Summer is in full swing in Ohio and that means many are getting outdoors and some are even planning to visit one of the Buckeye State Parks.
And the easiest way to make sure is to make a reservation.
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There are 75 state parks in Ohio, and you can reserve campsites, day passes, or other types of rentals at reserveohio.com. Reservations can be made early, but if you wanted to spend the 4th of July weekend in popular spots like Indian Lake Lakeview, Ohio, you’re out of luck. The park’s 451 campsites are all occupied this weekend.
Here’s what you need to know about booking a campsite at one of Ohio’s state parks.
How to Make Ohio State Park Reservations
You will be prompted to create an account and then you can filter the park, dates and type of reservation you are looking for, which can be accommodation, boat, campsite or others depending on the park.
If the park you are trying to book is not available, the system will show you options for the next closest park.
Do you need a reservation to stay at an Ohio State Park?
If you are camping, yes. Reservations will be required to reserve a campsite. But day passes can be purchased at the park.
How much is a reservation for Ohio State Park?
Prices for Ohio state parks vary by park. Some parks have free campsites. Some parks, like Salt Fork State Park, can cost up to $29 plus a $6.50 reservation fee.
How far in advance can you make reservations for Ohio State Park?
Reservations can be made six months in advance.
Can you drink beer in an Ohio state park?
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in public areas of all state parks. State park resorts allow alcohol.
Can I bring my dog to an Ohio State Park?
Yes. According to the website for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which manages the parks, pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length. Proof of rabies vaccination and physical descriptions are required upon request.
Some parks have designated dog areas that also include swimming areas for your pet.
Check with your state park lodging resort for their “pet friendly” status.
You can fish in an Ohio state park
But you need an Ohio fishing license if you are over 16. Non-residents can opt for a tourist permit rather than buying a permit for the whole year.
Yes you can bring your boat to an Ohio State Park
Boating is permitted on lakes, rivers, and streams in Ohio State Park. Some parks have restrictions on motors, but kayaks and canoes or any other paddle craft are permitted in all parks.
According to the Ohio DNR website:
Boats must be legally registered. If you are coming from another state with your boat, the boat must be legally registered according to the laws of your state. If your state does not require registration (for your canoe or kayak, for example), you must have proof of out-of-state residency.
Ohio state parks allow hunting
Here is what the website says:
Many state parks allow upland game hunting, as well as trapping and hunting waterfowl in designated hunting areas during legal open seasons. Many parks are adjacent to state forests or state wildlife reserves, which also allow hunting. A valid Ohio hunting license and all relevant permits or stamps are required. Hunting maps are displayed in each park.
What’s Not Allowed in an Ohio State Park?
Here’s what’s prohibited in an Ohio state park:
- MTB and APV
- Collecting firewood and using chainsaws Also: Do not bring your own firewood*
- Rafts, pool toys in bathing areas
*According to the site: “The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Agriculture are trying to stop the spread of invasive species and would prefer that you get your firewood locally. Firewood is offered for sale at most Ohio state parks or otherwise available from local private vendors near each park.”
What permits are required for a visit to Ohio State Park?
A permit is required for geocaching, a popular GPS activity. But you need a permit which can be purchased from the Ohio DNR website.
Events like weddings and marathons require a permit, as do activities that require research like collecting specimens.
If you want to hold a fishing tournament in an Ohio state park, you need a permit.
What is the largest state park in Ohio?
Salt Fork State Park is Ohio’s largest park with 17,000 recreational acres. It is located in Guernsey County near Cambridge, Ohio.