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Ohio is home to Rocky Fork State Park, located in the city of Hillsboro and in the southwestern part of the state. The park is in close proximity to the cities of Chillicothe and Winchester, both easily accessible if you decide on renting an RV to drive around the area. One of the park’s main highlights is Rocky Fork Lake covering over 2000-acres, and it shares over 30 miles of shoreline with the park, making it a paradise for water sport enthusiasts. And not just water sports; the wetlands, gorges, and forests provide ample hiking opportunities, so it’s a good idea to book an RV in Highland County to explore the park and its surrounding areas.
Native American Indians once inhabited the area occupied by the park today and used it for hunting game and fishing. In the later 1800s and 1900s, a number of mills came upon the banks of the Rocky Fork. It was only in 1950 that the Rocky Fork State Park came into being, and has since been frequented by outdoor enthusiasts.
Rocky Fork State Park has outdoor activities for everyone, and planning a motorhome camping trip here to make the most of the activities on offer is a great way to see the outdoors. If you’re an avid fisher, there is no better lake to fish in Ohio. You’ll enjoy excellent catches of bluegill, crappie, bass, saugeye, channel catfish, white bass and flathead catfish, some weighing up to 40 pounds. To fish in the lake, you need a valid Ohio fishing license. There’s a wheelchair-accessible pier located to the southeast side of the lake. You also have the option of shore fishing or hopping on a boat to fish. Boating is fun on the lake, and there are no horsepower restrictions of any kind. Six boat launch ramps surround the lake, along with three marinas, one of which offers fuel, fishing and boating rentals. If you happen to get hungry while out on the lake, there’s a full-service restaurant at the East Shore Marina, while the North Beach Marina has a snack bar.
If you fancy a dip in the cool lake waters when you go RV camping at Rocky Fork State Park, head to the two public beaches that are located to the north and south sides of the lake. The beaches are equipped with changing rooms and bathhouses. Keep a check on your watch when swimming as it is permitted only during daylight hours, and remember to keep your pets away from the beach.
No state park RV camping trip is complete without a bit of hiking, and the park offers two great hiking trails to explore. The trails will take you through woodlands, scenic gorges, wetlands and a bird-watching observation station. The Bird Observation Trail is an easy short hike of less than half a mile, while the Deer Loop Trail is slightly more strenuous and covers a mile each way.
There’s a full-service campground available with about 171 sites if you wish to park your RV rental at Rocky Fork State Park. There are sites with full hookups, pull-through sites, big rig access, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a dump station and a campground store for last-minute camping supplies. WiFi is available at the camp office for registered campers. For recreation, make use of the basketball court or play some miniature golf. Pets are welcome at all the sites, but it’s a good idea to keep them leashed. If you need to rent some sporting equipment, the camp office has a few options.
Should you be looking for a place to camp in an RV near Rocky Fork State Park, head to Bayview Campground and RV Park, also in Hillsboro. It’s a small campground with about 31 sites. Amenities include pull-thru sites, full hookups, big rig access, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, sewers, water, a dump station, restrooms, showers, and a camp store. There are a few cabins and cottages for rent, or you could just pitch a tent if you like.
The area around Rocky Fork State Park is rich in history and natural offerings that are absolutely worth checking out in your RV rental. Just off State Route 41, you’ll come across Fort Hill that’s home to the Hopewell Indian mounds that date back to more than a thousand years. Check out the museum at the site to get an insight into this historical gem.
About 15 miles from the park, in northeastern Adams County is the Serpent Mound Historical Site, an architectural wonder of ancient America. The 1000-foot snake effigy mound is a National Historic Landmark that is believed to have been constructed around 300 BCE.
If you want to extend your time in the park surroundings, visit the Paint Creek State Park in Paint Creek Valley, just about 17 miles from Rocky Fork State Park. Paint Creek is great for fishing, boating, and swimming. You could also check out the Oldaker and Fallsville Wildlife areas that are both very close to the park.
Head into Hillsboro for a hearty Midwest meal, and remember to top up on gas at one of town’s fuel stations before continuing on your outdoor adventure!