Dense woodlands, expansive meadows and a shimmering 1,300-acre reservoir blend to create Delaware State Park. Once home to the Delaware Indians, this 1,686-acre recreational area offers camping, swimming, boating, fishing and wildlife viewing for outdoor enthusiasts.
The town, county and park of this area are all named for the Delaware tribe. These people were referred to by other Indians as Na-Be-Naugh-a or "people from the east". They moved westward from their ancestral home in the Delaware Valley to escape pressure exerted upon them by the fierce Iroquois nation. The tribe assumed the name of Delaware, derived from the designation of their eastern valley. The word originates from the name of Lord Delaware, once the governor of Virginia.
In Ohio, the Delaware joined with other tribes including the Wyandot and Shawnee to block the western expansion of the settlers. A reminder of this long struggle is reflected in the ruins of Fort Morrow located on private property north of State Route 229.
In the early 1800s, a route near present U.S. 23 was well worn by folks destined for Lake Erie. A brick tavern, constructed in 1810, served as a resting place for the travelers. The structure was built on a small hill overlooking the valley now holding the reservoir. In response to the coming war with the British and Indians, a Captain Taylor directed the building of a palisade around the tavern. The new Fort Morrow served to protect the establishment as well as to function as a sanctuary for local settlers in case of Indian attack. Although several scares brought families to its protective cover, no actual attacks were recorded.
Delaware Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the construction of a flood control dam in 1951. The flood control reservoir was dedicated as a state park later that year.
A wooded campground offers a total of 211 campsites.
All 211 are electric sites
20 sites are designated as walk-in only
4 sites are ADA compliant
Amenities include flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities and a dump station
Pets are permitted on all sites but the three yurt sites
The campground offers volleyball and basketball courts as well as tetherball and playground equipment
Games and sporting equipment are available at the campground office for loan to registered campers
Group camp for organized youth groups are available for reservation
Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted. Three boat-launching ramps are conveniently located around the lake. Boat and dock rentals are offered seasonally.
A fully equipped marina offers fuel, fishing and boating supplies. Boat camping is permitted at the main marina and southwest marina docks.
The park has a 36-hole disc golf course plus one practice hole. Equipment rental is available and there is no fee to play.
Delaware reservoir offers excellent catches of crappie, muskie and largemouth and smallmouth bass. A small pond near the marina offers fishing specifically for children 15 years old and younger.
Waterfowl hunting is popular at Delaware. Duck blinds are issued by a lottery drawing. Bow hunting and trapping is allowed in designated areas of the park. Only waterfowl hunting is allowed on Sundays. Hunting for all legal game, seven days a week, is permitted in the adjacent wildlife area. Maps indicating hunting areas are available at the park office or download a copy below. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Eight picnic areas are located in quiet, scenic spots overlooking the lake. Three shelter houses are reservable; check the Reservations tab.
An 800-foot public beach is popular with park visitors. Facilities include picnic pavilion, playground, flush restroom and access to the disc golf course.
Two boat/swim areas are designated on the lake.
Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach.
Five hiking trails connect the lakeshore with each of the four camping areas, transecting meadows, woodlands and wetlands plus one trail along the dam:
Big Foot Trail - 1.5 Miles - Easy
Fisherman Trail - 1/4 Mile - Easy
Lakeview Trail - 1.6 Miles - Easy
Briar Patch Trail - 1.5 Miles - Easy
Mink Run Trail - 1 Mile - Easy
Dam Trail - 1 Mile - Easy
Birdwatching is popular here as many species of songbirds nest in the area. A bluebird management trail attracts this beautiful cavity-nesting bird.
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing on all of the hiking trails, sledding, ice skating on an ice rink, and ice fishing.
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