Pike Lake State Park
587-acre Pike Lake State Park is located in the midst of the scenic wooded hills of southern Ohio. The small 13-acre lake and surrounding state forest contribute to the park's rustic charm.
Pike County is located in an area that has many earthworks constructed by Ohio's prehistoric people. These "first citizens" of Ohio lived in the Scioto River Valley and its tributaries, appearing here sometime around 800 B.C. The Moundbuilders eventually gave rise to the woodland Indian cultures--the first white settlers encountered. One tribe, the Shawnee, made this area their home and hunting grounds. They were fiercely protective of their land.
Nearby Chillicothe, the first capital of Ohio, spurred early settlement in the area. Some of the early, historic buildings still stand. Just south of the park is "Eagers Inn" built in 1797. The inn was constructed on a trace that ran from Limestone, Kentucky to Chillicothe. Limestone (now called Maysville) was an important crossing on the Ohio River. Many settlers from Kentucky followed this passage on their way to the frontier.
During the Civil War, only one advance was ever made by the Confederate Army into Ohio. General John H. Morgan crossed the Ohio River into Indiana, then rode with his cavalry into Ohio north of Cincinnati. "Morgan's Raiders" traversed the southern portion of the state, passing near present-day Pike Lake State Park. Eventually, he and many of his men were captured in southwestern Columbiana County near Salineville. Less than five months later, General John Morgan and six of his men escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary and returned to the Confederacy.
Also during this historic period, the family who farmed this valley found a wounded soldier collapsed in their field. The unconscious union soldier never revived. His name, unit or hometown were never known. Today, a solitary headstone below the dam at the base of a large oak tree marks the grave of this casualty from a tragic war.
The present park first began to take shape during the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) days of the 1930s. One of the Ohio camps was established near the future site of Pike Lake at Morgantown. Corpsmembers dug the lake by hand, built two or three fire towers in the area, constructed the roads to make them accessible and planted hundreds of pine trees. Pike Lake was originally a state forest park, but with the formation of the Division of Parks and Recreation in 1949, it became an official state park that year.
Really nice small park. The Mitchell ridge trail is short but fun. The camp store is nice and the ice cream is good. The staff is very friendly. The camp sites are all on top of each other, but they make for a good close time. There is plenty of play ground to go around. There is a basket ball court as well. The shower house is old and run down, but a warm shower is always nice. I seen allot if people fishing. I did not see any catching. I would go back if I had already been to every park, but I haven't been to every park, so...... on to the next one
Love this. So relaxed.very nice people. Lake was way smaller compared to pics on web. Will definitely be back
Not too large or congested with people and traffic. A wonderful get-away-from-it-spot!! A lot of park and nature activities from which to choose.
Great place to ride horses. Camp ground is nice. No place to keep horses over night, that's a bummer.
All the staff was friendly. We were there from Monday till Sunday. The lake is small but nice. We stayed in a Preferred Cabin. Both of the screens in the windows in the kitchen had the bottom of the screen torn out. The cabinets in the kitchen were all sticky like they hadn't been cleaned good in awhile. Our cabin also smelled really weird so we bought air freshners for every room, which helped a lot! Other than those problems it was nice for our 1st family vaca. They had programs Tues, Wed, Thurs evenings for the kids & family. The hiking trails were pretty nice. The disc golf was so much fun!! I wish they had a fire ring at the cabin instead of community fire rings, but we made due😊 I would go back again.