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Dow Lake at Strouds Run State park in Athens County Ohio

Dow Lake at Strouds Run State park in Athens County Ohio. Photo: Shroomydan, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in the scenic hills of southeastern Ohio, Strouds Run State Park is a beautiful natural area that showcases some of Ohio’s best topography.

Covering over 2,600 acres of rolling hills, forests, and meadows, the park comprises a stunning landscape that attracts hikers, anglers, boaters, and nature enthusiasts in their droves.

Offering a variety of recreational activities for visitors of all ages, the centerpiece of Strouds Run State Park is its beautiful 161-acre lake, which is a noted spot for boating and fishing.

In addition, this Ohio state park is also renowned for its hiking trails, with over 15 miles of them winding their way through its four corners.

Situated just over an hour’s drive from Columbus, the park is a popular day trip destination for families and nature enthusiasts. However, for those who want to stay overnight or for a couple of days, the modern campground here provides plenty of options.


Those who head to Strouds Run State Park are able to enjoy a wide range of recreational outdoor based pursuits during the time they have there.

Outlined below is a small selection of some of the many leisure activities you can do during your visit.

Boating at Strouds Run State Park

Strouds Run Lake is a popular spot for boating, with a range of options available to visitors.

The park offers a boat ramp for those bringing their own boats, as well as rental options for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats. Guests can also enjoy a pontoon boat ride on the lake during the summer months.

In addition, the lake’s calm waters are perfect for water sports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing, making it a favorite spot for thrill-seekers.

Patrons can also explore the many inlets and coves around the lake, which are home to a variety of wildlife and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Fishing at Strouds Run State Park

Strouds Run Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species available including bass, catfish, and crappie. The park offers several fishing piers and a boat ramp for anglers to easily access the lake.

In addition to the lake, Strouds Run State Park is home to several streams and creeks that offer additional fishing opportunities. The park’s well-stocked trout streams are a favorite spot for fly-fishing enthusiasts.

To fish anywhere in the park, you will need a valid Ohio State Fishing License.

Hiking at Strouds Run State Park

Strouds Run State Park is a hiker’s paradise, with over 15 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park’s wooded hills and valleys.

Ranging from easy to moderate, these trails are suitable for hikers of all skill levels and showcase various aspects of the park’s wonderful scenery.

Here are some of the most popular trails at Strouds Run State Park:

  • Perimeter Trail – Length: 0.9 miles. Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Gorge Trail – Length: 1.25 miles. Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Lakeview Trail – Length: 2.5 miles. Degree of Difficulty: moderate

Birding at Strouds Run State Park

Strouds Run State Park is home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatching. The park’s diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and meadows, attract a range of bird species throughout the year.

Some of the bird species that can be spotted in the park include woodpeckers, owls, eagles, and warblers. The park also offers several designated birding areas, as well as interpretive programs and guided birding hikes for visitors to enjoy.


Pets are welcome at Strouds Run State Park, but there are a few rules that pet owners must follow to ensure the safety and comfort of other visitors and the natural environment.

This includes pets being well behaved at all times and restrained on a leash. It also involves them not being left unattended for more than 30 minutes and only being allowed in certain parts of the park.

To fully familiarize yourself with the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.


For those who want to stay overnight, Strouds Run State Park offers a variety of camping options for visitors, ranging from primitive tent camping to full-service RV camping.

If you don’t mind roughing it, the park has two primitive camping areas, both of which are located on the lake.

Between them they offer 29 sites that are available on a first come, first served basis. None of them have electricity or water, but they do have vault toilets.

In addition to these, the park has a family campground on the west side of the lake. This campground features 97 sites, all of which have electric hookups, fire rings, and picnic tables. Water is available nearby, and there are modern restrooms and showers available for use. The campground also has a playground, horseshoe pits, and a volleyball court.

Group camping is another option, with two primitive sites set aside for groups of up to 50 people. While those who prefer something a bit more upscale can hire one of the five pet-friendly cabins that are available within the park.

These cabins are fully furnished and feature a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Linens and towels are provided, and each cabin has a screened-in porch and a grill. The cabins do not have air conditioning, but each has a ceiling fan and a gas heater.

It’s important to note that some camping options may be seasonal, so may not be available year-round. Additionally, there are rules and regulations regarding quiet hours, campfires, and other aspects of camping at Strouds Run. So, visitors should familiarize themselves with these before their arrival.

Park Location

Strouds Run State Park
11661 State Park Rd
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.592.2302

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Strouds Run State Park: