By Paola Santiago
Posted On: Oct 1, 2020
Camping in the fall is often underrated, but think about it: less crowds and the temperature is just right. Not to mention, you're surrounded by lush colorful canopies and beautiful views. We love camping in Ohio, but we love it most in the fall. Read on for some lesser-known favorite camping locations around the state that are great for every type of camper -- from the family-oriented to the weathered-hiking-boots type.
Hocking Hills State Park: Ohio’s outdoor crown jewel, this 2,000-acre park in Logan offers a variety of sandstone cliffs, gorges and waterfalls. Take a hike out to Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, the longest natural bridge in Ohio or enjoy the valley vista on a cliff in Conkle's Hollow. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Lake Hope State Park: A favorite for local photographers, these rugged forest-covered hills in McArthur are a sight to see in the fall. Because the area was historically known to produce iron and other industrial metals, the parks honor the history with iron-furnace legacy cabins. While you can also find perfect hideaways for rugged camping and renovated glamping cabins, a favorite part of this park is the Lake Hope Lodge Dining where food is sourced locally and made from scratch with an emphasis on real put barbecue! Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Pymatuning State Park: This swamp forest is known for its views and water. And being so near the waterfront, it offers some of the best walleye and muskellunge lakes. If fishing it not your thing, try boating, swimming, lounge on the beachfront or enjoy a picnic. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Punderson State Park: 740 acres resting on a lake edged with a massive boardwalk – this park in Newbury is perfect for camping and fishing! Why? This beautiful park is crowned by Punderson Manor, which hosts special events and is especially attractive in the fall-- as it's reportedly haunted. This place is also a great location for birding as you can easily spot great blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks and great horned owls. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Beaver Creek State Park: Because of the park’s diverse habitats, you’ll easily find wildlife like foxes, white-tailed deer and wild turkey -- as well as a variety of native flora. Characterized by steep walls and high rock cliffs, travelers can find space for camper cabins, cabins and equestrian camping. Be sure to check out the rustic Pioneer Village at the park and nearby Guilford Lake for some of the most photographed scenic views in the state. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Maumee Bay State Park: Positioned right by Lake Erie, the sandy bluffs here offer tall grass planes, lake-side activities and yurt and cottage camping. Maumee Bay is particularly beautiful in the fall due to the canopy of trees that surround the campgrounds and lake. We recommend setting up a bonfire near the lake to enjoy the autumn breeze and a couple of s'mores. Learn more about the lodge here and the campgrounds here.
Harrison Lake State Park: This state park is hidden away in Fayette and is more of a hidden gem for the outdoor buff that knows where to look. Though it’s a smaller park, the grounds offer space for camper cabins, a 3.5-mile hiking trail and a 150-ft swimming beach. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
John Bryan State Park – Our winner for most scenic park in the Southwest corner of Ohio! John Bryan in Yellow Springs is remarkable because of the limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River, portions of which are designated as a national natural landmark. Hikers will find springs feeding small waterfalls and cascades, and campers will be delighted to find plots underneath canopies of yew and mountain maples. Learn more about the campgrounds here.
Cowan Lake State Park: Known for its numerous inlets, Cowen Lake in Wilmington is the perfect place for paddling, kayaking and boating. It’s meandering trails also make for hikes through the hills that encircle the lake. Great for swimming, campers can also find shower houses here and even a camp store for bait, bike and kayak rentals, and even hand-dipped ice cream. Yum! Learn more about the campgrounds here.