Small-town Camping near Columbus, Ohio

img_1547Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to find a quaint campground that brings back memories of a bygone era.

Such is the case with Pastime Park in Plain City, Ohio. The campground is open April 1 to November 1, and reservations can be made January 1 to October 31 at Pastime Park. The park office is closed from November 1 to December 31.



Set on community parkland, Pastime has 51 water and electric sites and one full-hookup site. There are also four primitive camping sites. The bathhouse has been recently renovated, and there is WiFi, but it seems to be closer to the office.

Gravel sites are long enough for big rigs and mostly level

The real draws of this park are the proximity to Columbus, the peacefulness, and the cost. The sites range from $25-$38/night, depending on gravel or grass, and this includes some sites with 50-amp service. All the gravel sites will accommodate the 35-foot and larger rigs and have 50/30-amp service.

There is also a dump station at the park that is free for registered campers and $5 for non-registered campers. If you’re looking to stay longer, the park offers monthly site rates and on-site pump-out service for $20. Check-in at the office for this service.

Sunday night concert in the park


From June to September, the park offers Music in the Park concerts every Sunday evening at 7:00 in the gazebo. When we were there the Lower London Dixieland Street Band was playing. By the looks of the campground schedule, there are groups from the surrounding towns scheduled every weekend.




The Plain City Aquatic Center Waterpark is also on the premises and is open to registered campers for a discounted rate. There is also a large playground and volleyball courts open to the public.




A walk into town, or Uptown as it’s called, takes about ten minutes. Every Thursday evening during the summer there is a farmers market and different events in town just about every weekend. And a visit to Plain City wouldn’t be complete without dinner at Der Dutchmann, an Amish restaurant with locations throughout mid-Ohio and even Sarasota, Florida.

Another great find on our camping journey is the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio. When not in use by events, the camping lot is open to travelers. For only $25/night, you can fill your water tank and plug into either 30- or 50-amp service. We were also fortunate enough to get prime real estate on the paved parking lot, but grassy sites are also available. One thing to remember is there is no dump station, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.

Franklin County Fairgrounds camping with the Hilliard Water Tower in the background

img_1189The Northwest Village, part of the Hilliard Historical Society, is located on the property as well. Using buildings relocated from around the surrounding communities, this village is full of 1800s history. With a church that is still used for weddings, a log cabin, one-room schoolhouse, caboose, barn, reproduction covered bridge, and even a voting wagon that would take the privilege of voting to citizens in Columbus, Ohio, a walk through this village is a walk through history.

This log cabin was rebuilt on this site from logs salvaged from 3 log cabins in the local area. The limestone chimney is made of stones taken from the Scioto River area.


One Room School, built in 1891 on Cosgray Road. Used until 1918, and was moved to the village in 1977


The Colwell Methodist Church was built in 1876 at the corner of Alton Darby and Roberts Road. It closed in 1964 and was moved to the village in 1983.


This 1870 vintage barn was located on Rome-Hilliard Road, before being moved to the village in 1988.









This mobile voting booth was used in Columbus, Ohio between 1880 and 1940. Kept in storage most of the year, on Election Day it was towed by horse or tractor to the precinct where it remained for the day. It was restored in 2010.



This mortise and tenon structure was moved and donated by Richard and Joanne Kuhn in memory of their father, Steve Kuhn, and grandfather, Herman Kuhn, who built it in 1870.


This is a replica of a 19th Century lattice truss bridge. It was built using materials salvaged from the Ashbrook covered bridge restoration project and was erected in July 1993.












Also within walking distance to the fairgrounds is the downtown area of Hilliard. With restaurants, a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, and various bars, there are plenty of options to grab a bite to eat or have a drink. Want to bring your dog? No problem because many establishments have outdoor seating. Hilliard also has a great bicycling trail and a free water splash pad park for the kiddos. What more could you want!?

We also loved the convenience of having our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons just around the corner! We were able to visit with them most evenings, and our grandson loved coming to see “Poppy’s camper”!

Stay tuned for more on “Poppy’s camper” (which we picked up while in Ohio) in the next edition!

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Check out her author page here.


Leave a Reply