Tar Hollow State Park

Tar Hollow is a place I remember visiting back in our tenting days. We liked the hiking but were surprised by the lack of flush toilets, given the presence of showers. Sadly, the pit toilets were sufficiently unpleasant to deter us from returning. Now that we travel with our own bathroom facilities, we decided it was time to give Tar Hollow a second chance.img_9527

The park has a lot going for it. It sits adjacent to Ohio’s third largest state forest and is less than a half hour away from the famous Hocking Hills region. The name of the park derives from the pine tar that was once acquired from the native pitch pines in the area. Interestingly, the park evolved from New Deal era acquisition of the land designed to encourage locals to take cash buy-outs and move to more urban areas with better employment prospects.


Tar Hollow features some great amenities. Play areas are not normally something we notice, but a large wooden play set, featuring an 80s era tire swing (seriously, I thought those things would be illegal by now), sits between the two main trailer camping areas. The camp store is located in a quaint cabin, the porch of which was the perfect location for a fellow camper to practice guitar. A small nature center sits behind the cabin, along with some recreational equipment and a mini-golf course.

The Tar Hollow campground is actually made up of several smaller “campgrounds”. We stayed in the Ross Hollow area on site 20.


These sites would have been a little close together if the park had been full, but fortunately, even on a beautiful fall weekend, it wasn’t too crowded. img_9526

Our site backed up to a small stream which was particularly fun for the dog. I would imagine kids would enjoy it as well.


There are lots of decent sites in the campground. Site 11 has a new deck that is particularly nice. There was also construction around the bath house that makes me optimistic that flush toilets are soon-to-come.

Tar Hollow is a great option for anyone wanting to enjoy this pretty area of Ohio without the crowds.

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