Top 10 River Camping Spots in Ohio
Ohio River Camping Locations
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite river camping spots in Ohio that offer an unforgettable experience. These hidden gems flaunt beautiful views, serene surroundings, and tons of recreational activities for campers of all ages.
Benefits of River Camping in Ohio
Gather ’round folks, we’ve got the scoop on why river camping in Ohio is all the rage. Not only does it provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle, but it’s also a fantastic way to connect with nature, try your hand at fishing, and explore the great outdoors.
Top Considerations When Choosing a River Camping Spot
Hold your horses! Before you grab your gear and head out, consider a few essential factors when selecting the perfect spot for your river camping adventure. Pay attention to the site’s accessibility, availability of amenities, and recreational opportunities nearby. Lastly, don’t forget to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines to ensure we preserve these special places for generations to come.
1. Hocking Hills State Park
Natural wonders and attractions
When we’re seeking an unforgettable riverside camping experience, Hocking Hills State Park tops our list. Nestled amid the breathtaking landscapes of southeastern Ohio, the park features towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and the beautiful Hocking River.
Camping amenities and facilities
Pitching camp here, we’ll find a range of options, including spacious family campsites, cozy cottages, and even luxurious lodges. The well-maintained facilities provide us with everything we need for a comfortable stay, from restrooms to electricity hookups.
Activities available at Hocking Hills State Park
Our days’ll never be dull at Hocking Hills! We can explore intriguing caves, embark on scenic hikes, or even take a scenic zip-line tour! With fishing, swimming, and canoeing available, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the tranquil river waters.
2. Mohican State Park
Pristine wilderness and scenic beauty
Nestled amidst lush woodlands, Mohican State Park offers a chance to truly unwind in nature. With its picturesque river views and stunning wildlife, it’s no wonder we can’t resist coming back time and time again!
Camping options and facilities
Whether you’re pitching a tent or bringing your RV, Mohican State Park has got you covered. Offering both electric and non-electric sites, as well as access to modern amenities like hot showers and flush toilets, this park ensures your stay is comfortable and enjoyable.
Recreational opportunities at Mohican State Park
Get ready to have a blast with the array of activities available at Mohican State Park. From canoeing and fishing on the crystal-clear river, to hiking the scenic trails, to challenging yourself on the mountain biking course, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy!
3. John Bryan State Park
Historic landmarks and natural beauty
Stepping into John Bryan State Park is like taking a walk back in time. This park has it all – from historic landmarks to breathtaking natural beauty. We can’t help but be in awe of the stunning limestone gorge carved by the Little Miami River.
Camping options and amenities
When it comes to camping, we have two options: the family-friendly campground and the group camp. With over 60 sites, including electric and non-electric options, we’re sure to find the perfect spot for our adventure. Amenities include restrooms, showers, and a dump station, making our stay comfortable and convenient.
Outdoor activities at John Bryan State Park
We won’t be bored with the plethora of outdoor activities. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and even rock climbing are all on the menu. So, let’s pack our bags and explore the best of Ohio’s river camping at John Bryan State Park!
4. Great Miami Riverway
Scenic riverfront and charming towns
Ah, the Great Miami Riverway – a true gem in Ohio’s river camping scene. As we journey along this spectacular stretch of water, we’re greeted by lush forests, tranquil riverfront views, and quaint towns that are just begging to be explored.
Camping sites and facilities along the Great Miami Riverway
We’ve got plenty of options when it comes to pitching our tents, with fantastic campgrounds speckled along the river. These sites offer comfortable amenities, such as hot showers and clean restrooms, to ensure that we are well-rested and ready for another day of adventure.
Recreational activities and exploration
But it’s not all about relaxation. There’s plenty to keep us busy on the Great Miami Riverway, from kayaking and canoeing to fishing and wildlife spotting. And when we’re ready for a change of pace, we can take a break from the great outdoors to explore local art galleries, antique stores, and delicious eateries in the nearby towns. It’s the perfect balance of nature and culture!
5. East Fork State Park
Wildlife and diverse landscapes
So, you’re looking for some river camping with a hint of adventure? Spread across 4,870 acres, East Fork State Park boasts a wide variety of landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows and the captivating East Fork Little Miami River. We also can’t forget the abundant wildlife, with deer, waterfowl, and songbirds making regular appearances.
Camping facilities and amenities
Rest assured, the park’s got you covered, with around 400 electric sites and several non-electric campsites. Facilities include restrooms, hot showers, picnic tables, and fire rings.
Recreational options at East Fork State Park
At East Fork, there’s no shortage of activities. Hike or mountain bike on the scenic trails, try your hand at boating or fishing, or simply kick back and soak up the sun on the beach. The options are endless, so gather up your gear, round up the gang, and let that camping spirit soar!
6. Scioto River Greenway
Wildlife and natural attractions
Nestled along the winding path of the Scioto River, the Greenway captivates us with its lush landscapes and diverse wildlife. From spotting deer to observing majestic bald eagles, this serene oasis pulls us away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Camping sites and amenities along the Scioto River Greenway
Whether we’re pitching a tent or parking our RV, the Greenway has us covered with a variety of camping options. With well-maintained restrooms, picnic areas, and fire pits, this riverfront paradise guarantees a comfortable and unforgettable stay.
Outdoor activities and experiences
As if the enchanting scenery isn’t enough, the Greenway offers myriad activities for adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. From kayaking to hiking, fishing to birdwatching, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse ourselves in the unspoiled beauty of the Scioto River Greenway.
7. Caesar Creek State Park
Scenic reservoir and outdoor fun
Ohio’s Caesar Creek State Park is like an all-in-one package for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning 2,830-acre reservoir surrounded by lush greenery, we’re sure this park won’t disappoint.
Campsite options and facilities
Choose from 283 campsites, including both electric and non-electric spots, along with three camper cabins for those who prefer a bit of comfort. Plus, facilities like shower houses, laundry, and a camp store are there for our convenience.
Recreational activities at Caesar Creek State Park
Whether we’re into hiking, fishing, boating, or swimming, Caesar Creek State Park has us covered. With various well-marked trails, it’s easy to explore the park on foot or by bike. We also can’t forget to mention the Caesar Creek Visitor Center, where we can discover the fascinating history of the area. So get ready to immerse ourselves in nature at this spectacular riverside camping spot!
8. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Natural attractions and rich history
At Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you’ll find a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty and rich history. The park’s 33,000 acres are nestled along the Cuyahoga River, offering endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation.
Camping options and amenities
Although there are no campgrounds within the park itself, there are several nearby options. We recommend checking out the nearby Cuyahoga Falls’ River’s Edge Cottage, offering riverfront campsites and plenty of amenities.
Activities available at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
From hiking and biking to fishing and birdwatching, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy in the park. Explore over 100 miles of trails, or hop on a scenic train ride through the valley. And if you’re a history buff, don’t miss the chance to tour the historic buildings and structures scattered throughout the park, including the iconic Peninsula Depot. So grab your gear and let’s hit the road because Cuyahoga Valley National Park is waiting for us!
9. Little Miami River
Scenic riverfront and historic towns
We can’t get enough of the Little Miami River, with its picturesque riverfront and charming historic towns like Loveland and Milford. These hidden gems offer a glimpse of Ohio’s past, and they’re the perfect backdrop for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Camping sites and facilities along the Little Miami River
Ready to pitch your tent? You’ve got plenty of options – from primitive riverside tent sites to RV parks with full hookups and amenities. Two of our favorites are the Little Miami Canoe Rental & Campground in Oregonia and Morgan’s Riverside Campground in Morrow.
Outdoor activities and exploration
While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to explore the great outdoors. Canoe, kayak, or tube down the river, bike along the Little Miami Scenic Trail, or hike through the lush forests. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for local wildlife – you might just spot a white-tailed deer or a bald eagle soaring overhead. Happy camping!
10. Paint Creek State Park
Wide variety of recreational opportunities
Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Ohio, Paint Creek State Park offers a delightful mix of activities for all nature lovers. From hiking and fishing to boating and picnicking, it’s an idyllic spot for a weekend getaway.
Camping facilities and amenities
We can set up camp in one of the 190 electric sites available, or for those who prefer a more primitive experience, there are also 20 non-electric sites. Each campsite features a fire ring and picnic table, and amenities like showers, flush toilets, and laundry facilities are available.
What to do at Paint Creek State Park
There’s never a dull moment at Paint Creek! Grab our fishing gear and cast a line in search of catfish, bass, and bluegill. If we’re more into water sports, we can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat, and glide across the serene lake. Plus, with a network of trails that wind through lush forests and meadows, we can enjoy a scenic hike or a peaceful stroll. So, let’s pack our bags and head to this beautiful park for a memorable river camping experience in Ohio!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to go river camping in Ohio?
The ideal time to enjoy river camping in Ohio is from late spring through early fall, when the temperatures are pleasant, and the natural beauty is at its peak.
Are there any safety concerns when river camping?
As with any outdoor adventure, it’s crucial to be prepared and follow safety guidelines. Wear a life jacket if you’re partaking in water activities, and be cautious of the river’s current. Make sure to pack bug spray and watch out for poison ivy.
What should I pack for a river camping trip in Ohio?
Pack essential camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils, a cooler with food and drinks, sunscreen, bug spray, and appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather.
Can I bring my pets to these river camping spots?
Most river camping spots in Ohio are pet-friendly, but it’s best to double-check before you go. Remember to keep your pets leashed and clean up after them.
Do I need a permit for river camping in Ohio?
Some public lands in Ohio may require a camping permit, while others might not. Make sure to check with the specific location beforehand to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.