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Lake Milton State Park

16801 Mahoning Avenue
Lake Milton, OH 44429

330-654-4989

Lake Milton's 1,685-acre reservoir offers the best in water-related recreation. Boating, swimming and fishing are popular. The scenic shoreline provides a habitat for waterfowls and shorebirds for visitors to enjoy.

History

Before settlement of Ohio, dense forests covered much of the region. The forests were inhabited by Indians and wild animals including wolf, elk, bear and mountain lion. Indian trails and rivers provided access to the area. When settlers started moving west, they traveled the same routes as the Indians. Historic records recall only a few incidents between settlers and the Indians.

John and Mary Young traveled to this area from New York and in 1797 platted a town on the bank of the Mahoning River. In 1803, the Youngs left the area due to homesickness, but the town (Youngstown) still bears their name. Shortly after the Young's departure, iron, coal and limestone were discovered in the nearby hills. In 1826, the first coal mine opened in the valley. After Lake Superior's extensive iron ore deposits were discovered, the Mahoning Valley steel industry grew at a rapid rate. Union Iron and Steel Company, the first Mahoning steel plant, opened in 1892. Additional mills and fabricating plants drew immigrants of all nationalities to the valley.

In 1910, the city of Youngstown acquired 3,416 acres in Milton Township to construct a reservoir to be used as a water supply. A 2,800-foot dam was completed in 1913 impounding 1,640 acres on the Mahoning River. Lake Milton included a small amusement park at Craig Beach with a swimming beach, roller coaster, boat trips and a busy midway. The east side of the lake included taverns, a dance hall and a skating rink.

During the 1970s, mounting problems with the Lake Milton dam demanded attention. Considering safety factors, the gates were opened in the spring of 1986 and the lake was drained. State assistance was sought and shortly thereafter repairs to the dam began. Within two years, the dam was ready to hold water again.

Lake Milton was officially dedicated as a state park in 1988.

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