5202 US Route 23 North, Delaware, Ohio 43015
Park Phone: (740) 363-4561
Marina Phone: (740) 363-6102
Camping Reservations: (866) 644-6727
Dense woodlands, expansive meadows and a shimmering reservoir blend to create Delaware State Park. Once home to the Delaware Indians, this recreational area offers camping, swimming, boating, fishing and wildlife viewing for outdoor enthusiasts.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
Delaware State Park rests in the midst of the fertile agricultural till plains of Delaware County. In contrast to the surrounding farmlands, the park offers a variety of natural features. The area lies upon Columbus limestone. Formed over 350 million years ago, this bedrock outcrops in a north-south band through Ohio. The rock has been quarried for years and utilized in many ways including the construction of the state capitol building in Columbus. Before settlement of the area, a rich beech-maple forest covered the landscape. That original forest has long since been cut, but a healthy second growth forest is preserved in the park. The woodlands and meadows harbor a diverse array of plant and animal life. Interested observers can find large-flowered trillium, wild blue phlox, Queen Anne's lace and New England asters. The fields and woodlots are home to the fox squirrel, woodchuck, rabbit and white-tailed deer. The adjacent wildlife area is populated with ring-necked pheasant, while the lake and wetlands are a mecca for waterfowl. Birdwatching is popular here as many species of songbirds nest in the area. A bluebird management trail attracts this beautiful cavity-nesting bird.
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The campground offers 214 sites suitable for tents or trailers. The campground features flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities and a dump station. Electricity is supplied at 164 of the sites. A group camp is available for organized youth groups on a reservation basis. Pets are permitted at designated sites. Three Rent-A-Camp units, consisting of a tent, sheltered picnic table and other equipment, may be reserved during the season.Campground Map
Swimming: The public beach at Delaware is popular with park visitors. Facilities include bathhouse, showers and a snack bar. Two boat/swim areas are designated on the lake.
Boating: Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted. Boat-launching ramps are conveniently located around the lake. Boat and dock rentals are offered seasonally. A fully equipped marina offers fuel, fishing and boating supplies.
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.Delaware State Park Hunting Map
A network of trails aid visitors in their exploration of the park. The trails connect the lakeshore with each of the four camping areas, transecting meadows, woodlands and wetlands.Delaware State Park Hiking Trail Map
Many picnic tables are located in quiet, scenic spots overlooking the lake. A shelter house is available for rental. Call the park office for details.
The town, county and park of this area are all named for the Delaware tribe. These people were referred to by other Indians as Na-Be-Naugh-a or "people from the east." They moved westward from their ancestral home in the Delaware Valley to escape pressure exerted upon them by the fierce Iroquois nation. The tribe assumed the name of Delaware, derived from the designation of their eastern valley. The word originates from the name of Lord Delaware, once the governor of Virginia. In Ohio, the Delaware joined with other tribes including the Wyandot and Shawnee to block the western expansion of the settlers. A reminder of this long struggle is reflected in the ruins of Fort Morrow located on private property north of SR 229. In the early 1800s, a route near present U.S. 23 was well worn by folks destined for Lake Erie. A brick tavern, constructed in 1810, served as a resting place for the travelers. The structure was built on a small hill overlooking the valley now holding the reservoir. In response to the coming war with the British and Indians, a Captain Taylor directed the building of a palisade around the tavern. The new Fort Morrow served to protect the establishment as well as to function as a sanctuary for local settlers in case of Indian attack. Although several scares brought families to its protective cover, no actual attacks were recorded. Delaware Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the construction of a flood control dam in 1951. The flood control reservoir was dedicated as a state park later that year.
Delaware Wildlife Area offers 4,670 acres managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for public hunting and fishing. A number of the area's 55 stocked ponds are open to anglers. Information can be obtained at the park office or the Division of Wildlife office on State Route 229. Alum Creek State Park southeast of Delaware offers boating, fishing, swimming and camping. Two nature preserves are located in Delaware County. High banks, owned and managed by the Metropolitan Park District of Columbus, is a scenic preserve with geological, botanical and cultural features. Seymour Woods State Nature Preserve contains deep ravines, heavily wooded ridge tops and open fields. Access to Seymour Woods is by written permission only from the Chief of the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. The Columbus Zoo and the Wyandot Lake Amusement Park are located within a short distance of the park.