Paint Creek State Park
Guide

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Introduction

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 who 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.

RV Rentals in Paint Creek State Park

Transportation in Paint Creek State Park

Driving

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 four towns: 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 pot-hole. 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.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Paint Creek State Park

Campsites in Paint Creek State Park

Reservations camping

Equestrian Campground

The equestrian campground is near the Bridle Trail located less than two hundred yards from the lake. There are 10 sites available for RV and tent camping. Your rig should be no longer than 53 feet long. There are no hookups available but there are a water spigot and a dumping station nearby. The campsites come with an option of gravel, dirt, or grass padding. 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 leveled and shaded with a pleasant view of the lake. There aren’t many trees between the sites, so you will have a small amount of privacy. Amenities included are picnic tables, a fire ring, restrooms, hot showers, and horse hitching posts. There is also water provided for your horse. You will need to bring your own feed. You are prohibited from bringing your own firewood and gathering firewood from your surroundings. The staff or hosts will direct you to where you can get approved firewood. You can stay a limit of 14 days at a time and may make a reservation up to 6 months in advance.

Main Campground

The main campground has 193 campsites with 14 of them being premium. 25 of the campsites are strictly reserved for walk-ins, while the other sites use a reservations system. Electric hookups are available, but there are no water or sewer hookups available. There are a few water spigots in the campground and a dumping station is also available. The lots range from fully shaded to in full sunlight, so there is a site for everyone. There are shrubs and trees between each lot providing a lot of privacy. The majority of the lots are sloped, so you may need a brick or two to level your rig. Only six people and one car are allowed to stay at each campsite. If there is another car then it will be subject to an additional fee. Amenities included are hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and a fire ring. The gathering of firewood in the park is strictly prohibited, neither are you allowed to bring your own firewood from home. The park provides firewood near the park office. You are allowed to stay a maximum of 14 days at a time and can make a reservation up to six months in advance. Pets are welcome.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served Options

There are no campsites that have been set aside for first-come, first-served only at this park.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Paint Creek State Park

In-Season

Hiking

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 three-quarters of a mile to two and a half 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.

Horseback Riding

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 watch 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 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.

Going to the Beach

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 out 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.

Off-Season

Hunting

The park’s 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 hunting license. Licenses are available online or in person for a fee. There are lifetime licenses available for purchase but you will need your social security number to get it. Remember to read all the rules and regulations for the area you are in and pay attention to the weather.

Cross-country Skiing

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 and always check the weather 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.

Fishing

The 1,190-acre Paint Creek Lake is seasonally stocked with crappies, 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.

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