Nestled in the Paint Creek Valley in Ohio, Paint Creek State Park is home to year-round activities for the whole family to enjoy when you bring your RV. It is located on the edge of the Appalachian Plateau with winding roads and hilly valleys full of beautiful scenery. Paint Creek State Park has been home to visitors who share an interest in fishing and enjoying the great outdoors for a long time.
Before settlers came to the area, it was occupied by Shawnee Indians who were eventually driven out of their land by settlers. There were multiple altercations between the two groups, as settlers tried to build houses and communities on the once occupied Indian land.
In 1967, the US Corps Engineer team began the construction of Paint Creek Dam which resulted in the creation of a 1,190-acre lake called Paint Creek Lake. The site was dedicated to the state as a state park in 1972. In 1974, Paint Creek State Park opened its gates for the first time.
Today the park is home to 207 campsites with over 25 miles of hiking trails. You can find the park packed in the summer months and plenty of RV sites available in the winter months. Paint Creek State Park offers swimming, fishing, boating, a volleyball court, and many other fun activities for the whole family to enjoy in the summer.
There is also a mini-golf course that you can try out each summer and early fall. In the winter months, the snow makes the park all the more beautiful clearing the way for cross-country skiers of all ages and the occasional sledding contest among visitors. No matter the time of year, there is always something fun to do when you bring your RV to Paint Creek State Park.
Located in the southwestern part of Ohio, at the edge of the Appalachian Plateau, Paint Creek State Park is very easy to access. You will need to take I-50 regardless of whether you are coming from the east or the west. The entrance to the park will be around a corner, so slow down as you approach the entrance, especially if you have a big rig.
The park is situated between the four towns of Rainsboro, Bainbridge, Greenfield, and East Monroe. If you forgot to stock up on groceries or just want to see what the different towns are like, then these are great places to visit. Take your time strolling through the streets and check out the different boutiques and restaurants in the area.
While traveling around the camp, it is recommended that you walk or ride your bike instead of lugging around your RV. Vehicles are not allowed on the trails unless specified. You are able to have a pet with you; just make sure that they are kept on their leash and never left unattended. The roads leading into the park are well maintained with the occasional pothole.
Always mind your speed while driving and watch out for pedestrians. The park occasionally has flooding and winter storms that make it unsafe for visitors. In the case of inclement weather, a notice will be placed in the park office and rangers or the camp hosts will let campers know what they have prepared in advance to guarantee your safety.
If you plan to arrive later than anticipated, call ahead of your arrival so that a park staff member can meet you and lead you to your site. Remember to be cautious when traveling late at night and be on the lookout for animals. The park enjoys cool summers and snowy winters, so be sure to dress according to the weather to maximize your stay.
The main campground has 195 campsites with 14 of them being premium sites with decks that look out over the water. Many of the sites are shaded, level, and some have views of the lake. Pad lengths vary so it is important to check this when you are making a reservation, which can be done up to six months prior to your visit. Although many of the sites can accommodate RVs up to around 50 feet, some are only equipped to handle those under 30 feet.
Each campsite has a picnic table and campfire ring with a grill, and there is a playground for the kids nearby. Electric hookups are available, but there are no water or sewer hookups. There are a few water spigots in the campground and a dumping station is also available. Pets are welcome, so you can bring your furbabies with you. Just be sure to bring their leashes or crates with you and supervise them at all times.
If you are bringing your horses along for the trip, you are in luck at Paint Creek State Park because they have 10 spacious equestrian campsites for reservation. Located just off of Deer Park Road on the southwestern side of the lake, the pet-friendly equestrian campground is near the Bridle Trail located less than two hundred yards from the water.
There are no hookups available but there are a water spigot and a pit toilet nearby, as well as a dumping station to empty your black tank. You can only have a limit of six people at a time and one car. Any extra car will be subject to an additional fee. Sites are gravel, mostly level, and shaded with a pleasant view of the lake. There aren’t many trees between the sites, so you will have a limited amount of privacy. All of these sites can accommodate rigs up to 53 feet long.
Also in the campground, the park offers two deluxe camper cabins for their visitors who do not want to rough it as much as others. However, if you are bringing along your dogs, don’t reserve one of these because pets are not allowed indoors. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance, and since there are only two, it is a good idea to reserve yours as early as possible.
Both cabins are cozy log structures with room for four people and has a full-sized bed and two bunk beds. Air conditioning is included as well as a gas fireplace in case you get cold. You can watch movies on the television with the DVD player. They also provide a mini-fridge and microwave inside and a gas barbecue grill, fire ring, and picnic table outside. Bring your own bedding, eating utensils, and cookware. There is no bathroom or water, but the campground has modern restrooms and showers.
Just across the road from the campground entrance, Paint Creek State Park has a wonderful and unique way to camp. If you have never tried a yurt, this is a good time to try it as long as you didn’t bring your dogs with you because pets are not allowed. There is only one yurt, so make sure you book your reservation as far in advance as you can. The round canvas structure with a wooden floor and frame even has a deck and a skylight.
Up to four people can enjoy the yurt with two futons with full-sized mattresses. You’ll have a small refrigerator to keep your food and drinks cold and a microwave to heat things up. The kids can watch movies on the television that has a DVD player, and you can all relax in comfort with the air conditioning to keep out the heat. Outside, you can cook on a gas grill or the fire ring and eat at the picnic table in the yard. You will be close to the campground where you can find the showers and restrooms.
Paint Creek State Park has a 1,000-foot beach along the shoreline of Paint Creek Lake. Swimming is only permitted in certain areas so look for the signs. The beach area opens in late-May and closes in early-September. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in the swimming area, but they are allowed on the trails. A lifeguard may not be available to watch the beach area, so be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye on your loved ones. Remember to pack your sunscreen and snacks in the RV and make sure to pick up any trash you may see to keep the beach clean.
Horseback riding is available for those who bring their own horse. You will have access to all the walking trails, but please keep your speed to a minimum and practice good trail habits by watching out for other hikers. Horses are to be accompanied at all times by their owner or caretaker. All horses must have a Coggins test with negative results of less than 12 months. There are over 25 miles of trails for you to explore atop your horse. Remember to give your horses plenty of water and a snack for all their hard work on the trails.
Hiking trails remain open year-round for RV visitors use. The trails span a distance of more than 25 miles breaking down into segments of .75 miles to 2.5-mile trails. If you are up for some adventure, then try the Mountain Bike and Hiking Trail. Pets are allowed on the trails, just remember to clean up after them and always keep them on their leash. Pack a pair of sturdy hiking boots and don’t forget your water bottle when you hit the trails. Pick up a trail map from the park office and bring your phone with you along your hike. If you see any trash on the trails, be sure to pick it up to help keep the park beautiful.
The 1,190-acre Paint Creek Lake is seasonally stocked with crappie, bass, catfish, bluegill, and saugeye. In order to go fishing in the lake, you will need a valid fishing license. Getting one will require you to present your social security number, and you can purchase a one-day pass or a lifetime license. If you plan on fishing in the winter, then remember to check the weather and the thickness of the ice before you go. In the summer, you can take your boat out on the lake or fish from the shoreline. Remember to take your sunscreen and a snack while you are catching your dinner.
In the winter months, the park opens its winter recreation areas. You can go cross-country skiing near the Speed and Ski Zone. Be sure to take a buddy with you and a phone in case of an emergency. Dress warmly in layers and always check the weather forecast before you head out. If you get winded while skiing, take a breather and start again when you are ready. The cross-country trails may close if weather conditions are less than favorable.
Paint Creek State Park hunting grounds are open year-round with deer, pheasants, rabbits, and other game animals. To hunt in Paint Creek State Park, you will need a valid Ohio hunting license. Licenses are available online or in-person for a fee. Remember to read all the rules and regulations for the area you are in and pay attention to the weather.