If you are looking for an Ohio State Park that offers seclusion, privacy and a way to reconnect with nature then consider Jackson Lake State Park.
Nestled within the Appalachian Highlands, the park is centered around a lake that is heavily wooded with hickory, maple, oak and tulip trees. It also features a stunning landscape of rolling sandstone hills that will have you taking plenty of photos for your Instagram.
Once home to Native American tribes like the Delawares, Mingos and Shawnees the park boasts ceremonial mounds and petroglyphs that give visitors a fascinating insight into their existence here.
Situated less than 30 minutes from Jackson, the park is the perfect spot for fishing, swimming and paddling. It is also a noted destination for picnicking, wildlife watching, photography and generally unwinding from the pressures of city life.
In the winter, when the snow hits, sledding, ice skating and ice fishing are popular activities too.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit, you can stay at the park’s small campground, which offers 34 RV sites that have connections for 50-amp electricity.
During your visit to the park you can partake in a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits.
Presented below is just a small selection of some of the main activities the park is renowned for.
Swimming at Jackson Lake State Park
The temperature at the park can often rise into the 90s, so you may want to bring your swimming costume with you to cool off.
Situated within the park is a beautiful sandy beach that is near a specially designated area in which you can swim. Generally the water is pretty calm and is safeguarded by a no-wake zone. So you will have your own section of water well away from the speed boats and other watercraft like canoes and kayaks.
There are no lifeguards on duty, so if you do enter the water you will have to exercise caution.
Fishing at Jackson Lake State Park
With more than 11 miles of easy-to-access shoreline available to them, the park offers fantastic opportunities to anglers. Many of whom come from the surrounding states of Pennsylvania and Kentucky just to cast a line here.
You will need a valid Ohio resident or tourist license to fish at the park. But once you have secured that you will be able to fish from a pier, the shoreline or via a motorized boat or watercraft like a kayak or canoe.
If you visit the park during the spring and fall you are likely to catch plenty of bluegill and largemouth bass.
Channel Catfish come into their own around mid-June, whilst the lake is also full of sunfish and crappie all year round.
Picnicking at Jackson Lake State Park
Given its stunning, scenic, lakeside terrain, the park is a fabulous place to enjoy a picnic.
Throughout it you will find five separate picnic areas for families to enjoy an al fresco meal. All of them can be reserved in advance and convey lovely views of the water.
If they are left unreserved, they are available on a first come, first served basis.
Located near these picnic areas are a playground, horseshoe pit and various other areas designated for outdoor sports activities.
Winter activities at Jackson Lake State Park
During the colder months of winter the lake freezes over and plenty of snow hits the ground.
At this time many people come here to enjoy sledding, which takes place at one of the many hills in the area. Their varying contours, dips and turns provide an excellent adrenaline rush as you hurtle down them.
As the park does not provide visitors with anything in the way of warm weather gear or safety equipment, you will have to make sure you are fully prepared to hit the slopes.
Ice skating and ice fishing are also regularly practiced too. Before heading onto the ice it is worth checking how thick it is. A minimum of 5 inches in depth is recommended, although not a guarantee of safety.
Should you want to fish, just like during the rest of the year you will need to procure a valid fishing license if you are aged 16 or over.
Pets at Jackson Lake State Park
Dogs are welcome to join you at Jackson Lake State Park and they are permitted at both the campground and the trails.
However, during their stay they will need to be well behaved and kept on a hand held leash of no more than 6 feet in length at all times when not in your vehicle.
Dogs are allowed at the tent sites, but they are not permitted in the cabins. For a full rundown of the park’s pet policy, it is worth contacting their main office prior to your visit.
Camping at Jackson Lake State Park
Despite being a relatively small state park in terms of size, the campground at Jackson Lake State Park has a nice range of amenities for visitors to enjoy.
Overall there are 34 sites available that are suitable for RVs and trailers. All of these sites come with 50-amp connections for electricity and can fit rigs up to 35 feet long.
Amenities at the campground include a modern bathhouse that comes with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as a hydrant, a playground for kids and a dump station.
You also get free Wi-Fi access during your stay and can rent out horseshoes and several other types of playground equipment.
Jackson Lake State Park
921 Tommy Been Rd
Oak Hill, OH 45656
Here is a short YouTube video giving a tour of Jackson Lake State Park: