the dyrt
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Albany, OHIO
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Breathtakingly Beautiful

This is a gorgeous park with deep caverns, changing terrain and drop offs at the paths. I will wait to take my grandkids when they’ve grown stable, obedient and careful enough to not worry about a deadly fall. My favorite by far! We have also stayed in the furnished cabins and they are also pretty awesome.

Smaller but Peaceful

We had a wonderful time at site 51. We went in 2017 for Father’s Day and they had family activities for it. They had a scavenger hunt which made us really experience the nature around us, going through the woods off trail, going to the lakeside, walking around looking for different things on a list. It helped there was a prize so it really put competition between us and two other families. Two of us tied so we were lucky enough to get the free boat ride and the other team that was part of the boy scouts got a free one night camping stay. The campground is smaller,peaceful and quite but yet no one got mad if kids played. We were right beside the playground so I was worried about rude and rowdy kids but nope. The kids were good and left the playground at a respectable time. Since we were the only family by the playground my kids quietly played there for a while all by themselves after dark while we were in eyesight relaxing at our camp site. There is also a roadway you can drive by the lake in the campground to fish. My husband and daughter liked it bc they could fish it at night time. You will need bug spray and lanterns bc it is darrrk! The only bad thing is there is no beach so on the hot days the kids get bored although we went to the fishing spot in the campground and let the kids play in the water. When we were there, there were no showers but the toilet was by our site so that was a plus (non flushing). There was also a water spicket close by the playground. So everything was close for us. The kids could play and explore safely within eye sight. We really enjoyed our stay and would go back in the cooler months due to there being no beach but there is plenty of trees for shade.

Smaller but Peaceful

We had a wonderful time at site 51. We went in 2017 for Father’s Day and they had family activities for it. They had a scavenger hunt which made us really experience the nature around us, going through the woods off trail, going to the lakeside, walking around looking for different things on a list. It helped there was a prize so it really put competition between us and two other families. Two of us tied so we were lucky enough to get the free boat ride and the other team that was part of the boy scouts got a free one night camping stay. The campground is smaller,peaceful and quite but yet no one got mad if kids played. We were right beside the playground so I was worried about rude and rowdy kids but nope. The kids were good and left the playground at a respectable time. Since we were the only family by the playground my kids quietly played there for a while all by themselves after dark while we were in eyesight relaxing at our camp site. There is also a roadway you can drive by the lake in the campground to fish. My husband and daughter liked it bc they could fish it at night time. You will need bug spray and lanterns bc it is darrrk! The only bad thing is there is no beach so on the hot days the kids get bored although we went to the fishing spot in the campground and let the kids play in the water. When we were there, there were no showers but the toilet was by our site so that was a plus (non flushing). There was also a water spicket close by the playground. So everything was close for us. The kids could play and explore safely within eye sight. We really enjoyed our stay and would go back in the cooler months due to there being no beach but there is plenty of trees for shade.

Very nice and well kept

Good for the family… If you are into the outdoors this is it!

Great first time KOA experience

We have never stayed at a KOA before and were very happy with this campground. The staff were friendly and professional, the sites were clean, and there were a wide variety of sites to choose from. From primitive tent sites tucked back in the woods to large RV sites with water/sewer/electric/cable hookups. We are first-time owners of a 29 ft Fifth Wheel and got a pull-through site. It offered little in the way of privacy, which was the only negative about the whole experience. Our site included a fire ring and a picnic table, along with all the hook ups. The night we arrived we were too tired to cook so ordered a pizza from the front office and they delivered it to our site. They also deliver wood directly to you. They escort you directly to your site so you don't get lost or go down a one-way road the wrong way. There was a nice little pool, but it wasn't open for the season yet. The shower houses were immaculate. The front office includes a little gift shop, ice cream, and pizza. This campground was also located close (within a few miles) to all the main hiking trails,and about 12 miles from Logan. The little road going up to the campground is VERY bumpy. It's not the campground road, it belongs to the Township, so its completely out of their ability to make improvements. This was only our second time out in our fifth wheel camper so it was a little scary, but we just drove slow and our truck handled it just fine. We will definitely be back to this wonderful campground as we love Hocking Hills.

Small cute campground

October weekends in Ohio State Park campgrounds are super popular so we weren’t able to make a reservation here. They do have a few walk up sites and we got there on a Thursday to make sure we got one. We luckily did and enjoyed our time at this campground. They do have flush toilets now, so that was nice. There is a trail that goes around the lake here that you can walk and there is also a mountain biking trail. We took advantage of both and really enjoyed them! The campground is relatively small, but it was nice! We were there as the leaves were changing and it was great! Our Sprint and Verizon hotspots both got great service here too. We were happy with this campground!

lots of variety in hiking trails

I go to Hocking Hills every year and love it every time. They have a handful of different trails and hiking experiences that takes several days to explore. Can get crowded during busy seasons, but overall is relatively remote and quiet. Definitely love Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave. Campgrounds are reasonably priced.

Cell service is finicky — definitely wouldn’t rely on your phone GPS once you get into the park.

Crowded even in October.

The park is beautiful but the sites were small and crammed extremely close together and dirty. It was loud and the bathrooms were not well kept.

Cozy and comfortable

What a nice campground. Pool, cabins, things for the kids, beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls.

Nice place

Hike in camp sites are awesome. You still have access to latrines and each site has a table an fire ring. Fairly succluded but you will see other people. Very close to all the places you would want to hike . The girls in the office are also very nice.

Bring a cart or be prepared to strap all your belongings to your back

Cabin life

Great cabin with a lot of room for family. Easy access to the water for a fun-filled day off boating.

Quiet wooded campground with nice hikes

We stayed for a long weekend and had a great time. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The RV sites were a bit narrow, but otherwise nice and shaded. We took a couple of the hikes down by the lake and it was great.

Beautiful location, well kept, lots to do and see.

Lots of hills. Some sites are reservable others are walk-in.

Palmerosa Horse Camp

I stayed in a cabin and loved this place, the horseback riding is awesome, airplane rock has a view second to none. the box canyon with waterfall is gorgeous (pun intended) but seriously it was fantastic. the cabin was clean and comfortable, and a bargain, no nickle and diming you to death.

On the river AND the freeway

Right on the river, which is interesting, but it's also right alongside State Route 33, so you hear freeway traffic constantly. Trucks and motorcycles woke me up all night, AND there is a train track right across the river (about 200 yards away), so be prepared for trains coming through any time of the night or day.

It has flush toilets, which worked fine Friday and Saturday, but all of the women's toilets were clogged by Sunday morning, and the shower house needs to be hosed down- covered in dead bugs. Showers have this weird slimy grate on the floor- bring flip flops. The shower house is up on top of this steep hill, so you'll need a flashlight to get there in the dark.

The sites are very close together- one family moved in late at night practically on top of me- their tent was literally 4 feet from my picnic table. I could hear every word they said (or yelled) all night long. I moved down one site for a little peace and quiet, but be prepared- when crowded, you will be right on top of groups less than 12 feet to the right and left of you.

It's nice that the sites are right on the Hocking river, and there is constant traffic of canoes and kayaks going past. I thought this was fun. There is no way to put your own boat in here, though. The campground is on a very steep, muddy embankment and even putting in a lightweight kayak is very difficult (I tried and succeeded, but hurt my knee and fell into the water because of the mud- I wouldn't try this again).

All in all, I had a decent weekend, but I wouldn't stay here again because of the freeway noise and the way the sites are so close together.

Delightful, Beautiful, friendly rangers, lots of activities

We were there during an off holiday weekend so the crowd was low. It is beautifully hilly there. The parking pad was fairly level and a a bit narrow. The campsite had a bit of an incline. The fire pit and picnic table looked newer. We camped near a restroom and there were 2 shower houses. However, one was being renovated at the time. The nature center was very well done with educational information that would be useful for the great hiking trails in the park. We did not get to be on the lake but they had several options for rental of water toys such as canoe, kayaks, water bikes, and pontoon boats. There also was a nice beach with a play-set nearby. The lodge was attractive and they did serve meals there. We did not eat there but we did check out the menu. There was something good for all tastes and delicious sounding desserts too. The dinning room had large windows all around to view the woods. They had lots of hummingbird feeders. We missed the hummingbird program where you can hand feed them. That is only during July and August months. I was sorry to have missed that. We will being returning to enjoy more of all this park has to offer.

Nice campground with even better hiking and scenery

Old Man's Cave Cave Campground in Hocking Hills State Park is a large campground. At many of the sites, you'll feel like you're in a large campground. If you stay away from the main roads, you might feel like you're in a smaller campground.

Choosing a Site

  • Study the photo of the site map included here to get a sense of where you might want a site. You'll be able to see electric/non-electric and reservable/non-reservable sites. There's quite a mix of sites and the map has a legend that will guide you.

  • A reservation is a good idea.  You'll definitely need one on weekends during the summer/fall, or you should arrive by Thursday for a chance for a non-reservable site for the weekend. I've been here in July and mid-September, and the park was crowded. I just keep an eye on reservations on reserveamerica.com.

  • Electric sites: I recommend sites 152-163, 164-172, and 141-151 because you are away from the main roads (long straightaways). In my opinion, sites 161-163, 150-151 and 171-172 are the best because you're at the end of spurs off a main road.

  • Full hookup sites: Sites 66-70 at the end of the full hookup stretch (24-70) are good. 

  • Warning about full hookup sites: There's some kind of pumping station behind the sites on the left as you enter so it's noisy all the time. If I wanted a full hookup, I'd avoid sites from #24 up to at least #35 because you're going to have constant noise. It probably doesn't matter when you're inside because units with full hookups typically have closed windows and AC/heat.

  • Reservable non-electric sites 81-93: I like #92 and #93 and the first couple at the beginning.

  • Non-reservable sites: #1-23 are electric and #76-78 are non-electric.

Amenities

  • Picnic table and fire ring at sites

  • Swimming pool

  • Pay attention to the map if the location of showers and toilets is important to you. There are 3 showerhouses with showers, flush toilets and sinks. For some reason, the floor in the showerhouse near the pool was always wet and dirty even in September when the pool was closed. Other toilets throughout the campground are pit toilets.

  • Gray water disposal stations and potable water stations

  • Laundry facility near the shower house by the pool

  • Dump station

Activities

  • Scenery and hiking are what make this park special…and crowded.

  • See photos that show a map and descriptions of 8 hiking areas. Some of these areas are outside the park, and you'll need to drive to the trailheads or take a shuttle ($5 fee). Ohio does a good job of consistently marking trails and posting information boards that show where you are and where you can go from your current location.

Cell Phone Service: It's spotty. As you walk around, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't!

Cool Feature of Ohio Parks

When you use reserveamerica.com, you can participate in a rewards program for Ohio state parks. We were able to apply points to stay free one night out of three.

Our home away from home for Paw Paw Fest

My family and I have been going to Lake Snowden for the past nine years for the Paw Paw Festival and have enjoyed staying in the sites in thw campground every year. So while I can’t speak to what the campground is like the rest of the year, I suspect it is mostly RV campers the rest of the season (we only tent camp).

What I can say though is the sites are pretty large and grassy, great place to let kids run around and play. The campground is safe and people are respectful of the quiet hours. Everything in the camground is walkable, but if you want to hit up the shower houses, you have to go up to Hilltop, which is a bit of a trek w/ shower gear (I’ve never actually been inside the shower house though).

Away...away....AWAY!!!! Great spot ot avoid the crowds. Shhhhhhh!

Went backpack camping with a friend on this loop - we took the shorter of the two. The land is all regrowth forest and the further you go, the less you see of people - a novelty in this part of the world.

There are several primitive campsites along the trail with nothing more than a stone fire ring and a clearing, so pack in everything you need including water.

A great spot. We will return.

The best

One of my all time favorites! 30 years later, and we keep going back.

Great park for us but can't guarantee the same experience for you

Why was it a very good place for us?

For us, this was a hidden gem on a Friday in September, but be aware it may not be the same experience for you. Most of the sites were open on reserveamerica.com so we knew we could just show up and choose a site. We went out to the end of area 3 (out of 5 areas) with sites 77-122 (non-electric) because it ends with a loop. There was a tent across the loop on #100. We chose #94 which had plenty of room, a sunny area for our solar panels and lots of shade. It was a great site for us.

Will your experience be different?

You need to be aware this is an old park. I would hesitate to reserve a site just by looking at sites on the online map. I've included a photo of the map the attendant had to show a view of the areas…electric and non-electric with a total of 151 sites. Many of the parking pads are extremely short although some are wide enough for a vehicle and trailer…or 2 vehicles.

Some of the areas where you can pitch a tent are pretty rough, especially at the beginning of area 3. See photos. #119 was a site in use and it looks like a great site for two tents (as long as it doesn't rain because you can see in the photo that you're in a valley).

Be aware there could be some things you might not like…short parking pads, difficult tent areas, pit toilets. There are showerhouses that include sinks but the toilets are pit toilets in separate buildings.

I did not find potable water. There were water fountains that were not running, but there were several gray water dump wells and and a dump station.

Yes, it's a bit rough around the edges. We liked that it wasn't crowded. The attendant said the park was full over Memorial Day weekend. Other campers told me there's a chili cookoff around Halloween, and it's a great place to camp around then.

If you love the amenities of a modern campground, you could be disappointed. If you like roughing it, you'll enjoy the setting. And you can show up without a reservation and choose a site.

Activities

  • The attendant told me the disc golf course attracts people because it's very good.

  • A few short hiking trails

  • Archery range

  • Forked Run Lake has a boat ramp and 400-foot sand beach.

What about cell phone service?

Verizon's network was available but not in all areas. There is decent wifi by the entrance station.

It was clean and employees were friendly

It is close to Hocking Hills.

Back water activities

We live close to this park and frequent there, sometimes just day trips. Tent camping is great and just like most places there are a few sites that are the best. Park offers hiking trails from the camp sites to the beach area or packing up the swim gear and using the parking lot. The beach area is back water from the ohio river. It is a sandy rocky mixture. There are boat rentals during peak months. There is a frisbee golf course that is top notch. The only down side to this ohio state park, are the bathrooms; they are port a pot facilities that can be pretty raunchy.

Very enjoyable

Not much room for parking, but great service and qualities kayaks! Had an amazing time on the river, plenty of areas to rest and swim and had not too many shallow sections.

Paradise!

This is by far the best winter trip we have ever taken. Due to the extreme cold we couldn’t take the camper so we rented a cabin. The park itself was magical! We hiked many of the snow and ice covered trails. Some were not passable as the ice made it too treacherous but most were either clear or ok as long as we were careful. There are markers throughout or you can refer to the many available books to get an idea of the history. We can’t wait to go back again in any season.

Just ok, crazy crowded

I love Hocking Hills State Park's trails and scenery. Just love it. However, the crowds are maddening. This extends to the campground. It is crowded from April through October- I've been there several different times of year, and it is always a madhouse.

The campsites are very close together, many without trees or anything for privacy. You are smushed up with people on both sides- usually big families with very active kids. Expect throngs of kids on bikes, dozens of kids bouncing balls around you, parents yelling, dogs barking, all of it. Not relaxing, in my opinion.

I'm surprised about the sad state of the bathrooms here, considering this is probably one of the most popular parks in the state. Pit toilets, not toilets with running water. Shower houses are fine but could use a remodel. They get pretty filthy on weekends- think giant hairballs, puddles, sinks you don't want to touch.

If you want to explore the region, there are other state parks where you can camp and then drive into Hocking Hills.

Nice, wooded and new bathrooms

Great little park, nice trails, beautiful little lake with an island, boat dock and beach. Camp sites are nice and secluded, nice new bathrooms. I'd go here often if I weren't so far away.

Tiny lots, terrible toilet smell

I can see how this state park appeals to families- there is putt putt, a cute general store, an outdoor movie screen, a small beach and paddle boats. But if you don't have kids, I'd find a better place to camp. 

The campground sites are tiny and all squished together. I had a literal 9-foot rectangle of grass, right up against RVs on both sides. It didn't help that the families, who were mere feet away from me the whole time, spent the weekend screaming at their kids and dogs (four dogs with one family. Four. Why aren't there rules about that?) and later beating their dogs. Yep. I got to see dog beating all weekend long. That's the kind of clientele this park seems to attract. 

The trails didn't seem that great- barely marked, going through a dense forest, with not much to see besides the trees themselves. The "lake" is really a pond, or an extremely small lake. The swimming was decent but the bottom is quite slimy- bring water shoes if you want to swim. 

Also, my campsite was literally 10 yards away from a disgusting pit toilet that reeked the entire time. Why do they put campsites right up against sewer pits? I had to breathe in feces fumes all weekend long, and I doubt that is healthy. 

The shower was hot, I'll give them that. I will not return to this park. I called the reservation agency to tell them about my experience but they did not get back to me.

Burr Oak State Park

Overall a very nice State Park! We stayed 2 nights of Labor Day weekend and had a great time. It was very very hot outside and we sweated our butts off , so we were very thankful for the nice showers . We went fishing and saw lots of butterflies. We cooked our meals on the fire , even though it was really hot. I wish there would have been electric sites just for tents so we could have charged our phones because they went dead pretty fast. Our site # 14 was very hilly but at least it had a tent pad at the bottom of the hill so it was flat where we were sleeping. At night we heard an owl and it was very peaceful. Overall a nice campground and we will return!

awesome

great place to camp and kayak. must camp 150ft from the trail. no cell service.beautiful park