Ohio’s oldest state park, Buckeye Lake State Park, surrounds a popular 3,349 acre lake only 30 miles east of Columbus. Its shore areas and islands include Liebs Island, North Shore, Fairfield Beach, Mud Island, and Brooks Park.
This beloved area has been attracting visitors since the early 1900s, when cottages and amusement parks first started popping up here. Today guests visit this Ohio state park to swim, tube, boat, fish, hike, picnic, and bird watch.
Planning a visit to Columbus? Or maybe you already live nearby? Add this fun park to your list of places to see.
Pick up something to eat on your way in and relax in one of the park’s picnic areas between exploring, boating, and swimming. Or if you’re visiting during the winter then between ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice boating, or ice fishing.
Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Buckeye Lake State Park:
Boating at Buckeye Lake State Park
Buckeye Lake is popular with all types of boaters during the warm months. Here you’ll see not only canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pontoons, and rowboats but also jet skis, water skis, and many tubes. Bring your own boat or rent at one of the many water-sports providers nearby. Many boat launches and ramps are located on the lake.
Swimming at Buckeye Lake State Park
Buckeye Lake State Park offers guests access to two public beaches, Fairfield Beach and Crystal Beach. Each of these beach areas, one on the south side of the lake and the other on the north side, feature parking and restrooms. Both beaches are open from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Hiking at Buckeye Lake State Park
Buckeye Lake State Park features one 4.1 mile multi-use trail that winds around the lake offering gorgeous views of the park’s native flora and fauna. Access to this trail may be found near Lieb’s Island or the North Shore boat ramp.
Fishing at Buckeye Lake State Park
Fish for largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, perch, and crappie during your visit to Buckeye Lake State Park. An accessible fishing pier is located on Mud Island. Remember to pick up an Ohio fishing license before heading into the park.
Hunting at Buckeye Lake State Park
Interested in hunting waterfowl? Buckeye Lake is open to waterfowl hunting in season. Contact the park for more information and don’t forget to pick up an Ohio hunting license.
Birding at Buckeye Lake State Park
The area around the lake is ideal for birdwatching, especially in the spring and fall when many birds migrate. Bring your binoculars and get a closer look at a Great Blue Heron, Mourning Dove, American Crow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, White-throated Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Blue-winged Warblers, or a Summer Tanager.
Nature and Wildlife at Buckeye Lake State Park
Pay close attention while exploring trails, camping, boating, or just having a stroll through the park. White-tailed deer, squirrels, red foxes, raccoons, snakes, frogs and lots of waterfowl may be spotted throughout Buckeye Lake State Park.
Pets at Buckeye Lake State Park
Pets are welcome inside Buckeye Lake State Park, but must be supervised and kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings or in either of the beach areas.
Camping Near Buckeye Lake State Park
Buckeye Lake State Park features day only activities. Plan ahead and spend a peaceful night someplace nearby. Here are a couple of state parks close to Buckeye Lake State Park that offer overnight accommodations:
Dillon State Park, located at 5265 Dillon Hills Drive in Nashport, is just 37 miles east of Buckeye Lake State Park. They offer full hookup, electric, and non-electric campsites, deluxe cabins, and primitive equestrian campsites.
All sites are partially shaded, with a picnic table and fire ring, and located near showers, flush toilets, a laundromat, dump station, and a camp store that carries camping supplies and groceries.
Pets are allowed on all campsites and in designated cabins.
- Deer Creek State Park, located at 20635 State Park Road in Mt Sterling, is 50 miles west of Buckeye Lake State Park and surrounded by rolling woodlands. The majestic Deer Creek Lodge & Conference Center, one of Ohio’s largest state park resorts, overlooks picturesque Deer Creek Lake. This park also features a large family campground, an 18-hole golf course, marina, and the historic Harding Cabin.
Hocking Hills State Park, located at 19852 OH-664 in Logan, is 40 miles south of Buckeye Lake State Park. Here guests may choose to stay in the rustic Hocking Hills Lodge, cottage style cabins, modern campground, Sherman Cabins, or primitive hike-in campsites.
The campground’s full hookup sites, tent-only sites, and Sherman Cabin camping shelters are close to restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, a playground, volleyball court, Old Man’s Cave and the trail system.
Buckeye Lake State Park
2871 Liebs Island Rd
Millersport, OH 43046
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Buckeye Lake State Park: