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Sunset over the water at Guilford Lake State Park.

Sunset over the water at Guilford Lake State Park. Photo: Todd Fowler, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spanning just 98 acres, what Guilford Lake State Park may lack in size it more than makes up for in its spectacular natural beauty.

Nestled within the northeast region of Ohio along Little Beaver Creek’s west fork, the bosky park is a haven for those who enjoy lakeside fishing and camping.

Most likely set on a natural glacier lake, this Ohio state park is centered around 396 acres of water. Its gently rolling, serene terrain offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in Akron and Pittsburgh. Both of which are less than 90 minutes drive away.

Aside from fishing the likes of swimming, boating and hunting are also popular activities. While the snow of winter brings out the ice skaters and ice fishermen in their droves when the lake freezes over.


Guilford Lake State Park offers visitors a myriad of ways to enjoy and immerse themselves within its outstanding natural beauty.

Outlined below is a selection of some of the main outdoor recreational activities you can do during your time there.

Boating at Guilford Lake State Park

Boating is a well practiced activity at the park for those who own vessels that are 10 hp or less.

Within the park you will find docks as well as three launch ramps which will enable you to easily take to the water.

Plenty of people also choose to skim around its surface on kayaks, canoes and paddle boats too.

If you don’t have access to a watercraft you can rent out these vessels from the park. While there is also a privately-owned harbor onsite that offers power boats for rent.

Swimming at Guilford Lake State Park

Due to the presence of boats, swimming is only allowed in specially designated areas on the lake. This enables the activity to be more easily monitored.

To access it, you should head over to the lake’s northwest side where you will find a 600-foot stretch of public swimming beach.

Hot showers and changing room facilities are also located in this area along with horseshoe pits and a volleyball court.

Fishing at Guilford Lake State Park

If you are into fishing the lake provides good opportunities to catch the likes of channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and perch.

You will need a valid Ohio fishing license to do this but once you have procured that you will be able to cast a line at the park’s fishing pier. This is situated around the southern area of the lake.

Alternatively you can stand on the lake’s shoreline or fish from inside a boat or other vessel in the middle of the water.

The state of Ohio actually recognizes anglers who catch noteworthy fish with awards. It is a good idea therefore to take photos and record the weight of any whoppers you catch.

Picnicking at Guilford Lake State Park

With its beautiful lakeside location many people take the opportunity to enjoy a picnic at Guilford Lake State Park.

Overall, the park has eight different designated picnic areas, all of which come with their own grill and table.

Dotted at various points around the lake, these spots can be reserved ahead of time. Guests are reminded that drinking alcohol at any state park in Ohio is strictly prohibited.

If you intend to have a picnic be sure to dispose of your trash responsibly and appropriately.

Winter Activities at Guilford Lake State Park

During the cold weather of winter the lake freezes over. So this provides excellent opportunities for ice skating and ice fishing.

Before you attempt this you will need to ascertain whether the thickness of the ice provides sufficient protection.

Generally five inches of ice is considered to be safe, although this is purely a guide and not a guarantee of safety.

In the winter you may spot professional ice skaters practicing on the lake. However, if you would prefer to stick to warmer activities, the camp office has several different indoor games available.

Hunting at Guilford Lake State Park

For those into hunting, the park offers designated sections where you can engage in their activity.

Waterfowl is generally the go here, although you might be able to catch some other small animals too.

When partaking in hunting you will need to abide by the rules and regulations of Ohio hunting laws. You will also need to hold a valid license before you can do that.

At certain times of the year, blinds can be accessed by campers at the main park office on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pets at Guilford Lake State Park

The park is a pet friendly destination although some restrictions need to be adhered to.

Throughout their visit, dogs must be well behaved. They also need to be kept on a leash and cannot be left unattended for more than 30 minutes.

For a full rundown of their pet policy it is worth contacting the park’s main office.

Camping at Guilford Lake State Park

The campground at Guilford Lake State Park is quite small, though it is modern and well maintained.

Overall there are 40 tranquil plots set aside for RVs and trailers. Each of them provides hookups for electricity and also comes with their own fire rings and flush toilets.

Amenities include flush toilets and showers. There is also a play area for children to enjoy as well as safe drinking water, a fishing dock and dump station.

As the campground is usually busy it is worth making a reservation there several months in advance of your visit.

Park Location

Guilford Lake State Park
6835 E Lake Rd
Lisbon, OH 44432
Phone: 330.222.1712




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Guilford Lake State Park: