Buckeye Lake/Columbus East KOA Campground

The Buckeye Lake/Columbus East KOA Campground was huge. This was our first time visiting and exploring this area. Roughly 30 miles east of Columbus, Ohio. The campground sites 1.5 miles off interstate 70

They offer Cozy sleep camper cabins (15), deluxe cabins (4), large shaded primitive tent area, deluxe patio pull-through (27), with a total of 270 sites (not including cabins) this campground has a hook-up of your choice.

Roads

The main road in and out of the campground around the gift shop and office is paved. The rest of the roads are rock, along with all sites.

The sites even though gravel, were very level for the most part.

Privacy

The campground was quiet from car traffic. Even though it sits only 1.5 miles off a major interstate it was quiet.

Bathrooms

There are 3 bathroom/shower houses. The one by the front office is the only one we used. The other two were farther away from us and closer to the tent spots (which makes sense!) So unfortunately I can only speak to the one.

It was very nice, clean, and even had a TV in it. Doors on the stalls, is always nicer than just a curtain! Seems to have been recently updated.

Amenities

They have a schedule of events that start opening day April 1, 2021 and ends the last weekend in October with a month long Halloween celebration. Mixed in the other months you can find events like wine and cheese, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day events, big activities for the 3 major summer holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor day). You can find their full list of weekend fun here!

We were lucky enough to participate in The Big Weekend. This weekend all money raised is donated to Care Camps for kids with cancer! So since we stay Friday night we received Saturday night for $20, and then that $20 was donated by the park. What a deal, right?! They had an auction where people staying the weekend could bring auction items, a 50/50 raffle and donuts and coffee Sunday morning. All of the profits and donations from those events were donated. For our weekend May 14-16, 2021 – $3000 was raised!

My daughter with no allergies really enjoyed the donuts that day. While my husband took our dairy and egg allergy daughter into the store to pick out a treat.

There is a small creek that runs through the campground. I brought their rain boots not knowing how high the water would be, they tested it out but they preferred to spend their time at the playground!

All full hook-up camper sites have cable hook-up as well! This makes early morning hours a little better for the kids while us adults take more time to rise.

Free wifi, is always a nice option. I did hook my phone up to it and it was slower than just using my data. Thankfully we have unlimited data so that is an option. But the wifi wouldn’t be fast enough for any type of streaming.

In addition to planned actives they have unique amenities that include basketball, gaga ball, game room ($), gem mine ($), giant checkers, giant chess, horseshoes, jumping pillow, sand volleyball court, shuffleboard, pool (opened Memorial Day thru Labor Day), mini golf, bike rentals ($), golf cart rentals ($), gift shop, wagon rides, and fire truck rides.

Firewood is available for purchase. As with many campgrounds bringing in outside firewood is prohibited. They also have propane for purchase.

A camping kitchen is available toward the back of the campground where more of the tent sites are located.

You can find a full list of their amenities here!

Hiking

No hiking trails within the park. There is a side walk on the main road (S.R. 79) that a walk/run would be enjoyable. Also walking to the trail along Buckeye Lake would provide a great view while you take stroll.

We had the girl’s electric scooters and took them along the bike path by Buckeye Lake. It was a great time. There are restaurants, bars and ice cream parlors to stop at too!

Boats

No boating directly on this campground. However, we did see many campers bring a boat as I’m sure to enjoy a beautiful summer day on Buckeye Lake and there are numerous rental services available around Buckeye Lake as well.

Dog Park

Two separate areas in the back of the campground are perfect for dogs. They have a smaller dog walk area that is fenced in. The also have a larger Kamp K9 to allow the bigger dogs to get out some running.

Fishing

No fishing area on the campgrounds. But just a short 5 minute walk will take you to Buckeye Lake and a bike trail where we saw people fishing.

Best and Worst Spots

I can’t really say there were any bad spots. There are some sites that are a little closer together than others but nothing consistent. As my husband and I walked to and from the park multiple times a day we saw two sites that would be idea for the park and jumping pillow area. Sites 311 and 321 are full hookup 50 amp patio sites with cable. They are right on the corner and I could watch my kids on the jumping pillow from my comfy chair. I will say however, that these sites don’t have many mature trees to provide shade and you will be looking out towards the main road as well. But on the plus side the patio includes patio furniture, grill, and specialty fire pit. Here is a graphic of the campground map.

Price

KOA has a rewards card that we purchased for the first time in 2021. It wasn’t expensive and we thought we would see if we got our money’s worth! Here are the details.

The Value Kard Rewards account immediately entitles you to 10% off the daily registration rate every time you register to camp at any of our nearly 500 KOA campgrounds throughout North America. While you’re camping, you are also earning valuable camping rewards that are redeemable for cash off your future KOA stays

There is also a free night of camping at a participating KOA, during Value Kard Rewards Appreciation Weekend each September

Our price for this trip was $88 a night plus $6 a night per child. The second night we stayed since it was the Kamp Weekend for kids with cancer that money went to that fundraiser! Win-win for us all!

I’d say overall the kids enjoy KOA’s because they offer many activities, so sometimes that helps us to justify the cost. We have never camped at this KOA before but there was only 1 arts/crafts activity for them to participate in while we were there, which is on the lower side from our experience. However, we kept busy doing other activities but when the pool isn’t open and not many “organized” activities the increased cost (compared to state parks) is harder to justify.

Summary and Ratings

Rating 1-5, with 5 being the best

Overall Rating: 3.6

Cleanliness/Modernness of campground: 3.5

Campground Layout/Lots: 3

Scenery: 3.5

Amenities: 4

Local Attractions: 4.5

Value of Price: 3.5

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