On a quiet back road and across an old fieldstone bridge lies West Hill Park, where the West River widens to form a large, natural pool. The park and its many services and activities, including a swimming beach, accessible playground, nature trails and calm, clean water, attract visitors of all ages. Three group shelters, one near the dam, are ideal facilities for hosting graduation parties, family reunions and church or other organization events. The recreation area can be reserved during summer, though guests are invited to walk or cross-country ski during daylight hours at other times of year. Natural Features: The West River winds through some 567 acres of white pine and red oak forest, broken up by rolling meadows. Red maple swamps and several bogs fill the lowlands while three small brooks feed the river. Woods, fields, wetlands and streams provide habitat for both resident and migratory wildlife. Red fox, raccoon, deer and an occasional coyote find protection in the woods. Open fields attract rabbits, mice, butterflies, hawks and owls. Streams and wetlands are home to fish, spring peepers, box turtles and great blue herons, among others. The diverse habitat makes the one of the finest birding areas with 200 species sited annually. Spring and fall migrations bring the greatest diversity of species. Spring and summer also yields excellent wildflower viewing. Recreation: Visitors can attend nature programs given by park rangers. Families of all ages can enjoy swimming in a small natural pool, as well as picnic, hike, bike and play. About 2 miles of hiking trails meander through the woodlands and provide secluded views of the river. Seasonal hunting and fishing are popular at the lake. Anglers find trout in the main river channel and bass, pickerel and horned pout in the pools. Hunting for deer, small game and upland birds is permitted in accordance with state laws. The park hosts several special events annually, including the Family Fishing Fair in June and the volunteer-based National Public Lands Day in September. Facilities: The park is an attractive facility that offers two sandy swimming beaches, nearly 5 miles of nature, mountain biking and hiking trails, a sand volleyball court, an accessible playground, a change house by the beach, bathrooms with flush toilets, grills and picnic areas. Three picnic shelters are available for groups of up to 30 or 100 people. Two shelters are in the park and the other is near the dam.
A review I forgot to post! We usually camp at Hocking Hills State Park each Thanksgiving and 2019 was no exception. We had site #80 which is the electric site on the end of the old camper cabins. It has more green space (when it's not muddy) and is close to the bathrooms. It is also across from the three new camper cabins. Besides being a wet and cold Thanksgiving, the park is still a great place to visit. The restrooms have flush toilets and showers. It's a good size, but can get pretty messy during their busy season. They also have a washer and dryer (one of each). The campground is big enough to walk and if you want to venture into the trails you can go past the swimming pool and towards group camp. When you get down the hill you arrive at Rose Lake and take the trail from there. Now with COVID-19 they are routing the trail system to be one way (I think). The campground is currently closed, but was scheduled to open in July. The best time to go in my opinion is in the fall in the middle of the week… you miss the crowds and get to see the changing leaves.
Hocking Hills State Park and campground are the perfect spot for families looking for a quick getaway! The campground is clean and well laid out, with sites that feel pretty comfortable.
Hiking through Hocking Hills (a 5 min walk from most camping sites) is also the perfect mix of challenge / reward for the little ones. There's plenty to see and keep them interested. My advice: Plan on a full-half day with a picnic lunch along the trail.
Driving time: Columbus = 1h, Cincinnati = 2.5h, Cleveland = 3.3h
Quick Tip: Check out neighboring attractions in the area. We went gem mining and the kids had a blast!
Campsites where big and level, but didn't have much privacy. The bathrooms were clean and well kept. The trails where well-marked, they had maps at every junction so you didn't need a paper copy. However, what I didn't like about the trails was that you never felt like you were away from everything, most of the trails seemed like they were right next to the visitor's center, and the newer metal bridges took away from the landscape.
Hocking Hills State Park, Oh-Site 89. https://thehockinghills.org/
Hocking Hills State Park offers close proximity to most of the popular natural attractions…Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, etc….but for a tent camper that prefers solitude and space, I found it unappealing.
I did arrive late on a Monday evening, mid-October and got one of the last available sites. Packed on a Monday night!
I found the camping sites a bit cramped both in depth and width. Site 89 and 90 shared the same parking pad. Limited flat locations existed for a tent and my tent footprint is fairly small. You do have a firepit and picnic table with all three in fairly close proximity, so you must be extremely cautious with wind direction when deciding for a fire, else you’ll have embers dotting your tent and picnic table. Even though the neighbors were trying to be respectfully quiet…you heard every conversation and saw their every move.
No electric, which is fine in my book…the water spigot is centrally located on the loop and happened to be next to my site.
The restroom/shower facilities were not well cared for upon my visit. The floors were very muddy and trash was piled up in the corner of one stall and out of necessities.
Construction and dump truck noise started early with a project behind the restrooms.
The visitor’s center was well-stocked and the employee was pleasant. Cell service is unavailable and even sketchy at the visitor’s center. Wood can be purchased at the visitor’s center.
Close proximity to local attractions and a swimming pool are likely the big draw.
Knowing that I prefer solitude and distance when camping, I’ll likely not return but choose nearby Lake Hope State Park for my local visits.
We took our family vacation at the end of July to Hocking Hills State Park. The campsite was amazing and we really enjoyed being there. We absolutely will be returning next year. The hiking trails were amazing and my family really enjoyed the hikes.
This state park was so amazingly beautiful to me. It was completely unexpected. This campground is basically in walking distance to the old mans cave trail head. This hike is a must and is not strenuous whatsoever. The campground had a pool (closed while I was there) and had nice showers/full bathrooms. Ash cave is another hike in the area that was beautiful.
I've been camping here since the late 80's and it has been the best place for camping I've ever been. Now when I say that I'm talking about the camping only, because that's what I come to this website for, is actual campground reviews not park reviews. The amenities are very good for being constructed in the late 80's or early 90's. The showers are very good they even have heated floors for the winter. Their is many water fountains and water spigots. Their is two playgrounds for children. One is a very old swing set the other is more updated. Their is a trail on each end of the campground that leads to Rose lake, which I did catch a bass at by the way. The campsite does have volunteer's that keep the bathrooms and campsites maintained. The campground entrance is nice with a decent store with fire wood' ice and camping essentials and as you would imagine it is a little over priced. Now be prepared for the Racoons they're pretty bad ass, they WILL get into your things at night so please put anything food related in your vehicle. I have camped all over the united states and this is by far one of the best campsites in America. I'm a tent camper so I recommend spots 140, 141, 161, and 162 these sites are the most spacious. Enjoy this awesome campground everybody.
We stayed on an electric site with tents and we were impressed with how clean and organized the camping areas are. The shower houses were well maintained, though some of the restrooms are aging. The maps/photos do not do justice to the terrain. Like the trails, be prepared to be on a hill, as most sites sit on the hillside. But with easy access to the hiking trails, a fishing lake, and several swing sets for our son, we will absolutely be returning next year.
I get asked "where should we go camping or hiking in the Midwest?" Hocking Hills State Park is always my go-to answer.
It has a ton of different terrains, it's easily accessible from Columbus, OH, and has great hiking opportunities.
This particular campground is amazing because it's located nicely to many hiking trails but far away that you aren't overly crowded so you still get the feeling that you're in nature.
I've been here a ton growing up in the horse campground area, but most recently was there for tent camping. We were surrounded mostly by RVs, but we fit in quite nicely into our site.
The sites were nicely spaced out and the hiking trails were all nearby.
Clean, located right on Old Mans Caves. Friendly staff.