Nature of the Area
The region of Indian Lake was originally a cluster of natural lakes situated on the Miami River • As the continental glaciers left Ohio, chunks of ice broke free, melted, and formed water-filled depressions called kettle lakes • The resultant shallow, marshy, natural lakes in this region covered an area of 640 acres • Among these were Old Indian Lake, Otter Lake, Blake Lake, Sheep Pen Lake and the Buck Wheat Patch.
The present and much larger lake lies along one of the country's major avian migration routes • Indian Lake is an important resting stop for birds such as Canada geese, ducks, grebes, swans, egrets and herons • Many stay over the summer to nest • Bald eagles once nested in the area but are no longer found here.
History of the Area
Early American history tells of the Indian tribes who lived and hunted in this region • Because of its close proximity to the Miami River, Indian Lake became part of the Indian trade route linking the Ohio River to Lake Erie • Generations of native Americans followed this route and occupied villages in the vicinity • By the early 1800s, white settlers made their way here and the history books record many accounts of skirmishes and battles resulting from the conflict between the Indians and new settlers • The famous frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were known to have traveled here.
Despite Indian Lake's popularity as a year-round recreational area, the lake was not originally constructed with that purpose in mind • In the early 1800s, the primary means of commercial transportation was the canal system • Old Indian Lake was built in 1851 as a feeder lake for the Miami and Erie Canal to maintain the required four-foot water depth.
Following the passage of a resolution by the Ohio General Assembly in 1850 to use Indian Lake as a water supply for the canal, a bulkhead was built in Washington Township where the Great Miami River began and covered 1,000 acres • The work began in 1851 and was not completed until 1860 • The total cost up to that time was $340,000 • Irish laborers performed the work with picks, shovels and carts • Ironically, use of the canal system was declining as work on Indian Lake was completed • In 1893, Indian Lake or Lewistown Reservoir as it was then called, spanned 6,334 acres with 29 miles of shoreline • On April 9, 1898, the Ohio General Assembly dedicated the lake as a recreation area by the name of Indian Lake.
Indian Lake became a popular resort area at the turn of the century due to its central location on the old Toledo and Ohio Central Steamline and the Ohio Electric Railway • At one time, Indian Lake was known as the "Midwest's Million Dollar Playground" • In 1949, the old Department of Conservation was abolished and Indian Lake became part of the newly-created Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation.
405 electric sites -- 35 electric premium sites -- 12 full hook-up sites -- Heated shower houses, flush toilets, laundry facility and camp commissary -- Beach, boat ramp and boat docks are provided for exclusive use of registered campers Petare permitted on designated sites -- Seasonal naturalist program, playgrounds, miniature golf, basketball and volleyball, and bicycle and boat rental -- Games and sporting equipment are available to registered campers at the camp office -- Group camp area may be reserved for groups up to 60 people by advanced registration -- 20 boat camping spaces are also available (these site do not accomodate tents)
3 Camper Cabins are available from early May through October 31 each year -- Pets are prohibited in the camper cabins
Camper Cabin D64: Hard sided structure that sits on a wooden platform with a locking front door -- Offers a lakefront view -- Sleeps up to 4 adults on 2 futon beds and 1 set of twin-size bunk beds -- Amenities include 2 100-amp electric outlets, A/C, heat, microwave, small refridgerator, gas & charcoal grills, ceiling fan with light, skylight, 2 chairs & table inside and covered picnic table outside, fire extinguisher, broom & dust pan, waste basket, and storage pod
Camper Cabin C6: Hard sided structure that sits on a wooden platform with a locking front door -- Sleeps up to 4 adults on 2 futon beds and 1 set of twin-size bunk beds -- Amenities include 2 interior 100-amp electric outlets and 1 electric outlet outside, A/C, microwave, small refridgerator, gas & charcoal grills, ceiling fan with light, skylight, 2 chairs & table inside and covered picnic table outside, fire extinguisher, broom & dust pan, waste basket, and storage pod -- Heaters are not permitted in this unit
Camper Cabin C7: Hard sided structure that sits on a wooden platform with a locking front door -- Sleeps up to 4 adults on 1 full-size futon bed and 1 set of twin-size bunk beds -- Amenities include 2 interior 110-amp electric outlets and 1 electric outlet outside, A/C, heat, microwave, small refridgerator, gas & charcoal grills, ceiling fan with light, skylight, 2 chairs & table inside and covered picnic table outside, fire extinguisher, broom & dust pan, waste basket, storage pod, and fire ring
Cherokee Trail, a 3-mile easy walk through brushy habitat, is located west of the camp -- Pew Island Trail, a 1-mile path, encircles Pew Island, which can be accessed from a causeway & offers a spectacular view of Indian Lake -- 3-mile paved bikeway is located on the West Bank between Old Field Beach and Lakeview Harbor, also allows walkers and joggers
2 public beaches, Old Field Beach and Fox Island Beach provide 1,400-foot access to the lake -- Remember to Swim Safe!y and keep an eye on the kids -- Check for water quality advisories
The 5,800-acre lake offers unlimited horsepower boating -- 5 launch ramps -- 530 boat docks available for seasonal rental -- Skiing is popular in the open zone area -- Boaters may swim off their boats around Walnut Islands, Red Oak Island, & Oldfield Beach
Largemouth bass, saugeye, white bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, yellow perch and catfish are plentiful here -- A valid Ohio fishing license is required
Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)
Snowmobiling -- Ice skating -- Cross country skiing -- Ice fishing -- Ice boating
More To Do
Nature center offers programs during the summer months -- Playgrounds are located at various areas throughout the park -- Sand volleyball courts at the beach
Located six miles east of Bellefontaine on State Route 540, Zane Caverns feature illuminated two-level caves • The caves are known for the formation of "cave pearls" • There is a fee for admission.
Ohio Caverns, three miles east of West Liberty on State Route 245, is the largest of all Ohio caves • Exquisite crystal-white stalactite/stalagmite formations are found in great profusion and artistic settings • There is a fee for admission.
MadRiver Mountain ski area is located five miles east of Bellefontaine on US 33.
Horse rentals are available at Marmon Valley Farms on US 33.
Piatt Castles, Mac-A-Cheek and Mac-O-Chee, are located near West Liberty on State Route 245 • Built by the Piatt family after the Civil War, the houses are noted for their architecture, furnishings and collection of Indian relics.
West of Indian Lake are Lake Loramie and Grand Lake St. Marys state parks • Both feature camping and water related recreation.
Northeast of the park are Killdeer Plains and Big Island wildlife areas operated by the Division of Wildlife • Both areas offer hunting and bird watching opportunities.
Gross Woods, a state nature preserve operated by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, is one of the least disturbed woods in west-central Ohio
12774 State Route 235 N, Lakeview, OH 43331