Hocking Hills Campgrounds in Ohio
Hey everyone, I was wondering if anybody knew of any horse campgrounds in Hocking Hills, Ohio. We have gone to the state campground and we like it but it is a first come, first serve basis and primitive which can be an issue because I bring my dog with me and I don't want him to get to hot in the trailer while I'm out riding since I can't leave the generator running. There is this place that is almost across from the state campgrounds but I have no idea what its name is but I have heard about it and that it books up fast. Someone said it was called Cowboy J's or something like that. Thanks for all your help!
I looooove Hocking Hills! :)
Try the campground called Three Reasons. We camped there last Easter - well-kept, nice stalls, electric hookup, water, and good trail access. Close to Airplane Rock, so it's not a far ride to get to the rappelling area/Tabletop Rock, Conkles Hollow, Rock House, Old Man's Cave, Artesian Well, and other popular sites.
They also have a cabin (maybe two) that can be rented right at the camping area, and I think a bathroom/shower house as well. Our trailer has a toilet and shower and I never went into the campground's facilities to see how it looked, but I never heard any of the other campers complain about it.
According to some reviews, the owner of the place is notorious for being difficult to get in touch with for checking in and out. That wasn't my experience - she didn't come around visiting all the sites like some campground owners, but she wasn't unfriendly.
I've heard about the place near the state campground - some friends camped there last year. Some said it was "okay," some were not so thrilled. Apparently there were problems with the electric hookups and they kept losing power.
There used to be a place called Palmerosa but I think it closed now - that's where I stayed the first time I camped there with horses. They had a lot of "year-round" site renters who took most of the better sites, built porches and corrals and things for themselves. The other sites were just kind of "wherever you can park near an outlet."
Enjoy your time there - I've been to places with MORE riding (as far as trails/miles) but IMO it's hard to find a prettier place than Hocking Hills. Reminds me a lot of Shawnee, IL but on a smaller scale (and a shorter drive).:-)
Hocking Hills is my absolute favorite place to go because it is so beautiful. My favorite place to ride to is 21 Horse Cave. Shawnee, IL was beautiful as well and I would love to go there again! Its just a matter of me finding a good campground because the last campground I went to called Bear branch or something like that was terrible. The sites are super close together and the tie ups for horses were very muddy and had these rather large rocks all around.
A place you might like if you love scenic views is Deam Lake, IN. It has a good amount of trails, not a whole lot, but it has this amazing view on one of the trails going to Top of the Rock. Another good place is East Fork, TN. It is quite the drive but well worth it! It seemed like after every 10 minutes of riding there would be a new, beautiful scenic view.
Thanks for all your help! :-)
We're planning a trip to Big South Fork this year and will likely stay at Bandy this time.
I've heard about Deam Lake from some other people as well. . .the Indiana parks really know how to take care of their riders! Brown County, IN is also beautiful - big campground, good riding for a long weekend. It's fun to be able to ride to Story, or that little tack shop/restaurant where you can tie up your horse and go have an ice cream (or a beer).:lol:
The little park in Liberty, IN is a nice ride - short, but we often get there early, ride the loop in one direction, stop back at the trailer for lunch, then ride the loop in the opposite direction. . .making a side-loop through the horseman's camp each time just for the fun of it.
I have heard some very positive things about the place called Elkins Creek in Ohio. We plan to check it out this year as well. I'm closest to East Fork State Park, but the trails in that park are such a muddy mess most of the time that we often trailer to Paint Creek, Shawnee, or Caesar's Creek for the day ride.
If I hear of any other places at Hocking, I will post again. There's one other stable in that area that offers camping, but I don't think they actually have trail access so you'd have to trailer to a trailhead every day. :-|
Liberty, IN is also a fun place to ride, even though it is just one giant loop :-P For me it is a great place to get my horse in shape for the riding season!
I actually went to Elkin Creek last year and it was ok. There are a ton of sites and stalls for the horses but one issue that was kind of big to me was the issue with water. When we first got there we picked the site next to this cabin for the shade but the water spout was a far walk away and we would have had needed 3 hoses just to reach the stables. They said that most people who choose the sites on that side take water from the creek but unfortunately that was during the time we had that drought so there was absolutely no water in the creek. Another issue to me was we had to ride for about an hour on one trail just to get to the other trails which i personally don't like doing because it takes a good amount of time out of my ride.
The things I did like about this place was the stalls were nice, especially the ones in the barn type structure and there were some nice trails. The owners of the place are extremely nice too and every night they invite all the campers to a bonfire.
That's good to know about the "out and back" trail at Elkins - I agree, campgrounds that only have one access trail to the main system tend to get a little old when you have to consider that it adds that much time to your daily ride, and the "wear and tear" on your horse. And water can be a pain, too, when you have to lug buckets over hill and dale between the water source and the horses.
Even Brown County, IN can sometimes be a little sparse on the water access, especially when some people with bigger rigs kind of "claim" one pump for themselves and keep their hose attached to it all the time, without hooking up a splitter so other campers can still use that faucet to fill water buckets, etc. Pet peeve of mine.:evil:
Still, the riding at Brown makes it worthwhile. Just watch for the rattlesnakes. We've seen some BIG ones there in recent years.
That is one of my pet peeves too! I remember when they had signs on the pumps saying to detach your hose but I guess people had a hard time reading the sign cause they continued to do it. Whenever I need to use the pump and there is a hose on it I just take it off and leave it off because that is how it should be.
I have yet to see any rattlesnakes but I have heard from other riders about them. The only snakes I've seen are the Black Rat Snake and the Water Moccasins which primarily hang out on A trail where you have to ride through the creek.
Have you looked into Beaver Creek in Ohio? My boss trailers there whenever she can and she used to train her endurance horses there. A group from my barn went last summer, I went once years ago when there was a trail riding business, but I stick to trails around my barn, and if I ever trailer out it's generally to the local woods in my town or Buckeye Horse Park.
Hocking Hills Camping
A slightly further drive from Ohio (less than an hour past Deam Lake) is O'Bannon Woods. It is beautiful, the trails along the Ohio and Blue Rivers are gorgeous. I also love the trail near Wyandotte Cave. TONS of trails there too. Well worth the drive to check it out sometime. It can be really muddy in the spring, so we usually ride there mid summer into fall.
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