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The marina at Paint Creek State Park

The marina at Paint Creek State Park. Photo: Aesopposea, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for a state park in Ohio that offers something for the whole family then head on over to Paint Creek State Park.

Situated less than a 90 minute drive from Cincinnati and Columbus this fabulous public recreational space provides a range of recreational activities you can enjoy all year round.

Nestled on the fringes of the Appalachian Plateau, against a stunning backdrop of verdant hills, scenic valleys and twisty roads, the park is a haven for those who enjoy fishing and swimming.

Other activities like hiking, horseback riding and hunting are also popular too. While an onsite mini-golf course keeps many people entertained in the summer months. During the winter, cross country skiing is also well practiced at the ski and speed zone.

Providing an excellent location to spend quality time with the people you love, the park also provides excellent camping options too. This includes almost 200 campsites – most of which come with electric connections – as well as equestrian camping.

There is also a yurt and two cabins available for those who prefer more upscale accommodation.


Visitors can partake in a range of outdoor recreational activities during their time at the park.

Showcased below are a selection of some of the many things you can see and do during your time there.

Fishing at Paint Creek State Park

As it is stocked seasonally with bass, catfish, crappie, saugeye and bluegill, fishing is a popular activity on Paint Creek Lake.

Spanning 1,190-acres there is plenty of space to cast a line. You will need a license to be able to do this, which could take the form of a lifetime license or one-day pass.

However, you will be able to fish from the shoreline or on a boat in the middle of the water once you have got one.

Trails at Paint Creek State Park

You’ll definitely want to bring your hiking boots with you to the park as there are more than 25 miles of trails waiting to be explored.

These trails vary in length from .75 miles to 2.5-miles, they also have different degrees of difficulty too. Which means they can accommodate most levels of fitness and mobility.

All of these trails showcase the park’s stunning natural landscape and many of them are multi-use. So you will be able to tackle them on your bicycle or horse as well.

Hunting at Paint Creek State Park

For those into hunting there are specially designated areas within the park where you can engage in this pursuit throughout the year.

You will need to hold a valid Ohio license in order to be able to do so, which you can apply for online or at the park.

After securing them you will be able to hunt rabbits, deer, pheasants and several other game animals.

Cross-Country Skiing at Paint Creek State Park

When the snow hits in the winter months the park offers another dimension of recreational activity to visitors.

This takes the form of cross-country skiing which can be done at its Ski and Speed Zone. You will need to dress in several layers to keep warm and always keep an eye on the weather.

You would be well advised to engage in this activity with a buddy and have a phone with you in case of an emergency. (You should get decent cell phone reception in the park).

Pets at Paint Creek State Park

The park is pet friendly although it does impose several conditions on the presence of your four-legged friend.

For those who intend on bringing their dog with them you will need to ensure they are well behaved at all times. You will also need to keep them on a handheld lease of no more than six feet in length and make sure they are not left unattended for more than 30 minutes.

Camping at Paint Creek State Park

Want a place to stay overnight at Paint Creek State Park? Then you are in luck!

With 195 campsites available, there are several options available to you if you intend to come with an RV or tent.

Many of these sites come with electric hookups, although none of them have connections for water or sewer. Some of them can house rigs of up to 50 feet, although a few of them have a smaller maximum length of 30 feet. So it is worth making a booking to find a suitable site for you.

If you do make a reservation you should consider doing so at one of the 14 premium sites that feature decks that overlook the water.

All campsites come with their own grills, campfire rings and picnic tables. While within the campground there are also a handful of water spigots and a dump station available. There is also a playground for children to enjoy too.

Should you decide to come to the park with your horse you will be pleased to learn there is an equestrian campsite available onsite. Situated near the lake’s southwestern fringes it is a rustic campground that does not have any hookups.

For those who would rather stay somewhere a little different, the park also offers a yurt which features a small refrigerator, TV with DVD player and cooking facilities in the form of a fire ring or gas grill.

If you are not a fan of roughing it, another more upscale option the park offers are two camper cabins. These come with air conditioning, a microwave and mini-fridge, as well as a selection of other home comforts.

Park Location

Paint Creek State Park
280 Taylor Rd
Bainbridge, OH 45612
Phone: 937.981.7061

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Paint Creek State Park: