UPDATED NOV 25, 2019
Northern Ohio is filled with campsites ranging from spots for luxury campers to primitive backpackers. So grab a tent (and plenty of bug spray), load up the car, and hit the road for these memorable campsites.
Most people aren’t aware that you can camp inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but we’re here to fill you in — you absolutely can, and it’s awesome. There are five distinct campsites along the Towpath that can be reserved until late October. And while you’re camping, you’ll get to appreciate the winding rivers where you can kayak or explore the natural canals. With 125 miles of trails and waterfalls, it’s practically a camper’s paradise.
Located right in Newbury Township, Punderson State Park and its 741 acres are a quaint and family-friendly place to get to know nature on a whole new level. Hike one of the seven trails, take a dip in the lake, or try out some disc golf. Punderson is known for their “big pond” (as they call it), so bring a hammock to enjoy some time in and around the water.
Fun fact: Cedar Point is more than just a theme park — it's also a campground. Sure, it’s a little more urban than your typical forest-y campground, but it’s a campsite nonetheless. Lighthouse Point is a great spot to park your RV, but they also have cabins, cottages, and even "deluxe cabins" that can hold up to 10 fun-loving campers. The cottages and cabins are all lakefront, giving you the ‘outdoorsy’ camping feel. Make you sure you call in advance to reserve your spot, though!
Finding a place to camp that has activities, trails, and fun in the water is kind of tough to do in the Northeast Ohio area. But just 40 minutes south of the city, you'll find Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve. Here, you can camp among swamps, marshlands, and 15 acres of Mother Earth’s prime real estate. Tinker’s Creek is known for their wetlands, so be sure to bring a fishing pole!
Okay, so Lakeside might be almost an hour and a half away from Cleveland, but it’s a solid getaway for the novice camper. From May to October, amateur wilderness scouts can pitch a tent, light a fire, cook some hot dogs, and fall asleep to the sound of crickets. Jump in the lake, go fishing, take to the trails, and dive into everything this campsite has to offer.
Grab the hot dogs and maybe a couple of cold ones, and head over to Streetsboro to camp out at Woodside Lake Park. This 100-acre campground has enough space for all — so don’t worry about being too close to the next neighborhood camper. This campsite has all the trails you can imagine, along with biking, paddle boarding, fishing, and a whole lot of outdoor fun. Set up shop by the lake, light a fire, and get those campfire stories ready.
While the American Wilderness Campground is well-suited for RV-lovers, they also have primitive campsites you can rent where you won’t be surrounded by neighbors. With trails, pavilions, beaches, and water, this campground can pretty much meet everyone’s needs, from the true wilderness-lover to those who just like a day in the woods.
Spending time outdoors has never been easier than a getaway at Roundup Lake Campground. If you have that one friend who hates bugs and can’t live without technology, this modern campsite meets them in the middle. Just 45 minutes from downtown, campers can swim in the spring-fed lake, go kayaking, and even rent rowboats. But if water isn’t your thing, there are over 350 campsites and nightly bonfires.