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Point Beach Cabin Crossover Trip

Point Beach Cabin Crossover Trip (a.k.a. Point Beach State Forest - Ketchbaw Cabin Weekend)

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 south 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.

I have a box of gear that I’ll bring along that includes some paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic utensils, hand sanitizer, some aluminum foil and other odds and ends along that line.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from being prepared with their own supplies but at the same time we usually end up with a counter heaped full of supplies.  I’ll also bring a tea kettle to warm water on the wood burner and should have one or two LP lanterns for inside the cabin.

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 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:


GPS Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
[masked], [masked]
44°12'8"N, 87°31'7"W
(These are not coordinates to the cabin! They may be a general coordinates to the park or possible the entrance station and would work to find your way to the general location.)

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°[masked]’
W 87°[masked]’
Point Beach Cabins
N 44°[masked]’
W 87°[masked]’


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

Cabin Information

Point Beach State Forest Map

Trail Descriptions

Pictures from the Fox Cities Backpackers stay at the Ketchbaw cabin in Nov. 2012



Please feel free to contact me through the meetup site or directly at [masked] with any questions.

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  • Ralph K.

    Thanks Randall for organizing this event. Good to see everyone and getting a chance to socialize with the Chicago area group. After all we are on the same lake.

    2 · November 12, 2013

  • Jenna

    I'll stop over with a truck load of firewood tonight so don't buy any!!

    November 8, 2013

    • Jason P.

      Thanks for the firewood Jenna!

      November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great trip with a wander flu group of people. Thank you

    November 10, 2013

    • Deb M.

      Hey, saw you two in Manitowac, you were leaving as I was pulling in:-)

      November 10, 2013

  • Jason P.

    Keep the fire going for me. I'll get there eventually. I'm at my last client for the days. Hopefully I'll get there by ten!

    November 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be leaving Milwaukee later in the will reach by 9-10 pm

    November 8, 2013

  • Colleen

    I may bring my kids over for a day hike on Saturday.

    November 8, 2013

  • Mary

    I'll be bringing my tri pod for anyone to use over the fire.

    November 8, 2013

  • Ralph K.

    I'll be leaving Green Bay about 3:45 so won't be there till after dark.

    November 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm looking for a ride Friday after work. Leaving from downtown Chicago, but can meet anywhere in the city. Anyone have room?

    November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey I will be driving from Milwaukee, WI. If anybody needs a ride do let me know. I can accommodate 3 people

    November 4, 2013

  • Jenna

    Randall - I want to do this trip, but here's my question. Is this a limited space trip because only so many people fit in the cabin? If it is, I don't want to take a reservation spot because I only live 8 miles away & can easily go home at night, leaving a spot for someone else. I'd be willing to help pay for the weekend still. Also I have a large woodpile that I won't use up so I could chip in free wood! Let me know!

    August 28, 2013

    • Randall

      Hi Jenna, the DNR limits occupancy to 14 which matches the number of bunks. It's up to you if you want to take a spot or not but it's been posted a while so you shouldn't feel like you're taking a spot from someone else. Snooze=Lose Remind me about the firewood when this gets closer.

      August 28, 2013

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