Ohio is home to the Wayne National Forest, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and other beautiful natural spots.
Ohio is a state with some of the most famous American bodies of water that is popular amongst campers, and it’s believed that there are approximately 171 million outdoor recreational trips in Ohio each year.
However, due to Ohio’s northern location, it can be a limited summer season, which means you only have a small window to camp in.
In this article, we will discuss Ohio camping dates, times, and rules that you should know before going:
Peak Camping Times:
Peak camping in Ohio is considered to be between May and September.
Once September is over, it is considered winter camping or “off-season.”
This means that your tent camping excursions are pretty much over (unless you are a professional with winter gear).
Can You Go RVing In Ohio Outside These Dates?
In Ohio, there is quite a large selection of campgrounds that are open throughout the year.
Above, we spoke of one campground that is open seasonally and one that is open year-round. If neither of the previously mentioned options appeals to you, you shouldn’t worry too much as there are many other spectacular campgrounds in Ohio.
Below we mention a few campgrounds open throughout the year because we know that not everyone can take time off during big holiday seasons:
- Salem Lisbon KOA Holiday Campground.
- Zion Retreat and RV Park.
- Alton Campground.
- Sandy Springs Campground.
- Beechers Den.
2 Ohio Campgrounds With Times, Dates, and, Rules
Ohio has many different campgrounds suitable for different preferences, which is why it was challenging to narrow down the list to two Ohio campgrounds.
Below we have gone into brief detail about why these campgrounds are mention worthy and what you can expect when you visit them:
Lazy River At Granville Campground:
If you want to stay at a campground that has many fun activities on offer, you should have a look at the Lazy River At Granville campground.
Unlike other campgrounds located in the stunning Welsh Hills area in Ohio, you will discover that you don’t need to leave this campground to find entertainment as this campground has something for everyone.
At the Lazy River at Granville campground is a top-rated park that has 212 campsites.
Some of the amenities you can look forward to at this campground include a basketball court, a zip line, an adventurous two-story adventure course, a sparkling pool, laser tag, a spray ground, sand volleyball, and a stocked camp store.
If you find that you don’t want to spend all your time at the campground, you can go and explore a few of the nearby area attractions.
During the day, you can visit the Dawes Arboretum, the National Trail Raceway, The Wilds, the Heisey Glass Museum, and the historic German Village.
Check-in is anytime before 7 pm, and check-out is at noon.
This campground is open all year.
- This campground prohibits the use of outside firewood.
- Only two vehicles are allowed per campsite.
- Golf carts are only allowed if insurance can be provided.
- Monthly and seasonal rates are only provided to campers who telephone the campground.
- All visitors are required to register their presence.
Cross Creek Camping Resort
Are you seeking a campground that offers themed weekends and family-orientated activities?
If so, you may want to look at the Cross Creek Camping Resort, which is regarded as a premier camping destination in Ohio. This resort is situated in Delaware and is only a short drive away from Columbus.
At the Cross Creek Camping Resort, there are many sites that include a fire ring and a picnic table. Additionally, there are back-in, big rig pull-through, and primitive campsites available.
There are many activities and amenities included in the camping price.
For example, campers can look forward to a swimming pool, a book exchange, a corn hole, a playground, hiking trails, band or karaoke Saturdays, wagon rides, candy bingo, and shuffleboard, to name a few.
In addition to these activities, this resort offers a variety of paid activities. Some of the best-paid activities on offer include four-person bike hire, tie-dye classes, boat rentals, and specialized breakfasts and dinners such as weekend pancake breakfasts.
At this resort, check-in is at 2 pm, and check-out is at noon.
The Cross Creek Camping Resort is open from the 1st of April to the 31st of October.
- Electric golf cars are permitted, but campers must have a valid driver’s license.
- Pets are not allowed in recreational areas, buildings, or the pool area unless they are service animals.
- Campers are only allowed to wash their RVs if they pay a 5 dollar fee.
- Rollerblades, bikes, and skateboards are not permitted on the resort’s trails.
- No rugs or carpets are allowed to be placed on the grass.
Where Can you Camp for Free in Ohio?
What’s even better than camping? Free camping!
However, be warned, if you choose to camp for free, you could be giving up some of the amenities that you would get in a campground that you pay to stay at, as it costs money to provide these amenities.
Some free options in Ohio include:
Jesse Owens State Park Campgrounds:
The Jesse Owens State Park Campground consists of four free campgrounds.
These sites are unique, are on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can only stay for two weeks maximum.
The four campgrounds are:
- Hook Lake Campground
- Maple Grove Campground
- Sand Hollow Campground
- Sawmill Campground
Each of these campgrounds is located in McConnelville, Ohio.
Hidden Hollow Campground:
Located in Fernwood State Forest in Bloomingdale, Ohio.
You can also find free places to camp that are not official campsites, but be careful if you choose this option.
Make sure to be respectful of the land, the nature around you, and the state laws about public access.
What to Know When Staying at a Free Campground:
Free is great, but there are some things to be prepared for!
Because amenities are not always available, you will want to plan accordingly.
No matter if it is to drink, do the dishes, wash your hands, or anything else.
So when you go to a free campground, it is wise to plan if they do not offer a source of water.
You should bring jugs of freshwater when you go to make sure you have what you need.
Free campsites often won’t offer you a power hook-up, so you will need to plan.
In a previous article, we went over generators and the etiquette required when camping near others and using a generator.
When you are at a free campsite, you will likely not have a place to dump trash or wastewater.
This means that you might need to bring your own trash bins, composting tools, or even ask the local rangers how they would prefer that you dispose of waste.
In Ohio, Can You Camp On Public Hunting Land?
In Ohio, campers are allowed to camp on public hunting land.
Additionally, hunters are also entitled to camp on public hunting land, but they cannot camp at a campsite for longer than 21 consecutive days in 30 days.
Moreover, this state also allows several other activities on public hunting land. For example, campers can fish, ski, hike, trap, and participate in horseriding activities.
Ohio Camping and RV Rules For Local State Parks And National Parks
When you decide to visit Ohio, you need to determine if you want to stay at a State or National Park.
Before staying at one of the many parks available in Ohio, you need to learn the various important State and National Park rules.
Knowing these rules will make you less likely to encounter any issues that could spoil your camping experience.
If you’re interested in learning a few of the Ohio State and National Park camping and RV rules, have a look below.
- Permit transfers are not allowed.
- Only six people are permitted per campsite unless prior authorization has been granted to have extra people at a campsite.
- Campground quiet hours at certain Oho State and National Parks are between 11:00 pm, and 07:00 am.
- Tree trimming and cutting of trees are strictly prohibited.
- External television, radio, and satellite antennas are only allowed if they do not exceed 10 feet in height and if they are directly attached to an RV or camping unit.
- Motorhomes and tents are only allowed one grounded electrical connection between the electrical post and the camping unit.
- Campers are allowed one tent and one recreational unit on a campsite as long as there are five feet of distance between the tent and the RV.
- Propane tanks are not allowed to exceed a 50-pound rating.
Depending on where you plan on camping, the rules may vary.
Some common rules should be considered when camping in Ohio, no matter where you are.
There are set park hours when camping. This won’t affect the user of the campsite, but this will affect your guests.
Guests are not allowed in a campsite outside of visiting hours. Most visiting hours end around 10 pm, but it varies.
Also, be aware of your check-in and check-out times.
Vehicle limits are common in most campsites.
You will only be able to have so many vehicles parked on your site.
This is to conserve space for the neighbors around you and prevent you from fitting multiple families on one site.
There are also vehicle limits that pertain to what type of motorized vehicle you can have at the campground.
Make sure that you are aware of the fees at the site you choose to stay at.
This could include trash or waste fees.
These fees could also be incurred if you are not a guest but would like to utilize a campground’s waste management facilities or dumpsters.
Other Rules to Note:
There are other potential regulations to be aware of.
These can include:
- Alcohol Restrictions
- Firewood Policies (Often in response to out of state wood)
- Event Permits
- Pet Restrictions/Regulations (Including leash rules & beach restrictions)
- Hunting or Fishing Licenses Required
- Firework regulations
If you have any further questions about camping in Ohio, there are great resources online to answer any additional questions you might have.