Summer’s here and the outdoors are calling! Governor DeWine just gave camping the green light, and we’re excited to spend the summer reveling in the Great Outdoors. Camping puts us back in touch with nature and offers the perfect opportunity to reconnect as a family. Thankfully, there are plenty of family-friendly campgrounds just a short drive away!
Here’s a roundup of the best places to go camping near Cincinnati:
Tar Hollow State Park (pictured)
16396 Tar Hollow Road, Laurelville, OH
Located in Eastern Ohio (near Hocking Hills), Tar Hollow is Ohio’s third largest state forest, hosting 16,120 beautiful acres. A 22-mile network of hiking trails is located in the northern half of the forest, and the campsite is one of the most beloved in the state.
10174 Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland, OH
The 28-acre Lake Isabella is stocked weekly with catfish and other varieties of fish. Boat rentals are also available for fishing and cruising. The park also offers access to the Little Miami River and includes a canoe/kayak launch.
9001 Mt. Hope Road, Crosby Township, OH
For a quiet, scenic spot to relax and set up camp, visit Miami Whitewater Forest Campground. Located 30 minutes northwest of downtown Cincinnati, this campground is set back in a wooded area on more than 4,000 acres in Miami Whitewater Forest within walking distance to a harbor and 85-acre lake. Each of the 46 sites is equipped with 30 amp electric hookups, picnic table and fire ring. A newly renovated shower building, playground and dump station are also located within the campground.
651 Lakeview Drive, Cincinnati, OH
Winton Woods Campground is set in a pine grove alongside Winton Woods Lake and is within easy walking distance of Winton Woods Harbor, and the boathouse, snack bar and wet playground. The campground is located approximately 20 minutes north of downtown Cincinnati and 30 minutes south of Kings Island amusement park.
19852 OH-664, Logan, OH
The campground at Hocking Hills has been named No. 1 in the U.S. by Trailblazer.com — and for good reason. Towering cliffs, waterfalls and deep, hemlock-shaded gorges serve as the backdrop for this campground that is packed with family-friendly amenities. Accommodations ranging from to camper cabins to primitive campsites make this the perfect spot for both beginner and seasoned campers.
29150 Pattor Road, Logan, OH
Those looking for a camping experience with modern-day amenities will find what they are after at Hocking Hills KOA. This campground runs the gamut from RV sites with patios to traditional campsites. Activities range from a heated swimming pool to a gem mine. Amenities like on-site ice cream and pizza shops and an activity room offer the comforts of a resort while maintaining the feel of the great outdoors. Even Fido can get in on the fun at the on-site dog park.
3492 Elklick Road, Bethel, OH
One of Ohio’s largest state parks, East Fork in Clermont County is a must for adventure seekers. The 2,160-acre William H. Harsha Lake offers unlimited fun for boating, fishing and swimming, and there are almost 100 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Add it all up, and East Fork is a must-see weekend getaway this summer.
College Corner, OH
Located just 45 minutes away, Hueston Woods is a favorite destination for Cincinnatians. Sit on the beach and watch boats pass by, rent a kayak or camp or stay in one of the many cabins or the lodge within the state park. This park surrounds Acton Lake, where visitors can fish and canoe. Its almost 3,000 acres of recreation land also include hiking and fossil hunting sites.
3056 Quakertown Ramp Road, Liberty, IN
Brookville Lake is a picturesque park only an hour from downtown Cincinnati. In addition to the eponymous lake, Brookville affords opportunities for camping and hiking. Brookville boasts 25 miles of hiking trails, plus two beaches and more than 400 campsites.
3790 State Route 370, Yellow Springs, OH
This Yellow Springs gem features a limestone gorge created by the Little Miami River — a portion of which is a national natural landmark. It also includes boating, fishing, rock climbing and acres of hiking and biking trails.
3380 Beaver Road, Union, KY
Take a step back in time at this 813-acre park. A visitor’s center/museum features paleontological and archaeological exhibits that tell the rich history of the land. The highlight is the herd of bison that calls the park home (and, coincidentally, is found on Bison Trail). The on-site campground offers 62 campsites with utility hookups, grills, swimming pool and playground areas, making it ideal for family camping. (Camping reservations at Big Bone Lick are open as of May 19!)
Where’s your favorite place to camp? Share it in the comments below!