Camping is everywhere in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has more than 9,700 campsites at 59 parks. Whether you’re looking for boating and fishing, or horseback riding, or mountain biking, or just enjoying nature and watching the wildlife, you’ll find everything that you’re looking for when camping in Ohio.
In Southeast Ohio is Wayne National Forest, covering part of the Appalachian foothills, there is a Wildlife Viewing Guide with designated “watchable wildlife” sites. From there (and elsewhere) you can spot white-tailed deer, gray fox, woodchuck, opossum, turkey, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, beavers and herons. And while camping in Wayne National Forest, don’t forget to traverse the many covered bridges that dot the landscape, as well as seeing Irish Run Natural Bridge, which is 51 feet long and 39 feet high.
If you’re looking for time out on the water, head a little north to the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, which has eight campgrounds at eleven lakes. Every lake has channel catfish, bullheads, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and saugeye, and you can also find mukellunge, northern pike, walleye, and perch at the various lakes. The lakes are all known for the developed swimming beaches that not only have sand and sun, but also inflatable play equipment.
One favorite activity of campers is geocaching, and while there may be geocaches hidden around every corner, the Conservancy District maintains their own special geocaches at each lake. Find them all and complete your geocaching passport.
For a unique camping experience, hikers at Malabar State Park will find the Rock City Cave off the Butternut Trail. The cave is more than a hundred feet long and between 3 and 6 feet wide. It was carved by a glacier 110,000 years ago. The hike is steep, but it’s less than a mile. Some consider the best camping in Ohio to be on the shores of Lake Erie, atop the white cliffs of South Bass Island. It’s a quiet and serene setting for relaxing by the water next to a crackling fire.
Ohio has something for everyone, from fishing to boating to hiking to geocaching. And most of all, just camping for the sake of camping in the beauty of Ohio’s natural wonders.