Tucked back on secluded acreage in Mount Gilead, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground offers families a chance to reconnect with the great outdoors.
Owners Nancy and Rich Felber spent two and half years searching the country for an ideal spot to open up their first venture in campground ownership.
“We got tired of retirement,” Nancy said. “We were lifelong campers, so we thought we’d open up a campground.”
After the Felbers got serious about their post-retirement dream, they went to camp school to learn the ins-and-outs of the business.
They the settled on the site of the former Dogwood Valley Campground for the home of their Jellystone Campground.
“We loved the property and decided it was the one,” Nancy continued. “Our two daughters moved up here to help us run in and now we live on site for six months of the year.”
Opened in 2009, Jellystone is home to an ever expanding operation that currently houses 202 sites for recreational campers. That translates to about 800 people in the park on an average weekend during the park’s busy season, which begins around Memorial Day and continues to Labor Day.
Even though the park will be soon be open to guests, it is currently undergoing a rennovation effort. This year’s construction campaign is just one of the numerous projects the owners have embarked on.
Since purchasing the property, the Felbers have expanded and remodeled everything that sits on the grounds from campsites and amentities to utility services.
The owners even added a cluster of cabins for guests who aren’t sold on the idea of roughing it.
Part of this year’s off-season construction effort, Jellystone’s lake will include a floating playground for swimmers.
Expanding the park and its services has paid off for the Fabers, who say that Jellystone is fully booked most weekends during the summer.
“We close down for three months after our Halloween weekends,” Nancy explained. “We open it back up for reservations on Jan. 1.”
To ring in 2017, Jellystone was swamped with reservations after midnight on New Year’s Eve for the upcoming season.
“My daughter texted me at 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to say we were already busy,” the owner chuckled. “It was a great way to start the year.”
Included with all reservations, kids and parents alike can partake in the campgrounds daylong activities, which begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 10 p.m.
To make a reservation for a campsite this season, those interested can visit campjellystone.com/park/113-columbus-north or call them at 419-946-5230. The park is located at 4185 Township Rd 99, Mount Gilead, OH.
The lake at Jellystone is outfitted with a water slide and other activities for swimmers.
The ranger’s station is one of the many renovated buildings on site at the campgrounds.
Yogi Bear, the campsite’s mascot, high fives a sand volleyball player.