Camping in Hocking Hills – Campsites & Wild Camping Tips

Hocking Hills is one of the most visited and popular parks in Ohio state. The park is surrounded by beautiful nature, forests, caves, and waterfalls, but also other national parks. Camping in Hocking Hills is a surreal experience that you’ll remember forever.

The area is very well connected by roads, so getting there won’t be a problem. There are plenty of official campsites, but also options to wild camp nearby as we have explained later on. If you love spending time in all kinds of green nature or taking nature photography, this is an ideal camping location for you.

Beautiful waterfall in Hocking Hills
Waterfall in Hocking Hills, Source: Unsplash

Wild camping: Is it legal in the Hocking Hills?

No, unfortunately, wild camping is not allowed in the Hocking Hills. However, there is an alternative if you’d still rather stay outside of an official campsite. You can camp freely at Wayne National Forest, according to the USDA Forest Service. There are some rules to it though, you must remain away from official campsites. Also, you must not block trails or roads with your vehicle or your tent.

There are hardly any facilities near such sites. You don’t have to pay anything to stay in such sites, but there is a 14-day stay limitation. If you are planning to camp with a group of 25 or more people, you need to notify the Forest Service first. We believe everyone knows this, but it’s still important to remind you not to leave any trash behind you. Always pick up what you bring and protect nature.

Some other rules to follow are:

  • Never start a campfire, use a storm cooker.
  • Beware of wildlife, do your research on animal species in that area before going.
  • Do not dump any chemicals anywhere.

“There’s some places you need permits to hike. Saltpetre cave was my fav but I believe it’s closed this time of year for the bats. On the hocking hills Facebook page you can search “permit hikes” and a lot of information I don’t know off hand pops up lol”

– cmason00 on Reddit

Best time for camping in the Hocking Hills

Since the Hocking Hills are full of all kinds of nature, you can’t make a mistake when choosing the date to come. All seasons have something special to them, especially winter. You might be wondering, why winter? Well, first of all, because everything turns into a fairy tale. If Disney’s “Frozen” was recorded in real life, pretty sure they’d choose Hocking Hills as the location.

Also, it’s worth noting that there are fewer people during the winter months. You’ll be safe from the bears too, as they are sleeping during the winter season. Just kidding, bears are quite rare to see in the area, you can explore it safely according to official sources.

If you’d rather visit when everything is colorful and vibrant, you should go during autumn. You wouldn’t believe how amazing the forest looks during autumn months, the closest thing to if someone used photoshop in real life. Still, as we previously stated, no season is a mistake, you’ll enjoy every season, surely.

Things you should bring with you:

  • Warm jacket – Depends on the season, but make sure you bring a warm one if you are visiting during winter. It often snows during this season and it gets quite cold.
  • Camera – You’ll be able to create memories to put into picture frames.
  • Hiking boots – It’s not a “must”, but it’s recommended as there are many hiking trails and it’s easier to navigate through forests in them.

Camping in a group and looking for ways to have fun? Read our 10 Campfire Drinking Games For Your Next Trip.

5 campsites in the Hocking Hills you can stay at

Would you rather skip the wild camping and stay at an official campsite? No problems. We have created a list of 5 official campsites in the Hocking Hills you can stay at. Take a look below to explore your options.

1. Hocking Hills State Park Campground

This campsite found itself right in the heart of Hocking Hills State Park, hence its name. There are 156 electric sites and 13 non-electric sites available for you to book. Besides classic tent camping, there is also an option to stay in a cabin or a cottage. You can also have a lovely picnic as there are five picnic areas with tables, grills, and drinking water available.

Things to do around

  • Explore the Hocking Hills State Park
  • Take epic photos from Rose Lake Overlook
  • Have a picnic


The pricing starts from $30 ($15 per night, minimum 2 nights stay).


19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138

2. Palmerosa Horse & Hike Camp

Palmarosa is family owned campground open to everyone. Because of its location, you’d be near plenty of great attractions. Accommodation at Palmerosa campsite includes both tent sites and more expensive options such as Cabins and RVs. One natural phenomenon we suggest you see near this campsite is the Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve. The lower trail is a wheelchair-accessible trail which we are happy about because everyone can visit.

Things to do around

  • Explore caves such as Old Man’s Cave or Ash Cave
  • Climb the Cantwell Cliffs
  • Hike through the Hocking Hills Bridle Trail Map


The price starts at $35 per night


19207 Keifel Rd, Laurelville, OH 43135

3. Campbell Cove Campground

Located very near Lake Logan, Campbell Cove campsite is an affordable way to explore Hocking Hills. There is a 14 minutes drive by car to Hocking Hills, but there are other benefits though. One of the benefits is that this campsite is right next to Lake Logan State Park which is also a beautiful place to explore. There is even a McDonald’s nearby the campsite if you are into fast food.

Things to do around

  • Explore Lake Logan State Park
  • Enjoy local cuisine
  • Play golf at Wormburner Park Golf


Pricing starts at $34 per night for adults.


30713 Lake Logan Rd, Logan, OH 43138

4. Logan / Hocking Hills KOA Holiday

This campsite found itself between a couple of different parks so it’s a perfect location to stay in. It’s not a surprise to see everything booked a couple of months upfront. That being said, make sure you reserve on time if you want to stay here. The site has several accommodation options, including tent sites, lodging, and RVs. We suggest getting here by car so that you can explore all the nearby forests and caves within a couple of days.

Things to do around

  • Explore Wayne National Forest
  • Visit Chapel Cave
  • Relax on the Hidden Lake


From $34 per night (Most pitches are reserved a couple of months upfront).


29150 Pattor Rd, Logan, OH 43138

5. Pine Creek Cabins And Campground

The last campsite on our list doesn’t have tent sites, but it has great cabins and RV sites though. Pine Creek campsite is equally away from Hocking Hills State Park and Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. We suggest exploring both, as these places are quite unique and very beautiful. Pine Creek river is close by which is cool if you want to have a picnic by the river. However, since the campsite has pavilions with large firepits, you can also have a picnic on site.

Things to do around

  • Explore Conkle’s Hollow
  • Take photos of epic nature views
  • Explore Whispering Cave


The prices for this luxury campsite start at $125 per night.


23937 Big Pine Rd, South Bloomingville, OH 43152


Hocking Hills State Park is a beautiful place to explore and stay in. Other than Hocking Hills, there are many other forests, state parks, caves, and waterfalls to explore nearby. This can be classified as a real camping heaven. Make sure you bring a camera with you to capture the moment.

About Krešimir

Hi, my name is Krešimir and I am a software developer by profession. In my free time, I have a passion for content writing and SEO optimization. I love to use my technical skills to create engaging and informative content that helps people online. When I'm not working or writing, you can find me camping or enjoying time spent outside. I love spending time outdoors and find that being in nature helps to clear my mind and recharge my batteries. Whether I'm hiking through the mountains or just enjoying a peaceful day by the lake, I always come back feeling renewed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come my way.