Top 5 Camping Spots Near Columbus, Ohio


When summer rolls around, people suddenly develop a great desire to spend time outdoors. With the sunshine and the nice weather, no one wants to spend a nice summer day cooped up inside. For those who live in the city, the urge to take off into the great outdoors becomes even stronger in the summer. It's no exception for those living in Columbus, Ohio. Luckily, if you happen to live in Columbus, there are several campgrounds a short drive away from the heart of the city. Although they are still located close to the city, they're far enough away to be completely immersed in nature. If you want to plan a camping trip near Columbus, whether it be during the summer or another season, then these five campgrounds are the places to pitch your tent (or pull in your RV).

Buckeye Lake/Columbus East KOA
Only a 32-minute drive from Columbus, the Buckeye Lake/Columbus East KOA is the go-to spot for Columbus campers during the summer months. Unfortunately, those who enjoy camping in the winter won't get the chance to at the KOA. But once spring rolls around, you are welcome to spend some time at the campgrounds, and they don't close until October 31, so you can also camp in the peak of Ohio's autumn beauty. The KOA has tent and RV sites, as well as cabins, all of which can be reserved online. With large, open spaces for activities, the campground also offers many amenities, including bathroom and shower facilities, an enclosed exercise area for dogs, a pool, and a mini golf course.

Lazy River at Granville
The Lazy River at Granville campground is only 25 miles east of Columbus, which is about a 41-minute drive. Open year-round, the campground offers tent and RV sites, and also has several rentals to stay in, such as a family-size house and smaller cabins. An ideal place for recreation, the campground has a basketball court, playground, and Olympic-size volleyball court. Perhaps the most unique feature of the campground is its two-story Challenge Course, which has 19 elements to push your skills to the test. A few of the many other amenities at the campground include a fitness room, a full camp store with a snack bar, and free Wi-Fi.

Tree Haven Campground
The closest to Columbus out of the five campgrounds on this list, Tree Haven Campground is only a 27-minute drive from Ohio's capital city. Open year-round, Tree Haven Campground allows RV campers to rent a site on a monthly and seasonal basis. RV sites are also available on a daily basis, as are tent sites. Since the campground is located back in the woods, you have plenty of space to explore the great outdoors. Unlike other campgrounds, Tree Haven Campground doesn't offer much in terms of recreation, but they do have a pool for guests to use, which is open daily starting Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend. Other amenities are offered at Tree Haven as well, including picnic tables, fire rings, and a portable dumping service for RV's.

Berkshire Lake Campground
A 30-minute drive from Columbus, Berkshire Lake Campground is not a campground you want to bring your tent to, because they aren't allowed. This all-RV campground's main season is from April 15-November 1, during which you can stay on a daily basis. But for those wanting an extended stay, sites are available on a monthly and yearly basis as well. The campground is gated, and has the feel of a full-fledged community, with events occurring frequently on the grounds. Berkshire Lake is also the only campground in the state to have a full time restaurant and bar open all year. Those staying at the campground can enjoy amenities such as a mini golf course, a camp store, and a playground.

Autumn Lakes Campground
Only 35 minutes from Columbus, Autumn Lakes Campground is one of the top-rated campgrounds in the entire state. Located on acres of woods, the campground has a fully-stocked fishing lake and a quaint sense of charm. No tent camping is available at the campground, but there are plenty of RV sites available, as well as four cabins and some shanties. The camping season generally lasts from April to October, with many activities available on the campground during that period. Autumn Lakes Campground is unique in the fact that is has a day spa available for its visitors to use, which offers manicures, pedicures, waxing, and makeup services by appointment. A few of the other amenities Autumn Lakes offers include a catering and banquet facility, a general store, laundry services, and a petting zoo.

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Miranda Roehler grew up in Northwest Ohio. She studied Creative Writing and History at The University of Findlay and has been published in multiple international journals.