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10 Amazing Places to Go Camping Near Cleveland

With warmer days approaching, it’s time to pack up your tent, lace up those hiking boots, and find the best places to go camping near Cleveland!

There are few things as simple and blissful as camping in the great outdoors. The smell of a log slowly crackling in the fire as the smoke rises, the sounds of crickets and tree frogs singing in the night, and the time spent with family or friends as you share stories while seated around the camp is a great way to spend a weekend. 

As someone who grew up camping, I can say it is the perfect summertime activity. So, whether you are planning a fun weekend with friends or want to go camping with kids, these are the top campgrounds near Cleveland, Ohio! 

Here’s a look at all the campsites included in this post:

Where to Go Camping Near Cleveland, Ohio

1. Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site

Buckeye Trail, Brecksville Reservation, Brecksville

As strange as it seems, Cuyahoga Valley National Park doesn’t have any actual campgrounds. The only place to really camp inside of Cuyahoga Valley National Park is at the Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site. 

Run by Brecksville Reservation (one of the Cleveland Metroparks that overlaps with Cuyahoga Valley National Park) and located off of the Buckeye Trail, there are 3 tent sites here that can accommodate 4 people each. 

Both potable water and the bathroom is located about a quarter mile from the campsite at Ottawa Point Picnic Area. 

At these particular sites, 1 night is the maximum stay and you may set up your tent after 3 pm. It must be taken down by noon the following day. No alcohol or fires are permitted here, either. 

You also need a permit to reserve a backcountry site here. It is free, but required; you can get one here from Memorial Day until the last weekend of September. You’ll also need to obtain an overnight parking permit if you are parking overnight. You can park at the Brecksville Nature Center parking lot or the Plateau Picnic Area. 

This isn’t exactly your typical campground situation that many national parks offer, but it is a great option for thru-hikers on the Buckeye Trail or people who would like to have an overnight backpacking trip.

Plus, it is a free camping location near Cleveland, Ohio! It is also the closest campsite to Cleveland, being only 25 minutes from downtown. 

2. Lake Erie Bluffs

3301 Lane Rd, Perry Township

Lake Erie Bluffs
Lake Erie Bluffs Overlook

If you are searching for a camping destination near Cleveland with views over Lake Erie, then Lake Erie Bluffs is definitely the place to go! 

Located about 35 minutes from downtown Cleveland, this beautiful area is well known for its 50-foot coastal observation tower, lovely beach, beautiful wildflowers, and stunning views out over the lake.

Lake Erie Bluffs offers 2 campsites located about 0.25 and about 0.65 miles from the Shoreline Trail. 

There is no water or electricity at these campsites, but there are restrooms next to the Lane Road parking lot. 

Tent camping reservations can be made from May 4-November 30 for $10 for Lake County residents and $20 for non-residents. There is a maximum of 3 nights on a reservation. Reservations can be made here

3. Punderson State Park

11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury

Located about 45 minutes from downtown Cleveland, this state park has a lot of great camping opportunities from RVs to tent camping.

This state park features remnants of the last glacier that scraped across Ohio. Punderson Lake is a great spot for kayaking, fishing, and more!

The campground itself features 155 20-amp electric sites, 15 non-electric sites, and even 20 full hook-up sites for 30-/50-amp electric, water, and sewer (water and sewer not available in winter).

There are also showerhouses, toilets, and a dump station. The campground also offers kayak rentals at the camp office. This is the perfect RV camping spot near Cleveland, Ohio for families as it is pet-friendly and has several conveniences for RV and tent campers. 

You can make reservations online for campsites here

(There is also an English Tudor Manor home and rustic cabins for those who prefer not to go camping.)

4. Nimisila Reservoir MetroPark

5550 Christman Rd, Green

Just about an hour south of Cleveland, and just outside of Akron, is Nimisila Reservoir MetroPark. This park surrounds Nimisila Reservoir and is perfect for water activities including boating, wildlife spotting, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and, of course, camping. 

There are 29 campsites located around the MetroPark, each featuring a fire pit and picnic table. Six of the sites have electricity while the others do not. There are restrooms throughout the park, but there are no showers or drinking water. This is a great spot to bring pets, too!

Reservations can be made online here, and 10 days is the maximum stay in a 30-day period. Campsites are available to be booked from May-October. Only the electric sites are available in the winter months. Prices start at $25 for non-electric sites; electric sites are $30 during the summer and $22.50 in the winter. 

5. Geneva State Park

4499 Padanarum Rd, Geneva 

Located along Lake Erie with stunning views (and conveniently close to some great Geneva wineries), this is a great place to stay that is only about an hour from downtown Cleveland. 

This state park features 19 full water and electric hook-up sites as well as 74 electric sites. There is also a showerhouse with toilets and coin-operated laundry. This is fantastic for tent or RV campers. 

Combine that with the basketball and volleyball courts, playground, fish cleaning house, and a seasonal camp store that sells firewood, ice, and camping supplies (as well as loaning out games and sporting equipment), and this place has it all as far as Cleveland camping locations go!

This area is perfect for families, especially with all of the recreational activities including the playground, courts, and the chance to get out on the lake and boat or go for a swim at the beach. Pets are also allowed. 

There is a lot to see here, and, for those who aren’t campers, there are cabins, a lodge, and cottages, too.

Reservations can be made here.

6. West Branch State Park

5570 Esworthy Rd, Ravenna

Hiking, swimming, boating, and camping are some popular activities in West Branch State Park. This place is also very pet friendly, with a dog park that features a swimming pond! 

Explore with friends or family while hiking on the 14 miles of trails and even spot the Buckeye Trail! The 700-foot sandy beach along the Michael J. Kirwan Reservoir is a great way to relax, too. 

The campground includes over 200 campsites including those with full hook up (perfect for RVs), 50-amp electric sites, one non-electric site, laundry, toilets, showers, and a dump station. There is also a camp store that sells supplies and firewood and rents out games and sporting equipment. 

They also offer three group camping sites as well as primitive bridle camping sites. 

West Branch State Park is a lovely northeast Ohio campground that is only about an hour from downtown Cleveland! 

Reservations can be made here

7. East Harbor State Park

1169 N Buck Rd, Lakeside Marblehead 

Marblehead Lighthouse
This state park isn’t far from Marblehead Lighthouse

There are certainly a lot of campgrounds along Lake Erie – and this state park is another great option.

Enjoy the shores of Lake Erie at East Harbor State Park, located about an hour and 15 minutes from downtown Cleveland in Marblehead. 

This place features a 1,500-foot sandy beach, nature center, and disc golf course. There are also opportunities for horseback riding, great wildlife watching, boating, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. This campground is also great for kids, and is very pet-friendly; it even has a dog-friendly beach!

The campground here is actually the largest in Ohio’s State park system! There are 354 electric sites, 51 full hook up sites, 168 non-electric sites, showers, toilets, a water station, a dump station, free WiFI, and a seasonal camp store available here. So whether you want to rough it in tents or stay in a nice RV camper, this is a great spot. 

There is also a yurt, a couple of cabins, and group camping available. 

Reservations can be made here

8. Mohican State Park

3116 State Route 3, Loudonville

Mohican State Park covered bridge
There’s lots to see here, including this covered bridge.

Located about an hour and a half from downtown Cleveland, Mohican State Park is one of the most beautiful state parks in Ohio. 

With a covered bridge, waterfalls, a river gorge, and ample opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and fishing, there is a lot to see and do in this state park. 

The campground itself has 51 full hook up sites, 35 electric sites, 10 non-electric sites, and offers group camping. This is another great spot for RV camping near Cleveland! There are showers, toilets, a dump station, and a camp store for any supplies too. Mohican State Park’s campground is also pet friendly and allows up to two pets per site.

This is also a great campground for families as they have a pool, playground, volleyball and basketball courts, and even gem mining at the camp store. 

And, for those who aren’t as into camping, there are also deluxe and rustic cabins, a lodge, and even treehouse rentals nearby! 

Camping reservations can be made here

9. South Bass Island State Park

1523 Catawba Ave, South Bass Island

South Bass Island

Located near popular Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, you can go camping at this state park! 

Sleep soundly while listening to the waves lapping onto the beach in this park as you camp on an island in the middle of Lake Erie.

Visitors can go swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking here. There are plenty of options for staying in this state park including full hook-up, electric, and non-electric campsites, tent-only sites, 4 cabents (a cabin with a tented roof) with a kitchen, bathroom, and shower, and a rustic cabin. 

Pets are allowed at the campground, and vehicles (including the popular golf carts there) are allowed (one per site). 

This is a great spot to stay on Put-in-Bay on a budget or if you want to explore nature on this lovely island.

Reservations can be made here.

10. Kelleys Island State Park

920 Division St, Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island beach
The beach at Kelleys Island State Park

Next to South Bass Island, Kelleys Island is a little bit quieter and just as lovely! 

This unique island in Lake Erie is a prime place to spot evidence of glaciers in Ohio with glacial grooves you can visit. There are also cliffs that offer amazing views over Lake Erie, as well as opportunities to swim, camp, hike, fish, and go boating.

There are 43 campsites at Kelleys Island State Park that are full hook up, 46 electric sites, and 43 non-electric sites. Pets are allowed on certain campsites. There are also rustic cabins and yurts. The campground also has a volleyball court, playground, shower, and toilets. 

You’ll love the views over Lake Erie from your tent or RV at Kelleys Island State Park! 

Reservations can be made here.

From family-friendly camping to backcountry adventures, these are the places to go camping near Cleveland, Ohio! 

Where would you enjoy going camping near Cleveland? 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Aline

    I’m possibly moving to Cleveland next year and as a Mainer I was a little worried about finding good places for camping and outdoor time. Very happy to find your blog for camping ideas and all sorts of other great Cleveland sweet spots. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Amanda

      Cleveland is right on Lake Erie and surrounded by lots of great parks – there’s certainly no shortage of outdoor spaces here!

  2. Go Wander Wild

    This guide to camping near Cleveland is incredibly helpful. You’ve really thought through everything you need to know before planning a trip. Thank you for this helpful resource. Saving this guide for later!

  3. Allison Ketchem

    Very important: don’t forget American
    Wilderness Campground in Grafton , Ohio, the Closest Campground to Cleveland. Located at 17273 Avon Belden Road., Grafton, Ohio 44044. (440)926-3700.
    Top rated, gorgeous, resort-like campground open to the public. Large spacious RV & tent sites. Big pull thrus. 30/50amps. Lots of amenities. swimming, fishing boat rentals, huge game room, huge lodge and camp store, basketball, boat rentals, adventure park playgrounds, adventure gem mining, hiking and more! Exceptionally clean top rated park.

    1. Amanda

      Thank you for mentioning it!

  4. Michae

    Many thanks for sharing these spots. We have friends close to Cleveland but never managed to go there. I will put this on my bucket list!

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