Ohio is a great mix of lakes, mountains, forests and rivers. The Appalachian country to the south and chilly Lake Erie to the north make it a unique blend of northern character or southern charm.
Whether you like hunting, fly fishing, ice fishing, hiking or just getting away from the city for the night or two, you can’t go wrong with an Ohio camping trip.
Here are our picks for the best places to camp in Ohio.
1. Alum Creek State Park – Delaware
Alum Creek’s 3,387-acre reservoir and 4,630-acres of gently rolling span of fields and woodlands provides a hub of recreational activity just minutes from Ohio’s capital city. Quiet coves nestled among shale cliffs await the solitary fisherman in the park’s northern reaches while sunseekers mingle with thousands on Ohio’s largest inland beach. Learn more.
2. Hocking Hills State Park – Laurelville
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Hocking Hills provides a variety of recreational opportunities in a splendid natural setting. The 2,356-acre park has towering cliffs, waterfalls and deep hemlock-shaded gorges to lure the hiker and naturalist and serve as a backdrop to popular facilities and accommodations. Learn more.
3. Mohican State Park – Loudonville
1,110-acre Mohican State Park and the adjacent 4,525-acre state forest are outstanding in their beauty and offer limitless opportunities for visitors to explore one of Ohio’s most unique natural regions. The striking Clear Fork Gorge, hemlock forest and scenic Mohican River offer a wilderness experience while the resort lodge and cabins provide luxurious accommodations. Learn more.
4. Indian Lake State Park – Lakeview
5,800-acre Indian Lake offers a variety of water-related recreational opportunities. Boating, fishing, skiing and camping are highlights of this 800-acre multi-use park. Learn more.
5. Tappan Lake Park – Deersville
Tappan Lake Park offers a variety of campsites that range from full hook-up to primitive campsites nestled in the woods. More than 550 campsites are available for RVs and tents to camp for a night or longer (discounted 30-day camping rates are also available). Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. If you choose an electric campsite, 30-amp service is provided. Learn more.
6. William H. Harsha Lake – Batavia
Located on the East Fork of the Little Miami River in central Clermont County, William H. Harsha Lake and East Fork State Park offer outstanding boating, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor recreation activities. William H. Harsha Lake is a multipurpose project for flood reduction, water supply, recreation, and wildlife habitat. Learn more.
7. Shawnee State Park – Portsmouth
Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, 1,095-acre Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest. Once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians, the region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion-carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname “The Little Smokies.” Learn more.
8. Paint Creek State Park – Bainbridge
Located amid the breathtaking scenery of the Paint Creek Valley, 5,652-acre Paint Creek State Park features a large lake with fine fishing, boating and swimming opportunities. A modern campground and meandering trails invite outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the rolling hills and streams of this scenic area. Learn more.
9. Forked Run State Park – Reedsville
Forested hills, a picturesque lake and the lazy Ohio River characterize 791-acre Forked Run State Park. Located in the heart of Appalachia, colorful history, riverboats, scenic vistas and abundant wildlife give the park its rural charm. Learn more.
10. American Wilderness Campground – Grafton/Cleveland
Heading to the Cleveland Metropolitan area? If so, you will find the American Wilderness Campground and Event Center; from here you can explore the amazing Cleveland Area Attractions, as well as making use of the campgrounds’ high quality Camping Amenities. We are one of the closest campgrounds to the Cleveland Metropolitan area, only thirty-five minutes from downtown Cleveland and fifteen minutes from Elyria, Ohio. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in Ohio that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.