5265 Dillon Hills Drive, Nashport, Ohio 43830-9568
Park Phone: (740) 453-4377
Camp Commissary Phone: (740) 452-1083
Camping Reservations: (866) 644-6727
The wooded hills and scenic valleys of the Dillon area offer a picturesque setting for outdoor adventure. Whether boating the quiet coves and inlets of the lake or hiking the forest trails, you'll have an outstanding recreational experience at 2,285-acre Dillon State Park.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
Dillon State Park in Muskingum County is situated in an area of the state that possesses diverse and unique natural features. One of which is the presence of the Black Hand Sandstone. Sand, eroded hundreds of millions of years ago from mountains farther east, accumulated in a vast delta in the sea covering the region. This hard bedrock erodes to form sheer cliffs and supports a hardwood forest. The rolling, reverting farmland of the Dillon area provides visitors the opportunity to see some of Ohio's most magnificent wildlife. White-tailed deer,ruffed grouse and wild turkey can be seen by quiet observers. During migration, numerous species of waterfowl visit Dillon's waters. Most recently, sightings of bald eagles have been reported.
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Dillon State Park offers 183 electric sites and 12 non-electric sites. The campground features flush toilets, showers, laundry facilities and a dump station. Commissary with grocery items and laundromat is located near the check-in station. Free WiFi access is available at the Campground Store to registered campers. Pets are permitted on designated sites, check the campground map for locations. One youth group camp is available. 20 non-electric equestrian camp sites are available on a first-come, first served basis.Campground Map
Swimming: An excellent 1,360-foot swimming beach is located near the park office. Facilities include a bath house, showers, lockers,snack bar and a wading pool for children. A game area is adjacent to the beach offering tennis, horseshoe, paddle ball, volleyball, basketball and shuffleboard as well as a playground area.
Boating: Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted at Dillon. Four boat ramps are provided for access to the lake. A boat concession offers boat/motor rental, fuel, fishing and boating supplies, and snacks. Seventy docks are available for rent on a seasonal basis.
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.Dillon State Park Hunting Map
Visitors who enjoy nature study will find that Dillon's trails are pathways to discovery. The Ruffed Grouse Nature Trail is approximately 3/4-mile long and introduces the hiker to the varied habitats of the area. This trial is a branch of the 6-mile long Licking Bend Trail which skirts the lakeshore. Three other fascinating trails--Blackberry Ridge Trail (1 mile), King Ridge Loop (1.1 miles) and Hickory Grove Loop ( 1.5 miles) are located very near the camping and cottage area.Dillon State Park Hiking Trail Map
Picnic areas complete with tables and grills are located at many pleasant and scenic spots throughout the park. Two shelters available on a first-come, first-served basis, are located at the overlook area and beach. A boater's picnic area with well water and vault-type latrines is located on the lake.
Much of the history of the Dillon region can be attributed to the effects of transportation through the park. The Licking River provided transportation for Native Americans on their way to Flint Ridge where outcroppings of flint were found. In the Blackhand Gorge, carved by the Licking River, a sandstone cliff bore a soot blackened engraving of a human hand. This mysterious petroglyph is thought to have served as a guide marker for Indians searching for Flint Ridge. Specimens of Flint Ridge flint have been found as far east as the Atlantic seaboard, as far south as Louisiana and as far west as Kansas City. Other methods of transportation affected the Dillon region. The Old National Road, just south of the park, was partly responsible for the establishment and growth of nearby Zanesville. The Ohio-Erie Canal followed the route of the Licking River for several miles and boosted trade and commerce to surrounding towns. An inter-urban railroad that connected Zanesville and Newark with Columbus passed through Blackhand Gorge. Steamboat traffic was busy through Zanesville on the Muskingum River. In 1803, Moses Dillon purchased the land bordering the Licking River where the park is located. This industrious, early American built and operated a local iron foundry, founded the village of Dillon Falls and dammed the Licking River to provide water power for the community. Moses Dillon is probably most noted for his contributions toward the design and construction of the world-famous "Y" bridge in Zanesville. Dillon Reservoir was constructed for flood control by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was completed in 1961. The park was dedicated in August 1968.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is located ten miles northwest of Dillon State Park on Licking County Road 273. Muskingum River State Park, featuring a hand-operated lock system, is headquartered in nearby Zanesville. Further south, off S.R. 60, lies Blue Rock State Park and State Forest. All are just a short drive from the Dillon area. Around Zanesville, there are a number of attractions that reflect the cultural history of the Dillon region. A ride on the Lorena Sternwheeler docked at the Zanesville Riverside Park is a floating trip into the past. The National Road/Zane Grey Museum in Norwich offers a nostalgic look at life on the early Ohio frontier. Muskingum County is a leader in the production of pottery items, and several potteries offer tours of their facilities.