Dispersed Camping

camping in the woods

Dispersed primitive camping is allowed on National Forest land away from developed campgrounds and anywhere that your camping equipment and/or vehicle do not block developed trails or road right-of-ways. Backpack into camp along the trail or pitch a tent at a trailhead while you ride.

Primitive camping sites rarely have any amenities outside of the occasional stone fire circle. Select an area from the options below and find out more about dispersed primitive camping opportunies on the Forest.

Plan Ahead

Have an idea of where you will be camping ahead of time. Learn more about primitive camping areas from the links below. Look up the weather and trail conditions for that area and pack a map with you before setting out. Plan to bring enough drinking water for the duration of your stay. Leave a clean campsite by packing out all refuse.

Fees and Rules

There is no charge for primitive camping, although a 14 day limitation is in effect. It is not normally necessary to check in with the Forest Service. However, groups larger than 25 people require a permit and prior coordination is required.

Be Respectful

Please practice Leave No Trace principles when camping at primitive sites. Leave the site and trail as you found it. 

Dispersed Camping Areas

  • Athens Ranger District - Athens Area
  • Monday Creek OHV System
  • Elm Trailhead
  • Long Ridge Trailhead
  • Monday Creek Trailhead
  • New Straitsville Trailhead
  • Red Oak Trailhead
  • Scarlet Oak Trailhead
  • Sycamore Trailhead
  • White Oak Trailhead
  • Stone Church Horseback Riding System
  • Old Stone Church Trailhead
  • Wildcat Hollow
  • Athens Ranger District - Marietta Area
  • Kinderhook Horseback Riding System
  • Kinderhook Trailhead
  • North Country Trail
  • Ironton Ranger District - Ironton Area
  • Hanging Rock OHV System
  • Hanging Rock Trailhead
  • Lake Vesuvius Horseback Riding System
  • Balancing Rock Trailhead
  • Bluegrass Trailhead
  • John's Creek Trailhead
  • Paddle Creek Horse Camp
  • Sand Hill Trailhead
  • Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail and Backpacking Trail
  • Pine Creek OHV System
  • Lyra Trailhead
  • Telegraph Trailhead
  • Wolcott Trailhead
  • Superior Trailhead
  • Symmes Creek/Morgan Sisters Trail
  • Morgan Sisters Trailhead
  • Symmes Creek East Trailhead
  • Symmes Creek West Trailhead
  • Timbre Ridge Lake

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities