Surrounded by the beautiful William H. Harsha Lake, East Fork State Park is a nature lover's paradise, featuring over 4,870 acres of glistening rivers, majestic scenery, and amazing hills. Located just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, this state park is a must for your next RV vacation. You'll have endless opportunities for outdoor recreation in a unique landscape. From hiking and biking to fishing and boating, East Fork State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures.
The lake views of East Fork State Park are spectacular, spanning over 2,160 acres. You will love soaking in the lake air while being surrounded by unique plants and trees, including beech, sugar, sycamore, and American elm. There are also tons of native wildlife, from deer to snakes, and plenty of birds to be seen amongst the trees. History buffs will love to learn about the gold mines that operated on this land back in the 1800s. You can get a taste of 19th-century life by checking out the “Old Bethel Church,” which was rebuilt using some materials from the original log church dating back to 1807. Plus, you can have a splash at the East Fork Reservoir, which was created in the 1970s.
Once you park your camper at East Fork State Park you can venture out on one of the many nature trails located throughout the park. For equestrians, there are five bridle trails for you to explore. The 32-mile Steven Newman Worldwalker Perimeter Trail is perfect for those wishing to hike or backpack deeper into the park. With over 300 RV campsites, East Fork State Park is a great RV destination no matter what time of year you visit.
East Fork State Park is easy to access by RV or car since it is located just 25 miles from Cincinnati, OH, off of Old State Route 125. This smaller road connects with more-traveled routes like OH-222, which in turn will lead you to OH-749, US-52 (also known as the Ohio Scenic Byway), and I-275. The park entrance is located on the south side of the park and William H. Harsha Lake. Local roads within the park will take you anywhere you want to go, from the Park Office and boat ramp to the campgrounds and trailheads. There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers within the park, so you'll be able to get around easily.
Should you wish to get out of your RV for a nice stroll around the campground, go for it. Walk to the Camp Office or test your skills out at the basketball court located near the office area.
The park remains open during the winter months, but not all campsites are maintained. Check the local weather forecast and look online or call ahead before setting out on your winter camping sojourn.
There are several options for parking RVs and trailers with locations throughout the park. You'll be able to find spots at the Park Office, at the start of equestrian and hiking trailheads, and near the boat ramps. Of course, you are able to park at the campground if you are staying overnight.
East Fork State Park features over 400 pet-friendly campsites available for tents and RVs year-round. Every campsite provides electric hookups, and 23 sites offer full hookups. Amenities at the campground include a shower house, restrooms, drinking water, and a dump station. Every site has a paved or gravel pad. You'll also be close to nature trails and a playground. If you are camping with the whole family you can also enjoy access to a mini-golf course, nature center, and basketball courts. You can reserve your campsite up to six months in advance.
If you are bringing your horses with you on your camper trip to East Fork State Park, you can stay overnight at the East Fork Horse Camp. There are 17 electric sites available for equestrians. Amenities at these campsites include showers, restrooms, and a dump station.
Over 30 campsites are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you are making a spontaneous trip to East Fork State Park, you might just be able to snag a spot.
If you couldn't secure a spot to park the rig for the night at East Fork State Park, don't fret. There are many private RV parks in the nearby area, most of which include top-notch amenities like full hookups, Wi-Fi, and even swimming pools and doggie daycare.
If you prefer to park at state parks rather than RV resorts, you have a few options under an hour's drive. Stonelick State Park sits just around 20 miles to the north of East Fork and has over 100 electric sites available to RVs and trailers under 55 feet. Rocky Fork State Park can be found about an hour to the northeast and has full hookup sites available for rigs up to 50 feet in length.
Looking for a bit of an adventure during the daylight hours of your RV vacation? Weather permitting, East Fork State Park offers a 1,200-acre swimming area that provides a changing booth, shower, and restroom. There is no lifeguard present, so swim at your own risk. The swimming beach is located on the north side of the park.
If you are an avid equestrian, you will love the opportunity to hit the trails at East Fork State Park. This state park offers five trails that range from easy to moderate. While you enjoy riding through the park, you'll also be able to soak in the amazing scenery all around you. While corrals are not available, there is an equestrian campsite available with 17 sites offering electricity. See the campsite section above for more details if you are planning to bring your horse to camp overnight.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush during your sojourn, you're in luck. East Fork State Park is a great place to bring your bike and head out onto the lake trail. Once you park your RV, you can cycle down the Mountain Bike Trail, which is a moderate-to-advanced trail that is great for those seeking an intense workout. The two loops of this trail offer flat stretches with turns throughout the wooded areas, while the second loop covers switchbacks.
The massive William H. Harsha Lake takes the center stage at East Fork State Park. At over 2,000 acres, this body of water entices boaters from all over the state to come and play on the lake. Boats of all types and sizes are allowed on the lake, so long as they are outfitted with life jackets. Life jackets can be loaned from the hand launch boat ramp on the south side of the park. There are a whopping seven boat launches available for use, so you won't have any trouble getting out onto the water. You will need to tow your own boat behind the Sprinter, as the park does not offer rentals.
Should you have an ache for fishing, don't forget to pack your fishing rod in your motorhome. Head on down to the open water areas of the lake and try your luck at reeling in Hybrid striped bass. Unsure of what bait to use on these beauties, try chicken liver, live shad, or plump, juicy nightcrawlers. Don't forget that even though it is the off-season, a valid fishing license is required if you are a resident over the age of 16. Don't fret you out-of-towners, a nonresident license is available for one day, three days, or one year.
Should you wish to have a get together of family and friends while you are at East Fork State Park, consider going down to one of the four picnic areas. Tables, grills, and drinking water are provided, all you need to do is bring the fun and the food! If you want to ensure that you have an area for your festivities, call the park in advance and reserve one of the three shelter houses available.
You'll want to pack your good hiking boots in the camper since there are 12 trails to choose from at East Fork State Park that vary in difficulty. If you are looking for an easy hike or stroll, check out the Pin Oak Trail. This is a three-mile trail that will take you by the lake and provide a great way to spot some of the wildlife that lives here. For a more moderate hike, head out on the nine-mile Twin Bridges Bridle Trail, which offers wooded and lakeside scenery.
When you park the Airstream at East Fork State Park, you'll have the opportunity to see some interesting wildlife. The park's rich landscape of meadows, swamps, marshes, and dry forested hills make for an equally rich habitat for animals. If you tread quietly along the trails, you may catch sight of garter snakes, fence lizards, red fox, deer, or raccoons. The avid birders in your group will delight in a chance to see song sparrow, eastern meadowlark, and barn swallow.