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Pike Lake State Park welcome sign

Pike Lake State Park welcome sign. Photo: Aesopposea, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Flanked by the incredible beauty of Southern Ohio’s Appalachian plateau, Pike Lake State Park is an area of unspoiled nature that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Situated within easy driving distance of Cincinnati and Columbus, the park provides a stoic setting in which to escape the pressures of city life.

Those who enjoy recreational outdoor pursuits like boating, swimming and fishing are spoilt for choice here. While hiking, picnicking and wildlife watching are also very popular activities.

When the snow hits in the winter many people come to the park for the chance to enjoy ice skating and ice fishing.

Year round, this Ohio state park offers plenty of accommodation options to visitors, which suit any type of camping preference and budget they may have.

Activities

Visitors can engage in a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits while at Pike Lake State Park.

Showcased below is a synopsis of some of the most popular activities you can enjoy during their time there.

Boating and paddling at Pike Lake State Park

Although just 13-acres in size, Pike Lake is a very pleasant place to enjoy boating.

You are allowed to take vessels onto the water that have electric motors of up to 4.5 horsepower. Alternatively many people choose to paddle on kayaks, canoes and SUPs.

If you didn’t bring a vessel with you to the park you can hire canoes, peddle boats and rowboats while you are there.

Swimming at Pike Lake State Park

Should you fancy a swim while at the park you can do this on the lake’s northern side.

There you find a lovely sandy swimming beach which is a terrific spot for sunbathing as well as going for a dip.

As this area is not lifeguarded you will need to exercise caution while you are there. However, there are changing areas, restrooms that have hot showers and a concession store located at them for your convenience.

Fishing at Pike Lake State Park

Despite its relatively small size, fishing is still good at Pike Lake. So it is worth bringing your rods and reels with you to the park.

You will need to hold a valid Ohio state license if you want to cast a line here. But if you have one you can do so in a boat out in the middle of the water or along the shoreline.

The likes of crappie, catfish, bluegill and largemouth bass are always biting.

Hiking at Pike Lake State Park

If you prefer to be on dry land, there are several hiking trails within the park that will enable you to explore its stunning landscape.

Covering a distance of six miles they vary in length and degrees of difficulty, but all showcase the park’s flora and fauna in unique ways.

After tackling all the courses that meander through Pike Lake State Park, you can always choose to carry on to the Buckeye Trail, should you still want to do some more exploring. It will lead you on to several other trails that meander through the adjacent Pike State Forest.

Picnicking at Pike Lake State Park

Pike Lake State Park makes a lovely spot for a picnic.

Overall, there are ten different scenic areas set outside for you to do this within the park. All of them feature tables that allow you to take in terrific views of the lake.

They also have grills and tables that will enable you to cook up hot food.

Wildlife Watching

For those into wildlife watching, it is definitely worth bringing your binoculars with you to the park.

Throughout the trails and around the shoreline of the lake, there are several different species of fauna you can spot.

This includes the likes of ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, raccoons, boxed turtles and red foxes. All of whom live in the bosky forests around the lake and deep within the park’s most remote areas.

Pets at Pike Lake State Park

Pike Lake State Park has a clear policy when it comes to pets.

It allows them to stay in cottages and all the park’s electric campsites. However they are not allowed in any of the lodge, cabins or associated areas.

You are also not allowed to take them on the beach, golf course, swimming pool or any of the wildlife display areas either.

To gain a full understanding of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.

Camping at Pike Lake State Park

For those wanting overnight accommodation during their visit to the park there are several options available to you.

This includes 79 electric campsites which can accommodate rigs that are under 50 feet in length. None of these sites have connections for water or sewer. But they do come with individual fire rings and picnic tables.

In addition to these sites, there are also several with these amenities that have been designated as primitive tent-only as well.

Open throughout the year, this campground also features a dump station, numerous points for water collection, restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Guests can also enjoy horseshoe and basketball courts and a children’s playground.

If you are after something that provides a little bit more in the way of home comforts, the park presents 25 cottages and several cabins. These vary in size and what they offer. But many include modern kitchens, fully furnished bedrooms, heating and indoor plumbing.

There is also a group camp option for up to 60 people which is perfect for those who want to sleep under the stars in a rustic tent scenario.

Park Location

Pike Lake State Park
1847 Pike Lake Rd
Bainbridge, Oh 45612
Phone: 740.493.2212

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

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