Valley Overlook, a new private campground and cabin community, is set to open next month in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, offering visitors a unique and luxurious camping experience.
The 62-acre property, formerly known as Camp Mueller, was recently sold to a Brecksville family for $900,000, who plan to operate an upscale campground on the land.
The property features nine buildings, including a large brick dining hall, circa 1938, with kitchen, showers, and bathrooms, as well as numerous cabins that are being gutted and renovated for the summer season.
Additionally, the Boathouse building features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a loft sleeping area.
Five or six four-season cabins will be available, all with bathrooms and kitchens, along with up to eight sites where guests can pitch their own tents.
The campground also offers fully furnished platform tents, also known as canvas cabins, which can accommodate up to 16 people.
Valley Overlook aims to provide a unique camping experience while enhancing the national park rather than competing with it.
Visitors will not find swimming pools, game rooms, or shuffleboard courts on the property, but rather a peaceful and serene atmosphere.
The campsite’s purpose is to complement the park’s main activities, such as hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking, and exhaust guests by the end of the day.
The national park had an option to buy the property but declined, and an easement between the park and the Phillis Wheatley Association, signed in 2016, guarantees minimal development on the land and transferred with the sale of the property to the Schoen family, the new owners of the campground.
Pamela Barnes, community engagement supervisor with the park, noted that there are numerous private property owners across the park’s 33,000 acres and that various ways, including easements and leasing agreements, can be used to preserve the land.
The Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park operated five primitive campsites a short walk from the historic Stanford House, a rental home within the park, but they were closed in 2019. The establishment of Camp Mueller, meanwhile, predates the national park by decades.
Valley Overlook was not initially intended to be located inside the national park. Terry Schoen, who is working with his wife, Janet, and adult children to ready the space, initially called the Phillis Wheatley Association to help the organization clean up the property.
After six months, he called back and asked if they would ever think of selling the property. The sale went through in March 2022, after a lengthy back-and-forth with the national park.
Janet Schoen said the family plans to gather feedback from early guests and expand offerings based on demand.
It’s possible the campground could add RV sites sometime in the future, but they aim to preserve the land’s natural beauty and limit development.
The Schoen family plans to launch online reservations as soon as this week for overnights starting in mid-May, but the facility may have limited offerings to start as it awaits required permits from the state of Ohio.
Valley Overlook offers an opportunity to experience nature and the national park in a new and luxurious way.
The Schoen family’s investment in the former summer camp for city kids offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the park’s beauty while preserving its natural landscapes.
As the park’s first upscale campground, Valley Overlook sets the standard for future private campgrounds in the area.
Featured image from Valley Overlook