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We stopped here on Thanksgiving on our way South. Self paying, off season was $15. But the restrooms were closed. There were only 3 other sides occupied. Nice little campground in the Appalachian Foothills. Be aware that Google maps doesn't send you to the campground but to a parking lot at the Lake (25 min detour). So make sure you follow the State Park signs.
Most of the sites at this state park campground are very small and don’t have much level ground. Even the sites meant for RVs and trailers are right on top of each other. It’s almost like they took what should have been one site and made it two. There’s a handful of sites that offer a little space and level ground for tent campers. You may or may not have a picnic table and fire ring with a grill at your campsite when you arrive. According to staff, people take the fire rings and I guess there’s nothing they can do. Bathrooms were clean. The lake view trail was nice and accessible from the campground.
We arrived late at night wishing we had better cell reception and a paper map of the National Forest. We were grateful to have the Dyrt's info downloaded on my chromebook. Even still, Wayne National Forest is a maze of public and private land. The Ironton Campground has been closed during 2020 as part of a water main line break. We initially tried the Hanging Rock OHV trailhead, but locals used that area for partying when we were there and it wasn't ideal to camp at the trailhead with about a dozen cars speeding along the gravel roads around midnight. We found the Sand Hill Trail head and pitched camp not too far from where we parked. The NF website says fires are allowed if you make a stone ring. We just skipped it. It is a very pretty area along Vesuvius Lake with trees and bluffs. We saw a ranger in the morning and he suggested next time we just camp at the horsecamp. The pins on the Dyrt's map were inaccurately located when we were using it with multiple entries. Next time I will purchase a paper map before I go because Wayne National Forest has alot of private lands interspersed and it is not all that clear without an official map. Hopefully the Dyrt will get better at hyper locating those lines.
Site 41 with a paved pad and electric. We were across from the shower house and bathrooms. The office is closed but a staff person was on site. Our site was perfect for us with trees on either side to help with shade. Across our site was also a big green space to walk our dogs. Not all the electric sites have shade especially if you are up top. The lower electric is much better however some of the sites hardly have a space for tents and would be better for a camper. Lots of places to hike and a lake to kayak or canoe. There’s a big playground for the kids as well. The tent only sites are a little less desirable as they are all downhill and mostly uneven. They have flush toilets and sinks but you’d have to come up to the main campground to shower. Pick your site wisely!
Several campsites are on a slope so this calls for being creative with placement of tent.
Firewood available for purchase on site. Lake Hope lodge provides great warm and dry spot for delicious food.
Several activities available, fishing available anywhere on the lake, kayak rental for $10 and good size lake.
Very clean pit toliets and running water available dispersed throughout the park. Several hiking trails, zaleski is nearby, hocking hills is 30 minutes away. Moonville tunnel and iron furnace in the area.
Visited Zaleski in the spring and encountered some muddy hills to climb up and down. Camp sites were further than expected as you would see a sign indicating camp areas. It took some adjusting, several forms of maps and learning curve of what they indicated, where and how they correlated to the trail. Not a simple just backpack and you'll get there, but really looking at your map and compass or if you're lucky all trails app if you have phone signal. Plenty of trees, flowers and nature to enjoy. If recent rainfall in the area be mindful of the mud. Beautiful trail And well worth the challenge here in Ohio.
Stayed over Labor Day Weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the site we got for booking only a week in advance! Would stay again!
- Many sites are quite sloped and slanted, but this cannot be determined by pictures online. With that said, all sites appeared to have a spot for at least 1 tent cleared away and the picnic table and fire ring in a secure location.
- Most sites only had room for one car parked at the site
- Clean pit style restrooms! With running water restrooms dispersed through the campground.
- Lake Hope was a good size for kayaking (and rentals were open and only ~$10 per person per hour for various boating devices).
- Fishing allowed anywhere!
- Cool hiking trails throughout to see caves, The Hope Furnace, and water features!
- Only ~30-40min from all the must see attractions of Hocking Hills and surrounding area!
- Camp Store with wood, ice, etc.
We took our 24 ft camper out to Lake Hope campgrounds and enjoyed ourselves. Few things to consider, no water hookup but there are water spigots scattered around. Also not sewer but there's a dump station near the front gate. Almost all the camping lots are slanted and short in depth so be aware of that. It took quite a while to get our camper "leveled" but even then it wasn't entirely level. It is a drive to about everything in the park, minus a couple trails depending on your campsite location. Otherwise it's a great place to enjoy, a short drive to Hocking Hills and the small towns around the area are nice.