Ohio overnight

Is there anywhere in Ohio you can just camp along the river? Not a regular campground. Just stop and sit up.

I’ve known…
…plenty of people who do just that all along the

Little Miami. How legal it is I do not know, but

I’ve known it done particularly on islands on the

little Miami.

There are some of the canoe liveries that allow

it as well, but you have to make arrangements

first. And whether or not they are open this time

of year is unknown.

Whre you planning on going? Maybe I can check

around for you.

The Little Beaver
A friend of mine has property along the North fork of Little Beaver Creak. He allows people to camp there if they ask. There is a fire pit. It is a nice spot.

The Little Beaver was Ohio’s first nationally designated Wild and Scenic river.

If you are interested, I can give you the information. J D

Raccoon Creek?
Raccoon Creek flows through state and national forest land, so camping should be allowed. I’ve never paddled it, but there’s a trip report posted here:


Raccoon Creek/ Little Muskingum
Raccoon Creek does flow through Zaleski State Forest, but I do not know the legalities of camping along it. The section through Zaleski is deeply forested; other sections further downstream are more open farmland. The Raccoon always has quite a few log-jams that need to be portaged or drug-over, some sections (like the section directly below Zaleski SF) can be quite tricky to negotiate. I’ve never seen any stream anywhere with more beaver! FWIW, I’ve paddled a few sections of that stream and seen quite a few “No Trespassing” signs along its banks. E-mail me on the side and I can put you in touch (via e-mail) with the hydrogeologist/watershed resource manager for that creek. I’m sure he can answer any questions you might have about that stream.

The Little Muskingum River flows for many miles through the Marietta Division of the Wayne National Forest. Stream-side camping is allowed on that stream at several primitive campsites set up and maintained by the Forest Service. This stream runs parallel to St. Rt. 26 (a designated scenic byway) which is sparsely traveled - road noise is not much of an issue. There are several historic covered bridges to pass under as you paddle along, very scenic. The stream itself has many easy riffles - it would serve as a good introduction to moving water. As a bonus the Little Muskingum has a resident population of river otters that have become tolerant of human presence. If you’re observant, can paddle quietly and can keep your voices down you’ll see ‘em.

Like Raccoon Creek the Little Muskingum is a “seasonably paddle-able” stream that is generally doable in spring, but can be rocky at other times (and seriously floods often). Since water rises and drops so quickly on these two streams monitoring the USGS gauges before your trip is well advised. Both of these streams now have gauges (the Raccoon gauge near Zaleski is new as of last year).

I hope that helped.


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I plan to
This summer I am going to float the entire Little Miami. From the research I have done it is legal to camp on any island and walk along the bank to portage on private land. I dare say that many land owners would allow you to camp if you ask nicely. Carry a camp stove so they do not worry about you burning down their land. Call the parks service or DNR and they should be able to give you a better answer. Good luck


I’d like to hear more about your research. On my local part of the Little Miami, I dare say you’re likely to be greeted with a shotgun if you trespass on private land. Bear in mind that much of the Little Miami passes through nature preserves and county and state parks, which will have their own rules about landing and camping. (For example, in Glen Helen Preserve near my home, you certainly would not be permitted to camp on an island.) Little Miami Inc. , a land trust, also has extensive holdings on the banks—do you know what their rules are about landing and camping?

He’s correct…
…DNR owns the water, but the shores and creek

bottom are generally private property. Including


While MOST property owners are either unaware or

don’t care, you could be headed for trouble.

Morgan’s, River’s Edge, and a smaller livery

in Oregonia whose name escapes me now will

generally let people camp with permission.

Near the start of it at John Bryan Park there

are campsites. (This is where I learned to swim.)

And much of the Little Miami runs through some

very populated places.

There are a few public access areas where it should be legal as well.

Heck, let me know and maybe I’ll go with you!

I love that river. Sections are quite nice, but

do NOT expect whitewater. Class 1 or 2 at most.

The Loveland to Milford section is the best, with

that part of Warren County near the Ft. Ancient

Indidan Mounds being close.