2018 Heartland Trail Runner
2018 Heartland Trail Runner
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Whether you're basking on the sandy beach, launching a kayak, or casting a line for freshwater fish, Paint Creek State Park promises a bounty of outdoor adventures. The park was founded in 1972 and occupies more than 5,500 acres within the Paint Creek Valley, a scenic pocket of the Buckeye State that will captivate you with rolling hills, crystalline streams, and colorful wildflowers.
Planning a getaway to Paint Creek State Park? Book an RV in Highland County and you'll enjoy the freedom to explore the Paint Creek Valley at your own pace. You'll also find a great selection of RV rentals in Ross County. At less than an hour and a half by car from Columbus, Paint Creek State Park is popular with city slickers in search of a nature fix. You're also an hour and a half from Cincinnati, another great base to rent a camper near Paint Creek State Park.
When the dam was completed in 1974, Paint Creek was transformed into one of the top outdoor recreation destinations in Ohio. Today, Paint Creek Lake is fringed by a long sandy beach that's perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and sandcastle building. It's a great place to spend the day, so why not claim one of the picnic tables, fire up a grill, and enjoy lunch by the shoreline?
Paint Creek State Park offers some of the best fishing in Ohio, with the chance to reel in bass, crappie, bluegill, and more. If you're bringing your boat, three launch ramps make it easy to access the water. Hiking trails wind through the park and showcase sun-drenched meadows and lush woodlands. In spring and summer, the park explodes in a sea of wildflowers, including wild geranium, Queen Anne's lace, and jewelweed.
Birders cover Paint Creek as an important habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as other species like great blue herons, osprey, and bald eagles. The steep limestone bluffs lining the shoreline serve as nesting sites for cliff swallows. For a glimpse of the park's colonial heritage, don't miss the Pioneer Farm. It's dotted with historic buildings, including a log house dating to the early 1800s.
Perched on a hilltop, the Paint Creek State Park Campground offers around 200 sites and beautiful views over the valley. Most are equipped with electricity and feature picnic tables and fire rings for maximizing your time outdoors. Sites can usually accommodate RV rentals of around 45 to 50 feet, though some are a little smaller or larger.
Like most serviced state park RV campgrounds, Paint Creek treats you to modern bathroom blocks with hot showers and flush toilets. Long-term road trippers will appreciate the addition of laundry facilities to freshen up clothes and linens. There's also a dump station for RVs with services onboard. Pets are welcome at designated sites, so it's best to book in advance if you're bringing Fido RV camping. Kids will love attending nature shows at the campground amphitheater. There's also a playground, mini-golf course, and disc golf circuit to keep the little ones entertained.
Paint Creek State Park is perched on the border of the Appalachian Plateau and is a fantastic base for exploring the glacier-carved landscape. At nearby Rocky Fork State Park, you can peer into a gaping 75-foot gorge that was formed when glacial ice blocked the flow of the creek. In summer, botanists flock to admire Sullivantia, a rare wildflower that blooms in the canyon. Above Rocky Fork Creek, the 2,600-acre Highlands Nature Sanctuary protects ancient Native American sites like Fort Hill and Serpent Mound.
Historians shouldn't miss the Adena State Memorial. It was founded to preserve the 5,000-acre estate of Thomas Worthington, former governor of Ohio and United States senator. The stunning 19th-century mansion is filled with antiques, while the grounds command sweeping views over the Scioto River Valley and Mount Logan range.
A 15-minute drive away, Bainbridge is a great place to stock up on gas, groceries, and other motorhome camping essentials. For more choice, head to Chillicothe, a riverside city with cafes, restaurants, and fast food favorites. The closest major airports are in Columbus and Cincinnati, both excellent cities to kickstart your state park motorhome camping getaway and rent a camper near Paint Creek State Park.