Ohio State Outdoors

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State Parks
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Ohio State Parks

Grand Lake St. Marys State Park
Originally constructed as a feeder reservoir for the Miami-Erie Canal, Grand Lake St. Marys was for many years recognized as the largest man-made reservoir in the world. This large lake is the gateway to swimming, boating, camping and fishing in one of Ohio's oldest state parks. Enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, camping and picnicking. For information call: (419)394-3611

Lake Erie Islands State Park
Limestone cliffs, historic wineries, crystal caverns and a shimmering Great Lake greet visitors to the Lake Erie Islands state parks. These four state parks offer unique island retreats with an atmosphere both festive and casual. Fishing, boating and swimming can be enjoyed at each park. For information call: (419)797-4530

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead Peninsula since 1822. The grounds surrounding Marblehead lighthouse offer excellent picnicking. Tables are supported by concrete pads. Portable restrooms are available. Tours of Marblehead Lighthouse are very popular. More than 3,800 visitors scaled the lighthouse's spiral stairway in just the first six days of the 1998 summer tours! For information call: (419)797-4530

Rocky Fork State Park
Rocky Fork State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Unlimited horsepower boating allows for excellent skiing on the lake which also provides catches of bass, muskellunge and walleye for skilled fishermen. A scenic gorge, dolomite caves and natural wetlands add to the popularity of this recreation area. There are 190 campsites suitable for trailers and tents at the northwest corner of the lake. The campground is equipped with showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, dump station, camp store and campers' beach. Electric hookups are available at 130 sites, with an additional 20 sites offering full-service hookups. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites in both the electric and non-electric areas. A launch ramp and tie-ups are provided for campers with boats. Motors of unlimited horsepower are permitted at Rocky Fork. Sixteen boat launching ramps are located around the lake. Rental docks are available for frequent summer visitors. A designated area is available for boat camping. Three marinas are located around the lake. One marina provides fuel; all three have launch ramps, docking space and parking. The East Shore Marina includes a modern restaurant while a snack bar is provided at North Beach. Two large public beaches with changing booths and bathhouses are located on the north and south sides of the lake. A boat/swim area is available for boaters. Anglers will enjoy excellent catches of bass, bluegill, crappie and muskellunge at Rocky Fork. A wheelchair accessible fishing pier is located on the southeast side of the lake. Hunting is permitted in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required. Four miles of hiking trails take visitors through cool woodlands, scenic gorges and moist wetlands. A short trail near the campground takes nature lovers to an observation station where excellent birdwatching can be pursued. Picnic areas are located on the north and east shores in wooded areas overlooking the lake. For information call: (937)393-4284

Camping and Hiking in Ohio

Alum Creek
Alum Creek's 297 family campsites offer both wooded and sunny areas, some of which overlook the lake. This well-designed campground has a beach and a boat ramp for exclusive use of the overnight guests. Each site has an electrical hookup, and heated shower facilities are located throughout the facility. Hikers and horsepeople enjoy the rugged northern reaches of the park. Over forty miles of trail wind along the lakeshore through mature beech-maple forests and across deep ravines. Riders must provide their own mounts. Primitive camping for horsepeople is provided on Howard Road. Pressurized water and a latrine are provided. For information call: (740)548-4631

Barkcamp offers 150 non-electric sites in sunny and shaded areas. The campground features hot showers, tables, firerings, two wheelchair accessible sites and a dump station. A group camp that accommodates 15 sites is available for organized groups by reservation. In addition, a horseman's camp with 25 sites is available. Five Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining canopy, cooler, cookstove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites. Miles of hiking trails invite visitors to enjoy the solitude of the forest. The Lakeview Trail, Woodchuck Nature Trail, Hawthorn Trail and Hawk Trail lead to natural treasures and provide opportunities for nature study, birdwatching and wildlife observation. Barkcamp's bridle trail meanders along the entire lakeshore affording a pleasant day's ride. A special paved trail winds through the pioneer village, enters the adjoining mature woodlands and provides access to the Antique Barn. Interpretive signs are placed along the route explaining the cultural and natural history of the park. For information call: (740)484-4064

Burr Oak State Park
There are 90 non-electric campsites to accommodate campers. The campground offers showers, flush toilets and a dump station. Fifteen primitive sites are offered at Dock #2 and eight primitive sites at Dock #3. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites. Twenty-eight miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the state's Buckeye Trail, take hikers to scenic vistas and unique rock outcroppings. Backpackers will find the Burr Oak Backpack Trail challenging and enjoyable. This eighteen-mile loop trail winds around the lake shore and offers primitive campsites and drinking water at several locations along the route. For information call: (740)767-3570 Park Office

Independence Dam State Park
Forty non-electric campsites are suitable for tents and trailers. The campground offers drinking water, pit latrines, tables and fire rings. Camping with pets is permitted. A dump station is located by the marina. A three-mile hiking trail, once the towpath of the Miami and Erie Canal, offers the hiker a glimpse into the colorful past of Ohio's canal era. The trail meanders between the canal and the river through a dense hardwood forest. The three-mile access road through the park offers a scenic ride for bicyclists. For information call: (419) 784-3263

Quail Hollow
The park's primitive group camp is available on a reservation basis to incorporated organizations. The camp includes a fire ring, picnic table and waste water barrels. Water must be carried in and trash must be packed out. Parking, water and restrooms are 1/4 mile from the site. Quail Hollow has over ten miles of trails ideal for hiking, jogging, nature study or cross-country skiing. Eight interpretive nature trails explore the unique natural habitats for which each is named. There is also a four-mile, day-use bridle trail. For information call: (330)877-6652

Hunting and Fishing in Ohio

Burr Oak State Park
The lake is well known for its catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the adjacent Wayne National Forest and wildlife areas. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required. For information call: (740)767-3570

Wolf Run State Park
The lake is well known for large catches of bass, bluegill, crappie, trout and catfish. Hunting is permitted in special areas only. A hunting map can be obtained at the park office. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required For information call: (740)732-5035

Hocking Hills State Park
Excellent facilities for fishing. For information call: (740)385-6841

Mosquito Lake
Fishing is popular throughout the year with plentiful catches of walleye, bass, northern pike and crappie. Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and the nearby Grand River Wildlife Area. Controlled hunts, by drawing, are conducted in the Mosquito Wildlife Refuge in North Bloomfield, at the north end of the lake. A valid Ohio fishing and/or hunting license is required. For information call: (330)637-2856

Muskingum River
All three species of black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted), saugeye and various species of catfish are taken from the river. Bass are also found in several tributaries. Fishing is permitted from boats and at each of the lock sites; however, fishing is prohibited from the lock walls. A valid Ohio fishing license is required For information call: (740)452-3820

Other Ohio Outdoor activities

Ohio also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Swimming
  • Rafting
  • Hiking
  • Boating
  • Charter Fishing
  • Bicycling
  • Golf
  • Ballooning