The Wilds

A tour going through the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s The Wilds. (Courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources unveiled plans on Monday (Oct. 3) to transform abandoned mine land along the I-70 corridor into a campground for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s The Wilds, according to Spectrum News.

Construction for the campground began in August. ODNR said it’s using funds from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program. Once completed, the 59-acre campground will have:

  • 46 concrete pads for RV or large trailers
  • 27 stone parking areas for primitive campers
  • 50 parking spaces
  • 1.75 miles of roads from a public road through the campground site

ODNR said the campground is the first step in creating an “ecotourism corridor” with the goal of connecting places like The Wilds with Salt Fork State Park, the Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area, Burr Oak State Park and parts of the Buckeye Trail.

“We are working on a plan that will create an unparalleled outdoor experience within reach of all Ohioans,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said in a press release. “By connecting such amazing outdoor areas, we hope to open up a way for people to find their own adventure in any one of the parks or wildlife areas.”

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