Jefferson Lake State Park

501 Township Road 261A, Richmond, Ohio 43944
Park Office Phone: (330) 222-1712

Jefferson Lake State Park Map View

Jefferson Lake State Park is one of Ohio's quiet, out-of-the-way camping parks. Nestled in oak and hickory wooded hills, this 962-acre park offers privacy and peaceful scenery in all seasons.

Quick Links

Park Map Campground Map Hiking Trail Map Hunting Map

You can find more information about each of the following activities below.

Nature Of The Area

The sandstone hills of Jefferson County are part of the Appalachian Highlands which envelop the southeastern part of Ohio. In the sandstone bedrock can be found layers of coal which were formed by decaying swamp vegetation millions of years ago during the Pennsylvanian geologic period. Covering the hills and valleys of the area is a second growth oak and hickory forest. Growing side-by-side with towering white oaks and shagbark hickories are stately beeches and maples, tulip trees, walnuts, elms and ashes. The forest is composed of much more than trees, although they constitute its most conspicuous feature. The observant visitor may find a wealth of wildflowers such as wild geranium, hepatica and bloodroot. The leafy canopy rings with a harmonious chorus of bird songs. Wild turkey and ruffed grouse are dispersed in these hills and forests as well. These are just a few of the natural wonders found at Jefferson Lake.


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The camping area is suitable for both family and equestrian camping; tents and trailers can be accommodated. All sites are first-come, first served, year-round. Walk-in registrations only; no reservations can be made. There are 5 electric sites and 44 non-electric sites. Latrines, water fountains, picnic tables and horse tie lines are provided. Pets are permitted on all sites. Volleyball and basketball courts are available in the campground.

Campground Map

Swimming, Fishing, & Boating

Swimming: A nice public beach offers recreation for swimmers and sunbathers. Facilities include a bathhouse, showers and toilets.

Fishing: Jefferson Lake offers great catches of largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill and redear sunfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Boating: Non-motorized boats, and boats with electric motors up to 4 horsepower are permitted on 17-acre Jefferson Lake. One launch ramp provides access to the lake.


Hunting is permitted in designated areas. 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: 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.

Jefferson Lake State Park Hunting Map

Hiking Trails

Nearly 15 miles of scenic, sometimes rugged, hiking and bridle trails meander through the park challenging visitors during any season.

Jefferson Lake State Park Hiking Trail Map


Many picnic tables are located in scenic spots around the lake. Two shelterhouses are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

History Of The Area

The Jefferson Lake region was once the home of Logan, the celebrated Mingo chief whose family was massacred near here on the Ohio River at the mouth of Yellow creek. This incident spurred Lord Dunmore's War in 1774. In more recent times, the area has been home to the steel industry in Ohio. The underlying coal fields and Ohio River access have made it a focal point of this industry. Jefferson Lake State Park was developed on 962 acres in the valley of the Town Fork of Yellow Creek. Land acquisition began in 1928. The lake and other facilities were constructed by the National Park Service in cooperation with the old Ohio Division of Conservation as a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression. The dam was constructed in 1934 and the 17-acre lake was filled in 1946. In 1950, the area was turned over to the newly created Division of Parks and Recreation.

Other Area Attractions

Fernwood State Forest is located southeast of Bloomingdale near State Route 151. The forest offers camping facilities, hiking and bridle trails and a trap shoot area. Yellow Creek State Forest is north near Wellsville. The McCook House State Memorial is located in the town square of Carrollton. This federal-style brick house was built in 1837. It was the home of the "Fighting McCooks," a family that contributed 13 men to the Union Army in the Civil War. The house is open June through September. The Morgan Raiders marker, 12 miles east of Carrollton on State Route 39, designates the northernmost battle of the Civil War. This battle was fought on July 26, 1863. The Petersburg Algonquin Steam Flouring Mill on State Route 332 four miles south of Carrollton, is a designated National Historical Site. It is believed to be the only steam-operated mill in Ohio. New Rumley, the birthplace of General George Armstrong Custer, is the site of a handsome exhibit detailing his life and battles. Three Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Lakes offer recreation opportunities. Atwood Lake is on S.R. 542 near Dellroy, Leesville is near Carrollton and Tappan on U.S. 250.