Staycationing: Greater Cincinnati Campgrounds

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If you’re itching to travel but don’t want to go too far this summer, there is plenty of fun in the great outdoors. Whether you head out for a weekend getaway, or a full week’s staycation, the Great Parks campgrounds have something for everyone.

Lake Isabella Campground

Tents are set up for a night of camping at Lake Isabella Campground.

Prefer to camp without creature comforts? Lake Isabella Campground is home to six primitive camping pods. Each pod features four picnic tables and shares a fire ring. This weekend camping spot is located right along the Little Miami River.

You’re not completely roughin’ it here; the Lake Isabella Boathouse is right down the path, where you can try your hand at fishing for the first time on the lake. This year, enjoy Fishing Fridays With a Nature Interpreter during select Fridays in summer. Learn the basics of fishing like tying a line on a hook and casting your line from knowledgeable nature interpreters. You can also join in on the fun of fishing tournaments, kids’ fishing events and more!

Or, if you prefer to enjoy getting on the water a different way, rent a rowboat from the boathouse. If have your own personal watercraft, the canoe/kayak launch to the Little Miami River is open for public use. Just be prepared – all watercraft must be carried over uneven terrain from the nearby parking lot.

Winton Woods Campground

Winton Woods Campground as seen from across Winton Lake.
You can even wave to kayakers and anglers from your campsite as they float by on the lake!

Located a short walk away from the harbor, the Winton Woods Campground is an oasis for relaxation and quiet time in nature. This is the go-to campground if you like to camp in style but not be without your daily necessities. Winton Woods Campground welcomes guests who enjoy RV camping or guests who like rustic cabin camping (air conditioning included for hot Cincinnati summers).

Winton Woods Campground is a favorite camping spot for locals and out-of-towners alike. “Great Parks of Hamilton County campgrounds tend to sell out every weekend,” says Sue Hoepf, Campground Manager.

There’s always something happening in Winton Woods. This summer we’re hosting movies, concerts, fitness classes and more. You can find all Great Parks events on our calendar. Some events do require preregistration, so plan ahead before embarking on your Cincinnati staycation.

Miami Whitewater Forest Campground

A group of people take a stand-up paddleboard class on a lake.
You have to learn how to paddle before you can paddle standing up.

Head over to the west side of Hamilton County and you’ll find the quiet, scenic Miami Whitewater Forest Campground. And we mean quiet – Miami Whitewater Forest Campground is nestled in the woods of this more than 4,000-acre park. But don’t worry, you’re still within walking distance to the harbor, snack bar and disc golf course!

Pack a picnic lunch for a hiking excursion. From the campground, you can jump on the 2.1-mile Timberlakes Trail just across the street. Take this nature trail to the Timberlakes Shelter parking lot and you can continue on to either the 1.7-mile Badlands nature trail or the 0.8-mile Oakleaf nature trail. Or continue on both to experience a full day of hiking on the most picturesque trails in Miami Whitewater Forest.

If you’re up for a new adventure on your staycation, hop in the car for a short drive over to Campbell Lakes Preserve, where you can take beginner stand-up paddleboarding classes. Taught by certified staff from Adventure Outpost, you’ll learn techniques to stay on your board while maneuvering on flatwater as well as paddleboarding safety. Sign up for stand-up paddleboard classes online with the Adventure Outpost team.

Start planning your camping staycation today – book your campsite.

We look forward to seeing you in the parks!

Caroline Wiita
Content Marketing Coordinator