Ruby W.
Athens, OH
Joined June 2019
I like outside.
Didn’t See Any Snow

Lake Snowden is a great alternative to camping at Strouds. The lake is large and clean, with an awesome new “water park” opened during the summer. Great shelters, facilities, and optional bathrooms. Many of the sites are secluded in the woods, while others are more public RV sites. Awesome boating, fishing, and swimming activities nearby!

Neat “Cliff Jumping” Location

Many of my friends from Ohio recommended checking out Nelson Ledges for apparent “cliff jumping” and a music festival. Overall the site is gorgeous with cliffs, a large lake, an island, beaches, pavilions, and decent travel roads. The cliffs aren’t that high and partially man made with cement pebbles. The rock-face was kind of painful to sit on due to its artificial nature. The location was cool, but felt very regulated and sterile. A lot of the rocks are man made with cement.There are also tons of signs up saying “no cliff jumping”, so it was kind of odd that it is known as a cliff jumping location. Definitely a pretty location with some decent amenities for campers!

Averagely Kool Family Campground

My friends and I were going to a festival in the Northeast Ohio area. The festival camping was full, so we stayed at this location for a night. The sites are very affordable if split between little people. This very family orientated campground has a gravel road system connecting a ton of camp spots, RV locations, mobile homes, a playground, a swimming lake, and a even a fishing lake. The ground itself is huge, so kids can have fun and run around with other kids in nearby sections of the campgrounds. Overall there are a ton of amenities and very friendly staff. We told the office lady we would be back late at night, and she gave us a special passcode to the gate. That was super kind of her. The land isn’t particularly pretty and the campsite for tent camping are rather close together, but it’s a good location overall for RV’s. I wouldn’t recommend this location if you’re trying to enjoy nature, because sites are pretty close together and certainly not secluded. There are positives for tent campers including water taps, outlets, trash receptacles, bathrooms, and hot showers.

First to Review
Secret Athens Camping

A close friend lives near this little site. I’ve always wondered what it was like, so we decided to check it out to see if it would be a nice place to camp. It’s quite overgrown and unmaintained. Not many amenities, and is near residential housing, so overall not a great place to camp around Athens. Definitely a cool walk in the woods, however.

Swimming in History

Lake Hope State Park is a cute area nestled in the foothills of Ohio. With Zaleski right next door, there are a ton of cool things to do around the area. There’s a swimming, boating, camping, hiking, backpacking, and a ton of cool historical sites to see. I would recommend getting an Ohio Lizard Map to find some cool secret sites that most don’t get to find in the area.

Great Remote Lake Camping

My family and I used to visit Burr Oak occasionally when I was young. In regards to what to do, activities center around the large lake. There’s an awesome lake with hiking, backpacking, and other forms of water recreation. Wildcat Hollow is another awesome location that is not far away. Overall is a good location, but nothing extremely special. However, there are a lot of lodges and cabins nearby.

Gorgeous Water Views

Right across the street from our usual spot at the New, my friends stayed at this site with a couple other friends this week. They stayed in a group with their families, we swing by to get a view of the lake and hangout on the little shelter / play area. Great location for families, with good roads, and other amenities. Right by Summersville Dam, a gas station, local shops and restaurants, and many cool boating and recreation locations. Right before the dam there is a location you can camp in for free, but this would be a better location for kids and dogs to run around.

Free Camping with Amenities

Whenever we go and rock climb at New River Gorge on a budget, we stay at this free site. They have CLEAN bathrooms, water hookups, showers, tables, fire rings, and grills. Each time we’ve stayed at the site, we’ve met really cool climbers and families. Great place for the adventurous group on a budget, or a family that would like to fall asleep listening to a river. Very close to Summersville Lake, where there is a lot of boating, deep water soloing, and hiking.

Free Camping with Amenities

Whenever we go and rock climb at New River Gorge on a budget, we stay at this free site. They have CLEAN bathrooms, water hookups, showers, tables, fire rings, and grills. Each time we’ve stayed at the site, we’ve met really cool climbers and families. Great place for the adventurous group on a budget, or a family that would like to fall asleep listening to a river. Very close to Summersville Lake, where there is a lot of boating, deep water soloing, and hiking.

Ranger Review: Banner & Oak Firebiner at Zaleski South Loop

Campground Review: With a close friend coming to visit from Spain, I wanted to show her a cool backpacking location in Southeastern Ohio. Zaleski State Forest seemed like a good choice for a new backpacker. There are multiple loops to trek, averaging about 10 miles per loop. Overall the trails are well maintained (minus a few dense areas). There was almost an excessive amount of blazes. Campsites are plentiful along the trails. We stayed at Campsite C. Each site has access to communal well-water and a restroom. Each site usually has a small fire ring and logs to sit on. Overall, the campsites were pretty decent and secluded, but nothing special view wise aside from the typical Ohio forest. I would say pretty overall, but nothing quite outstanding.

Product Review: The Banner & Oak Firebiner is a neat little tool that has some really fun features! Most notable being the fire starter. The Firebiner uses a small spark wheel and replaceable ferro rod to create sparks. The sparks are pretty large for the little tool. I now use my Firebiner to start my MSR stove quickly and with zero plastic waste! I haven’t used it to try to start a straight up fire, but friends have successfully before. Most importantly, the spark wheel is just darn right fun to play with. The device has other little uses like a bottle opener, utility blade, and screwdriver. I absolutely love this device! Only complaint would be that I wish it came in different colors, but who really cares.

Here is a link to check out the Firebiner yourself: https://bannerandoak.com/products/banner-and-oak-firebiner?variant=9696793034788&currency=USD&gclid=CjwKCAjwnMTqBRAzEiwAEF3ndu9CmerLos5Y1yvjGHJ2L4FG732wg9bMpyPAJRa3m8dxlxffZ6Nt-RoC6LQQAvD_BwE

Amazing Cave Systems

My family has loved going to Old Mans Cave since I was a wee babe. The campsite and surrounding park have tons of awesome amenities including hiking trails, backpacking trails, swimming, established camp sites, remote campsites, and other hocking hills tourism activities. The campsites include a wide variety of secluded and non secluded locations to choose from, depending on your comfort sleeping around other campers.

Belle Isle

No great photos to represent how pretty this State Park is. I used to camp here often with my family between 2010-2012. The campsites are nice and remote. The facilities, roads, and shelters are well maintained. There is an awesome little store to buy supplies, bait, and rent kayaks. Belle Isle also has a cute little beach touching the Chesapeake. You can walk pretty far out and enjoy the warm water!

Great Location for New River Gorge Climbing

Good jumping off point to do some rock climbing at the New. Close to food, store, and other locations. Tons of stuff to do around the area!

Awesome Backpacking

Great location to earn some backpacking miles. Feels quite remote, but along the trails there are shelters, bathrooms, trash reciprocals, and other useful hookups. When camping and hiking here, you feel space and distance from other campers, with the perks of established facilities.

Pretty Grounds

Stonewall Jackson is very established. There are well maintained roads and facilities. Plenty of space and hookups for RVs. Not the most remote location. Wouldn’t recommend if you’re looking to get out into the great outdoors. You’ll likely see your neighbors and other RVs. Still a pretty view of the lake.

Bouldering-Pony-Mecca

Amazing views of the Appalachian Trail. Weaving in and out of the State Park, you’ll come across many wild ponies! They’re friends and nice. Make sure to tie up food. Great location to do some bouldering if you’re into that kind of thing.

Best Camping Near Athens

The go to camping location for Athens. Many campsites, trails, and amenities. Anything from boat rentals, a small store, and docks to use near the lake. Strouds also has a beach with a volley-ball net! All walking and biking distance from most of the cabins.

Great Secluded Location

Wildcat Hollow is a fantastic free camping and backpacking location. It’s quite secluded, has well established trails, and has a variety of remote campsites to choose from. There is a small shelter with bathrooms and other amenities, but not much else.