open. At least it's a private site.
The site has some log benches and a nice grill pit, very shaded.
Also of note, the Manitou river was brown when we went early August, the water filtered brown (apple juice colored, with some soapy looking bubbles). I was a little concerned, but what are you going to do, we drank it filtered. I didn't see any signs, "Don't drink the water!". After we left, I called the state park to ensure it was safe, they said it was safe to drink (Iron, sediment, dead plants...etc). We didn't get sick. Just calling this out from someone from out west where the water is clear.
Also, I think the quickest way to sites 11-16 is to take Yellow Birch, to Cedar Ridge, to Matt Willis, then hike the river trail. Cedar Ridge is much easier to hike than taking Yellow Birch all the way to the river trail. The river trail has a lot of ups and downs, steam crossings over logs, it's much slower than the relatively flat Cedar Ridge trail. With this route, it took us roughly 1.5 hours to get to from the parking lot.
Site 14, Highly recommended as a starter trip. Seasoned backpackers may want a little for challenge.|
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