Touted as the most Scenic Park in Ohio, John Bryan State Park manages to fulfill its lofty title with ease. Within these 752 acres lies mammoth limestone faces carved out from years of erosion by the historical Little Miami River. Starting 980 feet above sea level in Clifton, the river pierces and snakes its way through the limestone, exposing a new layer of earth’s ancient shale and bedrock down a 130 foot drop. Every layer is noted for its unique glimpse into the history of the area, revealing stories of past weather events, glacial ice movements, and much more. The local Shawnee Native Americans have long respected the region, thanks to economic prosperity owing to the industry and resources established along Little Miami River.
When it comes to attractions and recreation, there’s more to do here than you’d think. Rock Climbers and bouldering enthusiasts visit year round to scale the large limestone rock formations and natural climbing runs formed thanks to the river’s erosion. The Little Miami serves as a popular river for small-boaters, and is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Ohio.
For more fun, families and groups can head over to the 18-hole Disc-Golf course, then complete the day with a picnic at one of the many designated areas throughout the park. For those looking for a casual bike-ride, the 1.1 mile Arboretum (Observatory) Trail makes for a quality impromptu ride. Moreover, those in search of hiking and mountain biking trails won’t be disappointed either, as there’s no shortage of well-maintained paths to trek through.
Camping here is relatively straightforward, with reservations to be made online 24/7. There are 61 campsite available, 9 of which offer electricity. Latrines, a dump-station, and drinking water are all available, except during the off-season. Most of the campsites offer at least partial shade, a fire circle, and a picnic table. Additionally, pets are permitted throughout the park.
From May to October, there is a Day Lodge available for rental which includes two fireplaces, a restroom, full-service kitchen, and large screened-in porch. Picnic shelter houses can also be made via reservation for day-use only. Finally, if you’re coming in a group, a large 100-person group camp area is available complete with two onsite Adirondack shelters.
With only vault toilets and 10 electric sites, this campground isn’t for everyone. But if you can make it past those unique features, camping here is actually great. With hiking trails directly linked to the campgrounds, it’s easy to explore the beautiful park. And this really is a great gem in Ohio, as part of the Miami river and Clifton gorge, the terrain is distinct, and breathtaking. Also, the camp hosts were incredibly friendly and the maintenance of the vault toilets was the best I have seen.
I’m a local and I love JB. Great hiking, clean campground (and bathroom!), and close to Yellow Springs for local brews and good eats.
The campsite is next to the 12 mile set of mountain bike trails. It is a great mountain biking/camping getaway. The trails are easy, so for all levels. Nice camping for families. There is also a very nice children's playground near the campsite.
Close to the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The sites are close together and not much privacy, but convenient.
Facilities are fine and there are nice outdoor fireplaces.
The mountain bike trails are all-purpose so you can enjoy hiking them also. They are very well-maintained.
Great tent sites on mowed lawn under old growth trees. Our night’s rest was interrupted multiple times with airport noise—airplanes and helicopters. Note that at this time (COVID) you cannot just pull in and occupy a site. You must call in for a reservation.
Wonderful trail hikes with awesome views
John Bryan campground conveniently located near Clifton mills gorge, Glen Helen and yellow springs. There's actually a spring that is actually known as yellow springs, the water is clear, clean and refreshing with a taste of I cut my finger in the kitchen blood. Kids run up and down green hills, ride bikes in their pajamas. Vault toliets are spacious with hand sanitizer by the doors. Some sites have trees that can be used to set up hammock camping. Fire pit rings and great access to affordable, dry, and good bundles of wood just outside the entrance to campground.
Great camping , wonderful trail system branching from the campground… great mountain bike course
My mom and I stayed at lot 7 in our teardrop trailer. Each site had a picnic table and the sites near us were not reserved. There were a few people in other camp sites further away, but it was nice to have the peace and quiet. We also went to Yellow Springs and Sunshine cafe was great for food. Definitely recommend this camp site.
We stayed at John Bryan so we hike the Clifton Gorge and we love the town of Yellow Springs. The campground was a pretty basic Ohio campground, but did boast a frisbee golf course and access to the trails right from the campground. The campground is surrounded by wood, but pretty bare otherwise. There was very little privacy and sites just seemed to be placed randomly in the field. The pit toilets were relatively clean, and the campground roads safe for kids to ride bikes. We stayed at site 64 which was probably about the most private site there. We did need to position are cars around us to get this. Once dusk hit the raccoons were unbelievable. They would come out of the wood and stare at us fearlessly. Despite packing up our food properly, they were all over our table and right up next to our tent scavenging for food as soon as we went in our tent. The camp host was out searching the woods because they stole some kids backpack during the night. The trails were cool, but very poorly marked. There were paper signs that had fallen off the trees and the maps proved difficult to use because there were so many unmarked side trails. Better trail markers would make a huge difference.
This was my first time camping at the park. Spacious lots with plenty of tree cover. The camp office attendees where very friendly and had a lot of recommendations. Although we weren’t there all that much, as we were fishing all day. Coming back to a nice camp was clutch. We will back soon.