We drove thru Sand Hollow, Bicentennial and Maple Grove before choosing Hook Lake. All of these Jesse Owens State Park/AEP campgrounds are free for up to 14 days. While most of the sites at Hook Lake do not have cell coverage we were lucky enough to find that at the "top of the hill" we were able to get both att and verizon at around 2 bars (3 to 5gb download but under 1 upload).
This campground was very quiet, lots of shade (not ideal if you are running on solar only). The DNR make rounds on a regular basis. There is a dumpster by the entrance to the campground but no longer cans at each site (October 2020).
Stayed in site 27 with a 33ft travel trailer and we're able to get level without and blocks.
Lots of hiking, mountain biking and The Wilds are near by. McConnelsville is about 20 min away for all your gas, food (Kroger) and propane (Greueys Fuel and Freed.
I've lost my review a few times so this is going to be even more brief as it's my third time typing it out.
This is a free campsite that was part of the AEP reclamation lands. If you are unfamiliar with these lands then go to https://www.aep.com/recreation/areas/recreationland make sure you do your homework before coming down to the area. They have a really helpful FB group page that is updated all the time. I got the best and most current information on Facebook.
The campsites do not have any camp stores, no fire wood to buy, no water (so make sure you pack what you will need), and they do have a campground host. We did buy wood from a private home in a near by town. Great deal. $10 for a whole wheel barrow full of wood. Quality wood (dry and well cut).
The state of Ohio recently bought it so it is becoming the Jesse Owens State Park. We did talk to a ranger while we were at the campground. He gave me an Ohio State Park envelope to fill in. Notice, the payment area is X out. It is still free at the moment.
We explored nearby McConnelsville. You will see pictures of a brewery that we visited. We also check out the wharf, the opera house, and it did have a Kroger in case you forget something. On the way to McConnelsville there is a Miner's Memorial Park. This would be something you would want to check out to see the massive bucket.
At the campground children up to the age of 15 are allowed to fish. Adults need to go elsewhere to fish. There's also an archery range but I did not go and check that out as I do not have a bow and arrow.
The bathrooms are Vault toilets. They do have hand sanitizer outside of the bathrooms. It would not be handicapped or Mobility accessible for those that have limited Mobility. The bathrooms were single toilet stalls and did have a light on at night (on the inside).
They provide a dumpster so you can get rid of your trash at the campground. Also, two cars per site. However, we were able to put three tents on our site as we are not sharing tents at this point in time.
Make sure you fill in the new registration envelopes as you can see here cell phone coverage is limited to Verizon. T-Mobile and AT&T had no coverage. Even with Verizon there were several spots where I did not get coverage. This means you will want to print or grab an AEP map.
The campsites were well spaced apart and a good size. You had a variety of campsites at this campground. Make sure you drive through the whole campground to find what you would like such as grassy area, overlooking lake, near the playground, etc.
First come first served camping with water and pit toilets, large sites, area mostly wooded. Archery range and lots of fishing spots. Great for families with pets too! Had a great time and looking forward to our next visit this weekend! I’d give it more stars if it had a shower house or swim area! Bring your solar shower!
Hook Lake AEP is I think the second largest of the campground areas, outside McConnellsville, Oh.
Hook Lake campsites are spread throughout the woodland loop above the lake recreation area. This would be an ideal area for large groups or a family reunion. Realize this is bare basic camping with pit toilets and no electricity. Print out a permit and stake your claim for a free , quiet, entertaining stay in the AEP wilderness.
Its a toss up for me between this site and Sand Hollow as my favorite. The areas are large enough for several, and spaced out along the loop to give some privacy/sound buffer if it is a large group staying there. They are right on the water too for convienience of fishing or boating.
Plus there are plenty other things to do in close proximity. The Ohio farm country is awesome and McConnellsville, Oh offers some cool old buildings if you like architecture.
27 vehicles and 49 people from an overlanding trip stayed in the camp ground that AEP personnel reserves exclusively for our group! Pit toilets were well maintained, fire rings provided and nicely kept grounds with observed quiet times made for a fantastic stay!!