When deciding on travels, we often like to find spots that don’t have many reviews or photos, because that usually tells us it should be a relatively quiet area. Grand Trace met that expectation in strides! We spent 4 nights in this spot and only had a DNR officer come through once, and no other campers the whole time! We took advantage of this opportunity and sprawled out over 3 of the 4 sites (we could have easily reigned ourselves in if someone else showed up.)
Grand Trace had exceptional beauty and easily made the cut to stay in our personal database of free boondocking spots! While we were here, (Late Sept) the wildflowers were in full bloom and the monarch butterfly migration must have been just coming through! We would go for walks daily to soak in the beauty of the huge field of wildflowers and the rolling countryside as a backdrop.
If you hop on the road and go for a drive in the countryside surrounding this amazing little gem, you will find homestead after homestead of local (what I assume) Amish families. There’s a certain level of self sustaining that’s visible from the road and that’s something I admire greatly. We did respect the well known wishes of Amish communities and refrained from photographing and videoing their homesteads and buggies. Someday I would like the opportunity to spend a few days with an Amish family to simply hear their own point of view on the world around them. So if you have any connections, do let us know!
Milo is truly the one who benefits the most when we find quiet little spots like this! When he has the freedom to run through the fields and grass because there’s no one around to get upset over him not being on a leash he gives us a glimpse at what it’s like to live such a free spirited life! Not that we don’t have free spirits, but let’s be honest, he’s not worried about bills and breakdowns and that’s a beautiful thing to admire.
Aside from all the local Amish communities there’s also a pretty modestly sized town called Bethany, located no more than a half an hour away from Grand Trace. Bethany had Walmart and all the normal chains that accompany a town of that size. Auto Parts, Restaurants, and Gas Stations a-plenty. We couldn’t manage to find anywhere to get fresh water sadly so this spot wouldn’t be perfect for long term stays. But we will be back.
The biggest downside to this spot that we found is that our solar production was very disturbed. There were barely any clouds in the sky the whole time we were there, but yet we still couldn’t generate enough power without having to use our gas generator nightly.
Even with our panels tilted to harvest the MOST amount of sun they could we still only had sun on 2 of our panels for a total of 2-3 hours daily, due to the overwhelming shade given off by the mature trees. This just plain wasn’t enough and we would need to run our generator daily for 1-2 hours just to keep up. Our limited supply of gasoline was dwindling and our water running low, our time at this spot was quite lovely but it was time to take the half hour trip back to I-35 and head south.