From thrilling amusement parks to awe-inspiring geological formations, Ohio is filled with opportunities for the whole family to get out and have fun. And lucky for us, there are plenty of Ohio campgrounds for families who prefer to vacation in an RV.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to relax and take in the scenery or a site with plenty of outdoor recreation activities and things to do, Ohio campgrounds provide many different types of fun for RVers of all ages. So let’s check out some of the best campgrounds in Ohio!
Planning Your Ohio camping trip
Like many other states, Ohio campgrounds are busiest when the kids are out of school and the weather is hot. For this reason, we recommend planning a trip in spring or fall, when the weather is cooler and campgrounds are less crowded.
Spring is a great time to RV in Ohio. Play, hike and bike during the day when the sun warms the air, then gather together in front of campfire to take the chill off the evening. Ohio fishing is fantastic in the spring, too, with opportunities for landing largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch. See the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website for fishing regulations.
Ohio is also stunning in the fall with numerous mature trees lining clear streams. As we’ve written before, there are plenty of fall activities to enjoy in your RV, like visiting pumpkin patches, orchards, and vineyards.
Ohio’s campgrounds offer plenty of fun ways to make memories year after year. Ohio campers love:
- The beautiful countryside. Chances are, at some point, your trip will take you down some rural backroads. Enjoy the country farmlands, picturesque barns and charming bridges.
- Farmers markets and roadside stands. Ohio is an agricultural state so stop by a local market for ripe produce, just-picked fruit, fresh eggs and ice cream made with real milk.
- The water. From major sources of water like Lake Erie and the Ohio River to smaller inland lakes, rivers and streams, Ohio is the perfect place to go swimming, kayaking, stand up paddling, boating, fishing or canoeing.
- Unique attractions. There are some things you can only see and experience in Ohio. Consider a trip to Cedar Point, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Toledo Museum of Art or the Christmas Story house.
- Regional foods. From Cincinnati chili to chocolate Buckeye candies, there’s plenty of regional food to be savored.
8 Great Campgrounds for Camping in Ohio
From Amish country to urban nightlife, Ohio offers a number of diverse experiences. The state has a real knack for family fun, so you’ll find that campgrounds offer all sorts of activities and sports for everyone in the family at these Ohio campgrounds:
Best Ohio campground for canoeing: Mohican State Park Campground | Loudonville, OH
If you’re a paddler, Mohican State Park is where you want to be. The Mohican-Loudonville area is widely known as the “Canoe Capital of Ohio” – and for good reason. Clear Fork River, which runs through Mohican State Park, provides ample opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and other paddle sports. The 27-mile river supplies plenty of flowing waters for paddlers, excellent fishing opportunities (including brown trout) for anglers and an unlimited number of scenic views for all.
For campers, the 1,110-acre park has 100 electric campsites, 51 full hook-up sites and 35 non-electric sites. Campers have access to a ton of amenities, including the pool and splash pad, playground and volleyball and basketball courts. If you’re looking for even more to do, gem mining is available for an additional fee. Also, the campground store loans out board games and sporting equipment.
Campers enjoy all the activities, including the mountain bike trail system and the miles upon miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. In the winter, downhill skiing is available at nearby Clear Fork and Snow Trails ski resorts.
Best Ohio campground for water sports: Tappan Lake Park Campground | Deersville, OH
If your family likes to go swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, tubing or wakeboarding, you’ll definitely want to check out Tappan Lake Park campground, which has campsites across from the beautiful 2,350-acre Tappan Lake.
With more than 500 campsites, this is a large campground. However, because the campground is split into sections for RVs, tents and cabins, it has the atmosphere of a smaller one. The RV campsites include full hook-ups. Campers love that the sites are easy to back into and clean. Pets are welcome in most areas, too.
There is so much to do outdoors in this 5,000-acre park that you could stay here all summer and never get bored. If you do choose a longer stay, a limited number of seasonal camping permits are available from April 1-Oct. 31.
Tappan Lake is the big attraction here. This is an all-sports lake with a 399 horsepower limit, so if you have wave runners and jet skis, bring them along. The park also has a marina that offers pontoon and fishing boat rentals.
When it’s time to relax and soak up the sun, campers hang out at the sandy lifeguarded beach area and fishing dock. Anglers catch all kinds of fish, including catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and yellow perch. You can also spot a variety of wildlife on the 14 miles of trails that begin at the park.
Play and stay at Tappan Lake Park Campground
While you won’t be disappointed with your time on the water, what many campers talk about here are the added amenities like free WiFi at the Activity Center. Plus, there’s a nature center, camp store, laundromat and snack bar onsite.
While there is plenty to keep the family busy and active at this Ohio campground, big plans are on the horizon. According to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District website, construction is being completed in stages to include renovated full hook-up and water/electric sites with 50-amp power and concrete pads.
Amenities are also being revamped or added, including a new playground, accessible family restroom / shower building, accessible fishing pier near the beach and a kayak launch site with easier access to the water. The marina is undergoing many changes as part of a multi-faceted project that began in 2017 and is scheduled to wrap up in 2020.
Best campground for fall fun: Alum Creek State Park Campground | Delaware, OH
For fantastic fall foliage in a great location, you can’t beat Alum Creek State Park. Located just minutes from the bustling city of Columbus, this all-season campground is nestled within wooded areas lush with mature trees that burst with a rainbow of rich colors in autumn.
Campers and RVers compliment the large sites and shaded areas that offer plenty of privacy. There are 308 campsites in total with 24 full-service hook-ups that include water, electric and sewer; 231 electric and 31 premium electric campsites. Facilities include a dump station and potable water fill area that are also easily accessible.
Bring the family for a camping trip filled with adventure and natural wonder. On sunny fall days, hop in the lake at the camper’s beach or head out to go fishing. The Alum Creek Marina has boat rentals available and the campground offers a boat launch ramp, nature center, playgrounds and picnic areas.
This campground gets rave reviews from furry guests, too
The family dog can join in the action at this Ohio campground, as the park features a dog park with a swim beach just for canines.
As the weather cools down, the activities gear up. Enjoy hiking among the crunchy leaves or participate in a game of horseshoes, then throw on a hoodie and settle in by a warm campfire at night. The campground also includes seasonal fun during its Fall Fest weekend. Activities include a Haunted Trail for everyone and Halloween campsite decorating.
Please note: Many events in 2020 are being cancelled, so double check ahead of time if you want to attend.
Best campsite in Ohio for thrill seekers: Lighthouse Point Campground | Sandusky, OH
Lighthouse Point Campground isn’t a place where you get away from it all. It’s a place where you go to be in the middle of it all. Located in the heart of Cedar Point, one of the nation’s most popular amusement parks, Lighthouse Point Campground is just steps away from Cedar Point, Cedar Point Shores waterpark and Cedar Point’s Lake Erie Beach. Its convenient location is a boon for camping adventure seekers, who can ride roller coasters the theme park, relax on the beach, and then recharge in their RVs.
Campers also receive some cool benefits, such as deals on ticket packages, shuttle service through Cedar Point properties and one hour of exclusive early entry into the park. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and hot tub, outdoor water play area, convenience store, gift shop, parasail and jet ski rentals, laundry facilities, bathhouses, and shuffleboard court. Reader’s Digest named it the Best RV Park in Ohio.
The 120 RV sites are spacious, with concrete pads, full hookups and a picnic table. They include complimentary WiFi, so you can share all your fabulous roller coaster photos on social media. Some spots are back-in and others are pull-thru. The one thing campers point out is that you should be aware of the noise. Because of its convenient, close proximity to the amusement park, you can hear screams of delight from riders and the noise from roller coaster operating throughout the day until the park closes.
On the other hand, it is great having your RV so close by that you can escape the heat, take the children back for a nap or enjoy a homemade meal when you need a break.
Best Ohio campground for cave explorers: Logan/Hocking Hills KOA | Logan, OH
The Hocking Hills area draws thousands of people every year because of its rich resources and beautiful natural assets, so it would be reasonable to assume that the atmosphere is laid back and peaceful. That is true, but the region offers so much more than a little R&R.
Adventure is the name of the game here whether you are interested in zip lining, canoeing or hiking out to see waterfalls or caves. That’s right, we said waterfalls and caves. There are seven different hiking areas of Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave, Rock House, Conkle’s Hollow, Cedar Falls, Cantwell Cliffs, Hemlock Bridge Trail that leads to Whispering Cave and the popular Old Man’s Cave.
Located in southeastern Ohio, each trail is unique and offers a variety of experiences. Ash Cave, for example, is paved, making it ideal for wheelchairs and strollers. Cantwell Cliffs is features deep valleys, high cliffs and rock shelter.
Old Man’s Cave takes about an hour to hike. Along the way, you’ll discover scenic bridges and breathtaking views. At one point the trail turns into a single passage through a recess cave. These caves have long been attracting visitors since 1870 and they continue to captivate the public’s attention today.
Where to stay after your cave adventures
Logan/Hocking Hills KOA perfectly complements your nature adventures at Hocking Hills State Park with fun and games for the whole family. Swim in the heated pool. Go gem mining. Play a giant Connect Four game. Pan for gold. Or make arts and crafts. Kids will enjoy the playground and RC track while parents can kick back by pitching horseshoes or playing ping pong.
There are two premium RV campsites for RVs up to 40 feet; four deluxe full hookup sites; 15 full hookup sites; 30 water and electric sites; and six electric only sites. Amenities include a store, pizza kitchen, sweet shop featuring homemade fudge, and WiFi. There’s also a Kamp K9 dog park for pets.
Logan/Hocking Hills KOA is one of the oldest Class A campgrounds in Hocking Hills. It is located just three miles from Old Man’s Cave with other park areas all within a 12 mile radius, making it a wonderful place to stay while you enjoy everything this region has to offer.
Recreational activities within the park include 23 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Plus, an 18-hole disc golf course is open to the public and free to all park visitors. There’s also a playground, horseshoe court, and picnic areas.
Best Ohio campsite for island hoppers: Kelleys Island State Park | Kelleys Island, OH
Next on our list, is a campground that’s perfect for small campers and trailers up to 26 feet in length. If an island in the middle of Lake Erie sounds like paradise to you, then you are going to love the campground at Kelleys Island State Park. Being on an island and camping along the lakeshore is definitely a little slice of heaven.
Bring your RV over via the Kelleys Island Ferry in Marblehead. It’s about a 25 minute ferry ride, but once you reach your destination, most everything is fairly easy to get to. By day you can swim at the shallow beach, kayak, hike, boat and fish from a long walkout pier. The area is a great place to catch yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass.
At night you can visit the island’s brewery and winery, watch the sunset, talk around the campfire and fall asleep to the sounds of the lake waves crashing up on shore. Campers love that Kelleys Island is a quiet island, which makes it ideal for rest and relaxation. There are several small shops in town, including restaurants and places to enjoy fudge and ice cream. There is also mini golfing available.
If you bring bicycles, you can get around the island easily, but there are also golf carts available to rent if you need transportation. Exploring the island is great fun. Kelleys Island is known for its natural attributes, with six miles of hiking trails and two nature preserves. It’s the perfect place to spot wildlife or watch migrating songbirds.
Geological marvels abound at Kelleys Island Campground
The campground is located next to glacial grooves. According to the Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce, these grooves are the largest and most accessible example of this geological marvel anywhere in the world. A National Natural Landmark, the glacial grooves are 400 feet long, 35 feet wide and up to 15 feet deep. They were created by the slow movement of the massive glacier that created the Great Lakes and Lake Erie Islands.
The RV and tent campsites are large, with a picnic table and fire pit. It’s a family-oriented campground with 45 non-electric and 84 electric sites along with a bathhouse that contains showers and flush toilets.
Tip #1: Being so close to the water, it does tend to be windier during the day. At night the temperatures will drop and can become quite chilly, even in the summer. Remember to bring jackets and hoodies, even if it’s 90 degrees during the day.
Tip #2: You’re on an island and Lake Erie is close to the Canadian border, so some campers have reported that their cellphones think they are in Canada. If you don’t have international service, be prepared in case your phone does not work.
Best camping site for those always on the go: Lazy River at Granville | Granville, OH
Last on our list is a campground for those who are always on the go. Lazy River at Granville is a great place to pull in your RV when you want to be in the center of action, but still get away for a little while. This private campground is located just 25 miles away from Columbus and amazing attractions like the Columbus Zoo, state capital building, Amish Country and COSI (Center of Science and Industry), one of the top ten science museums in the country.
You could explore this area for days and never get bored, but when you want to slow the pace down and relax by the campfire, Lazy River at Granville has you covered, too. Enjoy family time at two heated swimming pools, sprayground and two playgrounds. Show your competitive side with a friendly game of basketball, horseshoes, foosball, bag toss, ping pong, sand volleyball or volleyball.
Amenities include a dog park, game room and laundry. Activities offered for an additional fee are: Mini golf, pedal carts, gem mine, zip line, laser tag and a challenge course. The kids won’t even miss not texting or playing games on their phones.
This scenic campground nestled in a valley in the picturesque Welsh Hills, has 60 of its 165 spaces fully equipped with water, electric, sewer and cable television. Other sites have variations of water, electric and sewer and can accommodate all sizes of RVs. A creek runs the length of the campground and there are hiking trails in the woods. The interior roads are paved.
Campers note the family atmosphere and hospitality displayed by the owners and staff, who go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome.
For more information on these Ohio camping spots
- Mohican State Park is situated adjacent 4,525-acre state forest in northeastern Ohio. Campers enjoy the wilderness, the hemlock forest and views from the Clear Fork Gorge. For reservations, visit www.parks.ohiodnr.gov/mohican#reserve.
- Tappan Lake Park is located at 84000 Mallarnee Road in Deersville, Ohio. For reservations, book online at https://tappanpark.mwcd.org/.
- Alum Creek State Park is located two hours from North Canton in Delaware, Ohio. For information, call (740) 548-4631. For reservations, visit www.OhioStateParks.reserveamerica.com.
- Lighthouse Point Campground is at One Cedar Point Drive in Sandusky. For reservations, book online or call (419) 627-2106.
- Logan/Hocking Hills KOA is an adventure within an adventure located at 29150 Pattor Road in Logan. For reservations, call (740) 385-4295.
- Great Seal State Park is a wonderful place to discover the wonder of nature that first captivated the Shawnee and settlers so many years ago. Learn about Ohio’s early history while taking in some beautiful views. The park is located at 4908 Marietta Road in Chillicothe. For more information, call (740) 887-4818.
- Be ready for an island adventure at Kelleys Island State Park, 920 Division St. in Kelleys Island. The campground is on the northern end of the island, right off a beach. For more information, call (419) 746-2546.
- See it all and have the time of your life at Lazy River at Granville, 2340 Dry Creek Road, N.E. in Granville. The campground is conveniently located off all main highway routes. For more information, call (740) 366-4385.
Thanks for joining us on this tour of some of Ohio’s best campgrounds for RVers! If you’re planning your next trip, be sure to also check out our favorite places to camp in Michigan. Or, if you’re searching for more fun in the sun, read about the best camping spots in Florida.