Outdoor enthusiasts airing out their tents or refueling their RVs for spring camping will find a wide variety of sites, amenities, and attractions — natural and otherwise — at large parks. State of Ohio.

More than 50 Ohio state parks offer camping, with campgrounds located from the beaches of Lake Erie to the shores of the Ohio River, and from the plains and prairies of the west to the foothills of the Appalachians in the east .

So campers, regardless of their particular interests, can be sure to find exactly the kind of campgrounds and experience they prefer.

Here are a few park campgrounds from across the state that offer interesting or unusual camping experiences.

South Bass Island State Park

Located just one mile from the tourist hubbub of Put-In-Bay, this campground is on the quieter side of South Bass Island and offers a great place for a peaceful getaway after a day of island fun.

About half of the campsites are for tents, with many of these sites perched on the edge of a cliff with great views of Lake Erie.

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Conveniently located nearby are public baths with flush toilets and showers.

Other campsites are available with electricity or full RV hookups, and the park offers an RV dump station. Although the island is only accessible by boat, Miller Ferries (www.millerferry.com) can transport vehicles of all sizes on the short journey from the mainland.

The park also has a small beach and boat launch, where Put-In-Bay Watercraft Rentals (pibjetski.com) rents kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, personal watercraft, and powerboats.

The park also includes four “cabents,” a kind of cabin/tent hybrid that sleeps six, plus a cabin that sleeps eight and has a full kitchen.

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Shawnee State Park

This 1,095-acre park near the Ohio River sits in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest, making it an ideal camping destination for hikers and nature lovers.

The park offers two campgrounds: the densely treed Turkey Creek Campground with over 100 electric and non-electric campsites; and the Ohio River Campground and Marina, with 12 electric sites located on the river just off US 52.

Turkey Creek Campground, formerly Theodore Roosevelt Game Preserve, is located on Lake Roosevelt, which has a small beach.

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The campground has heated showers with flush toilets, laundry facilities, and an RV dump station. Two RV cabins that sleep six are also available for rent.

Campers can also visit the Turkey Creek Nature Center and use the campground’s basketball and volleyball courts and miniature golf course.

A trail at the campground leads to a variety of trails, easy loops, longer and more rugged hikes through the state forest.

Serious hikers and backcountry campers can access the Shawnee Backpack Trail, which includes parts of the Buckeye Trail and the North Country Trail. Backcountry camping is available at seven sites, with potable water and latrines, along the 40-mile main loop.

Hocking Hills State Park

A favorite destination for nature-loving day trippers, this beautiful Hocking County park also offers a campground with 150 electric and non-electric sites and three small camping cabins.

For true tranquility and natural beauty, the park also offers a few “walking” campsites, inaccessible by road. Campers should pack their own gear about half a mile from the sites, which have a water tap, pit latrines, fire pits and picnic tables — and lots of quiet.

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And, though it barely qualifies as a campsite, the park also has 40 two-bedroom rental cabins with fireplaces, heat and air conditioning, and fully equipped kitchens.

The campground offers heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, and an RV dump station. Campers can use the site’s playgrounds, volleyball court and horseshoe pitch and fish at adjacent Rose Lake.

And the campground gives campers direct access to trails leading to Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and the other popular natural features the park is famous for. But savvy campers can wake up early and have the trails to themselves before most day-trippers have even pulled the Sante Fe or Explorer out of the garage.

Caesar Creek State Park

Campers at this great state park campground near Waynesville will find plenty of fun activities to fill their stay.

Caesar Creek offers nearly 300 campsites, most with electricity and some with full RV hookups.

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The 2,830-acre Caesar Creek Lake is open to boats of all sizes and features a marina and five boat ramps around the lake. The lake also has a 1,300 foot public beach.

Among the many activities in the park is mountain biking. Riders will find two trails: an easy 3.5-mile loop and a challenging 15-mile loop for intermediate and expert riders.

The park also has several large areas reserved for public hunting in season.

The Caesar Creek Nature Center features exhibits on the cultural and natural history of the area. And the park’s pioneer village features 15 relocated and restored log buildings, including a Quaker meeting house, pioneer school, blacksmith shop, and family cabins. The grounds of Pioneer Village are open for self-guided tours and the village hosts several special events throughout the year.

Caesar Creek is also known for its fossils. Visitors can explore the emergency spillway at Caesar Creek Lake Dam and see, in the exposed limestone and shale bedrock, the fossils of thousands of creatures that lived in the ancient sea that once covered the area.

Collecting fossils for non-commercial purposes is permitted with a free permit available at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center at the dam.

How to make reservations

Reservations, which can be made up to six months in advance, are required to camp at all Ohio State Park campsites. The parks system does not currently offer “walk-in” campsites or self-registration in the parks.

To explore all of the park’s campsites or to make reservations, visit www.ohiodnr.gov/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/campgrounds.

Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at [email protected]