Jefferson Lake State Park - Ohio

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide:

Nature of the Area

The sandstone hills of Jefferson County are part of the Appalachian Highlands which envelope the southeastern part of Ohio • In the sandstone bedrock can be found layers of coal which were formed by decaying swamp vegetation millions of years ago during the Pennsylvanian geologic period.

Covering the hills and valleys of the area is a second growth oak and hickory forest • Growing side-by-side with towering white oaks and shagbark hickories are stately beeches and maples, tulip trees, walnuts, elms and ashes.

The forest is composed of much more than trees, although they constitute its most conspicuous feature • The observant visitor may find a wealth of wildflowers such as wild geranium, hepatica and bloodroot • The leafy canopy rings with a harmonious chorus of bird songs • Wild turkey and ruffed grouse are dispersed in these hills and forests as well • These are just a few of the natural wonders found at Jefferson Lake.

History of the Area

The Jefferson Lake region was once the home of Logan, the celebrated Mingo chief whose family was massacred near here on the Ohio River at the mouth of Yellow creek • This incident spurred Lord Dunmore's War in 1774.

In more recent times, the area has been home to the steel industry in Ohio • The underlying coal fields and Ohio River access have made it a focal point of this industry.

Jefferson Lake State Park was developed on 962 acres in the valley of the Town Fork of Yellow Creek • Land acquisition began in 1928 • The lake and other facilities were constructed by the National Park Service in cooperation with the old Ohio Division of Conservation as a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression • The dam was constructed in 1934 and the 17-acre lake was filled in 1946 • In 1950, the area was turned over to the newly created Division of Parks and Recreation.


5 electric sites -- 92 non-electric sites -- Each site includes a picnic table -- Vault latrines, water fountains and dump station -- Hot showers are available at the beach area -- Pets are permitted on all sites -- 30 non-electric equestrian sites are located near the Trillium Trailhead -- Sites are on a "first come, first served" basis, no reservations are available


Non-motorized boats, and boats with electric motors up to 4 horsepower are permitted on 17-acre Jefferson Lake -- 1 launch ramp provides access to the lake


200-foot sand beach -- Facilities include a bathhouse with shower and flush toilets, and a swingset -- Swim at your own risk, so be sure to keep an eye on the kids


5 picnic areas are located in scenic spots around the lake -- 3 shelter houses are available on a "first come first served basis"


Jefferson Lake offers great catches of largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill and redear sunfish -- Valid Ohio fishing license is required


1 hiking-only trail -- Campground Hikers Trail • 2 Miles • Moderate

1 bridle-only trail -- Campground Horse Trail • 3 Miles • Moderate

6 bridle trails also allow hiking and biking -- Fernview • 2 Miles • Easy -- Oak Grove Trail • 1 Mile • Moderate -- Beaver Dam Trail • 2 Miles • Moderate -- Lakeside Loop • 2.5 Miles • Moderate -- Trillium Trail • 1.25 Miles • Difficult -- Logan Trail • 4.5 Miles • Difficult

Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)

Iceskating -- Cross country skiing -- Ice fishing

More To Do

Volleyball and basketball courts, as well as horseshoe pits are available

Area Attractions

Fernwood State Forest is located southeast of Bloomingdale near State Route 151. The forest offers camping facilities, hiking trails and a trap shoot area.

Yellow Creek State Forest is north near Wellsville.

McCook House State Memorial is located in the town square of Carrollton. This federal-style brick house was built in 1837. It was the home of the "Fighting McCooks," a family that contributed 13 men to the Union Army in the Civil War. The house is open June through September.

The Morgan Raiders marker, 12 miles east of Carrollton on State Route 39, designates the northernmost battle of the Civil War. This battle was fought on July 26, 1863.

Petersburg Algonquin Steam Flouring Mill on State Route 332 four miles south of Carrollton, is a designated National Historical Site. It is believed to be the only steam-operated mill in Ohio.

New Rumley, the birthplace of General George Armstrong Custer, is the site of a handsome exhibit detailing his life and battles.

3 Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Lakes offer recreation opportunities. Atwood Lake is on S.R. 542 near Dellroy, Leesville is near Carrollton and Tappan on U.S. 250.


Location: 501 Township Road 261A, Richmond, Ohio 43944-9710

Contact & Mailing Address: Guilford Lake State Park, 6835 E. Lake Rd, Lisbon, OH 44432

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