This Enormous Midwest Campground Is In A Beautiful State Park Right On A Great Lake

When spring has sprung and schools wind down for the year, that means it's camping season! It's time to gather up some s'mores fixings, tents, hiking boots, and firewood, and head to the great outdoors. If you're not sure where to go yet, here is a suggestion for an absolutely enormous campground in the Midwest that has everything you need for the perfect outdoor vacation. This place is Ohio's East Harbor State Park campground, which sits right on a peninsula on Lake Erie in Marblehead. 

This place has hundreds of campsites in several loops, miles of multi-use trails to explore, disc golf, fishing, boating, volleyball and basketball courts, a marina with a full-time mechanic, a beach for swimming, and a nearby historic lighthouse to visit. There is so much to do here and so many different camping options that you'll want to come back a number of times to try them all. Here's what you need to know about East Harbor State Park's campgrounds and the activities you can take part in when you visit. 

The campgrounds at East Harbor State Park

The 1,831-acre East Harbor State Park opened in 1947, and as with all Ohio State Parks, you don't have to pay to get in. There is even free WiFi for registered campers. Sitting right on the shore of Lake Erie, you couldn't pick a better spot for camping activities and water sports.

The campground itself has over 400 RV sites with different hookup types, and over 160 sites without hookups. Several sites are ADA-accessible, and each spot has a fire ring and picnic table. As you can see in the picture above, there is plenty of shade, yet it doesn't feel overly-wooded. You'll be able to wave to your neighbor. If you're looking to camp in a group, there are ten primitive sites that hold up to 50 campers each, with flush restrooms and showers nearby. 

Looking for something different? Rent the campsite's yurt, which is ADA-accessible, but make sure to click the ADA feature on the reservation website. This isn't glamping, which is a lot of fun as well, but it's certainly a fancier sort of camping, with a fire ring, gas grill, picnic table, microwave, coffee maker, and fridge. You can also try out a Sherman Cabin: a one-room shelter with a twin bed and a bunk bed, a mini-fridge, microwave, heat, air conditioning, and a porch with chairs, in addition to a fire ring and a grill. Pets are welcome on campgrounds but are not permitted in the yurt or Sherman cabins. 

Facilities and activities at East Harbor State Park campground

If fishing's your game, lovely Lake Erie is known for walleye, but you might also catch largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and carp. Make sure you have a current Ohio fishing license. You'll also find showers, flush toilets, a water station, a dump station, and a fish-cleaning station at camp, so you don't have to smell it at your site. As an alternative, try the fishing pond and ADA fishing access near the Lockwood Shelter. There are several launch ramps at the campground, and you can even store your boats at the marina. You're a short drive or bike ride (depending on your campsite location) from the nearby 1,500-foot sandy swimming beach on the lake, which has restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, and even vending machines. Plan your visit with the campground map here

Another activity to try out is the 18-hole disc golf course. You'll have to bring your own equipment, but there is no fee to use it. Keep busy with 10 miles of hiking trails, most on the easy side, with some doubling as snowmobile sites in the winter. The camp store, open from April through October, has ice cream, firewood, ice, and even bicycle rentals and sporting equipment to borrow. Take a seven-mile trip to the 1821 Marblehead Lighthouse (seen above), which you can climb. While you're there, visit another Midwest island right off of Marblehead and check out the best towns on all the Great Lakes for future visits.