1901 Buck Creek Lane, Springfield, Ohio 45502
Buck Creek State Park lies in a fertile agricultural area, rich in Ohio’s history. The park’s recreational facilities center around the 2,120-acre lake, offering endless water-related opportunities. Visitors enjoy the many wetlands, broad meadows and wildlife at this diverse 1,896-acre park.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
The natural features of Buck Creek State Park can be attributed to the effects of glaciers which receded from Ohio over 12,000 years ago. Low hills called moraines can be seen in the area where glaciers halted for extended periods of time and left deposits of gravel and sand. Old river valleys were filled by these deposits where numerous springs now well up through the sand and gravel. The nearby city of Springfield is named for the many springs seeping up from the broad meadows. The springs account for the many bogs and fens in Clark and Champaign counties of which Cedar Bog is probably the best known.
These wet areas harbor an assortment of rare and unusual plants including round-leaved sundew and horned bladderwort. The spotted turtle, a state endangered animal, is found in the area. The northernmost region of the park is an excellent area to observe waterfowl. The shallow waters provide a stopover for thousands of migrating ducks. Relatively rare songbirds of open meadows are also present including dickcissels, bobolinks and Henslow sparrows.
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This modern campground has 101 campsites of which 89 have electricity. Campground facilities include showers, flush toilets and dump station. Campers with pets may camp on designated sites.Campground Map
Swimming: Sunbathers and swimmers enjoy the 2,400-foot sand beach. A concession stand is located at the beach.
Boating: Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted on the 2,120-acre lake. A four-lane launch ramp provides access to the lake. A marina provides fuel, snack bar, and bait shop.
A valid Ohio hunting license is required. You can find out more information about getting a valid Ohio hunting and trapping license on Ohio's division of wildlife website: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/licenses-and-permits. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code, no person shall at any time hunt, trap, kill, pursue, or shoot at any wildlife and/or wild animals by any means within 400 feet of any nature trail, picnic area, service area, residence, barn, parking lot, cabin, or other structure.Buck Creek State Park Hunting Map
Buck Creek offers multiple hiking paths around the lake. You can view the hiking trails below.Buck Creek State Park Hiking Trail Map
Picnic areas provide tables and grills in scenic locations. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Buck Creek was home to Indians and pioneers. The land at the time of early settlement was mostly forested by large trees with minimal undergrowth. Occasionally, the forests were interrupted by prairie openings.
In 1780, George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary war hero, led a band of nearly 1,000 Kentuckians in a raid against Ohio Indians. The Shawnee Indians abandoned their camp which they called Old Chillicothe (near Xenia) and fled to Piqua, the Shawnee capital, located west of the present site of Springfield. Clark pursued the fleeing Indians, and the Shawnee were defeated at the Battle of Piqua. Most of the Indians, however, had dispersed into the woodlands. One Indian hiding in the woods was the young Tecumseh, who vowed to avenge the attack. Following the battle, Clark's men retreated to their homes in Kentucky and the Indians moved north. A new Piqua was erected on the banks of the Miami River. This battle put a temporary end to Indian warfare.
With the decline of Indian threat, settlers moved into the area. In 1799, legendary frontiersman Simon Kenton settled in the region with six other Kentucky families. The group lived near the confluence of Buck Creek and Mad River. After two years, the settlers moved to different areas. Kenton established a home along Buck Creek about four miles north of present Springfield. Settlement brought change to the area as trees were cut to construct buildings. Acres were cleared and farm crops were planted. The settlers found the land extremely fertile.
The community of Springfield was founded in 1801 and has served since then as the county seat of Clark County. In 1838, the National Road (U.S. 40) reached Springfield and this opened new markets for manufacturing and agriculture. Over the years, Springfield's character changed from rural to industrial. By 1880, the community led the nation in the manufacturing of agricultural implements.
In September 1966, work was started by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to impound Buck Creek as a flood control project. In 1974, the Clarence J. Brown Dam and Reservoir were dedicated and an agreement gave the Ohio Department of Natural Resources the operation of much of the area. Buck Creek State Park was officially opened in June 1975.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages a visitor center and recreational site near the dam. The center provides displays, programs and dam operation tours. Hiking, picnicking and fishing are available. Nearby Kiser Lake, John Bryan and Madison Lake offer camping and other recreational opportunities. Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve, a unique area of unusual flora and fauna, is operated by the Ohio Historical Society. Located between Urbana and Springfield, the area is open April-September for tours on Saturday and Sunday. Clark County Historical Society maintains the Crabill House on park land. Once the home of David Crabill, an early settler, the building has been totally restored. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the brick home can now be toured. Several other state nature preserves in the area are accessible by written permit only. Contact the chief of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to visit Liberty Fen, Prairie Road Fen, Siegenthaler Esker or Kiser Lake Wetlands.