Covered Bridges – Ashtabula County OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦

While at Kenisee Lake, we took a day trip to view the many covered bridges in the area. Most of them cross the Ashtabula River as it meanders down to Lake Erie. We had heard about the covered bridges in this part of Ohio. Very pretty.

Ashtabula County, which is in the upper northeast corner of the state, has made a concerted effort to preserve the old bridges and to even build new ones. Home to 19 covered bridges, Ashtabula County calls itself the “Covered Bridge Capital”. It is the home to the longest and shortest covered bridges in America!

Definitely worth the trip.

Kenisee Lake RV Campgound (TT) – Jefferson OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 13 days
  • Cost of stay: $52
  • Discount: Thousand Trails. However, there was a $4 per night surcharge for the 50 amp hookup, which are premium sites. 
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
  • Site number/quality: #14, large, level gravel pad, gravel patio with picnic table. 
  • Park quality: Above average Thousand Trails park. Nice park.
  • Access: Tricky access off OH 45. Google Maps and GPS take you under a very low bridge. However, the park’s website clearly warns against taking that route, and provides clear directions by an alternate road. A good reminder to always check the park’s website before arrival.
  • Connectivity: Verizon 3G only, Cricket/AT&T weak with antenna, T-Mobile none
  • Return yes/no?: Maybe
  • Notes: We spent the first weekend in Phoenix for sister Debbie’s birthday party. We both got sick on the flight back and spent Becky’s birthday and most of our time here recovering from the flu. We were able to take a nice day trip to visit several of the local covered bridges and wineries. Surprisingly picturesque area.
  • Website: Kenisee Lake RV Campground

Ferry to Put-in-Bay OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦

Put-in-Bay is a village located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie on the north coast of Ohio, a few miles from the Canadian border. The full-time population is between 100 and 150. The village is a popular summer resort and recreational destination with several hotels and many restaurants and bars. Ferry and airline services connect the community with the mainland.

We took the speedy Jet Express catamaran ferry from Sandusky, which made a quick stop at Cedar Point and another at Kelly’s Island, before docking at Put-in-Bay. Our visit capped a summer of exploring some key locations during the War of 1812, which included Fort Meigs, Prophetstown, and related locations in Cincinnati. We didn’t intend to have a theme for our summer travels, it just happened.

The bay played a significant role in the war as the location of the squadron of U.S. naval commanderOliver Hazard Perry, who sailed from the port on September 10, 1813 to engage aBritishsquadron just north of the island in theBattle of Lake Erie.

Nine vessels of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of the British Royal Navy. It is the only time in history, before or since, that an entire squadron of the British navy was completely defeated. This ensured American control of the lake for the rest of the war, which in turn allowed the Americans to recover Detroit, win the Battle of the Thames in Canada, and break the Indian confederation of Tecumseh. It was one of the biggest naval battles of the War of 1812.

Oliver Hazard Perry was one of three national heroes of the war, along with Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. Most Americans at the time credited these three with saving the country. (Our former home town of Perrysburg OH is named after Perry.) Sadly, Perry died of yellow fever in 1819 while on a naval expedition to negotiate an anti-piracy agreement with Venezuelan President Simón Bolívar. Jackson and Harrison both survived their military service and each in turn went on to be elected President of the United States.

At the 100th anniversary of this pivotal naval victory, the United States began construction of an impressive tower on South Bass Island to commemorate Perry’s victory over Britain and to celebrate America’s long-standing peace since the war with England and their former colony, Canada.

Construction of the monument, officially called Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, was completed in 1915. It is 352 feet tall and made up of 78 layers of pink granite, topped with an eleven ton bronze urn.

There is an elevator and stairway to an observatory at the top of the tower. Its height makes it the highest open-air observatory operated by the U.S. National Park Service. However on the day we visited, the monument and the observatory were closed for renovations.

Fortunately, there is a wonderful visitor’s center in front of the monument which provides a vivid description of the battle with scale models and explains it’s significance to American and Canadian history.

Over 2 million people annually visit the little town of Put-in-Bay. Some come to visit the memorial, but most come to party. Nicknamed the “Key West of the North”, Put-in-Bay offers lots of nightlife with live musical entertainment, strolling barbershop singers, bagpipers, steel drums, and lots of golf carts zipping around town. It actually reminds me more of Catalina Island than Key West. But basically, it’s a great place to have a good time, which we did, while including a bit of history in the process.


Sandusky/Bayshore (KOA) – Sandusky OH

  • Length of stay: 3 days
  • Cost of stay: $195
  • Discount: 10% KOA discount
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
  • Site number/quality: #67, level paved pad, concrete patio with picnic table.
  • Park quality: Typical KOA park. Sites very close to each other. Lots of kids. Two pools. Arrived just in time to see the solar eclipse. Unfortunately, it was only partial because we were too far north. We stayed here because it was convenient to visit some of our family.
  • Access: Easy access right off US 6 east of Sandusky OH on Lake Erie.
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, Cricket/AT&T strong with antenna, T-Mobile strong.
  • Return yes/no?: Maybe
  • Notes: Met Judy and Bill for lunch. Also took a day trip to Put-In-Bay.
  • Website: Sandusky/Bayshore KOA

Maumee Bay State Park – Oregon OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 28 days as camper hosts plus 13 days as regular campers
  • Cost of stay: Free as camper host plus $192 as regular campers
  • Discount: Passport America as regular campers
  • Hook ups: Electric 30 amp only, with available water and dump
  • Site number/quality: Host site 38, plus 223 as regular campers. All sites in the campground are great. Most sites have lots of shade.
  • Access: Easy access right off OH Route 2 east of Toledo OH. On the southeastern shore of Lake Erie.
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, Cricket/AT&T strong with antenna, T-Mobile OK
  • Return yes/no?: Yes
  • REPEAT STAY: See previous
  • Notes: Worked as camper hosts for four weeks.
  • Website: Maumee Bay State Park