Pymatuning State Park - Ohio

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide:

Nature of the Area

Northeastern Ohio's "snow belt" region is the setting for spacious Pymatuning State Park • Located on the western shore of Pymatuning Reservoir, the park provides a wide variety of facilities for those who enjoy outdoor recreation.

The countryside around Pymatuning State Park was shaped by the action of the glaciers that covered the area more than 14,000 years ago • As the last ice melted away, a rolling terrain dotted with dozens of kettle lakes was revealed • Gradually, a great swamp forest developed, punctuated by bogs and wetlands and supporting stands of towering white pines • The rich wetland habitat was home to a great number of wild animals including bears and wolves • It was this abundance of resources that attracted Indians to the area; the word Pymatuning is taken from an Indian term translated as "the crooked-mouthed man's dwelling place".

The remaining ponds and marshes are a good food source for many types of animals, including the magnificent bald eagle • Several pairs of eagles nest on the Pennsylvania side of the reservoir, and a patient observer may spot one of these rare birds of prey in flight • In addition to eagles, the reservoir serves as a resting spot for numerous migrating waterfowl.

History of the Area

Settlement of the area by white immigrants from the east was slow to occur • The vast Pymatuning swamp and nearly impenetrable forest made travel difficult • The earliest Europeans to reside here were trappers in search of valuable beaver pelts • Later, the lush forest attracted lumbermen who especially prized the strong, straight trunks of the white pines that were used to construct masts for sailing ships • As more and more settlers came into northern Ohio, much of the wilderness character of the Pymatuning region was lost • Remnants of the original swamp still remain today, coaxing the modern day naturalist to explore this unique habitat.

In 1933, the dam which impounded Pymatuning Reservoir was constructed to regulate the flow of the Shenango and Beaver rivers • Land on the western shore of the reservoir was acquired by the state of Ohio in 1935, and in 1950 the Division of Parks and Recreation began developing Pymatuning State Park.


23 family cottages, which sleep 6, are heated for year-round use -- 32 standard cottages are available May 1 - November 1, each of which sleep 4 -- Pets are permitted in cottages 3, 33, 37, & 62 -- Premium cottage also includes dishwasher, wood deck with gas grill, central air and a 3-person spa -- Family cottages include gas fireplaces and microwave ovens -- All cottages are furnished with cable tv, outside grill, fire ring, linens, towels, and cooking/eating utensils -- Reservations may be made up to one year in advance -- Small beach is available for cottage guests -- Free WiFi access is available at the camp office to cottage guests

Getaway Rentals

3 yurt units are available for daily or weekly rental -- Each yurt sleeps 5, and features a microwave oven, stove and refrigerator, and futon beds


331 sites have 20 or 30 amp electric hookups -- 21 sites are non-electric -- Heated shower houses -- Flush toilets -- Laundry facilities -- Camp commissary -- Certain sites may be rented for the entire season -- Small beach for campers is located near the center of the campground. -- Nature center -- Basketball and volleyball courts -- Playgrounds -- Free WiFi access is available at the camp office to registered campers


5 boat-launch ramps are situated around this 14,000 acre lake providing convenient access -- 360 docks are available for seasonal rental -- 20 horsepower motor limit is in effect -- Many boat rental concessions are located around the lake


Pymatuning is known for its fine walleye fishing and has the reputation of being one of the best fishing lakes in the state -- Anglers will also find good catches of crappie, black bass, bluegill and channel catfish

Fishing from your boat requires a fishing license, which can be from either Ohio or Pennsylvania

Bank fishing along the Ohio side requires a license from Ohio, while a Pennsylvania fishing license is required along the Pennsylvania side


2 well-marked trails have been developed to give the nature enthusiast an opportunity to enjoy the area's abundant wild animal and plant life: Whispering Pines Trail • 3/4 Mile • Easy -- Beaver Dam Trail


350-foot swimming beach is located just south of the causeway. -- Facilities include a bathhouse, showers, vending machines, and a volleyball court -- Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only -- Swim at your own risk & be sure to keep an eye on the kids -- Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches -- Check for water quality advisories


4 Picnic areas with tables and grills are located in many secluded and scenic areas along the lakeshore. -- 3 picnic shelters are available for reservation online or by calling

Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)

Ice skating -- Ice boating -- Ice fishing -- Cross-country skiing on the Beaver Dam Trail -- Snowmobiling is permitted on the Pennsylvania side of the lake

More to Do

Nature Center offers programs during the summer months

Area Attractions

The Grand River, a state wild and scenic river managed by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, is found north of the park off State Route 322 and State Route 6.

Within easy driving distance just across the Pennsylvania border, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission operates a fish hatchery and visitors' center near the town of Linesville.

Not far from the hatchery is a waterfowl museum with displays featuring native waterfowl and a viewing area that allows visitors to observe the nests of the bald eagles residing there.

Pennnsylvania's Pymatuning State Park also invites visitors to enjoy its facilities on the eastern shore of the reservoir.

Do not forget to stop at the Pymatuning Spillway, famous as the place where "the ducks walk on the fish!". Each year, thousands of visitors stop to feed bread to the ducks and carp which crowd together in such numbers that the ducks stand on the carp to catch a tasty morsel.


Mailing Address: PO Box 1000, Andover, Ohio 44003-1000

Park Office Location: 6100 Pymatuning Lake Road, Andover, OH 44003

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