5,800-acre Indian Lake offers a variety of water-related recreational opportunities. Boating, fishing, skiing and camping are highlights of this 800-acre multi-use park.
Early American history tells of the Indian tribes who lived and hunted in this region. Because of its close proximity to the Miami River, Indian Lake became part of the Indian trade route linking the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Generations of native Americans followed this route and occupied villages in the vicinity. By the early 1800s, white settlers made their way here and the history books record many accounts of skirmishes and battles resulting from the conflict between the Indians and new settlers. The famous frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were known to have traveled here.
Despite Indian Lake's popularity as a year-round recreational area, the lake was not originally constructed with that purpose in mind. In the early 1800s, the primary means of commercial transportation was the canal system. Old Indian Lake was built in 1851 as a feeder lake for the Miami and Erie Canal to maintain the required four-foot water depth.
Following the passage of a resolution by the Ohio General Assembly in 1850 to use Indian Lake as a water supply for the canal, a bulkhead was built in Washington Township where the Great Miami River began and covered 1,000 acres. The work began in 1851 and was not completed until 1860. The total cost up to that time was $340,000. Irish laborers performed the work with picks, shovels and carts. Ironically, use of the canal system was declining as work on Indian Lake was completed. In 1893, Indian Lake or Lewistown Reservoir as it was then called, spanned 6,334 acres with 29 miles of shoreline. On April 9, 1898, the Ohio General Assembly dedicated the lake as a recreation area by the name of Indian Lake.
Indian Lake became a popular resort area at the turn of the century due to its central location on the old Toledo and Ohio Central Steamline and the Ohio Electric Railway. At one time, Indian Lake was known as the "Midwest's Million Dollar Playground". In 1949, the old Department of Conservation was abolished and Indian Lake became part of the newly-created Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation.
360 electric sites
43 full hookup sites
34 premium electric sites (waterfront)
Heated shower houses, flush toilets, laundry facility and camp commissary
Pet are permitted on all sites
Beach, boat ramp and boat docks are provided for exclusive use of registered campers
Seasonal naturalist program, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball, and bicycle and boat rental
Group camp area may be reserved for groups up to 60 people by advanced registration
10 boat camping spaces are also available (these site do not accommodate tents and there are no fire rings)
The 5,100-acre lake offers unlimited horsepower boating. There are five launch ramps. 530 boat docks are available for seasonal rental. A kayak launch is located at Moundwood.
Water skiing is popular in the open zone area. Boaters may swim off their boats around Walnut Islands and Oldfield Beach
Largemouth bass, saugeye, white bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, yellow perch and catfish are plentiful here. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas only. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Several shaded picnic areas equipped with tables and grills are located around the park. Six shelterhouses are reservable online or by calling (866) 644-6727. The rental fee is $50 per day for each shelter:
Black Hawk Shelter -- Partially enclosed 25' x 30' shelter on a paved site is ADA accessible with 2 electric outlets (110-amp), small grill, 8-10 picnic tables, parking for up to 30 vehicles, close to restrooms and lake, adjacent picnic area has grills and lots of shade
Bridge Shelter -- Open 30' x 20' shelter on a paved site is ADA accessible, electric is NOT available, 8 picnic tables, parking for up to 30 vehicles, close to lake, located at the Blackhawk Channel, near the Oldfield Beach bike trail
Fox Island Shelter -- Open 30' x 20' shelter with 6 electric outlets (110 amp), group grill, 8 picnic tables, parking for up to 50 vehicles, close to restrooms, lake, beach, volleyball court, and boat rental
Moundwood Shelter -- Open 35' x 45' shelter with 6 electric outlets (110 amp), 6 picnic tables, <100 yards to flush toilets, playground nearby, access to fishing, located in the Moundwood channel, near kayak launch
Oldfield North Shelter -- Partially enclosed 25' x 30' shelter on a paved pad is ADA accessible with 2 electric outlets (110 amp) located at the main beach, small group grill, 6-8 picnic tables, parking for 20+ vehicles, close to restrooms,bike trail, and large fishing jetty
Oldfield South Shelter -- Partially enclosed 25' x 30' shelter on a paved pad is ADA accessible with 2 electric outlets (110 amp) located at the main beach, small group grill, 6-8 picnic tables, parking for 20+ vehicles, close to restrooms, volleyball court, bike trail, and large fishing jetty
Two public beaches, Old Field Beach and Fox Island Beach, provide 1,400-foot of access to the lake.Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches.
Cherokee Trail - 1.4 Miles, easy walk through brushy habitat, is located west of the camp.
Pew Island Trail - .82 Mile, path, encircles Pew Island, which can be accessed from a causeway and offers a spectacular view of Indian Lake.
Biking Trail - 3.5 Mile, paved Multi-use bikeway is located on the West Bank between Old Field Beach and Lakeview Harbor, walkers and joggers also allowed.
Under the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy snowmobiling, ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and ice boating.
Naturalist programs are offered during the summer months
Playgrounds are located at various areas throughout the park
Sand volleyball courts at the beach
Dog park at Oldfield Beach includes lake access.
Kayak launch at Moundwood