The Three Hidden State Park Camping Gems of Ohio
You may not realize it but the good old Buckeye State may be one of the country's top camping destinations this year.
That's right I said Ohio.
News recently broke the state's park system is set to receive $88 million in improvements throughout the next two years, an increase of more than 400 percent compared to recent capital budgets. While it's yet to be determined exactly how the money will be spent and on which parks, the state has announced its seeking advice from none other than the public on how to allocate the money. They've even gone as far as to create a webpage on the state park's website asking people to first pick a park in need and then list what's needed - restrooms, lodges, beaches, campgrounds, trails and more.
Sure, while some campers have dreams of heading out west to see the Grand Canyon or heading up North to see the great Alaskan wilderness, there are still some who are quickly beginning to learn the good old "Heart of it All" Ohio has much more to offer than most would ever realize, especially now that it's going to be receiving an influx of funds in the next two years.
And it all starts with Ohio's state parks...
To celebrate this news we thought we'd tell you about three hidden state park camping gems in Ohio.
Hocking Hill State Park
Hocking Hills State Park is one of Ohio's premiere traveling stops. The park includes everything from a fantastic natural setting, huge cliffs, waterfalls and some deep gorges shaded by hemlock. It's easy to forget you're even still in Ohio when visiting Hocking Hills.
The park is located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio and delivers some of the most breathtaking views in the state. The beauty of Hocking Hills is only enhanced by the huge abundance of wildlife around the region.
The park's six noteworthy hiking areas include Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Old Man's Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House and Conkle's Hollow.
Locating a camping spot at Hocking Hills won't be an issue either as the park has 156 electric sites and 13 non-electric sites. The camping area also includes heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facility, dump station, camp store and even a swimming pool.
Hueston Woods State Park
Located in Prebble and Butler counties in Ohio, Hueston State Woods may be one of the state's best kept secrets believe it or not. This park, highlighted by a beautiful lake, has anything and everything a camper needs to enjoy a great stay.
Among some of the activities visitors can take advantage of included boating and paddling, fishing, disc golf, golf, hunting and shooting, mushroom hunting, picnicking, swimming, hiking trails and more! The park also has a variety of nature centers to check out, wildlife viewing and even a winter recreation area! Even more, the infamous Erie Canal runs through part of the park as well.
Finding a place to stay at Hueston Wood State Park won't be a problem either. They offer places to camp and have cabins and cottages as well.
Paint Creek State Park
Located in Ohio's beautiful Paint Creek Valley, the 5,652-acre Paint Creek State Park is a park that truly has a little bit of everything. For those who enjoy fishing, the 1,190-acre Paint Creek Lake will have anglers scrambling to catch a wide range of fish including bluegill, crappie, catfish, bass and even saugeye. Hunting is also allowed at Paint Creek State Park.
Perhaps one of the coolest treats Paint Creek has to offer are four hiking trails which traverse the entire park, an additional 18.2 miles of bridle trails and twelve miles of mountain biking paths. Some of the trails highlights include three-mile and five-mile trails on a northern loop in the park which offers some surprisingly challenging terrain along a wooded-hillside.
So this year, instead of heading out West, why not explore some local hidden gems in Ohio.
Darrin Michael currently serves as the eCommerce/Marketing Director at Dave Arbogast RV Depot in Troy, Ohio, where he writes daily about variety of RV topics ranging from industry news to travel tips. When he's not covering the RV lifestyle he enjoys hiking in and taking photos of the great outdoors.
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