The Absolute Best Camping Near Cincinnati

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: January 14, 2023
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For some of the absolute best camping near Cincinnati, Ohio you’d be surprised that you don’t need to go that far out of the city to find some amazing campgrounds. Stay close to Cincinnati so you can visit Findlay Market, the Cincinnati Zoo, and the Art Museum. Take time to take in a show or tailgate for a Bengals game. Then head back to your campground for a relaxing time with friends and family. Read on to find out about the absolute best camping near Cincinnati!

1) East Fork State Park Campground

One of the most popular recreational lakes near Cincinnati is Harsha Lake (East Fork Lake) located in the East Fork State Park. This 2,160-acre lake has a swimming beach on the south shore, seven boat ramps located along the shoreline, and a large campground on the north shore. Take your boat out for some tubing, water skiing, or fishing (for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, and hybrid stripers). Launch your kayak to explore the shoreline to see if you can see any of the birds that call the park home like Canadian geese, barn swallows and eastern meadowlarks.

The campground has 376 electric sites, 23 full hookup sites and 17 equestrian sites (there are miles of excellent trails for horseback riding!). Restrooms, showers and drinking water are spread out through the park and easily accessible. Besides the activities at the State Park the campground itself has mini-golf, basketball court, corn hole, kayak/SUP rentals and bike rentals. There are mountain bike trails that start right at the campground as well as situated throughout the park. You can see why the East Fork State Park Campground is one of the absolute best places to camp near Cincinnati!

LocationEast of downtown in Williamsburg
Distance from downtown Cincinnati30 min (25 miles)
RV/Tent sites: Electric376 sites
RV/Tent sites: Full Hookup23 sites
RV/Tent sites: Equestrian17 sites
CabinsNo, not available
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, boat and bike rental
Pet FriendlyYes
What makes it one of the bestLiving the lake life just 25 miles from downtown!
Crappie jumping out of water
You can fish for white and black crappie in Harsha Lake (East Fork Lake).


2) Tucker’s Landing RV Park

For one of the RV parks closest to downtown Cincinnati check out the Tucker’s Landing RV Park, right on the Ohio River! Southeast of the downtown area you will find the campground on the edge of the river with a row of the campsites in the park that back up to a row of trees along the river. The remaining sites have a bit of a “parking lot” feel, but you are so close to downtown! There are 84 sites with full hookups, wi-fi, fire pits and nice cement RV pads. A well-kept RV park.

There a boat ramp right at the campground so bring your boat so you can boat up to the downtown area and dock at one of the riverfront restaurants. You can also fish on the Ohio River for largemouth bass, sauger and flathead catfish. There is a marina and restaurant right next door to the campground as well. Not far from the campground is the California Wood Nature Preserve with 113 acres of park with the California Wood Trail, a 2.5 mile loop that takes you through the forest and through fields of wildflowers. Watch for butterflies and hummingbirds during the summer months. A mix of nature right in the downtown area of Cincinnati!

LocationRight in Cincinnati along the Ohio River
Distance from downtown15 min (7 miles)
RV sitesYes, 84 sites
Tent sitesNo, not available
Picnic Tables at each siteNo
Fire Pit at each siteNo
AmenitiesRestrooms, boat ramp
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes, weekly or monthly
What makes it one of the bestGreat place as a home base for exploring Cincinnati.
Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in flight.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are one of the birds you might spot while camping in Ohio.

©Ramona Edwards/

One of the major attractions of the Cincinnati area is Kings Island Amusement Park with monster roller coasters, family rides and live entertainment. One of the closest campgrounds to the Amusement Park is the Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA. Besides Kings Island there is the Soak City Water Parker and Warren County Fairgrounds, but you might make some of the best memories right at the campground!

3) Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA Holiday

The KOA has a swimming pool, playground, jumping pads, gaga ball and more. Unlike some RV parks that don’t allow tent camping, this KOA does have tent camping sites with electric. The RV sites are spacious with full hookups and a nice gravel patio. For folks that don’t want to tent or bring a camper there are deluxe cabins for rent that have a private bath and small kitchenette. Bring your pets because there is an off-leash dog area as well. A great place to stay on a fun camping trip near Cincinnati.

LocationNortheast of downtown
Distance from downtown30 min (32 miles)
RV sitesYes, some with full hookups, back-in and pull-thru, some with a patio
Tent sitesYes, electric
CabinsYes, deluxe cabins with full bath and shower
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, swimming pool,
Pet FriendlyYes, Kamp K9 dog park
What makes it one of the bestAll the amenities you need for a fun camping trip!
Golden Retriever Dog
Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA Holiday has an off-leash dog are, so there’s no need to leave Fido at home.

© Consaul

4) Caesar Creek State Park

If you keep going past the KOA on 71 you will reach Caesar Creek Lake with the State Park surrounding it. There are three camping options here with a traditional campground on the north shore, an equestrian campground on the west side of the lake and two boat camp areas for docking and staying overnight. The main campground has 252 electric sites for RV’s and tents and 35 with full hookups. There is a beach not far from the campground as well as a boat ramp for launching your boat, kayak, canoe or paddle board.

Caesar Creek State Park has some unique hikes that take you to small waterfalls, a swinging bridge and lakeside forests where you might see a family of white-tail deer drinking from the edge. You can enjoy the trails by mountain biking or horseback riding as well. The equestrian campground is on the west side of the lake and has room for 30 campsites. Load up a backpack with sandwiches, fruit, cookies and a cool drink and head out for a morning horseback ride followed by a picnic lunch by the lake. Sounds like a perfect day! Definitely one of the absolute best places to camp near Cincinnati!

LocationNE of downtown on Caesar Creek Lake
Distance from downtown55 min (50 miles)
RV/Tent Sites252 electric, 35 full hookup
Equestrian sites30 non-electric sites
Boat campYes, 2 areas, 1 just north of the Wellman boat ramp, 1 south of the boat ramp at the campground
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, dump station, swimming beach, playground
Pet FriendlyYes
What makes it one of the bestClassic wooded camping less than an hour from downtown.
white-tailed deer buck looking at camera
White-tailed deer are among the wild animals you may see at Caesar Creek State Park.

© Collins

5) Miami Whitewater Forest Campground

On the other side of town almost to the Indiana border is the Miami Whitewater Forest with a campground located in the park. It is situated on the 85-acre Miami Whitewater Lake (yes we are still talking about Ohio…not Miami, Florida!). You can walk down to the harbor from the campground to rent a motorboat, kayak, canoe, paddle board, pedal boat or a fun swan-shaped pedal boat. There is great fishing in the lake with anglers bringing in catfish, crappie, bass and carp.

The campground has 46 sites for tents and RV’s with electric hookups. Restrooms and hot showers are available and a dump station for your RV. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring for a nightly campfire with s’mores. Sounds like a classic camping trip with nice facilities!

LocationNW of downtown, almost to the Indiana border
Distance from downtown28 min (22 miles)
RV/Tent sites46 sites, electric
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, playground
Pet FriendlyYes
What makes it one of the bestAll the harbor front activities!
blue catfish vs channel catfish
Miami Whitewater Lake is a great place to fish for blue catfish.

©M Huston/

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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  1. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Available here:
  2. Tucker's Landing RV Park, Available here:
  3. KOA, Available here:
  4. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Available here: