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Most of the sites at this state park campground are very small and don’t have much level ground. Even the sites meant for RVs and trailers are right on top of each other. It’s almost like they took what should have been one site and made it two. There’s a handful of sites that offer a little space and level ground for tent campers. You may or may not have a picnic table and fire ring with a grill at your campsite when you arrive. According to staff, people take the fire rings and I guess there’s nothing they can do. Bathrooms were clean. The lake view trail was nice and accessible from the campground.
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.
Site 41 with a paved pad and electric. We were across from the shower house and bathrooms. The office is closed but a staff person was on site. Our site was perfect for us with trees on either side to help with shade. Across our site was also a big green space to walk our dogs. Not all the electric sites have shade especially if you are up top. The lower electric is much better however some of the sites hardly have a space for tents and would be better for a camper. Lots of places to hike and a lake to kayak or canoe. There’s a big playground for the kids as well. The tent only sites are a little less desirable as they are all downhill and mostly uneven. They have flush toilets and sinks but you’d have to come up to the main campground to shower. Pick your site wisely!
Several campsites are on a slope so this calls for being creative with placement of tent.
Firewood available for purchase on site. Lake Hope lodge provides great warm and dry spot for delicious food.
Several activities available, fishing available anywhere on the lake, kayak rental for $10 and good size lake.
Very clean pit toliets and running water available dispersed throughout the park. Several hiking trails, zaleski is nearby, hocking hills is 30 minutes away. Moonville tunnel and iron furnace in the area.
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.
AW Marion is near 23 and easy access to the highway to get to Columbus.
Plenty of space and shade in not electrical campsite for a hot summer day. Plenty of flat space. Clean well lit vault toliets. Walked around near camp and checked out group camping sites that had plenty of space and trees for hammocking and tent set up.
The campground was full this weekend in electric, but still plenty of spots in non-electric. We've camped at this site before and we like it because there is a lot of space for us to walk our dogs. There's a ton of grass and plenty of shade to sit under. The restrooms were clean for both the vault toilets and the flushables. The camp hosts continue to get 5 stars. It's nice when you are at a campground often enough they know your name and stop by to say hi and even suggest other places to visit. The only downfall was our neighbors across the way had friends visit who parked on our campsite instead of in the guest lot. We walked through the group campsites (2) and if you like to hang, one has better trees to do that than the other. We took a short hike behind the playground. The trail is marked well, but you have to make sure to follow the hiking trail and not the mountain bike trail. Lots of mushrooms to see!
I went for an overnight camping getaway. The campsite was fairly clean, had to pickup a few wrappers. I was excited to get a spot overlooking the water, with a table and fire pit. Not a really good spot for a tent, but I was able to find a soft spot off to the side. From up on the hill looking down on the lake, it looked quite clear. I was excited to grab my canoe and jump in.
I carried my boat to the waters edge. As I was going to put my canoe into the water, I noticed some really nasty stuff in the water. It looked like human poop. I was kinda stunned, and then I noticed a lot of flies all around that particular area. So given that I decided I was not going to be canoeing or fishing.￼
I get it, it’s free. But I just wish people would NOT empty their RVs into the lake. Kinda ruined a good thing. Aside from that, the area was very pretty.
It was a beautiful area, with lots of activities and close to restaurants and stores. My complaint was with the campground. The sites were very close together and the noise level at night was unbelievable. The people beside us was drinking and being very loud up until after 11:30. Was not happy with the campground at all. Would definitely go back to spend the day but will never camp there again.