Ike Kinswa State Park
June 16-19, 2016
We arrived at the campground on Thursday, June 16. While temperatures were cool throughout our stay, the weather was definitely acceptable with minimal rain, We got a really good campsite. It was spacious and we easily backed Rocinante into her spot. The site was nearly level, and hookups were a breeze. The state park provided a nice picnic table and a fire ring, as usual. There were plenty of trees, which was nice given we had shore power and wouldn't be needing input from our solar panels.
The campground is situated on a small peninsula that sticks right out into Mayfield Lake, which is delightful. Roads within the campground are nicely paved, and very pleasant for riding about. There are also a number or walking / cycling trails along the waterfront, which we enjoyed with our mountain bikes. There are a number of simple camping cabins here as well, which seemed very popular. All were occupied while we were there.
We quickly noticed that our campsite, #64, was surrounded by red huckleberry bushes (Vaccinium parvifolium), which were absolutely loaded with some of the biggest, reddest juiciest huckleberries we had ever seen. We promptly picked and ate a bunch of them, declaring this to be a fantastic campsite in a very pleasant campground. We will camp here again.
Nearby Swimming Beach
After we hopped on our bikes and rode around a bit, we discovered that across Harmony Road (Route 122) from the campground, was the Ike Kinswa State Park swim area. Here we found a collection of picnic tables and a swimming beach. Unfortunately for us temperatures remained far too cool for a swimming expedition, but we still enjoyed riding over there, cruising around the property, and then riding back to the campground. The distance would have made it a bit of a hike to the beach from the campsite, but it was perfect for a short, pleasant ride.
Lewis And Clark State Park
Lewis & Clark State Park is west of Ike Kinswa State Park and east of Interstate 5, just south of US Route 12.. It's a small park, but hidden here is a gem you won't want to miss if you are in the area. In this park they have a section of old growth forest with a pleasant walkway throughout. It's an easy walk, not really long enough to call a hike, and we loved it.
Camping is also possible here, though the campground is quite small and only a few sites in the "Parking lot" section of the campground would have been large enough for Rocinante. So, we were pleased with our decision to camp at Ike Kinswa and do a day trip to this lovely little park.
Mossyrock, Mossyrock Dam and Riffe Lake
The town of Mossyrock is small, but houses at least one interesting restaurant. We stopped there for an afternoon snack at the Pantry Cafe, owned and operated by a delightful person who shared good food and good stories. It's a small place in a small town, but definitely worth your time. Stop by, and you will not be disappointed.
Beyond the town of Mossyrock, we visited the Mossyrock Dam, which makes Riffe Lake, upstream of the dam. There wasn't much going on at this time of the year, but fishing just above the dam is supposed to be pretty good. They even have a special deck from which folks can fish, though the water was so high in June that the deck was several feet beneath the surface of the lake. It is possible to view the dam from downstream via a viewpoint at the end of Hydrovista Lane. It's clear this spot doesn't get much traffic, but the view is quite interesting. From here, you have to go back into Mossyrock and out the other side on US Route 12 to view the dam from a vewpoint on the upstream side. It was a pleasant drive, and definitely worth the trip. There's a lot of history around the Mossyrock and the Mayfield Dams, and the valley these two lakes drowned. Definitely worth checking out if you're a history buff.