The best camping near
Portsmouth , OHIO

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Camping Ohio Portsmouth

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Most Recent Portsmouth Camping Reviews
First to Review
Dispersed Camping best off Horseback Trails

We arrived late at night wishing we had better cell reception and a paper map of the National Forest. The Ironton Campground has been closed during 2020 as part of a water main line break. We initially tried the Hanging Rock OHV trailhead, but locals used that area for partying when we were there and it wasn't ideal to camp at the trailhead with about a dozen cars speeding along the gravel roads around midnight. We found the Sand Hill Trail head and pitched camp not too far from where we parked. The NF website says fires are allowed if you make a stone ring. We just skipped it. It is a very pretty area along Vesuvius Lake with trees and bluffs. We saw a ranger in the morning and he suggested next time we just camp at the horsecamp. The pins on the Dyrt's map were inaccurately located when we were using it with multiple entries. Next time I will purchase a paper map before I go because Wayne National Forest has alot of private lands interspersed and it is not all that clear without a map.

Scenic but too close to neighbors

My friend and I recently stayed at the north ridge campsite, which is the tents only site at Tar Hollow State Park.  I had both positive and negative experiences.  Let's start with the positives.  It's a very secluded campsite so it really feels like you're one with nature.  The pit latrines are convenient for those emergency situations but they're not the cleanest but it is not a far drive to the flush toilets at the RV campsite area near the camp store.  Site 106 is a great site if you choose to stay here.  It is very flat, one of the most flat sites (I think 105 is more flat) and so my night's sleep was great.  

Now for the negatives, which sadly outweigh the positives for my stay.  

You are right next to your camping neighbors.  I have terrible luck and ended up staying next to a very inconsiderate and loud group that included their many dogs. Normally this wouldn't bother me but I could hear all of their conversations because we were so close to them.  You can hear snoring and other "nighttime" noises so just be aware others can and will hear you.  I wasn't able to find the water spigot right away because someone set up their tent right next to it but then was able to find it once they moved their tent.  This is more of a negative of the State Park but the hiking paths are not clearly marked and I am embarrassed to admit I did get lost in the woods.  The map they have is in black in white but the park uses a color system.  This could be solved by taking a picture of the colorful map right by the fire tower.  

Overall, I don't think I would choose to return to this site for camping because you're just way to close to others around you.

More for Permanent Campers

It was okay for a passing through stay. Staff was okay, not warm and inviting, but also not jerks. Didn’t provide any information on the campground (map, check out time, anything) only handed me my receipt for payment.

Pros: back off the road, across from Rocky Fork State Park (which was booked, that’s why we chose this one), behind a dollar general (handy), full hookups (w/e/s), pullthroughs for those not living there, escort you to your site via golf cart

Cons: 95% of this campground is permanent campers (if that’s what you want, then this is for you), campsites are right on top of each other, it advertises WiFi (but apparently that’s for the permanent campers)

Peaceful

Had a great time there. We will be back in the spring or summer when the grandkids can swim. Staff was very pleasant. Not much shade but then again it's a fairly new KOA and the trees haven't had time to grow.

Peaceful

Had a great time there. We will be back in the spring or summer when the grandkids can swim. Staff was very pleasant. Not much shade but then again it's a fairly new KOA and the trees haven't had time to grow.

Peaceful

It was our first stay ever in our RV. Our site was muddy but it did rain 2 out of 3 days. Site 32. The staff was very pleasant and helpful.

Great first time!

Threw a surprise camping trip for my boyfriend and it turned out AMAZING! Love this campground and can’t wait to check more of it out again!

First to Review
Marble head is amazing

Great location, close to activities

When it rains go hiking

Visited Zaleski in the spring and encountered some muddy hills to climb up and down. Camp sites were further than expected as you would see a sign indicating camp areas. It took some adjusting, several forms of maps and learning curve of what they indicated, where and how they correlated to the trail. Not a simple just backpack and you'll get there, but really looking at your map and compass or if you're lucky all trails app if you have phone signal. Plenty of trees, flowers and nature to enjoy. If recent rainfall in the area be mindful of the mud. Beautiful trail And well worth the challenge here in Ohio.

Tar Hollow North Ridge Campground

Stayed two nights at Tar Hollow's North Ridge Campground, which is the tent only campground. Be sure to visit the "Camp General Store" to pick up your permit before heading to your campsite. If your GPS takes you to the North Ride campground, just drive past and continue on until you see the general store/putt putt area. Believe the camp store is open until 8pm during the week. 

We were on site 106, which is at the far end of the campground. The campground is about 2-3 acres large, situated on a hill with a path dug out around the perimeter. 

Some positives about the campground and site 106: 

-the path around the hill allows for great drainage; a huge help if you're camping in rainy weather. 

-the north ridge campground is in an entirely separate area of the park than the RVs and there aren't many campsites, so in that way it feels a little more remote and secluded. 

-In addition to the path around the perimeter of the campsite there is a path leading up through the middle of the campground with the campsites situated on either side of the path. Since site 106 is at the far end, you don't have anyone walking by your campsite to and from the parking lot. 

-Pine lake is a beautiful little spot to fish, rent a paddle boat, or just relax. There is also a pretty spacious beach area.

-There is a water spigot, restrooms, and a dumpster.

-There is no cell service. Enjoy the outdoors! You are off the grid! 

Some negatives about the campground and site 106: 

-You cannot park your car directly at your campsite. There is a parking lot at the bottom of the campground hill. You have to carry your items to your campsite. Depending on what site you reserved you could have to walk uphill for about 100-150 yards. This could be an issue for differently abled people. Also, it means you need to be crafty about securing your food at night if you don't want to walk it back down to your car. 

-Many of the campsites are situated on pretty intense slopes. 106 wasn't too bad. I would guess 105 is probably the most level site in the campground. 

-Site 106 is the farthest from the parking lot. Great for privacy, bad for lugging your stuff to and from the car. 

-The bathrooms are pit latrines. Normally, I wouldn't be too concerned about this (you're camping! it's cool to rough it a bit!) However…these are some of the dirtiest I've experienced. The bathrooms are also very narrow and perhaps most importantly, they are not lit, so you have to make sure you bring your headlamp with you at night. I also couldn't get the latch to lock on the doors, but maybe that was user error. There is toilet paper and hand sanitizer (but I always double sanitized with my own sanitizer back at our tent--such was the state of these bathrooms.) 

-The campsites are all pretty close together. We got lucky and there was no one next to us, but even so we could still clearly hear conversations at other campsites and folks snoring at night. 

-There is no cell service. Be sure to give anyone who may need to contact you a heads up.

All in all, we had a positive experience and were glad we went. That said, there are better spots to tent camp in and around OH.