Ohio Camping: Don’t Miss Out On These 5 Locations
As the Ohio camping season approaches, finding just the right camping destination is a yearly challenge. Each campground and resort is different. When it comes to variety, Ohio is a unique state that offers a huge assortment of camping options. From the scenic beauty of Kelly’s Island Park to the family-fun adventure of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, these 5 options demonstrate Ohio’s premier camping hot-spots. Regardless of your group size or activity preferences, Ohio’s campgrounds and resorts have it all.
This 2,356-acre state park has very aptly been nicknamed Ohio’s “Scenic Wonderland.” Located in southeastern Ohio, this family-orientated park is home to an impressive array of natural caves, waterfalls, gorges, and lakes, making it the perfect backdrop for any camping or hiking adventure. The park offers a variety of campgrounds and lodging options, each with their own unique activities and amenities. Fully equipped campsites offer complete RV amenities, traditional tent spaces, and quaint cabins.
Archery, hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing and swimming are favorite activities within the park. No trip is complete without hiking the historic Old Man’s Cave trail, a hike that takes visitors to cascading waterfalls and ends with a beautiful look at the sandstone caves.
With 677 complete acres, this state park truly is Lake Erie’s Emerald. For fishing enthusiasts, there’s no better vacation option. Lake Erie is well-known as “The Walleye Capital of the World!” In terms of camping, guests have the option to stay at the north shore Yurts, a unique camping experience that includes an impressive array of luxuries. Traditional campers have the option of well-equipped “Rent-a-Camp” units or basic, rustic campsites. A larger campground is available for groups as big as 50, making it a perfect party or family reunion destination.
The lake’s proximity offers great boating and swimming activities. The Glacial Grooves State Memorial is also located on the beach. This natural preserve landmark offers guests an eye-catching look at prehistoric marine fossils and rock formations thought to date back as far as 400 million years.
This state park was once the home and hunting grounds of the historic Delaware Indians. Although the pioneers eventually drove these Indians from their home in the 1800’s this nature preserve is still rich in cultural history and beauty. This park hosts trails and activities designed to honor the park’s tumultuous history. Centered around the guest lodge, this campground hosts a large assortment of full hook-up sites for RVs as well as many camp sites for traditional campers. Those who wish to indulge in more campground comforts have the option of well-equipped cabins. Campers enjoy many popular activities such volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes at the campground courts.
Fishermen love the abundant smallmouth bass fishing in the nearby Mohican River. This river is also great for swimming although a guest swimming pool is offered within the campground. Full days of hiking, biking, and exploring are available on one of the beautiful 11 scenic trails. Each trail has its own theme and unique features. The Lyons Fall Trail is especially popular among visitors; it includes amazing views of the Clear Fork Gorge and two separate waterfalls.
Located in the rolling hills of Southern Ohio, this scenic 110-acre resort is an all-in-one adventure every camper will enjoy. Although it offers great wildlife and nature, it still includes many popular recreational options such as paddle-boating, sports, swimming, and “golf cart” trails. Between the lake and swimming pool, this resort is the perfect place to cool off during hot summer days. Its family-friendly atmosphere makes it perfect for large groups and families with younger children. This resort also prides itself on its camping facilities. Traditional campsites and full RV hook-ups are available in addition to unique, themed cabins.
As one of Ohio’s favorite camping franchises, this resort is focused on providing the perfect family vacation. Both children and their families will love the fun Hannah-Barbara theme, featuring Yogi Bear and all his cartoon buddies. Although there are several of these great resorts throughout Ohio, one of the best is nestled in the scenic woods of Mt. Gilead near Columbus.
This resort offers a host of lodging options. Traditional camping and RV hook-ups are available for guests in addition to the “Boo-Boo” cabins. The larger “Cindy Bear” and “Yogi Bear” cabins are perfect for larger groups.
Yogi Bear resorts pride themselves on the exciting activities and camping ground adventures they host. In addition to its “250 Downhill Waterslide,” the Yogi Bear Resort also offers a swimming lake, pools, and 14-foot tunnel water slide. This waterpark-like resort is great for cooling off during warm summer months.
This resort also hosts special themed events such as the “Junior Ranger Mud Run” and the “Mother’s Day Fishing Tournament.” These themed weekends offer unforgettable fun and memories for the whole family. This resort also offers a unique Sunday Service experience perfect for teaching good family values and renewing your spirit.
Planning Your Stays
After selecting your campground or resort, finding reservations is the next step. The closer it gets to the optimal camping season, the more challenging it is to settle your vacation reservations. By keeping these simple planning tips in mind, you’ll simplify your reservations and ensure the perfect camp-out.
- Look for reviews from fellow campers
Although a campground or resort may sound extremely promising, always double-check your options. Look for trusted review sites and examine what fellow campers have to say about potential sites. These reviews also give you clues about what to expect and how to plan your trip. These “secret” tips help you get the most out of your camping experience.
- Make your reservations early!
By calling ahead to your campground or resort several months in advance you’ll gain a key advantage. Some campground and reservations fill up surprisingly quickly. The longer you wait, the less chance you have of making ideal reservations. Calling early also allows you to touch bases with campground hosts and resort managers. They’ll be able to offer tips and early announcements of what’s in store for their campground.
- Shop early for supplies!
Stores begin stocking up for summer camping very early. Although many stores advertise sales and special deals as the summer months approach, you might find actually better deals by shopping earlier during the “off” season. Always compare prices for supplies before buying. Sometimes online vendors may be your best bet to stock up on all your camping necessities.
- Plan your Meals
Although some campground and resorts offer pre-made meals and food vendors, many of these meal options are pricey. By sticking to a pre-made meal plan and using your own cooking supplies, you’ll save your budget and ensure your family is well-fed during the whole trip. Look for camping-friendly meal plans and recipes designed for open fires and camp stoves. Although you might be “roughing it” at your campground, you can still indulge in a feast of tasty camping options.
- Check your supplies and equipment
Many campers discover unpleasant surprises and broken equipment after arriving at their destination. Ruined equipment easily puts a damper on your camping spirit. Always double-check your supplies well in advance for any issues or flaws. This saves you from last-minute, expensive purchases and unpleasant stress.
Camping is the perfect summer vacation. Getting out in the woods together with family and loves ones builds memories and bonds that last a lifetime. Whether staying in a fun family Ohio camping resort or striking out for an adventure at a scenic campground, plan to visit one or more of these great Ohio camping destinations!
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