Offering campground reviews and advice for Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky

Alum Creek State Park

Alum Creek has a large and mostly flat campground. We were very disappointed with our campsite when we arrived. It was a ‘premium’ site (B32) which included long grass, sticker bushes and a firepit full of garbage. We stopped a ranger and asked for someone to come clean out the garbage and they did fairly quickly. We were still not happy about the long grass but they told us it couldn’t be cut when they had someone camping on it.

 

It had rained quite a bit before we camped here and most sites were very muddy. Many people had purchased straw to put down on their site just so they could walk around. Luckily, we did not have that problem.

 

Loop L (L14-L19) and Loop K (K15-K22) have nice sites with level pad and grassy areas. There is also a nice center area in the loop for kids to play. Loop M (M7-M13) is a nice private loop with trees between each site. Site J20 is a bigger, nice site. Road R also had some nice sites.

 

B37, B39 and B34 overlook the lake and without all of the mud they could be nice sites. Sites E4, E6 and E8 are the only full-hookup sites and they were pretty good sites.

 

There is a small nature center and campstore, along with a nice playground. The campground had its own small beach which was good enough for the kids when it was hot. The bathrooms here were clean and our campground ‘neighbors’ were very nice. The rangers were very nice and always driving around and waving to people.

 

The marina had a small restaurant, fully equipped store and pontoon boats available for rent. We also visited the Dam area which was very nice. There is a very pretty walking trail that takes you on top of the Dam. There are plenty of areas to fish and have a picnic. There were several new playground areas for the kids also.

Cedarbrook Campground

Located in  Lebanon, Ohio www.cedarbrookcampground.com 

We stayed on site 43. This is in the older part of the campground and the road is very narrow and gravel. These sites are ok, but smaller and somewhat hilly. On the plus side, it was a full hookup site if you are looking for that (see the map on their website for which sites are full hookup).  Great sites - 509 thru 515 are full hookup and pull thru sites. They are long, thin sites and we saw mostly RV's in these but they are across from a large grassy area and private. Sites 11 thru 13 were good private, flat sites that backed up to the woods. Across from these are 17-21 also fairly flat sites. Other sites that we would recommend - 73, 503, 505, 506, 507.

There is a tent only area, that is a very nice shaded area and spread out for privacy.  

There is a pool in the campground that is free, however it is a small pool and for as many campers as there were Labor Day weekend, it was extremely crowded. It was a very clean pool and felt great when it was hot out. 

There is a doggy playground area that is fenced in and you can let your dog run around leash-free within this area.

The row where we were camping was rugged and narrow, making it difficult for the kids to ride bikes. 

The campground employees were extremely friendly all weekend,  they offer delivery service of ice and firewood, have a great campground store with grocery items, movies and books you can borrow for free, local restaurant menus and much more. They also curb side garbage pickup at your site. The campground was very clean and quiet.  

Caesars Creek State Park

Sites 265 and 266 are great. They are large; all grass sites with trees for shade. They were also close to the lake (but not too close if you have little kids). We were able to take a little trail down to the lake to fish. These sites are in camping area 3, which does not allow pets. Camping Areas 1 and 2 do allow pets. Any sites towards the bottom of a loop look really nice.

There isn't a lot of traffic in the loops because the campground is so big. Bathrooms - especially the showers- were very dirty.

They have a nice large campground; however it is really far away from the nature center, dam and other activities (about a 15 minute drive).  We didn't see a camp store.

The park offers a nice nature center, hiking trails and dam. There is also a huge lake for boating and fishing.

Dayton Tall Timbers KOA

Dayton – Tall Timbers KOA was a wonderful campground! This is one of the cleanest campgrounds we have seen. The bath house was built in 2013 and it is amazing! Click here for pictures. There were plenty of activities to take part in during the weekend, and the employees were wonderful and joined in the fun. 

The pool was very clean but also crowded. We could not get chairs on Saturday, it seemed like people went early and put their towels down to save seats. 

There is a mix of pull thru and back in sites. The pull thru sites are mostly long and narrow. We had a great site on the end, 87. We would definitely stay on this site again. It’s a nice large site on the end of the road. Right across from the creek, which our kids loved to play in! 

Other sites that we would recommend are 110 and 111, 212 and 214, 225 and 226, 71, 74 and 64.  The campground is a mix of gravel and paved roads/sites. There were curves and turns that might be difficult for some lengths of campers so I would call the campground directly when booking. They were helpful when I called to book, and also when you arrive they lead you to your campsite.

Nice café, we saw several people get pizza from at night and the ice cream was delicious (a little expensive at $3 a scoop). 

We played putt putt, just a plain course – needs to be swept off, lots of leaves and brush, but only $2 a person. We were disappointed that they were going to charge us for a one year old to play. Really? We also rented bikes (carts?) that we all enjoyed. Just a few dollars for a half hour and that is plenty long to ride around. They rent golf carts, which are fun but in my opinion the camground isn’t big enough to need one to get around. They also only rent them by the hour (cannot keep overnight). We were in one of the furthest campsites from the pool and walked each day. 

We did gem mining, which we have never done. It was cute, they sell $5 bags of sand with hidden gems in the camp store, you take it out to the water (picture) and sift thru it to find the gems. The kids liked finding the different gems. There is a big pond (fishing yes, swimming no). Great place to fish! 

There are several nice gazebos in the park. One has a porch swing in it and the other has a full hot/cold sink and stove. This is a great idea for tent campers! We saw several people doing dishes and cooking here. It was also very clean. 

Overall, a well maintained park that we would enjoy visiting again! Make sure you look at their site and call about specifics of a campsite before booking and take extra $ for all the activities. 

Hocking Hills State Park

Sites 42, 44 and 46 are level, grassy sites that back up to the woods. They are within walking distance of the bathrooms and pool. The pool is available to campers only which is nice.

There is a fishing lake in the campground. The camp office and store is new and very nice. However - you cannot walk there from the campground. Once you pass the camp store, you have to drive up a pretty steep hill to get to the campsites.

There are very nice trails and hiking at Old Mans Cave. It is beautiful place to hike through the caves.  Most of the trails are family friendly. They also have a nice nature center right outside the campground.

Lake Snowden (Athens, Ohio)

 Lake Snowden is located just 5 miles from Ohio University. The park is owned and run by Hocking College. There are plenty of sites to rent nightly but also several areas for seasonal camping.

Like about this Park…
-Close to Ohio University Campus
-Nice Playground
-Park was clean and staff was friendly
-Bathrooms were clean
-Lake with a beach

Dislikes…
-Gravel (very dusty!)
-Never saw a park ranger or security. There were not any gates to keep people out after hours.
-Very close to highway (could hear cars throughout the night)
-College Forestry class working very close to our campsite during the day
-Sites were very old and run down. They could use a lot of upgrading.

The sites that we had were on a hill overlooking the lake (204/205). We had to do some leveling with the camper. Sites 98, 100 and 101 would be good group sites. Sites 108 and 110 are large, level sites.

Miami Whitewater (Hamilton County Park District)

Campsites 101-115 are well shaded sites but on a hill. Site 117 is a level site. Sites 123-127 back up to the playground. They are at the bottom of the hill and have level, grassy living areas.  Sites 127-131 are good group sites with a large living area between them. Site 128 is level and close to the playground. Sites 136, 144 and 146 are also level, grassy sites.

Most of the campground sits on a hill except for the bottom part. Its not a good place to take leisurely walks or have kids riding bikes. The only bathroom/shower house is located at the top of the hill. The camp store is located at the marina outside of the campground (not within walking distance).

The park does have a neat water-play area for kids.

The lake is stocked with Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Catfish, Bluegill and Carp. They have boat rentals at the marina. They rent paddle, row, motor and pontoon boats. All motor boats are small horse power only. The marina and camp store have minimal supplies. We forgot toothpaste once - they didn't carry it.

The park does have a nice 18 hole golf course that winds throughout the park, with a driving range, proshop and concession stand.

There is also a frisbee golf course, trails for horseback riding and a fitness trail (that is paved). You can ride or rent bikes and roller blades.

Natural Springs Resort (New Paris, OH)

 We stayed on Sites 198 and 199. These were great sites that back up to a corn field, however there wasn’t much shade. Sites 186 – 201 back up to a cornfield and were pretty large and private sites.  The entire campground is level and most sites have a gravel pad with a grass living area. There are full-hookup and some sites with water/electric. Sites A-G are very nice with a view of the lake. Sites H – Q and 92 – 95 were large and had a lot of living space between them. These would be good for a group.

I would not recommend sites 19 – 33. They do back up to the lake, however people hang out here to fish and cut thru these sites to get to the bridge and the playground/putt putt area. I also would not recommend 57-83. You back right up to the person behind you and there is almost no living area between you and your neighbor. The same can be said for sites 96-161.

They do allow seasonal camping. They said they only allow seasonal camping for up to 40% of the campground.

We really enjoyed our weekend here. When you arrive they give you a packet of information (bracelets to be worn by all campers, a list of activities going on for the weekend, park map, coupons for the campstore).

On Friday night, the trolley came around handing out free popsicles to the kids and we were able to get on and take a ride around the park. They rent golf carts and many campers had them so there wasn’t a lot of car traffic around the park (but there were a lot of golf carts). The putt-putt course was in good shape and we played for $1.50 each. The beach is a rock/sand beach but the water was very clean and clear. The pool is free but it did have a lot of sand in it from those going to and from the beach.

On Saturday and Sunday night they had a DJ/Band playing outside of the Lodge. They both played until 10:30pm so I would not recommend camping close to here if you plan on going to bed before then. We could not hear it from our sites in the back of the park. I don’t know if they typically have a band playing every weekend or just because we were there on a holiday.

They do have a gate that is closed at night and you are given a code to use if you have to leave between 11pm and 8am.

They are well known for Scuba diving and have a building where you can rent equipment on site. The water is very clear throughout the lake. They also rent paddle and row boats.

There is only one dump station in the park, however most sites are full hookup. We were there when the campground was full and didn’t have a problem.

This was a very family friendly campground with plenty to do. We will definitely be back!

Paint Creek State Park

This park is located in Hillsboro Ohio.
Campsites 73, 75 and 77 are good, flat, grassy sites. There are several trees on site for shade. They also back up to a small field. Sites 105 and 107 are mostly flat with a huge grassy area between them. There are also several trees for shade on these two sites. Sites 112 and 113 are deck sites that have a view of the lake. They are very small sites with almost no living area except for the deck. Site 116 is a level, grassy site that has a deck with a beautiful view of the lake. Sites 85, 87, 141 and 143 are good sites if you have a big group. They all back up to each other with a large grassy common area. It would be best to get all four sites in the group because they do share a living space. You wouldn't have much privacy if you just booked one of these sites. Site 129 is a private site with a small living area. Site 130 - This is not a good site. The pad is at the top of the site and the living area is at the bottom of a hill.

Paint Creek has a very nice but hilly campground. Sites 72-82 have very small dirt living areas. The sites mentioned above are the best we found based on how level they are and the type of living space. There are plenty of bathrooms throughout the campground and they are all very clean. They have an amphitheater where they show children's movies at 9pm on Saturdays. A nicely manicured putt-putt course is located next to the camp office/store. The camp store had a great selection of miscellaneous camping items, grocery and a nice ice cream parlor.

At the Paint Creek marina, pontoon and motor boats can be rented for a reasonable price. Unlimited horsepower boating is permitted on the lake. There was a decent swimming beach, visitor center and dam located in the park.

Winton Woods (Hamilton County Park District)

Campsites 8, 9 and 10 are level sites that back up to the woods and have large, grassy living spaces. They also sit across the street from the playground. Site 13F if a full-hookup site that backs to the woods and overlooks the lake. This site goes straight down into the lake so not a good site with little ones. This is the most private of the full-hookup sites. Sites 23 and 24 overlook the lake and have level, grassy living areas. There are trees on site for shade. They are also fairly private. Sites 36, 38 and 40 back up to a wooded area which is great if you have kids running around. These sites are also nice if you are reserving more than one site. The living area for these sites separately is fairly small. They are located several sites from the campground - good and bad. On a recent trip, kids were running around at the campground until after 11pm. Sites 12 and 13 - stay away from these sites. They are on a hill that goes straight down into the lake. People are constantly walking through these sites to fish at the lake. Sites in the back loop seclude you somewhat from the high traffic area.

They have a brand new camp store with plenty of camping items for sale, along with an ice cream parlor and pizza. They will deliver ice, firewood and pizza to your site. There is a new secure entrance with two security cards per site. This is the only way a car can enter the campground. Visitors are required to park at the camp office for $3. We have noticed less traffic this year due to the security entrance.

Campground staff could be a little friendlier. There is only one bathroom/shower house for the entire campground. We haven't noticed that to be a problem; however it can be quite a walk from the back sites.

The park does have a play-water area for kids and there is a paved trail for biking/walking. They also rent pontoon/paddle boats at the marina.

2010 - We have visited Winton Woods twice already this year.  We really enjoyed site 15F/16F in the full-hookup sites. There are trees for shade on site and the pad and living areas are level. We do like the gates they have installed, as we can tell there is less traffic from locals -HOWEVER- there were three emergencies (believe it or not) in the two times we have been there this year and the ambulances have been waiting at the gate to get into the campground. Hopefully they get this issue resolved. The staff this year is much friendlier and we hear the pizza they deliver from the camp store is very good.