COLUMBUS, Ohio — Muskingum County's tourist destination, The Wilds, is getting an expansion to help improve tourism in the area.
With funding assistance from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the safari-like zoo, located on International Road in Cumberland, revealed plans to build a new 59-acre RV campground. The new site is expected to open to the public anytime from late 2023 to early 2024.
The Wilds' new campground will have 46 concrete pads for RVs and large trailers, 27 stone parking areas, 50 parking spaces and nearly two miles of roads from a public road through the camping site.
The campground, worth $7.2 million, is being built on formerly mined land.
$2.1 million in funding comes from ODNR's Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program. The rest of the money comes from Muskingum County, Economic Development Administration, Ohio State Capital Budget Grant and The Wilds fund.
“We are tremendously grateful for the partnership and support of these agencies. Together, we are increasing opportunities for adventure seekers to experience nature while supporting our local economy,” said Dr. Joe Smith, Vice President at The Wilds.
According to a press release from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, the RV campground is projected to increase visitation to The Wilds to around 18,000 people per year.
Guests currently have the option to stay overnight at the lodge, cabins or the outpost. Construction on the abandoned land began in August.