Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Tar Hollow State Park
$4.00 - $27.00
Drive In
Boat In
ADA Accessible
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Tar Hollow State Park is located in Ohio
39.383 N
-82.746 W
Get Directions
16396 Tar Hollow Road, Laurelville, OH 43135
13 Reviews of Tar Hollow State Park
Memorial Weekend 2020

After being cooped up, we (3 young adults) decided to get out and decided on this campground that was new to all of us. The campground was very low key and made for an easy going weekend! We weren’t too keen on most of the parks amenities, but enjoyed just sitting around the fire the whole time. Pros: -staff was cleaning common areas (bathroom and showers) either once or twice a day -campsite 12 was incredible space and had an added bonus of a deck structure over the creek

Other notes: -WiFi available, but only right by the main office/general store -no service for AT&T or Verizon -Fire tower not accessible -Lake tested high for a bacteria and swimming is not recommended

Corona Virus Notes: -only Ice and Firewood available for purchase at General Store -putt putt, boat and bike rentals, and game box rentals not available -nearby Hocking Hills trails were closed

State Forest Camping

Beautiful, secluded group camping. Shelter and pit bathrooms. Wide open space for lots of campers. Nice access to trails.

Loved it for tent camping

Great camping experience! Waited too late to book in hocking hills state park but found a site here instead. We are tent campers and stayed in site 106 on"Northridge". Loved that the non-electric tent sites were so isolated from the RV campers. Site 107 gets muddy with a lot of rain. Sites 108-112 have a pretty significant slope. Each site in the loop has a picnic table and fire ring. There's a dumpster, pit toilets, and water. It was a short drive to the rest of the campers, a great hot shower, fantastic general store, miniature golf, and the beach to swim or lake to kayak. Took us at least 30 minutes to drive to the common hocking hills hikes but well worth it. We would return.

Great off season!

We went to Tar Hollow state Park campground on April 11,2019 and it was as quiet as can be!! Not one camper by us. Perfect spot lot 71, it has plenty of room for a couple tents or pop up and tents and still have room for 2-3 cars. But this is probably the only campsite you can do that in. The rest are tight and with little to no space. Lots 1-27, I would say are for campers, RVs etc very little to no space for tents. Lots 67-70 I would say are for tents. Tight road getting in and out. Lot 71 I would say is for both tents and campers. Behind lot 71 is woods so you can do off trail hiking. Be ready for a climb but it’s pretty. There’s a playground for the kids and a wooden swing for the parents to sit and watch there kids. The bathrooms down on this site are pit toilets but the bathrooms by lots 1-27 have flushing toilets and that is where the shower house is located. I don’t recommend lots 32-37 because from what can see you have to drive through the grass to get to them. Lots 30-31A would be nice it you have kids (not toddlers) because there’s a small stream to play in and on the other side of the stream is the playground. The stream is only like 3 ft wide so easy for kids to cross but yet parent can sit at campsite and watch kids at playground. Staff was nice but rarely saw a ranger. General store did say they just opened today. I would probably never come here when it is busy. I would have no idea how everyone would drive by each other roads are not wide and some campsites have little space to park. But for as of now - beginning of season its great! There is a small beach that we didn’t go to and a movie screen that we didn’t go to nor know if they use. The store staff said there is fish in the lake. Naturally breed not stocked.

Out of the Way Campgrounds

Very open campgrounds. Not a lot of family amenities. Great hiking trails for every level.

Tiny lots, terrible toilet smell

I can see how this state park appeals to families- there is putt putt, a cute general store, an outdoor movie screen, a small beach and paddle boats. But if you don't have kids, I'd find a better place to camp. 

The campground sites are tiny and all squished together. I had a literal 9-foot rectangle of grass, right up against RVs on both sides. It didn't help that the families, who were mere feet away from me the whole time, spent the weekend screaming at their kids and dogs (four dogs with one family. Four. Why aren't there rules about that?) and later beating their dogs. Yep. I got to see dog beating all weekend long. That's the kind of clientele this park seems to attract. 

The trails didn't seem that great- barely marked, going through a dense forest, with not much to see besides the trees themselves. The "lake" is really a pond, or an extremely small lake. The swimming was decent but the bottom is quite slimy- bring water shoes if you want to swim. 

Also, my campsite was literally 10 yards away from a disgusting pit toilet that reeked the entire time. Why do they put campsites right up against sewer pits? I had to breathe in feces fumes all weekend long, and I doubt that is healthy. 

The shower was hot, I'll give them that. I will not return to this park. I called the reservation agency to tell them about my experience but they did not get back to me.

Nice little campground and lake

Tar hollow state park is a nice place to be away from it all and enjoy some camping time with family.

Great, primitive camping

We have been camping at Tar Hollow for years. Sites 32-37 are huge and flat and near the playground so great for families (therefore avoid if you want peace and quiet!). Sites 38-40 and 64-66 are the most idyllic (completely shaded, quiet yet accessible). The non-electric sites feel really remote. There is a weird generator hum at night but you sort of ignore it after a while. 93-96 are the best non electric sites as they are right against water and under the trees. The primitive restrooms often have bees and wasps and mosquitoes so take care. The showers are reliable and I have always had hot water. There is absolutely no cell service excoet if you hike up to the fire tower. we go back, year after year after year. Fav park for camping and hiking in Ohio!!!

Remote and peaceful

Tar Hollow State Park sits adjacent to the State Forest, in a similar setup to Scioto Trail and Lake Hope. It is pretty remote (no cell phone coverage at even the top of the hills), and really is a chance to 'get away' from the modern life. All sorts of camping is covered: RVing, trailer camping, and tent camping at electric sites, and primitive tent camping at several locations. Most of the camping is down in the valley, upstream from the lake. There is a camping area (and large paved lot) just below the dam (during this trip we saw a Boy Scout Troop with a school bus parked down there, so for those looking a for a group camping experience with a heavy vehicle that's an area to consider). This lower dam lot sits on the access trail to the main Logan Trail loop (for those wanting some serious distance hiking).

When we go, we tent camp with no electricity, so this review will focus on that style. The primitive camping is at the North Ridge campsite at the top of the hill to the north of the lake. There is a single gravel parking lot here, and you are carrying your gear in at most 100 yards, up hill, to the farthest spot. It is the crest of the hill, so the different spots have different amounts of slope. Pay attention to the descriptions in the reservation website if you're not prepared for this. The whole site is one large cleared oval, with a large grassy area (well mown) at the crest. There is room for the kids (or dog) to run around in circles, but you'll want to watch the thrown ball. It is really, really quiet. We could not hear anyone at the park down below. If you're lucky and have no clouds, there is virtually no light pollution and you can see the Milky Way. You are not within walking distance of the main park or trails, so plan on driving down to the main park or to the trail head you intend to use. There is water (drinking fountain and spigot) and his/hers pit toilets with antibacterial soap (you know the brand name).

Activities: it is a state park, so there are some things aimed at kids and there were lots of kids this past week running around looking busy and happy (even the teenagers). The lake has a sand beach and designated swim area. It is blocked off from the rest of the lake by a wooden dock from which you are able to shallow dive (it's only seven or eight feet deep). Swim at your own risk. There are peddle boats to rent (two drivers, two passengers). We rented canoes, but there is also a rowboat and several kayaks. The main lake is large enough that an hour's rental is just fine for your canoe time. Separately there is a boat launch, and a fishing dock. There is a small two-room nature center, and there is a naturalist who conducts several activities. In past years we've been able to spend an hour or so at the nature rooms, and then let the kids go off with the naturalist on an hour+ guided hike down the creek to explore for wildlife and plants. Call the camp store to get information on that. The camp store is friendly and welcoming, with a small selection of mementos (magnets, hiking sticks), a few nature-themed toys, last-minute forgets (duct tape, popcorn, table cloth and the like) and ice cream. The front porch has a swing and rocking chairs, and will definitely block a heavy thunderstorm for you. There is miniature golf, but don't expect a major chain's high quality production--this is a state park. There is a foosball table and air hockey as well in a separate game room. The park is well looked after, and the staff are friendly and helpful--everyone knows why they are there.

For committed outdoors people, it is a good base from which to explore Hocking Hills (25 minutes away) and the Tar Hollow State Forest trails. You're near the Buckeye Trail (accessed from the trail below the dam, 1.5 miles up to the Fire Tower), and the Logan Trail loop in the state forest. For the family looking to get away for a day or two, there is much to do so long as you aren't expecting a resort. And to get the kids off the electronics…oh, sorry, there's no cell phone access at all. Just listen for the hawks, the tree frogs, and the rest of nature.

Group Camping

This was such a great place to book a group site. The shelter was perfect for group lunch/dinner area and a nice place to put gear that we didn't want to get wet. The site is far away from other campers and so peaceful. There was 2 outhouses close enough to walk but not so close you could smell them. The campground has a nice clean lake, nature room, bike rentals, paddle boat rentals, putt putt golf course and a movie stand. Great place to stay.