Hueston Woods State Park, Oh.
Campground Overview: Hueston Woods State Park is very close to Miami University…in the Southwest area of Ohio. The direction we traveled from the south took us on numerous winding country lanes through farm country that actually meandered in and out of Indiana and Ohio.
(Disclaimer: I am a tent camper, preferring backcountry sites of solitude and privacy…so take my reviews of campgrounds with a grain of salt).
The campground area is separated not only by roadway, but a short walk, ride or drive from the reservoir, docks, boat rental beach area and tiny nature center.
The Campground Office sits at the campground entrance and does offer quite a bit of camping items for its tiny size should you have forgotten anything. The cabins and lodge are on the opposite bank of the reservoir. The tent site area was sparsely occupied and the particular area was empty that I chose.
All campground sites are line of sight, no barriers or buffer between neighbors(something I do not enjoy)…the trees are mature and tall so offer no privacy. Noise/sound travels so when full, you’ll likely hear your neighbors conversations.
Unknowingly, it appeared every weekend in October has a big Halloween emphasis, so the upper campground was sold out. I was advised the lower non electric loop would also be sold out…which reinforced my gratefulness for midweek camping.
With the vast old growth forests, dried/dead branches for firewood was plentiful for a chilly night(38) fire. We evaded the impending rain for once and pressed on. Weekend campers experienced heavy storms as we left.
There are several hiking trails and biking trails. Streams were dried up at our visit. A cool restoration covered bridge was a short hop from the campground. The lodge has a restaurant, a gift shop, an outside pool and a nicely equipped activity room for older kids complete with numerous arcade games, pool table, and ping-pong table. There is also a token tiny exercise center-Key card entrance for lodge stayers. The A-frame lodge, though nostalgic, needs some TLC and updating(especially the exterior).
Traffic noise is noticeable, especially during quiet hours. While not excessive, it’s disruptive.
Deer sighting were plentiful as were chattering tree rats…ahem, squirrels, sorry. Woodpeckers stayed busy overhead. At dusk an overly friendly“masked trash panda” encroached seeking to share my delectable and perfectly toasted s’more…having to be chased off(unfortunately, it appeared he has been fed by campers to be that bold). Other small birds were plentiful as were migrating Canadian honkers.
Housekeeping notes: In the larger non-electric loop newer restrooms existed…modern bathrooms and showers were clean and stocked with TP. No paper towels offered, only electric hand dryers. Bathroom stalls, like the showers, utilized shower curtains rather than lockable doors. In my tent area…antiquated wood shed pit latrines…that truly needed razed.
I did not have time to walk any trails, but talked with mountain bikers that spoke favorably. There were several marked trails near the reservoir area.
Final Thoughts: It was a nice choice for a stop-over as I drifted north. However, I would not want to stay when it’s busy or on the weekends. The reservoir beach and watercraft fishing appears a big draw…and I wish I had brought both my bicycle and canoe.
This was my second visit to the park. Some things have changed:) The park was very busy over the holiday weekend. The movies were a highlight and the Friends of Hueston Woods had some tasty snacks you could purchase.
We opted not to swim at the beach but it is quite lovely. It wasn't over run with Geese. You have a sandy area, grassy area, volley ball area, and playground. It is one of the better beaches for Ohio State Parks in the southern part of the state. We bought a day pass to the pool at the lodge. This was a wonderful evening swimming late into the evening past sun set.
In 2020, some of the campsites are being improved (see sign below). We camped on the RV side in our tent. This area is more populated and the bathrooms are better. It is more "groomed" the grass and landscape. If you go to the primitive campsite side the grass is mowed but it has a more rustic feel to that side of the camp ground.
The red covered bridge that is near by you can either drive to or walk to from the primitive side of the camp ground. The bridge is still beautiful but be prepared that folks have taken to writing on the bridge. Some of it is chalk or mud but it doesn't follow LNT. Not a fan of names or other tidbits on the bridge.
The nature center here does a great program as we were able to look at various birds of prey. This was a highlight.
We thought about renting kayaks but didn't want to wait. They don't do specific time slots so it is a wait around approach. We had better things to do than wait around. We went out on the trails. Some of the trails were better marked and others were not clearly marked. We were able to figure it out but it was a bit tricky.
**Photos and videos are not uploading fully so I will be back to upload more at a later time.
I camp here occasionally, but through the years, some of the foliage is starting to die out. But there is a lot of wildlife in the area.
During the best weather, the evenings can be a little noisy with many of the motorists (bikes and cars) on the nearby roads to the north.
Toilet facilities aren’t terrible but they do leave a lot to be desired in the primitive camping and hiking areas.
With the latest budget cuts, Hueston Woods isn’t affected as much, but then again, you can’t cut what you never had.
I wish I had more time to explore everything, but I’ll definitely be back. The cabins/cottages are very nice. Worth the $$. The RV and campground are like any others, a little bit nicer than most but very crowded and right next to each other.
This camp ground is pretty standard for Ohio State Parks. It does have a cool new sleeping option. Yurts! We enjoyed our time in the yurt. They also have trails that are easy to tackle and well marked at this park.
We were able to easily have the kids in one bed and we were in another bed. The small fridge and microwave made it easy to pull a meal together. The fan kept us cool.
Water is a short walk away and so are restrooms. You have to bring in local fire wood for your camp fires.
I was blessed to grow up down the road from Hueston Woods, frequently camping, hiking, fishing, etc. Beautiful park, great campgrounds, numerous trails, large nature center, and awesome beach for dogs.
It has lake activities, hiking, biking, fishing. Camping can be in tens or various cabins or even in the lodge. Lodge has a restaurant- food was good. There was also a pool within the lodge. They have some planned activities and hikes for those interested!
Family friendly, many of the lots are wooded with plenty of natural shade. Clean restrooms, accessible water and friendly staff. Brenda is awesome and all of the staff care about your stay. No pool on site but there is a lake close by and many other activities to choose from. Lots of fun!
From walk in camping to painball hueston woods has it all. Lots of trails and creeks, biking, boating, play grounds, swimming, food, store, movie nights mini golf and more! They even have an animal preserve.
the campground is seriously in need of some tlc and they have gotten rid of the deer exhibit and replaced it with a dog park which is sad because my family spent a few hours each trip just petting and feeding the deer before. also the nature center isn’t what it used to be. bathrooms are always nasty. it’s sad because this used to be our go to campground.