Point Beach Cabin Crossover Trip (a.k.a. Coenen Cabin Weekend)

  • November 8, 2013 · 3:00 PM
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Point Beach Cabin Crossover Trip
(a.k.a. Coenen Cabin Weekend)

Fri. Nov. 08 – Sun. Nov 10, 2013

This is a beginner level trip open to any skill level.

In the ratings grabbing tradition of television crossover episodes, the cast of the Fox Cities Backpackers Meetup Group and the Chicago Suburban Backpackers Meetup Group will join forces on location at the Point Beach State Forest. In addition to staying in a great cabin and having miles of beach virtually to ourselves we’ll have the opportunity to socialize with our backpacking friends from North of the border. The Appleton group will be staying in the Ketchbaw Cabin while the Chicago group will be in the Coenen Cabin.

The itinerary for the weekend is very simple; arrive sometime Friday afternoon and RELAX until departing Sunday afternoon. How you do that is up to you! There won’t be any “scheduled” activities for the weekend. I anticipate using part of the day Saturday and possibly Sunday morning hiking the trails in the park or along the beach. We’ll figure this out as we go with the option of breaking into multiple groups and hiking different trails and distances. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we can take advantage of the fire pit for some additional outdoor time.

At the minimum bring a sleeping bag, food for the weekend, flashlight or headlamp and some weather appropriate gear to enjoy the outdoor surroundings.

If you’re bringing a vehicle a WI State Park vehicle admissions sticker or daily pass is required.

Here are some details on the cabin from Reserve America:
This is a rustic cabin with no electricity; water is available from a hand pump, which is located near the Coenen Cabin. All cooking must be done outside using the outdoor grill provided. The cabin has a wood-burning heater. Pit toilets are available; there is no bathroom inside the cabin. The cabin is supplied with tables, chairs and countertop, Campers should bring cooking utensils. Cabin includes 14 or 16 single bunks with vinyl covered mattresses, campers should bring sleeping bags, pillows and battery powered lanterns or flashlights. It is required that all campers clean cabin and surrounding area prior to check-out. A picnic shelter is located outside the cabin. Each cabin has its own fire ring. All fires must be contained within the fire-rings provided. The cabin has an accessible wooden walkway to the dunes.

Last year water at the cabin was already shut off for the winter. We’ll assume this to be the case again and provide several containers of water. Saturday we can head over to the park office/entrance station where water is available year round and refill.

On our previous visit one of the Rangers had unlocked the cabin leaving the keys for us inside the cabin. If you arrive before the Event Organizers go ahead and set up when you get there. Whenever the people whose names are on the reservations arrive they can officially check in. If the cabins are locked feel free to go up to the entrance station and ask for the keys.

This weekend should be early enough not to include suitable snow for skiing. However in the event that there is, the park’s trails do close to hiking and are groomed for skiing. This doesn’t include the Ice Age Trail.

With such a large number of people in a cabin there will surely be some people up well past their bedtime and others soundly snoring. If you’re a light sleeper, plan accordingly and take precautions. It never hurts to have a pair of ear plugs or an MP3 player along.

Also be aware that cell coverage was very poor. Voice was mostly impossible and text weren't that much better.

Last year we encountered some problems finding the cabin especially those arriving after dark. The sign is small for starters and also doesn’t mention cabins on it. Instead the sign is for the “Indoor Group Camp” and marks a fairly long gravel road back to the cabins. If I remember correctly the sign was on the west side of the road. The road to the cabin is on the east side of the road toward the lake. We’ll bring some type of sign to post on County Trunk O to help mark it a bit better but if you arrive before the sign, you’re on your own.

Also worth noting, the “Welcome to Point Beach State Forest” sign is located about a half mile north of the road to the cabin. Most people will be approaching from the south meaning if you see this sign you’ve gone to far.

General directions/information from the Reserve America site:

Point Beach State Forest is located 5 miles North of Two Rivers, on Cty Trk O.

From the South, take Hwy 42 North through the city of Two Rivers. When you see a Pick-n-Save grocery store on your left, go straight towards Lake Michigan at is point. You will then connect up to Hwy O, take this North until you see Point Beach use area signs.

From the North, watch for Point Beach signs along Hwy. 42 directing you to the state forest. You will then take Hwy V East. Hwy V will then connect into Hwy O, take this South until you see Point Beach use area signs.

Here are some coordinates extrapolated using USAPhotoMaps.
Gravel Road To Cabins
N 44° 11.4814’
W 87° 31.6322’
Point Beach Cabins
N 44° 11.2888’
W 87° 30.9938’


Your trip fee of $25 includes:
Cabin reservation (2 nights at $60.00/night) -- $120.00
Reserve America reservation fee -- $9.70
Firewood -- $60.00
Meetup fee (2 nights at $5.00/night) -- $10.00
Misc. Items (Water, Garbage Bags, etc.) -- $10.00

Firewood is not included with the cabin so we’ll arrange for some. We’ve made an educated guess as to how much will be needed but this could vary quite a bit with temperature and if the weather allows for a bonfire. We should be fine but if it looks like we might run short we can either take up a collection or spend a little time scavenging.

Point Beach State Forest Site - http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pointbeach/

Cabin Information - http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pointbeach/camping.html

Point Beach State Forest Map - http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pointbeach/pdfs/ptbeachforestmap.pdf

Trail Descriptions - http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pointbeach/trails.html

Pictures from the Fox Cities Backpackers stay at the Ketchbaw cabin in Nov. 2012 - http://www.meetup.com/backpackers-150/photos/12009502/


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  • Margaret

    What a great weekend with an awesome group of people! Thanks Pete for reserving such a cool place and organizing this trip!!

    1 · November 10

  • Amy

    Good times!

    November 10

  • Kendra

    I second Spencer. What a great introduction to a great group of people. I was interested in backpacking before but definitely looking forward to future trips and seeing you all again.

    2 · November 10

  • Spencer Stephens

    Had an awesome time! Thanks everyone.

    3 · November 10

  • Spencer Stephens

    Can't wait for the week to be over to start this bad boy. We planning any type of meal as a group or dessert like cobbler?

    2 · November 4

    • Mark

      I pronounce thee Kobbler Maker!

      November 5

  • Anna

    I'm planning on doing some biking on this trip on Saturday if anyone is interested in joining me. Specifically, the trail that goes from the state park to Two Rivers (Rawley Point Trail) and then continue on to Manitowoc (Mariners Trail). Total mileage appears to be approx. 12.5mi each way. http://www.wibikeroutes.net/Mil...­

    1 · November 5

  • Koustubh Kulkarni

    Hey I will be driving from Milwaukee, WI. If anybody wants to carpool do let me know. I can accommodate 3 people. You can leave your car at my place.

    November 4

  • Koustubh Kulkarni

    This got full..so i signed up on the Appleton groups...can't wait to see you guys :)

    1 · August 25

    • Nina

      Same here!

      September 6

    • Amber

      yay! I'm reserved and paid through their group - thanks for the info. ;)

      September 6

  • Spencer Stephens

    I've heard this is a lot of fun! Look forward to seeing you all in November.

    August 23

  • Natalie

    Hello, I keep trying to RSVP and pay, but I never get taken to the paypal screen.

    August 22

    • Pete

      I don't know what happened, but you should be on the trip now

      August 23

  • Natalie

    Kendra added me as a +1 so I removed myself as event host. Thanks!

    August 23

  • Kendra

    It's ok...Natalie is covered under my +1...so y'all know who my plus one is :)

    August 22

15 went

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