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Best Places to Camp in Ohio State Parks

Abhay Burande
A. W. Marion, Marblehead Lighthouse, Zaleski, Mary Jane Thurston, Caesar Creek, Cowan, Madison Lake, and Scioto Trail are only a few of the amazing parks in the state of Ohio. This story tells you more...
For camping in Ohio, there are numerous state parks that one could choose from. The total number is nearly 200. These parks are present in places like Pickaway County, Bluegrass region, Belmont County, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Akron, Cleveland, besides some others.

A. W. Marion State Park

This park has a wooded camp area with sixty sites for tent and trailer camping. A youth camp is present for organized groups. Drinking water and pit latrines are available. Picnic tables and grill sites can be seen in scenic areas in the park. In these grills, fires are allowed. Hargus lake has 145 acres of water, boat launching ramps, and public docks.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

This is the newest state park in Ohio. The grounds around the lighthouse provide good views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, South Bass Island, and Kelleys Island. The Marblehead Lighthouse has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822. This is the oldest lighthouse in perpetual operation with the Great Lakes.

Zaleski State Forest

This is the second largest forest in the system. The prime trail is a loop of 23.4 miles. There is an additional 10-mile day loop trail. The Zaleski State Forest Backpack Trail was created to make backpacking opportunities feasible. The introduction of some scenic and historic aspects in the forest was also intended.

Mary Jane Thurston State Park

This place has a small campground comprising 31 non-electric sites. Out of these, 15 are for walk-in tent camping. There are fire rings, picnic tables, and washrooms available. There is a one mile portion of the Buckeye Trail across the park. Six miles of trails in the North Turkeyfoot area can be used for horseback riding, backpacking, or mountain biking.

Caesar Creek State Park

This park has clear blue waters, meadows, scattered woodlands, and steep ravines. Recreation in the form of boating, camping, hiking, and fishing is available. There are 287 shady and sunny sites in the family campground. There are showers, pet camping, and flush toilets. It has a horseman's camp with 25 sites. Four Rent-A-Camp units containing a dining fly, tent, cook stove, cooler, and other devices can be rented in summer.

Cowan State Park

This park has a peaceful setting, brimming with the American Lotus water lily. Fishing, swimming, canoeing, and sailing are the recreational options available here. Meandering trails across mature woodlands add to the beauty of the park. There are 254 campsites on the campground. Of these, 237 have electricity for trailers and tents, and the remnant are non-electric. The campground has a camper's beach, laundry facilities, shower house, boat launch ramp, and flush toilets.

Madison Lake State Park

This is a small and peaceful park, and provides rowing, sailing, and canoeing facilities. There is a newly developed 0.5 mile hiking trail that guides people along the lake shore and woodlands. There is also a 106-acre lake suitable for canoes, row boats, and sailboats. Fish like crappie, bluegill, bass, bullhead, and channel catfish are found here. A valid Ohio fishing license is essential to fish here.

Scioto Trail State Park

The wooded campground at Caldwell Lake has 56 sites. Of these, 40 have electric supply. Fire rings, dump stations, pit latrines, and picnic tables exist. There is a primitive walk-in camp near Stewart Lake, that has 18 non-electric sites. There exist twelve miles of hiking trails and 17 miles of bridle trails. A part of the Buckeye Trail that connects the four corners of Ohio is across this state forest. There are two small lakes that have boating facilities that can be availed of.
A few other state parks in Ohio are:
  • Wolf Run State Park
  • Wayne National Forest
  • Spencer Lake State Wildlife Area
  • Seip Mound State Memorial
  • Oxbow Lake State Wildlife Area
  • Maumee State Forest
  • Beaver Creek State Park
  • Cleveland Lakefront State Park
  • Fort Saint Clair State Park
  • Headlands Beach State Park
  • Knox Lake State Wildlife Area
  • Malabar Farm State Park