Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mill Run Recreation Area COE

  This is a small campground located on the south end of Youghiogheny  River Lake. It has a boat ramp, restrooms, a dump station, and fresh water but no electric hookups. The water faucets are not threaded to accept a hose.

  None of the campsites are accessible but most will work. The ground is hard packed dirt and stone. The tables have a short overhang.

  The entrance road is one lane with pullouts for passing. Some of the sites are long enough for large RVs but due to tight turns I wouldn’t recommend trying it with any type of RV longer than 25’. Campground
39.71533, -79.38439

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Green Ridge State Forest–Dispersed Camping

   Green Ridge takes an unusual approach to dispersed camping. One hundred primitive campsites are scattered throughout the forest. Each has a table and a fire ring within a small clearing. Unfortunately there’s a $10.00 a night fee which must be paid before setting up camp and the only place to pay is at the  ranger station at exit 64 of I-68. Registering and paying on line would be a lot easier. Pictured above is #1 campsite which is just minutes north of I-68 on 15 Mile Creek Road. We took a short ride to check out some of the other sites. #1 is pretty nice but a RV larger than ours might have a hard time maneuvering between the trees,  #2  is on a slope,  #3 looks to be excellent, #4 looks good too and is a little less forested than the previous ones. MAP of the campsites.

  None of the sites are accessible but the ground is hard packed so rolling easy.

  The road is in good condition, a combination of chip seal, maintained gravel and asphalt pavement. The road is one lane most of the way with pullouts for passing oncoming traffic. Some of the sites will accommodate larger RVs.  Forest
39.6858, -78.45378

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fort Frederick State Park

  We stopped here for the campground but there is also a reconstruction of a 1756 fort, a visitor center, a very small CCC museum, and easy access to the C&O Canal Trail. The parking lot for the 23 mile, paved Western Maryland Rail Trail is located about 1/2 mile west. The campground has few amenitie , just fire rings, tables and portable toilets. We visited during the week and had the campground almost to ourselves so it was quiet except for  frequent train traffic on the tracks across the river.

  A couple of sites are signed as wheelchair accessible. The tables have a long overhang on one end. All of the sites have an unusual long skinny table in addition to the picnic table. The tables at the accessible sites are lower. We weren’t sure about the function of this table. Other than the tables the sites are all similar. Other sites may be better because they get used more so that the ground is packed down and easier to roll around on. The toilets are not accessible.

  The fort is not accessible because of steps up to the porches and into the rooms. The CCC museum has a step at the entrance. We didn’t stop at the visitor center or check the C&O trail.

The campground sites are large enough for any RV. Parking is limited at the fort but there’s plenty of parking at the visitor center and a paved trail leads to the fort. The rail trail parking lot is large enough for vans or small RVs. Park
39.60402, -78.00776


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Antietam National Battlefield

  It’s hard to picture this beautiful, peaceful farming country as it was on September 17, 1862, the scene of a horrific battle between the Union and Confederate armies that left bodies heaped in the fields. Over 23,000 men were killed, wounded or missing. A small museum, movie, driving tour and trails explain the battle very well.

  Most of the park is accessible. The visitor center theater has wheelchair spaces  behind the last row of seats with movable benches for other people in the party. The museum is down a floor, accessed by a lift operated by a ranger. Most of the signs along the driving tour can be read without exiting your vehicle. Short trails are hard surfaced. The observation tower, which provides an elevated view of the Sunken Road, is not accessible.

  Several long pull-in parking spaces are available for RVs and buses. The pull offs along the driving tour are large enough for RVs. Battlefield
39.47365, -77.74498

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

  Free Ebook from Amazon The Raid on Harpers Ferry as I Saw It

 George Washington established a federal armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1796, the same one that John Brown raided in 1859 as part of his plan to overthrow the institution of slavery.  During the Civil War when the town changed hands eight times the armory and arsenal were destroyed. The destruction of the factory buildings plus numerous floods spelled the end of the town’s industrial heyday.The national park service has restored many of the buildings. Several are small museums. Some have displays that depict the former use of the building. Interpretive signs are located outside of the buildings and along the trails.

  An unescorted visitor using a wheelchair or scooter to get around will find visiting Harpers Ferry very challenging. The streets are cobble stone, the sidewalks are a combination of brick and uneven stone slabs, and some paths are loose gravel. Ramps are located at the back entrance of some of the buildings. Have a ranger mark which ones are accessible on the map.

 The parking lot is large with long RV spaces. Visitors must board a shuttle bus to get to the town. The bus has a wheelchair lift. You may also drive to town on a back road but parking is very limited (no spaces for RVs) and a steep slope must be navigated after parking. Park
39.3159, -77.75569
west virginia1

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thanks for Stopping By!


   I’m really happy that so many people have found my little blog. However you ended up here ,whether it was by following a link on an RV or wheelchair travel forum , or just by the serendipity of a random Google search , or because you’re one of our wonderful friends and relatives, welcome and thanks again for visiting!

  We’ll be wandering around in our home territory for the next two months. We’ll still be seeking out interesting attractions and places to stay overnight but posts will be less frequent because we have a lot of catching up to do!

  Have a great summer –on the road and off. :-D

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bull Run Regional Park

   Most of the time when we visit Washington DC we take advantage of the great camping spot in my sister’s driveway but we often stop at Bull Run Park to dump our gray and black tanks. Since dumping costs the same as camping for the night we always stay overnight. This is a good place to camp if you want to visit the city. After a short drive on backroads to get to I-66, it’s a straight shot into the city or you can park at the closest Metro station and ride in.

  None of the sites are specifically wheelchair accessible but many are useable. Ask for a fairly level one. The parking aprons are surfaced with large crushed stone which is a little hard to push along. The tables have a short overhang on the ends.

  There are sites that will accommodate any size of RV. Sites with full hookups may have to be reserved in advance.  Campground
38.80377, -77.47733

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

   A museum, a house built in 1794, and a six acre garden are included in the entrance fee. The house is undergoing preservation and is closed until 2014.  Julian Wood Glass Jr., a decedent of the original builder and founder of Winchester, Virginia, was the last resident of the house. He set up a foundation and stipulated in his will that the gardens and house be opened to the public and that a museum be built for his art collections. Besides the art collection the museum has displays covering the history of the Shenandoah Valley and examples of decorative arts made in the valley.

  The museum is mostly accessible but the admissions desk is very high. The only handicapped parking spaces are close to the gardens where there is a curb cut to the sidewalk. From there it’s an uphill push to the museum entrance. Parking closer to the museum requires using the street to get to a curb cut. The parking lot is surfaced with medium size crushed stone which is very hard to push through. The gardens are minimally accessible. The paths that have paving are uneven and many have steps.

The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Museum
39.18623, -78.1804

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oil & Gas Museum

   Coal is the first thing that comes to mind when West Virginia and natural resources are mentioned but apparently oil production was a thriving business in the 1800s. West Virginia might have had the first successful oil wells, beating out Pennsylvania, but the Civil War disrupted the industry. This museum is stuffed full of all things oil plus local and Civil War history. The items are loosely grouped together by category but there is so much of it and things aren’t labeled very well so it’s a little overwhelming.

  Nothing is accessible. There are steps into the museum and stairs to the lower and upper floors without a working elevator. The inside is pretty cluttered in places and many things are hard to see. It’s also very dimly lit.

  A parking space on the street in front of the museum is reserved for visitors. It’s large enough for RVs. One note of caution – many of the streets are one way.  Museum
39.26594, -81.56393
        west virginia1

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

   As we’ve traveled north we’ve visited several other sites with large mounds built by Native American cultures. Each has been built differently and each appears to have been used differently. Some were ceremonial sites while others were cities. This one appears to have been used for burials and ceremonies. Earth was piled to form the walls of large circles and squares. The mounds built inside the enclosures were burial sites. When they were excavated evidence of careful and ritualized placement of artifacts made of rare materials was discovered. No evidence of large villages has been found.

  The site has a small museum and a short movie. Both are accessible. An interpretive trail circles around inside the site. The trail is grassy, very bumpy, and very hard to push along. The park has an all terrain, manual wheelchair, free to use, which we didn’t try because it didn’t look much different than my chair. Another trail wanders through the woods for about 1/2 mile before dead ending. It starts at the picnic tables. Pushing over the grass is necessary for a short distance but in dry weather the trail, made of dirt and small crushed stone, is easy to roll along.

  The parking lot is small but RVs can be parked in the grass along the loop. Park
  39.37567, -83.00646

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cincinnati Art Museum

   This is a great museum with a very large and varied collection of artwork. We spent hours in the museum and barely made it through one floor.

  Everything is accessible. Accessible parking spaces and a ramp are located in the rear of the museum.

   Admission to the museum is free but parking in the closest lot is $4.00 a day. Another small free lot is located near the museum entrance driveway. These lots are large enough for vans and very small RVs. Larger RVs may be able to park along the streets in Eden Park where the museum is located but expect an uphill walk. Museum
39.11473, -84.49716

Friday, June 8, 2012

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

  Before the Civil War the Ohio border and especially Cincinnati became an escape route for runaway slaves. If they could cross the river from Virginia or Kentucky they might have a chance to get far enough away to elude the trackers. Many people helped – free blacks, former runaways, Quakers and other abolitionists. This excellent  museum tells the story from the beginnings of slavery in America through the slavery that continues worldwide today. Give yourself plenty of time to see it all. We had just a couple of hours and didn’t see half of it.

  Everything is accessible except for one small section with rocks on the ground that block access to an information panel.

  There’s a parking garage plus a lot south of the museum. The lot is below the museum street level but can be accessed by an outdoor elevator.  We found some street parking (2 hour limit) just a block west of the museum – very unusual because some of the metered spaces were long enough for RVs. Museum
39.09732, -84.51114

Rising Star Casino

  Rising Sun Casino is located on the northern edge of the little Indiana river town, Rising Sun.  It’s a stationary riverboat which is never ideal for wheelchair users because of the number of levels and cramped floor space so our visit was short and not very thorough. We visited one floor – easy to move chairs but tight machines.

  RV parking is in the lot farthest from the entrance, parallel to the main road into town. It’s large, level and quiet. Casino
38.95346, -84.84822

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spring Mill State Park

  Along with all the usual activities such as camping, hiking, and swimming this park also has an interesting little museum honoring Gus Grissom. Displays include his space suit and an actual Gemini space capsule that he flew in. He was killed, along with two other astronauts, when a fire broke out in an Apollo capsule during testing.

  The park also has a wonderful stone grist mill that was the center piece of a 1860s industrial village. Visitors are treated to demonstrations of the workings of the mill when water is allowed to flow over the huge outside wheel which turns all of the gears and the grinding stone inside. About twenty reconstructed log buildings, some with interpreters demonstrating crafts, make up the rest of the village.
  The Grissom Museum is all accessible. The mill village is semi-accessible. The pathways are paved and easy to roll along. The first floor of the mill is accessed by a ramp. This is where all of the main gears and grinding stone are located. Additional floors with artifacts and exhibits are accessed by steep, long staircases. Of all the other buildings, only one has an accessible entrance.Very little information is posted anywhere in the village but the interpreters are very knowledgeable.

  Besides these attractions there’s a cave boat tour which may not be operating now because of a fungus that is a threat to the bats. We didn’t check the accessibility of the tour or of the campground. Entrance to the museum and the village are free with a park day pass. The cave tour is a few dollars more.

  The parking lots at the museum and village are large enough for RVs. Park
  38.73684, -86.42193

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

  During the Revolutionary War George Rodgers Clark (older brother of the famous William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) was instrumental in stopping the British from attacking the thirteen colonies from the west. This monument was constructed in the 1930s to celebrate his accomplishments.

  The monument, which is not accessible due to the large number of steps, contains a bronze statue of Clark and seven large murals. The site also has a visitor center with a few exhibits and a movie about Clark. Both the visitor center and the movie are accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for RVs. Monument
   38.67826, -87.53653

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Horseshoe Lake Campground

  If you like dry camping this little park is a great place to stay while visiting St Louis. Construction slowed down our trip on I-64 into the city but normally it’s a short 10 or 15 mile drive to the Arch or Forest Park. Few amenities –no electricity  and pit toilets but water and a dump station are available. This keeps it fairly empty and quiet even on weekends although the fishing and picnic areas get a lot of use. Sites are large enough for any RV.

  None of the sites are specifically accessible but most are usable. The tables have a short overhang ,long enough to pull up fairly close to the table top. The ground is hard packed dirt and short grass – not too hard to roll along. The toilets are not accessible. Campground
38.68405, -90.08017

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

  At it’s peak, around AD 1050, the settlement at Cahokia Mounds was the largest city in North America with a population of 10-20,000 people. Three hundred years later the area was abandoned, most likely due to a depletion of the natural resources and disease from to a diet consisting mainly of corn. Seventy mounds of various shapes and sizes are protected in the park. There’s also an excellent museum with replicas of the finely made artifacts that have been uncovered at the site.

  The museum is accessible with pushbutton doors. There are ramps up to the exhibit level and down to the recreated village. Visitors in wheelchairs must enter the exit door at the theater and sit in front of the seating – a little too close. Some exhibits have information on plaques mounted on rings like giant books. It’s hard to reach these to turn the pages. A short interpretive trail, paved with smooth concrete, starts at the museum exit and loops around past some of the mounds. We viewed the large Monk’s Mound from a distance only so I don’t know if the trail leading to the bottom is accessible.

The parking lots is large enough for any RV.  Museum
38.65404, -90.05865

Monday, June 4, 2012

Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour

  Free beer samples and Clydesdales to pet –what more could you want from a factory tour! Visitors are given a short history of the company along with a walking tour through some of the brewing rooms containing giant containers of fermenting beer. Some of the buildings are from the late 1890s with elaborate architectural details inside and out.

  The tour is all accessible. At a few places visitors in wheelchairs will be escorted around steps and will rejoin the group without missing anything. The tour is all downhill. Ask for an accessible tram to meet you at the bottom of the hill if you don’t want to push back up.

  The parking lot has some long bus spaces where RVs can park if it’s not busy. Another lot is located across the street.  Tour
38.59982, -90.21309