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“Multi-functional”

East Fork State Park
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Bethel
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 8, 2012

There are several things to do at eastfork. It has a man made beach, campsites, boating docks,playgrounds, and a wide selection of activities hosted at the park. With all of the different entrances to the park it can be a little difficult to navigate which area you need to access and the restrooms are disgusting.

Thank Doornailla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (71)
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59 - 63 of 71 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2012

We took our 4 children (ages 12, 11, 9, 6) backpacking for the first time at East Fork State Park's backpacking trail. It was also our first time backpacking at East Fork and we had a mixed experience.

To start with the positives, the trail was beautiful with many creek crossings that would be great in the spring and views of the lake. It was also good for taking young children because we were always close enough to the roads that we could bail at any time if it wasn't working out. We could also take side trails up to bathrooms to refill water bottles as the creeks were dry at the end of June. That being said, we weren't so close while hiking that we saw cars or felt like we were roadside and we didn't encounter many other hikers. The trail was also well traveled and easy to follow without any strenuous changes in elevation. There was also a pit toilet at the designated camping area which was an alternative to having young girls squatting in the woods. Beware, though, the toilets were ROUGH and not for the timid. Personally, I preferred the woods.

On the negative side, the trail map provided online is TERRIBLE. The scale is extremely inaccurate. We thought it would be 4 miles to camp 2 and it was actually 8 which required us to stay at camp 1 instead. We tried to stop at the park office but it is closed on weekends in the summer - bizarre. We did encounter another family that did register at the office on Friday and received the exact same map that is online. Another questionable quality to the trail is that much of it overlaps with their mountain biking trail. This can be dangerous for hikers when bikers come tearing around bends. We had to jump off the trail several times. Finally, the campsite for camp 1 is way too close to civilization for our taste when backpacking. All night long we could hear boats on the lake, traffic on a nearby road and the occasional helicopter going who knows where.

In summary, East Fork's backpacking trail is a great beginning trail (particularly for kids) but not off the beaten path enough for seasoned backpackers. Also, if you are hiking during a dry season, you will either want to bring all water or plan on making side trips up to bathrooms. To clarify this review, though, we only hiked the first half of the trail and can't testify to the second half. I felt compelled to share our experience because there was very little information available when I was looking so I wanted to give others some sort of reference.

30  Thank April V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This park has gone way down hill. It's dirty and run down.

1  Thank Cindy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2012

My husband & I kayak her all the time. We love the coves that allow us to see lots of flora & fauna around the lake. The lake is big so it is easy to find quiet & solitude most of he time. Have seen bald eagles and osprey there. We've camped her several times and it is nice. Plenty of sites.

1  Thank wolfgirl A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

There are a few really nice camping spots tucked away in woods that makes you feel like your all by yourself. The trails are really fun the walk through.

1  Thank drivingthru1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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