I am just introducing my wife to backpacking, and we were looking to do an overnight in Zaleski State Forest in Ohio. I noticed a bunch of HF folk do group hangs there, so I figured you would be able to answer a couple of basic questions. I got the trail map and description from backpackohio.com, so I know the basic layout.
Campsites: I realize that there are fixed campsites, but I am not a big fan of sharing campsites if I can help it. Are the campsites a "hub and spoke" kind of thing, with many places to tent or camp at each site that are somewhat isolated from the others, or are they just one site? If I get there and it is full of scouts or drunk frat guys, am I out of luck in terms of getting some solitude? I assume weekdays are better than weekends? Are there any campsites that are less crowded than others? I asked a guy I know who owns a well-respected outfitter. He takes rookie backpackers there frequently. He says you can camp anywhere that is more than 300 ft from the trail, but everything on the Ohio DNR website says you are confined to the official sites. I practice LNT, and don't mind finding my own site, but I am a rule follower. If you aren't allowed to stealth, I won't unless its an emergency.
Water: I don't know why, but I don't really like the idea of counting on the state-filled cisterns for water. Are there enough stream crossings to skip the cisterns? (I have a Sawyer squeeze that I just converted to gravity.)
Best two day trip: Where do you like to park and what route/campsites do you recommend?
Thanks in advance for all of your help.