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Ohio State Parks FAQs
An aerial view of Lake Hope State Park

Ohio State Parks FAQs

Postings for job opportunities can be obtained online at careers.ohio.gov or at any state park administrative office.

Most shelter houses are now reservable online or by calling 866-644-6727. A few parks also offer shelters on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please check with the park of your choice for options.

Permits are required for large, organized events held at Ohio State Parks. For an event larger than a family gathering, please submit the Special Event Activity Permit Application and check with the park of your choice for details.

Alcohol is prohibited in public areas in every state park. The only exceptions are resort lodge restaurants and lounges, which provide complete beverage service. In addition, the golf course pro shops at Deer CreekHueston WoodsMaumee BayPunderson, and Salt Fork offer limited beverage service.

The State of Ohio legal age for possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is 21 years of age.

Many state parks allow hunting for upland game, as well as trapping and waterfowl hunting in designated hunting areas during the legal hunting seasons. Many parks are adjacent to state forests or state wildlife areas, which also allow hunting.

A valid Ohio hunting license, along with any relevant permits or stamps, is required. Learn more about Ohio's hunting regulations, seasons and license requirements.

Special events are permitted at state parks upon approval of the park manager. Please check with the park of your choice for details. See hosting a wedding at an Ohio State Park.


The Ohio Division of Forestry has four state forests that have designated areas for ATV's (motorcycles, quad runners and etc.) but no areas for jeeps, trucks and 4WD cars or buses. The Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio also has an ATV area designated with similar restrictions.

Pets must be on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length and must be under control at all times. Proof of rabies shots and a physical description of the animals is required upon request. All state park campgrounds allow pets, and many have designated areas for pets.

A maximum of two pets is permitted per campsite. Many cabins and lodge rooms are pet-friendly. Look for the "pets welcome" notice when booking your reservation.

The state park resort lodges, along with newer state park facilities and older facilities that have been renovated, offer a variety of accessible features. In several state parks, various outdoor recreation facilities, such as fishing piers, launch ramps, trails, picnic sites and campsites are accessible. For information on accessible facilities, please contact the park of interest or see general information on accessible facilities.

Gift cards can be obtained from any state park office, online, or by contacting the Central Office at 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. C, Columbus, OH 43224, (614) 265-6513.

Ohio State Parks accept cash, check with proper ID, major credit cards which include; MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.

All of Ohio's state parks are open for recreational activities during the winter. All cabins and resort lodges are open during the winter. Most campgrounds are open during the winter, however amenities may be limited. Please check with the individual park to determine the availability of specific amenities.

Day use areas are open from 6 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. with the exception of John Bryan, Headlands Beach, Nelson Kennedy Ledges, and Hocking Hills. The hours for the parks noted are one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.

Swimming areas are open from daylight to dusk, where swimming is available. Campgrounds are open 24 hours daily, with visiting hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ohio remains one of the few states in the country that does not charge a general admission or parking fee at its 74 state parks. Day use facilities, including trails, beaches, picnic areas, boating and fishing facilities are free of charge.

There is a fee for use of overnight facilities, reserving shelter houses, equipment rental, golf, and some facility tours. Some parks require a visitor pass and a small fee for non-registered campers at the campgrounds.