Let’s go camping. And why not, it’s America’s favorite vacation. Sleep under the stars, roast marshmallows, have story time by the campfire and go fishing – what more could you ask for?
Well, these days there is more to camping than meets the eye. In modern day 2017, it’s not uncommon to wake up to bacon and hashtags instead of bacon and hash browns at your campsite.
Today’s campgrounds have something for everyone. You can enjoy anything from free high-speed WiFi by the campfire to a friendly slow-paced game of shuffleboard.
Believe it or not, there are over 500 privately-owned campgrounds throughout Ohio, many with amenities ranging from sandy white swimming beaches to go-kart rentals and high-tech game rooms. There are many privately operated campgrounds in the nearby area also.
An overlooked category of camping though, is the state park campground. Logan, Champaign and other surrounding counties have numerous Ohio state parks that offer first-class camping opportunities with tons of amenities and fun stuff to do.
Indian Lake State Park Campground, for example, has nearly 500 campsites, a swim beach, large camp store, a new dog park, amphitheater, large commissary, free WiFi boat camping, cabins and a brand new swimming pool.
Indian Lake State Park Campground is actually the largest and most frequently visited state park campground in the entire state park system.
At nearby Buck Creek State Park, you can rent a cabin overlooking beautiful C.J. Brown Reservoir. Watch a movie at the outdoor amphitheater or play disc golf and even learn about plants and animals from the naturalist at the nature center. Take a swim in the crystal clear waters at the campground beach and grab a burger at the marina restaurant afterwards. Buck Creek has 89 electric campsites.
At Kiser Lake, rent one of the cool little camper cabins or pitch a tent in one of there 69 non-electric sites or power-up in one of their 10 electric sites. There are many nice hiking trails at Kiser Lake. Check out the Lakeview Trail. This campground has a outdoor amphitheater also.
Just north of Piqua at Lake Loramine State Park, you can spend a sunny Saturday swimming and lounging on their sandy beach. The campground has over 150 electric campsites, free WiFi, mini-golf, cabins and more.
If you like hiking, head to John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs. The are over 20 miles of some of the best hiking trails in the entire Midwest. The park also offers mountain biking trails. The campground has over 60 campsites and a day lodge available for rentals.
Boaters should head to Caesar Creek State Park near Waynesville, Ohio. The lake just recently built a large multi-million dollar 124 dock “Harbormaster” state-of-the-art marina with retail areas and concessions. The campground has 283 electric sites and an equestrian camp.
If you like exploring lighthouses, head up to Grand Lake St Mary’s State Park, they have three of them. The campground features over 180 campsites, cabins, mini golf, bike rental, a new dog park and much more.
For the ultimate local “Daytona Beach” experience, head to Alum Creek State Park near Columbus. This beach is 3,000 feet long – the largest inland beach in Ohio – and draws crowds in the thousands on the weekends. The campground has 286 sites, disc golf, mini-golf, playgrounds and much more.
For more information on Ohio’s state park campgrounds go to http://www.parks.ohio.dnr.gov.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.