Motorhome Safari to Ohio’s Award Winning Zoos

Did you know that three of the top-ranked zoos in America are waiting for your family in Ohio? We’ve mapped an epic five hundred mile motorhome safari to discover the zoos in Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus. To add even more adventure to your RV excursion, we’ve thrown in a bonus stop for the kids on the trip home.

In need of an RV rental? Start your journey in Louisville, KY, just an hour and a half south of Cincinnati. If you’re good to go, pick up the safari at the Cincinnati Zoo, FamilyFun Magazine’s 2015 top pick for animal attractions. From mysterious Wolf Woods to the spectacular polar bear habitat, your family will be thrilled, educated and thoroughly entertained on this leg of your zoological safari. Family Fun Tip: Save time to take in a show at the zoo’s 4-D theater, where 3-D movies mixed with sensory surprises are sure to capture everyone’s imagination.

The next stop on our motorhome safari to discover Ohio’s zoos is a couple of hours north up I-71 in Columbus. The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is located in the city’s northern suburb of Powell, OH and features one of the most diverse animal populations in America!   Columbus Zoo & AquariumUnder the guidance of Jack Hanna, frequent guest of David Letterman, the Columbus Zoo has become famous for its natural habitats, abundant animal species and involvement in global conservation projects. Family Fun Tip: Plan to visit the adjoining Zoombezi Bay Water Park to help support the zoo while having a splashing good time.

Let’s take a second to remind ourselves why we travel by RV on trips like these. Three reasons come to mind:

  • The comfort of today’s luxurious motorhomes keep everyone happy on the road,
  • The convenience of cooking meals in your RV kitchen keeps the trip healthy and most of all,
  • Your vacation dollars are saved for family adventures rather than hotel charges and restaurant meals when you own or rent an RV.

Now back to our trip! Our final stop to find zoological wonders is Toledo, Ohio, two hours north of Columbus via US-23 and I-75. When you enter the gates of the century-old Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, you’ll know you’re a part of something special. Many of the main buildings were built during the Depression by the WPA and there’s a sense of history as well as adventure here. With thousands of animals waiting to amaze and educate your family, don’t be surprised if you spend the entire day at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium! Family Fun Tip: Book a behind-the-scenes tour before your come, and challenge the kids to locate as many of the zoo’s historic animal sculptures as possible while on your visit.

And speaking of the kids, we promised them a bonus stop if you’re completing the loop back south. The town of Mason, OH, between Dayton and Cincinnati on I-75, is home to King’s Island and Soak City, the largest amusement park/waterpark complex in the Midwest. This gigantic destination promises a day or more filled with thrill rides (think 80mph roller coaster!), enormous water slides and fun for the little ones at Planet Snoopy. You’ll go home a hero if you make this stop part of your RV safari itinerary!

And there you have it—a five hundred mile safari to world-class zoos and family fun in Ohio. Thanks to the abundance of Ohio RV campgrounds, booking great places to camp is a breeze for families on safari. Strike out on a journey through Ohio this camping season to discover vacation surprises the kids will talk about for years.

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An Exciting RV Adventure in Canton/Stark County!

Make time in your RV camping schedule this year to visit a place where history and nature combine in the perfect RV camping destination. The Canton/Stark County region of Ohio is lushly scenic, blessed with plenty of outdoor recreation spots and towns rich with history. Whether you set up camp in one spot and make side trips of interest to your family or move from town to town on your trip, you’re going to have a great time while you’re here.

The town of Hartville, OH is one such memorable side trip, thanks to intriguing shopping and dining venues and an enormous indoor/outdoor flea market open year-round. Hartville Kitchen, Collectibles, Tools, Gift Shop, Hardware and Marketplace, all owned by the industrious Miller family, offer visitors excellent shopping and dining experiences.

You’ll find the same level of excellence at other shops and restaurants throughout Hartville. Make your stay even more enjoyable by reserving a campsite at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground, a wonderfully entertaining RV campground complete with a waterpark and miniature golf complex four miles away in Uniontown.

Speaking of amazing RV campgrounds, the Canton/Stark County area has them in abundance. Clay’s Park Resort in North Lawrence, Ohio offers so much to do on-site you may be hard-pressed to get the kids to leave the campground. Imagine a beautiful tree lined campground featuring a swimming lake, kayak rentals, water slides, indoor heated pool, skate park and hiking trails. It’s a vacation in itself!

But once you’ve persuaded the family to leave the campground, it’s a short drive to an historic gem of a town called Canal Fulton. Located on the Ohio & Erie Canal, Canal Fulton offers a lesson in history for RV camping families. Visit the town’s dozens of vintage structures, take a ride on a canal boat and put some time in on your bikes along the Ohio & Erie Towpath.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Canton itself. Beloved by sports fans as home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton offers a wide selection of attractions. One often recommended by RV travelers is a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Pack the cameras; the train tour through Cuyahoga Valley National Park is breathtaking!

If you have a golfer or two in your RV, they’re going to fall in love with the Canton region. Area courses such as Edgewood Golf Club will add a layer of outdoor enjoyment to your camping trip; in fact, there are almost two dozen golf courses throughout Canton-Stark County!

Before we finish our RV camping itinerary of Ohio’s Canton-Stark County region, let’s talk about Ohio’s Amish Country. The strong Mennonite and Amish influence is evident everywhere, especially at beloved places like the Amish Door Village in Wilmot. Enjoy a scrumptious meal, shop the gift shop and stay for a concert. It’s a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with regional cuisine and the Amish way of life.

Help your family enjoy life at a little slower pace this vacation. Come to Ohio’s Canton-Stark County area; it’s an RV camping vacation you’ll cherish long after you’ve gone home.

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Undiscovered Travels in Ohio

Picture of the Devil's Bathtub in Hocking Hills State Park

Devil’s Bathtub in Hocking Hills State Park

While exploring new-to-them spaces in the Buckeye State, many explorers prefer the comfort and convenience of RV camping. Park your motorhome at one of Ohio’s beautiful campsites and spend your vacation delving into the places you’ve longed to see. What you’ll discover is that this state calls travelers back time and again to learn new secrets in the great outdoors.

To help you plan your Ohio RV journey of discovery, here are some clues to where you’ll find the natural wonders not everyone stops to appreciate. Consider Tar Hollow State Park and State Forest, less than two hours south of Columbus. Some of the state’s longest hiking trails, through steep, rocky ravines and lush hardwood forests, can be found at Tar Hallow. Take advantage of shady RV campsites, and then lace up your serious hiking shoes and keep your eyes open. You’ll discover the quiet places where skinks and salamanders skitter across the forest floor and rocky streams bubble through simply spectacular vistas.

The Hocking Hills area of Southern Ohio is fantastically scenic, as well, and each RV camping trip you make there will reveal new surprises. Hocking Hills State Park is a popular destination in warm weather, but you won’t want to miss the sights that unfold along the park’s trails. Dramatic gorges, rocky cliffs and dense forests give the sense you’ve stepped back to an unspoiled time.

If the thought of tree-lined campgrounds near quiet mountain lakes makes you hop up and pack your camping gear, Ohio also has plenty to offer. One fine example is Lake Hope State Park, also in the hills of Southern Ohio. Water-loving campers will be pleased to know you can rent paddle-propelled watercraft at the boathouse. RVers who hope to fish while on vacation will find the shady coves of this small lake a nice day’s challenge, too.

Every time you go RV camping in Ohio’s outdoor spaces, you can peel back another layer of mystery and find the places that soothe your soul. Whether you’re hiking the shoreline of Lake Erie, catching the wind in your sails on Buckeye Lake or photographing grey fox in Wayne National Forest, Ohio outdoors is never the same twice.

Ready to plan your trip? The Ohio Department of Natural Resources website has information on finding a state park campground and reserving your spot.

Take the time to get to know what lies just beyond the tree line and just inside that next rock-strewn ravine in Ohio. Those undiscovered travels in Ohio are likely to become your treasured vacation memories.

Picture credits: The picture of the Devil’s Bathtub is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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Travel the Ohio River Scenic Byway on an RV Vacation

Picture of the Ohio River in the Fall

The Ohio River

Take off through the beautiful state of Ohio on the Ohio River Scenic Byway for an RV vacation to remember. You can travel the entire 943 miles through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, or you can start out just exploring Ohio. Rich in history and full of marvelous views, this drive will allow you to enjoy the rural landscapes and small towns in a unique trip across our lovely American land.

Begin your trip in North Bend, Indiana as you won’t want to miss seeing the Harrison Tomb with its beautiful design of marble and limestone. Views are spectacular here of the Ohio Valley. Move on to Cincinnati where you simply must stop at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. This is a taste of history regarding the abolitionists, the Underground Railroad and much more. You will discover plenty to do in downtown throughout the summer with various cultural events occurring.

While in Cincinnati there are more extras as far as attractions go, like the Carew Tower and the Museum Center at Union Terminal. But you are going to want to move on to enjoy the remaining sights along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Next stop will be Georgetown, Ohio, the spot where you can see Ulysses S. Grant’s boyhood home.

In Ripley, the Rankin House is a must-see for history buffs. Around 2,000 slaves were hidden as the Underground Railroad moved them to freedom. This National Historic Landmark is definitely worth a stop. Other places you may want to visit are Carolyn’s House of Mini Rooms Museum with tiny rooms based on various themes and the famous Ripley Museum.

Next stop – Portsmouth. Pick up some antiques while here because this town undoubtedly has some of the best. Browsing the shops is just as much fun as buying, but once you get started you won’t want to stop. Drive out and have a picnic at Alexandria Point where two rivers meet. Forest land is all around for outdoor recreation.

When you reach Gallipolis, visit Our House State Memorial for an education on the rich history of this region, and experience this French Art Colony by walking the streets and absorbing the ambience. After a relaxing time here, move on to Marietta. This city offers many interesting sights but top among them are the Mounds of Marietta, ancient Indian earthworks.

You are reaching the end of this phase of your Ohio River adventure, but take time to enjoy Steubenville and tour Historic Fort Steuben. There are many murals on the walls of this town’s buildings which may provide some memorable photos. Then in Wellsville, stop at the Wellsville River Museum and a short distance from town, see the Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool. You have had quite a trip, but a fulfilling one. You can return again to enjoy the beauty of Ohio or you can continue your journey into and through other states. The choice is yours!

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Take an RV Vacation to Beautiful Hocking Hills, Ohio

Picture of Conkles Hollow

Conkles Hollow

Attractions and events in Ohio bring many to these lovely landscapes. And for sure, Hocking Hills, Ohio is the perfect place for a scenic RV journey. Outdoor recreation is a favorite of residents and visitors alike, with many State Parks, lakes and forests nearby. Outdoor events offer a diverse choice that will match your interests. You can’t beat an RV vacation in Hocking Hills.

RV travel is such a wonderful way to see the country. Hocking Hills KOA RV camping is just a hop, skip and a jump away from all the places you will be visiting. Happy Hills Family Campground is another great place to make your home base for your Hocking Hills adventures. Relax after a long day of exploration in your very own home away from home.

Once you get settled in, you can enjoy a ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway to view a number of sights. You will see a pioneer village at Robbins Crossing which gives you a taste of what it was like here in early days. Make your way to Hocking State Forest and you will be in close proximity to plenty of outdoor fun.

Right next door to the State Forest is the lovely Hocking Hills State Park. Be sure to get a fishing license because you’ll want to throw in a line at least once into Rose Lake. Picnic here in one of the five picnic areas. While here be sure to visit Old Man’s Cave where hiking is perfect. Part of the famous Ohio Buckeye Trail offers a wonderful trek for those up to it. This cave has quite a history connected to it. It was the home for Richard Rowe, a hermit who fell in love with the area and decided to live his life out in this very spot. He is buried right below the ledge to the main recess of the cave.

Ash Cave is another spectacular spot to explore. This is the largest cave in the state, reached by hiking through a narrow gorge lined with gorgeous trees and wildflowers. At Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve you will be witness to a number of cascading waterfalls, with more trails to explore and wildlife to enjoy.

Travel to the northern part of Hocking Hills to discover Cantwell Cliffs. This is a wonderful spot to get in more hiking and sightseeing. You can follow the valley floor trail or hike along the rim for incredible views. At lookout point, you can rest and just savor the breathtaking panoramas.

A recreational paradise, Lake Logan State Park is definitely a must to put on your Hocking Hills itinerary. Lake Logan is really the spot for fishermen to make a trophy catch. You will find bluegill, northern pike, catfish, bass, crappie and more in its waters. Take the paths through the woods and savor the fresh air and quiet peacefulness. Wildlife here is abundant and you may spot wild turkey, white-tailed deer, skunk, opossum, and box turtles crawling slowly over the paths. Love birding? Get your binoculars and view a pileated woodpecker, tufted titmouse or a beautiful scarlet tanager.

Further to the East you will find Zaleski State Forest which is the second-largest state forest in the state. This is the place to go when you are a backpacker. The Backpack Trail gives you some scenic wonders of this beautiful forested area. Take a day hike on the ten-mile loop trail or use the main trail for a 23.5-mile loop. If you bring a horse along, you will find a horse camp and a whole network of bridle trails.

Experience the beauty of Lake Hope State Park which is within Zaleski State Forest. Nature lovers come here to enjoy the solitude and quiet. Hikers love to explore the trails, and photographers get some truly marvelous shots. You will see gorgeous wildflowers such as yellow lady’s slipper, blue-eyed Mary and wild geranium. Explore and come upon a beaver dam. You may even catch a glimpse of the occupants.

If you need a refreshing dip in the heat of summer, you can also go swimming in Lake Hope State Park. There are fifteen miles of hiking trails to keep you out and about in the forest landscapes, too. Be sure to enjoy yourself to the max before heading home. Hocking Hills has so much to offer and you don’t want to miss out on one bit of it! An RV vacation is the ideal way to experience the beauty of this Ohio countryside. With plenty of places to camp and the convenience of a great place to spend your evenings, RV travel just can’t be beat, particularly in Hocking Hills, Ohio.

Picture credits: The picture of Conkles Hollow is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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RV Camping in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Travel by RV this year to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio for a chance to experience exhilarating natural beauty. That experience can take many shapes – biking on the well-planned trails, hiking the hills and forests of the Cuyahoga River Valley or taking a train ride through the Valley, learning about the area from many perspectives. Those are only three of the reasons RV campers are drawn to this National Park. Create your own experience in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park with the help of these travel tips.

RV Camping in the Cuyahoga Valley
Camping near Cuyahoga Valley National Park is simple, thanks to the abundance of State Park and private campgrounds (PDF format) nearby. More than a dozen RV campgrounds in scenic towns such as Stow, Ravenna and Streetsboro offer the chance to camp near picturesque forests and lakes.

Only twenty-two miles from Cleveland and less than twenty minutes from Akron, you’ll find the Park easy to reach by RV. It is accessible from the east or west on the Ohio Turnpike and on Hwy 77 from Akron. Plan your route with plenty of time to enjoy the splendid green spaces of northern Ohio. If you’re new to the area, you may also want to stretch your trip to include a visit to Lake Erie, just north of the National Park.

Attractions at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Once at the National Park itself, there’s so much to explore you may wish you’d planned a longer vacation. Here are some perennial favorites for Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitors:

  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers a wide variety of excursions up and down the Valley. Take advantage of the state-of-the-art audio tours that accompany your trip and enrich the experience with stories triggered by GPS technology.
  • The Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail leads bicyclists and hikers along twenty miles of this historic canal within the National Park’s boundaries, or you can use the Park as a starting point to travel the entire Trail.
  • Horseback Riding Trails throughout the National Park offer equestrian RV campers the chance to see the Cuyahoga River Valley from a unique vantage point. Eight trails are currently open for your riding enjoyment; check the NPS website for more information on parking, trails and special events.
  • Cultural Events are planned and held each year by the NPS in conjunction with local arts organizations. Be sure to check the Park’s NPS website for more information so you don’t miss concerts, art shows and dances scheduled during your visit.

In addition to these major attractions at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, there are dozens of ways to enjoy the beauty and history of the area. Hold a family meeting or gather those traveling with you to Ohio and decide which ways you’d like to explore the area. Use the National Park’s website to find maps, brochures and suggestions for vacation activities. All that’s left is to pick your dates, pack your suitcases and set your RV on a course for a memorable Cuyahoga River Valley vacation.

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RV Camping Trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Millions of Americans share two great loves, RV camping and professional football. One way to indulge those dual passions is by RV tailgating at pro football games. Another is to take an RV road trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Before we expand upon the joys of a place solely dedicated to professional football, let’s talk about the best way to get to Canton, Ohio by RV. Canton is easily accessible via major highways. It’s located about an hour due south of Cleveland on I-77. It’s also six hours east of the greater Chicago area and two hours west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Because you travel by RV to enjoy the sights and sounds of America, you’ll be interested to know that the lush Cuyahoga Valley National Park begins just twenty miles north of Canton in Akron, Ohio. If you’d like, you can plan a little extra time on your trip to take the historic railway tour through the Valley.

Now, onto what’s really bringing you to Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This beloved epicenter of US professional football holds events year-round as well as hosting permanent exhibits and activities that showcase Hall of Fame honorees.

Of special interest to hardcore pro football fans is the weeklong Enshrinement Festival in August. This extravaganza includes such events as a balloon launch, a barbeque “burnoff”, a huge parade, and a drum corps competition, in addition to the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and the Enshrinement Ceremony for the year’s Hall of Fame inductees.

Depending on when you decide to attend, there may be autograph sessions scheduled with featured Hall of Famers. You’ll always find exhibits featuring such artifacts sacred to football fans as Tom Brady’s Patriots draft card and the football commemorating Len Dawson as MVP in Super Bowl IV. There are literally so many videos, artifacts and educational materials related to pro football on display at the Hall of Fame that football fans will think they’ve gone to Heaven.

As an added bonus, a specially-priced Hall Pass available from either venue gives you access not only to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, but to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in nearby Cleveland, as well.

There’s really no excuse for a rabid fan of professional football not to visit the Hall of Fame at least once. Spending time there gives you the chance to pay homage to the best players in the sport. Getting there by RV makes the trip enjoyable and affordable. To make things even easier, there are scenic and well-equipped RV campgrounds just a short trip from the Hall of Fame. has a complete list of campgrounds in the Canton/Akron area.

It’s time to get into the game for this year’s RV road trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. You’ll score a touchdown by taking your favorite football fans along, and the memories you’ll come home with will be ones for the record books.

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