Date of Stay: July, 2011
I give it a 2 because it's got potential. It appears to be relatively good maintained. The critical flaws with this USDA Forest Service campground are that you're 8 miles away from the nearest cell phone signal (Verizon), literally, this is not an exaggeration. Nobody in the entire campground could place a call. Sure you can go a while without talking on the phone, but in a campground, when someone decides to shoot off fireworks at 1 in the morning, which is what happened when I stayed there, there's no way to call for help. It would be one thing if there were Ranger or Police patrols but there wasn't a single law enforcement vehicle come through all night. If you have a problem, you're totally on your own. Ain't nobody coming to help you. Aside from that critical combination of problems, there was zero enforcement of any of the rules and some of the biggest problems that I saw were way too many people and cars at some sites. There was one site with about a dozen cars and probably 30 people. People were using single sites as group sites. There was raucous noise all night and fireworks being shot carelessly in the middle of the night. I saw where someone emptied their black water tank right along the side of road. The bear proof trash cans where full (of un-bagged food waste) and people where leaving garbage bags piling up. This, at a campground that was closed and reopened just last month because of bear incidents. It was very sad to see our Forest Service campgrounds abused and disrespected like this. Each campsite is very large. Consisting of a tent pad, grill, and fire ring and a gravel parking space. I could see a small to medium travel trailer, but that's about it. They could easily split each site into two sites and double the number of sites. All the sites are shaded or part shaded but there really isn't any privacy. The scene over at the Tsali campground was much different. A totally different crowd. As for Cable Cove, I wouldn't stay there again if you paid me.
Date of Stay: June, 2011
The pros of this campground are that it's convenient to Dayton and within walking distance of Yellow Springs mainstreet area. It's one of the better maintained Ohio state parks that I have seen lately. No litter or trash in the fire rings or things like that. A number of the sites have a decent amount of shade compared to other campgrounds in the area. Heavily wooded, however, it isn't. No trains or highways nearby. Fairly busy small campground. The cons are that while you can reserve a site, you can not reserve a specific site via the reservations system. You can request a site but in my case I requested a specific site and when I got there someone else had it. The person in the camp office wouldn't kick them out. The reservable electric sites are in full sun. There are 3 walk-in electric sites that have woods to the rear and some trees for shade. These will be taken by the time you get here. Even if they are taken by people who haven't yet paid for the site, the camp office will not tell them to leave the site. This is frustrating. When we camped here, it was reasonably quiet. One campsite however began blasting their car stereo in the middle of the night. I happened to like the song that was playing so it didn't bother me at first, then it got old. I didn't know who to call. I tried the camp office, no answer. I didn't want to call the cops over it because I didn't have the non-emergency number. There were no park rangers or police drive throughs at night at this park so you're on your own. This isn't a destination campground but for a couple of nights, if you don't need electric site, since none will be available, I'd recommend it and I'd stay here again. I can't vouch for the restrooms, as I didn't use them. I bring my own facilities.
Date of Stay: June, 2011
This is truly a destination campground. There are so many things to do at the park from swimming to mountain biking. The pros, just to name a few, are that the sites are plentiful and there's sites for everyone, whether you like deep shade or full sun or flat and paved or sloping and unpaved, big or small, they have it all. The reservations system was the best I've ever used. Not only can you see what sites are available, you can see what sites are reserved and it shows you a photo of the site! It's like a real estate website. The weekend I was here was supposedly the last weekend of the bluegrass festival and I expected the campground to be very busy, however there was a lot of available campsites. And a lot of really, really good available campsites at that. I've never spent so much time trying to make up my mind about which site to reserve. The scenery is excellent, there's loads to do and the guard house at the front is manned 24 hours. That's just scratching the surface. The cons, and these are sort of nitpicks, are that they make you pay $8 daily admission to the park, even if you have a campground reservation. I don't mind paying that but I'd rather pay it as part of the campground stay if I'm paying in advance. It's just a more welcoming to have that all settled before you get there. Also the place is huge. You'll do a lot of driving within the park to get to the campground and within the campground itself. Bikes are a must if you're going to be there a while. They say this is the "Smokey Mountains of the Midwest." Being from the real Smokies myself, I can't say they're really anything alike but the scenery sure was beautiful and there were some definite similarities. There are some vistas you'll want to take pictures at or have a picnic. I don't know where this park has been all my life, I always have such trouble finding a decent campground when I'm in this area but discovered this one just this year. I would definitely recommend and return. Can't comment on the restrooms, we bring our own.