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Deer Creek State Park

20635 State Park Road 20
Mount Sterling, OH 43143

740-869-3124

Located in the heart of Ohio's agricultural country, Deer Creek State Park is central Ohio's vacation showplace. A collage of meadows and woodlands surround the scenic reservoir. This 2,337-acre resort park features a modern lodge, cottages, campground, golf course, swimming beach and boating for outdoor enthusiasts.

History:

On a long ridge that once overlooked Deer Creek and its valley, researchers have discovered evidence of a camp of an ancient Indian tribe. The nomads who camped here around 2,000 B.C. were hunters and gatherers and used this camp periodically throughout the year. Since agriculture was not practiced by the nomads, they moved on after they depleted the plant or animal food supplies in a locale. Burial sites near the camp indicate it was inhabited over a period of time.

In more recent years, a cottage owned by Harry M. Daugherty, the attorney general under President Warren G. Harding, overlooked the valley. The rustic one and one-half story cottage was built in 1918. The President was said to have visited this cottage which now bears his name.

The completion of the dam in 1968 created the lake with the park officially opening in 1974.

Camping

232 electric sites
Features include showers, flush toilets and a dump station
Pets are permitted on all sites except Camper Cabin sites - 2 pet maximum per site
Tetherball, volleyball, basketball, pickleball and gaga ball courts, horseshoe pits, 2 playgrounds, and miniature golf at the campground
Bicycles can be rented from the camp office

Group Camp

Group camp is available by reservation
Two sites accommodate up to 100 people each
Primitive, tent camping only

Equestrian Camp

An equestrian camp provides primitive overnight facilities for riders

Activities

Boating

Unlimited horsepower boating is permitted on the 1,277-acre Deer Creek reservoir. Two boat launch ramps provide access to the lake.

A fully equipped marina offers fuel, boat rental and seasonal dock rentals. For information, call (740) 869-4543.

Boaters may swim from their boats in designated boat-swim areas. One boat-swim area is located in the cove adjacent to the lodge.

Disc Golf

18-hole disc golf course plus one practice hole. The course is located near the campground check-in station and is free to use. Equipment may be rented at the campground store.

Fishing

Deer Creek Lake is famous for its early spring saugeye fishing below the dam. Excellent catches of catfish, largemouth bass and crappie also entice the angler. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Golf

Golfing enthusiasts will enjoy the park’s 350-acre, 18-hole golf course, located near the lodge. Course challenges include 10 ponds and 46 sand traps.

Hunting

The lake provides excellent waterfowl hunting. Fourteen hunting blinds are issued each season on a lottery basis. Hunting for pheasant, rabbit, squirrel and deer is not permitted in the state park, but it is permitted in the state wildlife area adjacent to the park. An archery range can also be found at the wildlife area. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.

Picnicking

Several picnic areas and nine shelterhouses are situated in scenic locations around lake.

Swimming

A 1,700-foot swimming beach with picnic tables and grills is available at the park. Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches. A boat-swim area is located in the cove adjacent to the lodge. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only. Swim at your own risk.

Trails

Eight hiking-only trails are found at the park:

Adena Ridge Trail - .8 mile - easy
Hawkview Meadow Trail - .6 mile - easy
Lakeview Trail - .5 mile - easy
Marsh Walk Trail - .7 mile - moderate
Ridge Trail - .9 miles - moderate
Rolling Hills Trail - 1.5 miles - moderate
Van Horn Trail - .8 miles - easy-moderate
Waterloo Trail - .3 mile - easy
Bridle Trails: Two large loops and a spur form 17 miles of bridle trails - moderate (These trails are also open to snowmobiles in season.)

Winter Recreation

Under the proper conditions, park visitors may enjoy sledding, ice fishing, and ice skating. Snowmobiling is permitted on the 17-mile bridle trail when conditions allow.

Volleyball and basketball courts, playgrounds, a baseball field, pickle ball court and gaga ball pit are offered in select day-use areas.

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