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Located within an afternoon’s drive of downtown Dayton and Cincinnati, this park makes the perfect weekend getaway from the day to day grind. Located on a large reservoir, the state park has everything from boating, hiking and mountain biking to just sitting around the campground not doing much.
One important thing to think about with this state park is site selection. For a park surrounded by trees and forest the campsites offer a surprising dearth of shady maples for the sites. On first visit, one might suppose this was a young park, newly cleared for recreational purposes, but upon visiting some 20 years later, one would be disappointed at the lack of opportunity taken for shade production. Most of the sites nearer the lakeshore or cul-du-sacs, have adequate shade.
The bathhouse was kept very clean, even when it was pretty busy. Overall, the place was pretty quiet despite the number of campers there.
My wife and I love this small state park. There are two main camping areas, wooded and shaded for smaller rv’s, trailers, tenters while the other section caters to larger RV’s and Motor homes with pull thru and longer pads. This section does have some trees but mostly sunny. There is one main bath house that is quite nice and kept clean. Several restrooms are scattered throughout with flush toilets. Camp hosts are friendly and helpful and do a great job of keeping the campground clean when folks leave. There is a small camp store, though its been closed this summer. There are places to get firewood and prices vary from $5-20 per bundle or stack. Marina is on the other side of the lake but only rents small boats and pontoons. The lake is limited to 9.9 hp motors. OK fishing from the beach area and docks. There are a few hiking trails and they do have cabins that have been updated recently. We are there several times a year camping with our teardrop.
There's a great backpacking trail that's challenging and an easy middle meeting place for friends/family from Columbus and Cincinnati that can meet in Dayton Metroparks/Five Rivers - Germantown and take on the TVT challenge, beautiful hike through hilly terrain, and great spots of overlooks. Bring your pack and hiking poles and take advantage of trekking into the forest. Vault toliet, away from busy/crowded campsites and surrounded by nature. Access to a river for water source (bring your filter system) camp in a tent or hammock.
Pros and Cons to this park…lots of hiking trails, beautiful lake and very clean large sites. The down side is there is a lot to due but the park is so spread out you have to drive everywhere.
We went to visit the Pioneer Village ( building were closed due to COVID ) but we were still able to walk around the buildings. Also they have a spillway where you can collect fossils which was really cool but the village and spillway were both about 20 minutes from the campground.
I just don’t like parks where you have to drive everywhere. I like it when all of the attractions are within walking or biking distance.
We did like the campground and will definitely come back. They had good Verizon coverage which is something we now have to pay attention to since my husband works remotely.
Camping here midweek might not give us the full experience but it’s been a really quiet park. We are in site 151 and it’s a really large, level and dry site. We got some rain last night and today walking around we noticed lots of sites are very muddy. The hiking trails are nice and well marked. The nature center was closed due to COVID but it looked nice. We also had good cell coverage with Verizon.
We camped here for the first time during Fourth of July weekend and it was very busy. The park was very clean and nice our site was very big and we had plenty of space from the neighboring site. The pad at our site was starting to crack and break apart which did cause us to have to move our pop up a little so we were level. The bathrooms were very clean and updated. We saw the host go in there every morning and make sure it was clean. They have a washer and dryer in one of the building connected to one of the bathrooms if you need it. A lot of the sites seem to be in direct sun though. We drove around before leaving and it seems majority are direct sun not a lot of shade anywhere. They have a small playground for kids that was closed due to corona but looked nice from what I could see. There is a swimming beach close to the camping area but it is not very big and that is also where a lot of kayakers drop in and get out. The camping beach unfortunately had a lot of trash from people leaving their trash and a lot of debri washes up on that beach from the boats. We did not go to the other side to the actual beach so I don’t know what it looked like. The park has a ton of hiking trails and on the other side of the lake is a area you can search for fossils. My daughter had a great time would go back again for sure…
https://www.milfordohio.org/departments/public_works_department/parks_and_recreation/milford_bike_trail.php(Here is the camping registration permit PDF)
I am in the process of booking this campsite for myself. My family was supposed to come down this summer but our summer plans have changed due to COVID-19.
This campsite can be very tricky to find the information to book it but when you drive past it you see a small green sign. It is down a road that is very steep. You would never think of such a cool spot tucked away in the back.
You have to go into town to book it or have a police officer register you. The local office is open Mondays thru Friday (8:30 - 4:30 PM). The Milford government building is 745 Center Street Suite 200. I would try calling them at 513-831-4192 during normal business hours. Heads up you don't enter via the front of the building as that is for police officers only. I usually go through the side doors.
The Milford bike trail is part of a paved bike path that is 76 miles long. This campsite is tucked away as in across the street from the bike trail. As a Milford native, I didn't even know it was here for a long time. You will hear traffic noise at this campsite as it is close to the main road and main bridge in town.
What you may not realize is right next to the campground is a mountain biking trail that is 1.2 miles long https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7015558/jim-terrell-park-trail so don't confuse this with the 76 mile paved bike trail across the street. I don't bike this trail as that would not be wise with my coordination skills. However, I have hiked it several times. Just be careful as it does change at times due to flooding by the Little Miami.
It is also near the new very popular brewery. This is just a short walk from the campsite. https://www.littlemiamibrewing.com/ on weekends they are open till 12AM. You will most likely hear the folks hanging out across the river. This is a great spot to get some food.
Another option if you don't want the packed brewery scene is Padrino which is also on Main street (111 Main Street) in Milford. I like to order online and take the food to the community tables that have been recently set up due to COVID-19. I will say they do have my favorite patio in the back that most folks don't realize they have.
Or you can also go to two other spots tucked away for a quiet river front view as you eat away from the crowds at the brewery. Padrino is open Monday - Sunday from 11 AM - 9 PM.
The other tucked away spot is River Walk Park https://www.milfordohio.org/departments/public_works_department/parks_and_recreation/riverwalk_park.php
If it is rainy and you need a spot with shelter this is the spot I go to Riverside Park at https://www.milfordohio.org/departments/public_works_department/parks_and_recreation/riverside_park_(playground).php or https://www.milfordohio.org/departments/public_works_department/parks_and_recreation/memorial_park.php
The nice thing is that this camp site is close to the Milford Bike Trail as in one cross walk away. Tucked away by the Little Miami river. Bravo to Milford for having such a neat spot. I will often walk into town for ice cream. They do have a coffee spot but I don't get coffee at that spot. I always get hot chocolate.
**I will say that those of us that know of this spot will sometimes park here as it is less crowded than parking at the Milford bike trail (parking lot). I feel safer parking here as it is less crowded and a bigger space. I prefer to park here and walk to the paved bike trail.
Each year this trail keeps getting better and better. It is 76 miles long so if you are a person that likes to bicycle and camp this could be an option for you. The very same thing can be said if you like to boat. Check out the Little Miami river.
If you are camping and need to resupply I would recommend you go to https://roadsriversandtrails.com/ they also have a really cool rental program if you need to rent an item. https://roadsriversandtrails.com/rentals/ Note this is not a boat rental place but a great place to pick up any needed items related to camping or boating. They can be reached at 513-248-7787 and you can easily reach them from the campsite with a short walk if needed. They are at 118 Main Street in Milford Ohio. (Store hours Monday thru Sat is 10 - 8 PM and Sunday 12 - 6PM)
If you are biking and ran into issues the local bike shop a short walk away is at https://www.bishopsbicycles.net/articles/bishops-bicycles-oldest-bicycle-shop-in-the-usa-pg176.htm and they can be reached at 513-831-2521 (Store hours Tuesday through Friday 12 - 6PM or Sat 10 - 5PM) Do note that they are closed on Sundays and Mondays. They are at 313 Main Street in Milford.
If you need to get more supplies Kroger is in Milford (We have two) the first one is a medium walk from the campground. It is possible to walk to this Kroger safely due to sidewalks. So be careful as to which one you pick in the GPS as that is a common issue.
For those bicycling, boating, or hiking through (long distance) the post office is not easily accessible from this section of town. I mention this as this spot is easily part of the Buckeye Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail, American Discovery Trail, Sea to Sea Long Distance, Underground Rail road Cycling Route, Ohio To Erie Cycling Route, Little Miami Scenic Trail, and Little Miami Scenic River.