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Bainbridge - Pike Lake State Park

1847 Pike Lake Road

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.


Maria Severt

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018
My family visits Pike Lake each fall, and we are never disappointed by the beautiful nature that surrounds us, whether we are enjoying time together in the cabins, hiking, playing disc golf or enjoying the activities during the Harvest Moon weekend. We stayed in an updated cabin this year, which was extremely well done. It was very modern inside, with beautiful flooring and new furniture. It didn't really seem like we were in a cabin in the middle of the woods at all! If you were wanting a more rustic feel, the older cabins may be a better choice. Both options are charming in my opinion. All the amenities you could need are available in the cabin.

S. Y. Betts

Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
Stayed here this summer. Got a Basic cabin and the rate was great. The park was nice, quiet, well kept, clean. The cabin was older but clean and had all the basics. Bring Your Own Linens! They are not real clear on that when you read the cabin instructions when you rent. (We scheduled our rental on line.) The lake is very small, but pretty. Don't plan on catching anything bigger than a tiny sun fish, but the small swimming beach was very nice. They also rent kayaks and paddle boats. Small camp store available for the basics. The Nature center was a treat. It's small but it's got some cute exhibits and stuff for the kids to do. Loads of information about the area too. Nice Place.

bobbie Stonerock

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018
Pike Lake is the quiet gem of the state park system. I hesitate to post for fear the crowds from old man's cave will come and ruin this park's pristine beauty. Great naturalist who provides excellent educational opportunities. At night, the sky lights up so much it takes your breath away.


Thursday, Sep. 7, 2017
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

Shyann Stanford

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017
There is no service anywhere near the park. Such an inconvenience getting there. There are no signs saying pike lake state park. Office is not open if you need something. Our cabin had a tiny tv with no remote. No shower soap only tiny bars of hand soap.

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