There are many reasons that Cleveland makes for the perfect vacation destination. It's home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the premier art museums in the United States. The second-largest theater district in the world is in the city as well. You can make the trip even more exciting by planning a Chicago to Cleveland RV road trip, allowing you to stop at national parks, state parks, and points of interest along the way. This guide has taken care of all the extensive planning, so prepare your RV and embark on this trip soon.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
The 15,000-acre Indiana Sand Dunes National Park is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, and you can play on 50 miles of shoreline throughout eight different beaches at this national park. Lifeguards are available at most of the beaches from Memorial Day through Labor Day. You can also go biking on three bike paths. This park hosts over 400 ranger-led walks and interpretative programs throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule. Many of these hikes center around the park’s 60 historical sites. If it's summer, leave time to throw a line in the water to catch some steelhead trout. Enjoy all this park has to offer by staying in the campground.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
One of the unique things that you can do at Cuyahoga Valley National Park is questing. Throughout the park, unique rhyming questions are hidden, and when you get one right, the question will lead you to the next location. You can pursue activities at this park that was created to protect the plants and animals that only live in this valley. Hiking along some of the 125 miles of paths through this park is a great way to see them. You can bike the Towpath Trail and take the scenic train ride back to your starting point. Go sport fishing in the Cuyahoga River or fish in one of the eight ponds. There are four different access points to launch your canoe or kayak. See the beauty of this park from the back of a horse on trails up to 4.5 miles long.
Potato Creek State Park
Numerous special events occur at Potato Creek State Park in Indiana regularly. You can take in concerts, go on guided walks or learn about the park’s flowers during some events. Ride along the 3.2-mile bike path to witness the scenery first seen by Native Americans before the first European settlers arrived at this site around 1830. The park has been undergoing an extensive plan to return it to its native state since it opened in 1977. You can see the wetlands near the visitors center that have attracted birds of prey along with meadowlarks, flycatchers, and warblers. You can also go fishing in Worster Lake, which is a particularly great activity when the bass are in their beds in early summer.
Pokagon State Park
One of the oldest state parks in Indiana is Pokagon State Park, and it's a great place to explore. If you decide to make your Chicago to Cleveland road trip in the winter, then be sure to stop here and ride the toboggans, go cross-country skiing and do some ice fishing. During the rest of the year, you can find many things to do at this park, including fishing for largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, sunfish, yellow perch, and northern pike in Lake James. See if you can complete the Hell’s Point Challenge. During this hiking challenge, you must complete an 8-mile hike following specific paths as well as photograph six assigned sites. When you complete the hike, show your photos at the nature center, and you may win a prize.
Maumee Bay State Park
Maumee Bay State Park, located on Lake Erie's shores and east of Toledo, is a great place to see Ohio’s wetlands. You can play on two sandy beaches at this park. You'll also find unlimited boating and fishing opportunities in Lake Erie, and you can even rent WaveRunners at Lake Erie Beach. After a day on the water, dry off by hiking along one of the two hiking trails. If you're a golfer, check out the golf course with its gently rolling hills and water hazards.
Mohican State Park
Mohican State Park in Ohio sits in the middle of the Mohican State Memorial Forest. The Mohican River that flows through the park provides a great opportunity to go canoeing. When you choose to camp at this state park, you can swim in an Olympic-size pool reserved only for guests spending the night. Hike along the park’s Hemlock Trail to see the wooden covered bridge. There are numerous places near the bridge that make great spots for a picnic on a blanket, but you can also use one of the four nearby shelters.
The Potawatomi Zoo is in South Bend, Indiana, and it's home to over 500 animals. Climb on board the park’s electric train to get a layout of the zoo before strolling through it. Take a ride on the unique endangered species carousel, where each hand-carved animal resembles an endangered animal and comes with its conservation message. Hand-feed one of the bison on the weekends, and attend keeper talks to learn more about your favorite animals.
RV/MH Hall of Fame and Musem
Don't drive through Elkhart, Indiana, without stopping at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. See travel trailers dating back to the 1920s. The museum’s layout allows you to easily follow the chronological development of campers from the beginning through the 1950s. You can even see some early RV prototypes that were never put into production.
Wildwood Preserve is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family, and you can enjoy several experiences when you choose to stop at this urban park. Take a self-guided tour of the beautiful Georgian colonial-style mansion. On many summer weekends, you can sit in the 1893 Oak Grove school room and be taught lessons by a schoolmarm. Everyone will love strolling along the trails at this park, where you can see birds and prairie flowers. If you have children with you, be sure to let them play at the FitPark before heading on during your road trip from Chicago to Cleveland.
Notre Dame draws thousands to South Bend, Indiana, especially during football season, but you can find plenty to do in this city all year long. There are also outstanding South Bend campground choices. If you're an angler, you may appreciate the dock at Lakeside RV Resort. If you love old cars, the Fireside Resort at Kruse Park may be a great location as it sits next to the Kruse Museum. Gallahan Travel Plaza has a convenient dump station.
The mostly Amish country of Elkhart is a fascinating place to visit. Consider following the Heritage Trail and seeing the Quilt Garden. If you love playing sports, the Elkhart Campground is a must as it hosts basketball and tennis courts along with a miniature golf course. This campground also has a dump station. If you want to play golf, then the Pla-Mor Campground may be for you with its driving range and easy access to nearby golf courses. The Elkhart Environmental Processing Corporation also has a dump station.
You could spend all your time exploring this city and never run out of things to do. Consider visiting the zoo, museum of art and botanical gardens. There are great Toledo campground options, including Big Sandy, where you can go fishing and wading, or you can stay at Twin Anchors Campground with its large playground and many recreational areas. Consider using the dump station at Maumee Bay State Park.
You can see plenty of animals and beautiful scenery on a road trip from Chicago to Cleveland, so get your RV ready to see these attractions and national and state parks. You'll be making memories that will last for a very long time. Go throw some necessities into your RV and get started on your Chicago to Cleveland road trip today. If you do not have an RV, rent one today in Chicago or Cleveland from RVshare.