Indian Lake State Park
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.
I always liked coming to this state park and camping here but my recent stay was a little less than desired. I stayed in the A section where there was a whole group of geese wandering all over the campsite leaving droppings all over the campsite, but not just on the campsite all over the road and I noticed it was covering the entire beach and boat ramp area. Another thing I noticed, or didn't notice, was the lack of authority in the park. I was there from Thursday to Sunday and didn't see a single park ranger or officer of any type drive through. I also noticed one morning while going for a walk with my dog that is on a leash the lax in the leash law around the park. Dogs would come right up to you out of their campsite and try to mess with either you or your dog. We would tell the owner that they need to put a leash on their dog but it doesn't do any good. The last thing I noticed was there is plenty of 10 MPH speed signs posted but there are also plenty of people going well over the 10 MPH speed limit! With all the kids and people walking/biking around you think they would slow it down a bit. I would like to see the park install some sidewalks or walk ways or something so that you aren't walking on the already crowded, narrow driveways throughout the park. I think it would be much safer if they had a separate place for foot traffic to use instead of the edge of the road and hoping that the vehicles see you.
This visit was just to sit on the beach and enjoy the gorgeous weather on Mother's Day, but we have camped at this park as well and loved it. The campsites are beautiful; especially the ones along the lake. There's an entire section that's more established, so there's a lot of shade, but if full-on sun doesn't bother you, there's a more open area for camping as well. The camp store is adequate for those small items you may have left at home and the associates are very nice as well. The campground and beach are well maintained. We will definitely visit both the beach and the campground again!
Really nice campground with a nice new pool. Clean, with plenty of room. Nice beach and dog beach too. We always enjoy our stay here going back in October, reserve your spot early.
Such a beautiful lake. You can rent boats. Nice places to eat and just enjoy the outdoors. Walking trail along the lake. Very nice. Would go again.
Melanie R. Hirsch
If you have or want to rent a pontoon boat or jet skis in the summer, this lake could be fun. The bike path was alright. Not the best tourist location in ohio, but okay.