eight Overlooked Ohio State Parks to Camp With The Entire Loved ones

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This post was brought to you by Wenzel, whose fleece sleeping bags will preserve your complete household feeling cozy on even the chilliest of autumn nights in any of these Ohio state parks.


With far more than 70 state parks scattered across The Buckeye State, there are lots of fantastic selections for outside exploring and camping in Ohio. But if you are searching to prevent the crowds and set course for the road much less traveled, we’ve gathered with each other an great list of the most overlooked and underrated state parks in Ohio.

We’ll kick factors off with a handful of state parks that are certainly lesser-recognized, but nonetheless have a bit of a reputation about Ohio. Then we’ll steadily move into the really hidden gems that eagerly await (and deserve) far more guests.

Rock ledges at Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park.

Image from The Dyrt camper Scott M.

This 167-acre park is an absolute treasure trove of spectacular rock formations. The dramatic sandstone rock formations are covered and bisected by an abundance of tree roots and plant life. 1 could argue it resembles a miniature Angkor Wat but this 1 sits just 45 miles outdoors of Cleveland.

This park is a fantastic location for hiking, exactly where you can take in your scenic surroundings across four designated hiking trails that differ in difficulty from uncomplicated to complicated.

A sprawling 677-acre park, which covers an impressive 25% of Kelleys Island itself. Situated in Lake Erie close to the Ohio-Michigan border, this island getaway is just an hour from Sandusky and just about two hours from each Toledo and Cleveland.

If you are searching for a relaxing and distinctive excursion, this may well be your most effective bet. Kelleys Island state park is dwelling to Inscription Rock, which is exactly where guests will locate mysterious petroglyphs carved into a limestone boulder. The carvings are estimated to have originated about (or prior to) the 1600’s.

This is a fantastic spot for households, with a fairly flat landscape that is littered with hiking trails, walking paths and even some exciting mountain biking terrain. You will have uncomplicated access to a wide variety of outside activities like swimming, picnicking, fishing and boating. And thanks to the downtown location becoming just minutes from the park, you will also have all the modern day conveniences your heart desires.

Historical building in a field at Barkcamp State Park.

Image from The Dyrt camper Bobby C.

Surpassing 1,000 acres in size, Barkcamp State Park is an expansive location in eastern Ohio that is most effectively recognized for its picturesque rolling hills and for its extraordinary array of outside activities. A sampling of the offered activities consist of: swimming beaches, boating, fishing, hunting locations, a nature center, hiking and multi-use trails, plus there’s even an archery variety and an 18-hole mini golf course! No matter what sort of household outing you have in thoughts, Barkcamp has you covered.

A further significant scale park at 1,110-acres, Mohican State Park also sits proper subsequent to a four,525-acre state forest! With that sort of protected wilderness about you, you are assured to really feel at 1 with nature.

The major attractions at Mohican State Park will be specifically enticing to far more active outdoorsmen. Any individual searching for trail operating, mountain biking, canoeing or inner-tubing…look no additional. With a 27-mile stretch of river operating by means of the park, it is no wonder this location is recognized as the “Canoe Capital of Ohio”. But not to be outdone, there are renowned operating, hiking and biking trails all through the park. There’s even a 25-mile mountain biking trail that was voted the most effective in all of Ohio by Mountain Bike Action Magazine.

Kayaker raising their paddle overhead while floating in a lake.

Image from The Dyrt Camper Ruby W.

This is a park for folks who are searching for some untouched organic beauty. The scenic landscape of Strouds Run State Park is most effective recognized for its exaggerated rolling hills with deep valleys, higher peaks and dense, tranquil forests covering it all.

The forest and hills produce some spectacular scenery that can be enjoyed from any of the quite a few trails identified all more than the state park. There are multi-use trails as effectively as committed trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Water activities are a different mainstay for Strouds Run fishermen, boaters, and swimmers will not be disappointed.

Pymatuning Lake and State Park are a bit distinctive since they each sit straight on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. And whilst it is accurate that far more of the lake and state park falls on the Pennsylvania side of the border, that is far more of a technicality than something else. A weekend camping trip in this location and I’m positive you will locate your self moving often from 1 side of the border to the other.

The certainly enormous man-created lake boasts some staggering statistics it covers just more than 17,000-acres in total, is 17 miles lengthy, has 70 miles of shoreline, and holds a thoughts boggling 64.three billion gallons of water.

Boaters, fishermen, and swimmers rejoice! Pymatuning is a really serious location for water lovers to have some really serious exciting. Plus, the camping selections will not disappoint with typical tent camping internet sites, group internet sites, cabins and even yurts offered to rent.

Two young girls walking on a dock at Pike Lake.

Image from The Dyrt camper Bonnie L.

A gem of a park in southern Ohio. Pike Lake State Park is just a two-hour drive east of Cincinnati, with lush forested landscapes surrounding a quaint 13-acre lake. If you preserve your eyes on a swivel you may well be in a position to spot some really serious wildlife like deer, foxes, rattlesnakes, box turtles, and even wild turkeys!

Pike Lake has the usual water activities offered, plus a different far more distinctive attraction we haven’t identified at lots of other state parks: an 18-hole disc/frisbee golf course.

Lake Hope in southeastern Ohio wraps up our list on a higher note. The entirety of this state park basically lies with the bigger Zaleski State Forest, the latter of which covers an astounding 28,600-acres!

The landscapes all through Lake Hope are a bit far more rugged and densely forested than some of the other parks on this list, but do not let that scare you off, since this is nonetheless a surprisingly household-friendly location. It is dwelling to a 29-mile backpacking trail with rudimentary campsites nearby, several other hiking trails, far more than half a dozen mountain bike trails, playgrounds, basketball courts, a swimming beach, and substantially far more. You are assured to have lots to do and a lot of nature to discover at Lake Hope.


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Campsite with Wenzel tent and string lights.

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