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AEP advice for kids camping

Discussion in 'Southeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Bassmania, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. We live in Middletown and usually fish in the SouthWest Region. We recently adopted 4 children from Texas and we had 2 children before that giving us 6 (4 boys). I have told them that I would take them on a camping/fishing trip this Spring and thought the AEP area would be a perfect weekend trip. I have never been there and could use lots of advice. I was thinking of a weekend in April or May. We have already bought 2 tents to use for camping and have other camping gear.
    Here are my questions: When would be the best time to go? Where would be the best place to camp with kids (ages 8 - 13)? I would prefer someplace quiet and a little secluded close to fishing spots. This will be our first fishing trip and I would really like to make it a good one. We would be bank fishing (I have a small boat but it's only big enough for 3-4 people. If my wife and the girls come along we would need showers and good restrooms as well.
    Any advice on making this a great trip would be greatly apreciated. I would like to do trips like this a regular thing going to different places and it will all hinge on this trip being successful.
     
  2. shroomhunter

    shroomhunter USMC 1979-1983

    If you are looking for showers and flush toilets AEP is out, it is primitve camping only. If you do decide to go Campsite A is the preferred camping area for families. There are 2 ponds there and the DNR and OSU team up and stock those 2 ponds heavily in the Spring. There is a kids fishing derby there in May, usually the second weekend and they completely shut that camping area down prior 2 that event. There are usually fish left over after the derbies, they have a couple other events there for Scouts I believe after the big derby. Those 2 ponds are restricted to fishing for kids under 16 or 18, absolutely no adults and they keep a watchful eye on this. Late April thru early June is the best time weatherwise, before that it can be chilly or rainy and into June it gets pretty hot and sticky especially with kids an no showers. There is also no swimming down there anywhere either. I love the place myself and take my kids down every Spring and again in the Fall, they grew up camping with me so they can tolerate the primitiveness of it. I did buy a private latrine/shower tent so they don't have to use the stinky brown house/outhouses. This does make it a little better for them as they have some privacy. There is more information, maps and free permit which you must have available from the ODNR website or AEP website. Another option for you would be Blue Rock State Park which isn't far from there as the crow flies. It is a State owned camping area that has a nice pond, hiking trails a beach and best of all.....hot showers!! It was about $17 a night but may have went up. There are links to it on the ODNR website under State Parks. It is Southeast of Zanesville off of SR 60. Feel free to shoot me a PM in April, I live down there at AEP in April and May and can give you more accurate info as I see it firsthand. I know alot of things about where to go down there for conveniences, firewood, bait, etc. and am glad to help out if I can. Get your free permit, it is good for the family and does not expire.
     

  3. BBANKS

    BBANKS John Deere Puller

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    Very good on descibing the place Mushroom. I grew up camping at AEP and dont regret a minute of it. It is a great place for kids to see the primative side of camping, if they truely love the outdoors.
     
  4. Mushroom man nailed it. There are no showers and running water there. They do have pumps for water though. Lot of good fishing for kids. You'll catch plenty of gills to keep them all happy. Another good campsite would be C. It has a shelter house right by the water and a small boat ramp.
     
  5. Where can i find more info about the AEP land? I looked on ODNR and couldnt really locate anything. Where is it located?? Thanks.
     
  6. BBANKS

    BBANKS John Deere Puller

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  7. I also have spent alot of time at AEP and have met some very nice people there. I do believe that the kids derby is the 3rd week of May as it falls on the same weekend a tournament that I fish every year and it is the 3rd weekend. If you want to find some bigger fish be prepared to hike, spring time would be the perfect time to walk to lakes as the bass are typically bedding and can be seen from the bank, but most have seen every bait under the sun. Please note that I am not promoting this type of fishing just putting it out there, because I know alot of people fish this way, personally I do not, I prefer top water and cranks. Also, if the girls had to shower there is a truck stop in Caldwell where one could shower if needed. If you have additional questions please ask. By the way I feel it is a great and very commendable thing you are doing for those kids, you should be proud.
     
  8. I've been there many times too. A great place for kids to fish. Nightcrawlers and bobber are all thats needed to keep the little ones happy.

    Be aware of ticks though. Apply repellent to shoes and socks and all should be well.
     
  9. Showers are not a neccessity for the boys and I. We can rough it. In fact the plans started as a boys trip but my wife had said that she would go if they had showers. What you are describing sounds perfect, a place that energetic boys can run without getting in trouble, enough fish to keep their interest, and everything close enough that I can keep an eye on them. (Some nice bass fishing for me would be a plus).
     
  10. BBANKS

    BBANKS John Deere Puller

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    The Buckeye Trail is a great place to take them for a hike! It is by campsite H! There are alot of lakes that could be fished along the trail as well. Good Luck with your trip! Watch, some of the ponds can be very steep and deep!