Nestled in the majestic open meadows and valleys of eastern Ohio, Salt Fork State Park is a haven for RVers featuring enchanting streams and beautiful tree-lined hills. As the largest state park in Ohio, you will love exploring over 17,000 acres of untouched natural beauty filled with outdoor recreation for the whole family. There are tons of outdoor activities you can enjoy when you visit the park, from archery and boating to sledding and golf.
Salt Fork State Park gets its name from a salt well found along the creek and is a prime destination for RVers year-round. You can enjoy warm days in the summer, with average temperatures in the mid-80s, to cooler winters, with temperatures reaching the 40s and high 30s. During the sunny days of summer, you will love swimming, boating, and golfing. If you are into fishing you’ll be in for a treat - you’ll have the chance to catch largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, and muskellunge. During the colder months, you can still enjoy a range of outdoor activities like snowmobiling, ice skating, and cross-country skiing.
This beautiful state park has a unique history since it is home to an area first settled by pioneers. During the summer, you can visit the Kennedy Stone House Museum, which is a charming stone house built by an early resident of Guernsey County in 1837. Salt Fork State Park is known for its beautiful natural features, and you can see this when you hike through towering oak, maple, and chestnut trees. You’ll also get to spot native animals such as red foxes, wild turkeys, and white-tailed deer. Birding enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of a myriad of birds like owls, cardinals, and Kentucky warblers. A variety of beautiful wildflowers like geranium, violets, and large-flowered trillium can be found in the park and make stunning photos.
RV Rentals in Salt Fork State Park
Transportation in Salt Fork State Park
The drive to the park is stunning and incredibly scenic. It is quite easy to find since it is located off Highway 77 and Route 22. The park is roughly 12 miles away from the nearest city, Cambridge, where RVers can stock up on supplies and other sundries as they need. The roads near the park are clearly marked and spacious enough for you to comfortably drive along with your RV. RVers with bigger rigs can rest easy about any height restrictions or obstacles along the journey. Once inside the park, there are a number of local paved roads to take you wherever you want to go, which you can navigate by car, bike or foot.
You won’t have any trouble finding parking, whether you are driving a car or a big rig, since there are dozens of parking lots dotted around the park. Parking can be found at many trailheads and main attractions such as campgrounds, golfing areas, and marinas.
Campgrounds and parking in Salt Fork State Park
Campsites in Salt Fork State Park
Salt Fork State Park Campground
Salt Fork State Park features a main campground divided into several loops, with 172 sites for RVs and tents with electricity and 40 sites for RVs and tents with full-hookups. This pet-friendly campground features a number of amenities including heated shower houses, restrooms, picnic tables, and a dump station. You can do all of your cooking and dining right at your site with the fire ring and picnic table provided.
You’ll enjoy easy access to a separate beach, boat launching, and docking. There are several comfort stations throughout the park, and a large camp store where you can stock up on food and souvenirs. Eighteen of the sites are ADA-accessible. You can reserve a campsite for up to 14 days at a time, and reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
If you are hauling your horses in a trailer, you'll have a place to stay at Salt Fork State Park. There are forty campsites available for equestrians, but keep in mind that these sites are primitive, meaning no hookups are available. However, you'll still be able to use all of the campground amenities including heated showers, a private beach, and a camp store. All horse campsites are open on a first-come, first-served basis.
Salt Fork State Park Campground
Twenty-two of the sites at the pet-friendly Salt Fork State Park Campground are walk-in only. These sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. While there are no hookups offered at these sites, there are many amenities at this campground including a dump station, shower houses, restrooms, picnic tables, and a camp store. During you’ll stay you’ll enjoy access to a private beach, boat launch, and dock.
The Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center is a hotel and retreat located right in the park. If you’d like to park your rig and enjoy more modern accommodations you can stay in one of the lodge’s 148 guest rooms. The lodge overlooks Salt Fork Lake and when you stay here you can enjoy the beautiful scenic views it has to offer.
Amenities include a dining room, gift shop, coffee shop, and an indoor game room. Plus, there are plenty of activities to enjoy on-site such as swimming pools, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard courts, and saunas. You will also have access to a 400-foot beach where you can swim and paddle. Boat launching and docking amenities are also available for guests to use.
If you’d rather stay in something more comfortable, but still out in nature, you can stay at one of the 37 two-bedroom cabins or 17 chalet cabins that are open year-round. The two-bedroom cabins are located on the hill or on the lake and offer fully furnished living and dining areas as well as a bathroom, shower, kitchens stocked with cooking utensils, and screen porches. The chalet cabins are a perfect place for a getaway since they also feature hot tubs and gas log fireplaces. Pets are allowed to stay in select cabins.
If you prefer to park your rig off-site there are a number of private campgrounds in the area. You can enjoy a range of modern amenities such as wireless internet, cable TV, or a swimming pool. These accommodations may vary from rustic to resort-style, so you can choose the spot that best suits your needs.
Seasonal activities in Salt Fork State Park
One of the best ways to beat the heat while you’re on your RV trip at Salt Fork State Park is to take a dip in the 2,500-foot public swimming beach. This is one of the largest inland beaches in Ohio, and you can enjoy hours swimming on the water or sunbathing on the shore. The long beach is perfect for a casual walk and you'll see lots of wildlife along your way. You can also make use of the shower house and a snack bar located nearby.
Salt Fork State Park has a unique activity that the whole family can enjoy during your visit: archery. Campers and day visitors can both enjoy this exciting activity and head on over to the archery range where novice and expert archers can practice the sport. This is also the perfect place for a hunter to practice their archery skills before heading out to go hunt. You'll find the 12-station range near the entrance to the campground.
If you want to get out on the water, there are lots of opportunities here. Both motorized and non-motorized boats can be enjoyed on the 2,952-acre lake at Salt Fork State Park. There is no limit to the amount of horsepower a boat can have on this lake. With eight boat launching ramps around the lake, you’ll be able to get on the water with ease.
Make sure to stay within the clearly marked ski and speed zones. If you're feeling adventurous and would like to spend a night camping on your boat, then find yourself a spot in the no-wake zones and make sure to be within 50 yards of the shore. Swimming from boats is also allowed in designated areas. There are gasoline fuel stations and a variety of boat rentals available including kayaks and canoes.
If you want to bring your four-legged companions with you on your next escape, you can at this state park! Your dogs will love a chance to run around and play in the one-acre dog park. This scenic dog park is fenced in around the lake and provides access to grass, sand, and water for your dogs to splash, swim, and enjoy. You can also enjoy a quiet picnic at the nearby picnic table area.
For the avid golfer, Salt Fork State Park offers a top-notch 18-hole golf course on-site. This 250-acre course is very popular among golfers, and you’ll enjoy hours of fun playing a game of golf, practicing on the putting green, or hitting balls on the driving range. Experience stunning views along the course including misty valleys, wooded hills, and meadows. You can also enjoy a bite to eat at the snack bar or load up on golfing supplies at the pro shop. If you're traveling with kids, a mini-golf course is also available for use at the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
If you decide to visit Salt Fork State Park during the winter, you won't be disappointed. There are many activities you can still enjoy during the colder months like cross-country skiing around the park, sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, and even ice boating and ice fishing. Remember to make sure that the ice is thick enough before you venture out. You are sure to find something that will suit your needs when you visit the park in your camping trailer.
Hunting and Fishing
If you want to go hunting during an RV vacation to Ohio, you can hunt in the designated hunting areas within the park. The park is a favorite spot for hunters because of its large variety of wildlife spread over a large area of land. When hunting at the park you will find many different animals including rabbit, quail, deer, squirrel, and wild turkey. If you'd like to hunt while at the park, you must be in possession of a valid Ohio hunting license.
If you love fishing, you are in luck, since there are many popular bays and an artificial reef where you can bait your hook. A variety of fish is up for grabs including largemouth bass, walleyes, bluegills, crappies, and muskellunge.
The park has over 20 miles of bridle trail throughout its borders, which avid equestrian you will love. You can horseback ride through enchanting forests and open meadows. If you take a trail by the lake you can soak in awe-inspiring views of the lake all around you. The trails vary in length from approximately 1.5 miles to 11 miles. Most of them are open year-round, but some are better to use between March until November.
Salt Fork State Park is a haven for hikers with 14 scenic hiking trails located around the park that are suitable for all levels. If you are looking for a short easy route, take a stroll along the .32-mile Forest Crest Nature Trail and see beautiful views of the tree-lined hills around you. For a more moderate route, hike along the one-mile Beach Point Trail, featuring tranquil views of the water. Along the trails, you may be able to see wildlife like gray squirrels, barred owls, and red fox. Birders are sure to enjoy wandering along the trails in hopes of glimpsing some of the large variety of birds like the scarlet tanager and kentucky warbler.
Kennedy Stone House Museum
Make sure to visit the Kennedy Stone House Museum when you're at the park. The Kennedy Stone House Museum was the ancestral home of the Benjamin Kennedy family. This stone house was built around about 1837 and is an example of prime workmanship with each stone block finely designed and fitted snugly with the rest of the stone blocks. From the house, visitors can look out over the lake and enjoy the breathtaking views. However, the lake wasn't always there - it used to be a grazing field.
When you visit the museum you'll get the chance to learn about the rich history of the land that the park is situated on. You can also enjoy seeing the restored stone house and the other restored additions to the property like the herb garden, well house, and summer kitchen. This is definitely worth the visit! The museum is open from May until October. You can also get there by walking along the Stone House Loop Trail.