Bear Creek ATV Park and Campground

Recommended Stop: BEAR CREEK ATV TRAILS / CAMPGROUND, East Sparta OH

Get out for the Day or Camp for the Weekend!

The boys and I recently had a chance to check out Bear Creek Ranch KOA and Amphitheatre.   These are two separate properties about a mile apart, under same ownership.  One is a full featured campground with over 100 campsites, RV sites, and even fully furnished cabins.  There is a pool, 5 acre lake for fishing and boating; and even horseback riding. 

Bear Creek Amphitheatre is an offroad park with over 300 acres and about 28 miles of wooded trails, a maniacal motocross track that offers hours of entertainment, and several impressive hillclimbs.  Additionally, it has several big open practice areas for beginners.

We had a great time and Cole enthusiastically endorsed Bear Creek as his favorite ATV park thus far – but in all fairness to the others, that may be partly due to the upgraded quad he was riding.

For both him and his younger brother, there was plenty of space to roam and explore – along with big open areas to play.  The trails were a bit challenging for them; but we did alright with adults riding at each end of the procession.  The trails are unmarked, in terms of how challenging they are – but I’ve found that the markers at other parks are often very misleading.  So, maybe the best approach is ALWAYS to simply go in alert and watching for challenges. 

The Motocross Track is a multi-level, overlapping affair that offered a lot of challenges and opportunities for riders of all levels.  Cole could have probably spent the whole day just on the track – and he would have been happy.

While some parks are more tightly managed and controlled – this one is certainly more comfortable with a sense of being able to just get out and explore.  I also took comfort in the fact that the layout kept you always in the area.  If there were problems, folks were in the area and you were never too far from your trucks / parking. 

Please note: The only running water on-site at the off-road area, is the Bike Wash area!  That’s a bonus at the end of the day, but come prepared with lotsa of water for riders!

The Campground

Just a few minutes down the road from the off-road park is the Bear Creek KOA Campground.   The whole area has a fun, rustic western feel to it – right down to “Cowboys” on the put-put course and horseback riding.  The facilities are open year-round with RV, tent sites, and a selection of different cabin styles.  These include more basic Kamper Kabins which are nicer than many of the simple “wooden tents” that we usually use.  For this trip, we went all-out and got Country Cottages for the one night stay with the kids.  These are fully furnished and really comfortable.  They even had fireplaces and really spacious, clean showers. 

Admittedly, I like using the cabins whenever possible – especially when staying at the more civilized campgrounds with the kids.  They are usually only a bit more than the tent space, and you don’t have to worry about setting up or placing faith in a rain-fly in case of serious rain.  This trip was somewhat last minute and it was nice not having to worry about packing too much for the stay.  We focused more on the riding and the camping was more about relaxing – which I would certainly recommend.

There was plenty for the kids to do around the campground after a day of riding – including a pool to unwind in.  The game room was also fairly nice, with a pool table, foozball, and air hockey even.

The campground was great – and the cabins are a GREAT year-round option for those riding through the area.  I would CERTAINLY pick over a local hotel – if you’re looking for a place to stay in the Canton area.

BOTTOM LINE:

We would certainly recommend Bear Creek for a fun getaway with the family – or just for a day of off-road riding.  PLENTY of space to go exploring in this relatively informal – just get out and ride setting.

Bear Creek ATV Ranch / KOA Campground

3232 Downing Street

East Sparta, OH 44626

(330) 484-3901

www.BearCreek.us

Off-Road Park Hours:     October through April 30th Weekends 8am-5pm

                                                May 1st – September 30th: Friday – Sunday and Holidays 8am-7pm

Adults: $25  Children (8-10 years): $10  Spectator Fee: $5

Motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, and SxS’s – Welcome.

SUV’s, Trucks, and Jeeps – No permitted.

MX Helmets required.

Riderplanet-usa.com rating: Four Bikes! (Very Good!) Recommended for a Full Day trip.

Photos by Cole Smith and Marybeth Sullivan, Bear Creek ATV Park.

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