Camping in Ohio

      All the things you need to know before camping in Ohio.

      Your Camping Guide to Ohio

      Ohio’s got a hidden gem waiting for any outdoor enthusiast. Think lush forests, sparkling lakes, and rolling hills – all within easy reach for a perfect camping getaway. Whether you’re a seasoned camper craving starry nights and campfire stories, or a newbie looking for a taste of nature, Ohio has something for everyone.

      Pitch your tent in a state park, cozy up in a cabin, or even try your hand at primitive camping for an adventurous twist. Don’t delay your next big adventure — pack your bags, grab your loved ones, and get ready to experience the best of Ohio’s great outdoors.

      Best Places To Camp In Ohio

      Hocking Hills State Park

      Located in southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is a renowned destination for campers seeking breathtaking scenery and diverse outdoor activities. Encompassing over 10,000 acres, the park boasts a unique topography of gorges, waterfalls, rock formations, and caves. Campers can choose from various campsites, ranging from primitive tent sites nestled amidst the woods to full-service campgrounds with amenities like showers and laundry facilities. Popular activities within the park include hiking, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, and spelunking.

      Hocking Hills State Park Ohio

      Mohican State Park

      The park features a variety of ecosystems, including forests, lakes, and prairies, offering scenic beauty and diverse recreational opportunities. Campers can enjoy a variety of activities like hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and swimming. The park also offers horseback riding, historical tours, and nature programs.

      Mohican State Park Ohio

      Lake Erie Shores & Islands

      Encompassing the shores of Lake Erie and several islands, this region provides a unique camping experience with stunning lakefront views and opportunities for water-based activities. Popular camping destinations include Geneva State Park, East Harbor State Park, and Kelleys Island State Park. Campers can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, fishing, boating, and kayaking in the refreshing waters of Lake Erie. Additionally, the islands offer historical sites, charming towns, and unique ecosystems to explore.

      Lake Erie Shores & Islands Ohio

      Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

      This unique park, located in northeastern Ohio, offers a stunning landscape carved from a former sandstone quarry. The park features towering cliffs, clear blue water, and sandy beaches, creating a picturesque setting for camping. Campers can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking within the park. Additionally, the park offers rock climbing opportunities on the designated cliffs, providing a thrilling challenge for adventurous visitors.

      Nelson Ledges Quarry Park Ohio

      Delaware State Park

      Situated in central Ohio, Delaware State Park offers a variety of camping options and recreational activities suitable for all ages. The park features open fields, woodlands, and a 120-acre lake, providing a scenic backdrop for relaxation and exploration. Campers can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and swimming within the park. Additionally, the park offers historical sites, a nature center, and various interpretive programs throughout the year.

      Delaware State Park Ohio

      Things To Do In Ohio

      Hocking Hills State Park

       Encompassing over 10,000 acres, the park boasts a diverse landscape featuring dramatic rock formations, cascading waterfalls, serene gorges, and ancient caves. Explore the miles of hiking trails that wind through the park, leading to iconic landmarks like Ash Cave, the largest recess cave in Ohio, and Cedar Falls, the park's most voluminous waterfall. Experience the thrill of spelunking through the numerous caves scattered throughout the park, or go rock climbing on the sandstone cliffs. Hocking Hills State Park also offers opportunities for camping, kayaking, canoeing, and ziplining, making it a perfect destination for an adventurous getaway.

      Cedar Point Amusement Park

      Renowned as the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World," Cedar Point boasts an unrivaled collection of over 70 thrill rides, including iconic coasters like the Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Magnum XL-200. Beyond the adrenaline rush, the park offers a variety of family-friendly attractions, water rides, live shows, and entertainment options. Enjoy a day at Cedar Point soaking up the summer sun, indulging in delicious treats, and creating lasting memories with loved ones.

      Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

       Located in Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a pilgrimage site for music enthusiasts worldwide. This interactive museum celebrates the history and cultural impact of rock and roll music, showcasing artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits dedicated to legendary artists and bands. Immerse yourself in the musical journey through interactive displays, listen to iconic recordings, and witness instruments and costumes from music legends. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame also hosts temporary exhibits, live music events, and educational programs, making it a must-visit for music lovers of all ages.

      Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

      Founded in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Spanning over 53 acres, the zoo is home to over 500 animal species from around the globe, including endangered and rare creatures. Explore diverse habitats and witness fascinating animals like gorillas, lions, red pandas, and snow leopards. The zoo is committed to conservation efforts and offers educational programs and interactive exhibits, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world. 


      During the summer months, the island transforms into a lively hub, attracting visitors with its charming shops, restaurants, bars, and exciting nightlife. Explore the island by renting bicycles, golf carts, or mopeds, and soak in the scenic lake views. Put-in-Bay also offers opportunities for kayaking, fishing, boating, and exploring the island's historical landmarks like Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. Whether seeking relaxation, adventure, or a taste of island life, Put-in-Bay caters to various interests and provides a memorable escape.

      Cuyahoga Valley National Park

      Hike or bike along the extensive trail network, taking in the breathtaking views and spotting diverse wildlife. Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Cuyahoga River, or go for a scenic train ride through the valley on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. During winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts seeking outdoor recreation and scenic beauty.

      Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

      Situated in Columbus, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a world-renowned zoological institution dedicated to conservation, education, and animal welfare. Explore diverse habitats and encounter over 10,000 animals from around the globe, including endangered species like Amur tigers, snow leopards, and cheetahs. Witness the wonders of the ocean at the Pacific Reef exhibit, featuring a variety of marine life from the Pacific Ocean. 

      A Christmas Story House

       A Christmas Story House is a captivating museum dedicated to the iconic holiday film "A Christmas Story." Step back in time and explore the real-life house used for exterior and interior shots in the movie. Relive iconic scenes from the film as you tour the meticulously recreated rooms, including the leg lamp-adorned living room and Ralphie's unforgettable pink bunny bedroom. Throughout the year, the museum hosts special events and holiday celebrations, offering a nostalgic experience for fans of the beloved Christmas classic.

      National Museum of the United States Air Force

      Housing over 900 aerospace vehicles and artifacts, the museum chronicles the history of the United States Air Force from its inception to the present day. Explore hangars filled with iconic aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles, including presidential jets, bombers, and the Wright brothers' original 1903 Flyer. The museum offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and flight simulators, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the history and technology of military aviation.

      West Side Market

      This bustling marketplace features over 100 vendors offering a diverse selection of fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, international specialties, and local crafts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you explore the stalls, sample local delicacies, and interact with friendly vendors. West Side Market is a must-visit for those seeking a taste of Cleveland's culinary scene and cultural heritage.

      Pro Football Hall of Fame

      This interactive museum celebrates the history and legends of professional football, showcasing exhibits dedicated to legendary players, coaches, and teams. Immerse yourself in the game through interactive displays, witness iconic artifacts like the Lombardi Trophy, and learn about the evolution of the sport. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also offers educational programs, special events, and the opportunity to see the busts of enshrined members. 

      Pinball Arcade Museum

      This museum houses a vast collection of over 300 playable pinball machines from various eras, allowing visitors to step back in time and relive the golden age of arcades. Challenge your friends and family to a friendly competition on classic pinball machines, or explore the museum's exhibits to learn about the history and art of pinball design. The Pinball Arcade Museum offers a unique and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. 

      Featured Ohio Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Ohio

      Hit the open road in Ohio and experience the Buckeye State's charm from behind the wheel of your own RV! Explore scenic national parks, charming towns, and bustling cities, all at your own pace and with the comforts of home at your fingertips. Book your Ohio RV rental today and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Yes, Ohio is a great option for camping! It offers diverse landscapes from the shores of Lake Erie to the rolling hills of Appalachia. The state boasts numerous state parks, national forests, and private campgrounds catering to various preferences, from traditional tent camping to glamping and RVing.

      While free camping opportunities are rare in Ohio, a few options exist. Some state parks offer primitive camping areas with minimal facilities for a small fee. Additionally, some national forests have dispersed camping opportunities, where you can camp outside designated campgrounds for free, but regulations and permits might apply. It's crucial to research specific locations and follow all rules and regulations.

      No, camping is only allowed in designated areas. This includes campgrounds in state parks, national forests, private campgrounds, or specific permitted areas on public lands. Camping outside designated areas is illegal and can result in fines.

      No, camping in national forests in Ohio is not permitted anywhere. The state has only one national forest, Wayne National Forest, which does not allow dispersed camping, meaning camping outside designated campgrounds is prohibited. There are, however, several designated campgrounds within Wayne National Forest with varying amenities and reservation requirements.

      • Spring (April-May) offers pleasant weather and blooming wildflowers.
      • Summer (June-August) is the peak season with warm weather but it can be crowded.
      • Fall (September-October) brings beautiful foliage and cooler temperatures.
      • Winter (November-March) offers unique opportunities for experienced campers who can handle the cold and potential snow.

      Yes, many campgrounds allow pets with certain restrictions. Be sure to check the specific rules of the campground you choose.

      Hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, exploring caves, visiting historical sites, and enjoying campfires.

      Yes, fire restrictions are common during dry periods. Always check fire advisories before starting a campfire.

      Cell service can be unreliable in remote areas. Consider downloading maps and information beforehand if relying on your phone.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!

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