396-acre Guilford Lake State Park is a quiet fishing lake located in northeastern Ohio on the west fork of the Little Beaver Creek. The gentle rolling terrain of the area offers a serene escape for park visitors year round.
The capture of the infamous Confederate general, John Hunt Morgan, near the vicinity of Guilford Lake, ended his gallant raid through the state of Ohio in 1863. Morgan and his 2,000 raiders crossed the entire width of the state from west to east before his eventual capture.
Guilford Lake was constructed as a canal feeder reservoir for the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1834. An ambitious project undertaken by a private company, the canal was to be 73-miles long and would require two tunnels, thirty dams, ninety locks, three reservoirs and one 400-foot-long aqueduct before it was completed. The park is named after E.H. Gill who was chief engineer of the canal company for several years. He established a road through swampy areas of the present park which became known as Gill's Ford.
When the canal era came to a close, the adjacent landowners breached the embankment in two places and proceeded to use the lake bottom for farmland. In 1927, the land was purchased by the state with the intent of rebuilding the reservoir. The new dam was completed in 1932 by the Division of Conservation. The lake was eventually turned over to the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation for administration and development. Guilford Lake and Ohio's other canal feeder lakes were the first areas to be dedicated as Ohio state parks in 1949.
40 electric sites
Play area, fishing dock, drinking water, showers, flush toilets, dump station, picnic tables and fire-rings are provided
Separate beach for registered campers
Playground equipment and basketball court
Camp office also has games and sporting equipment to loan to registered campers
Pets are permitted on all sites
Kayaks, paddleboats, and pontoon boats available for rent
Boat docks are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
Boats with motors up to 10 horsepower are permitted on the 396-acre lake. Three launch ramps and seasonal dock rentals are available.
Canoe, kayak and paddle boat rentals are available at the campground. Power boat rentals are available from a privately-owned marina on the south side of the lake.
Good catches of bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish can be taken at Guilford Lake. An accessible fishing pier is available on the south side of the lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Waterfowl hunting is permitted; blinds are available first-come, first-served at the park office during the designated season. Hunting is permitted in the nearby Zepernick Lake State Wildlife Area, east of the park on State Route 172 . A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
8 picnic areas with tables and grills are located at various points around the lake. The Teegarden Shelterhouse is available for reservation online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
A 600-foot public swimming beach is located on the northwest side of the lake. Facilities include a bathhouse with changing booths and showers. The area also has volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches.
A 1/2 mile hiking trail skirts the scenic lakeshore.
Under proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy ice skating and ice fishing.