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Old 06-08-2020, 12:50 PM   #1
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Ohio State Parks / what to expect this summer.

The official / un-official opening to camping in the Ohio State Parks was the 22nd of May. But unless you had a old reservation, the new reservations took effect June first. According to Ohio, only people who actually reserved a site beforehand can camp. Not sure what happens to the ones who arrive without reservations. Was told when I called that even if they had 200 sites available midweek you had to go elsewhere.

I went ahead and made three midweek reservations. Calling to make those reservations the introductory message was very few bathrooms would be open, and even less shower buildings. The park Iím at now ( Sunday thru Friday morning ) the one shower building is open all week, but the other one for the non-Electric side of the campground is only open Friday till Sunday at 1:00.

Arriving on Sunday and until Monday at noon, the open shower building had not been cleaned ( plugged toilets, trash on floor, no TP.....). I told 3 different park employees there was no TP, all 3 said ďsomeoneĒ else would get to it later today. I understand the weekend, the campground was full. During the midweek now itís about 1/2 full on the electric sites, 100% on the full service sites and 15% full on the non-electric sites.

Playgrounds are fenced off. The office, store and nature center are still in winter hibernation. I ran into a bunch of first time campers both in tents and new RVís.
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:25 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report, Jim. When I think about it, very few of our state park campground restrooms were kept clean (clean enough for me to use anyway) & even with instructions on what they're supposed to do now, I don't see it improving. Being self-contained is a good thing.

With public facilities limited (if not closed), I'll bet a FHU site is scarce as hen's teeth.

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Old 08-24-2020, 11:27 PM   #3
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After 4 stays at Ohio State Parks, the one thing I have seen different than the state parks of PA. and NY we stayed at this summer is:

Ohio keeps many of their bathrooms closed. I have no idea why they would want to pack more campers into fewer washrooms. Findley State Park, the campground was 3/4 full during the week. The shower house for the 150 non electric sites was "closed" from noon on Sunday to 6pm the following Friday. There were maybe 50, mostly tent campers in that section during the week. So they either had a long walk to the electric loop to do their business, or do it in the woods. I guess "doing it in the woods" is social distancing.

Last week we stayed 2 nights at Geneva State Park. Park was full all week. One shower building open, but both restrooms closed for the season.
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:20 PM   #4
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We were at Grand Lake St. Marys the end of July. I, too, noticed they didn't open the bathhouses except for the weekends. Playgrounds were roped off but it didn't stop the kids from getting on the swing sets or teeter-totters. The park was between 1/2 - 2/3 full on the weekdays, mostly with young families because kids hadn't started school yet.

I wonder if they'll have their Halloween weekend festivities come October?

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Old 05-05-2021, 08:33 AM   #5
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*Update* for state parks in the upper Midwest


If you didn't make a reservation for any "weekend" day at state parks in Ohio or PA. your going to be out of luck at the more popular state parks. Midweek you might be able to slip in a 3-4 days at those popular parks. Now the less visited, more rural parks, you will find weekend dates still available.

I think some people not fully knowing their vacation time for this summer and not wanting to miss out, are "over" reserving to lock in some dates. Maybe cancel those dates once they know their real vacation dates.

Case in point: Mohican State Park, Ohio's by far most popular park, when sites became available (6 months out) they were reserved within seconds. It took me 3-4 tries over a weeks time to reserve a site. Literally it was a matter of a second at 7:00:00am to reserve at 7:00:03 a site. By 7:00:30am all 20 sites available for that day of arrival were gone. I felt like I won the lottery.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:10 PM   #6
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Not a surprise. It's been increasingly difficult to get sites (especially ones we've already scoped out & want specifically) at OH state parks. Playing the reserve/cancel game has been a long held practice ever since sites became reservable.

Although currently RVless, I had already figured out that when I do get a new RV I'd be attempting to make reservations for Sun-Thurs or Mon-Thurs just to be able to get a spot.

I hope you & Robert managed to get many reservations made around the area. We do have great SP's.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:37 AM   #7
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We are out for our 3rd week sun thur fri. This year. We almost never camp on week ends in ohio, except with friends.

But we are finding weekends are harder around the nation.
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:58 AM   #8
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Just finished a 15 day Ohio State Park trip eastern side of the state. Our last stop was 6 nights at Jefferson State Park near Steubenville (June 15-21st). 55 sites, 5 are electric. One of the quietest campgrounds I ever stayed in. During the week there were only two RV's in the campground. The weekend 4 RV's.



Our next trip (July) to Southern Ohio, two of our stops still have plenty of weekend & weekday sites available (Pike Lake and Paint Creek State Parks). So the more "off the beaten" path campgrounds are available. Even the popular Hocking Hills has some midweek sites for mid Aug onward.
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Old 07-02-2021, 06:56 PM   #9
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We use to do a lot of walk-in no reservation during week days. This would save the reservation fees and we could pick the site we wanted. Covid changed that. Ohio loved the idea of every paying the reservation fees. I don't think we will ever see the walk-in again.
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