Blue Rock State Park '' © Gene Shirk
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USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Blue Rock State Park
7924 Cutler Lake Rd
Blue Rock, Ohio   43720-9728

Phone: 740-453-4377
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Blue Rock State Park
© Gene Shirk 2009


Blue Rock State Park
© Gene Shirk 2009


Blue Rock State Park
© Gene Shirk 2009


Blue Rock State Park
© Gene Shirk 2009


Blue Rock State Park
© Gene Shirk 2009


Rugged hills and rich green forests provide the backdrop to Blue Rock State Park. Escape to nature's solitude, and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of this scenic state park.
Nature of the Area
The origin of Ohio's bedrock materials can be traced back millions of years when the state was inundated by a shallow inland sea. Materials deposited by this sea formed the bedrock types now found in Ohio--namely limestone, shale and sandstone. The silt from these waters formed the sedimentary shale found within the Blue Rock State Park region. This blue-colored shale gave the park its name.

Before settlement of the area began, most of Ohio was in forest cover. By 1900, only twelve percent of the original forest remained. In the Blue Rock region, the rough terrain, poor soils and the economic woes caused by the Great Depression forced farmers to abandon their lands allowing them to revert back to forest. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources now maintains 4,573 acres of the Blue Rock State Forest surrounding the park. The forest is dominated by oaks and hickories. In the lush undergrowth, woodland wildflowers such as trilliums, cardinal flower and rare orchids can be found amongst a variety of ferns, mosses and lichens. Deer, grouse, squirrel and wild turkey are just a few of the woodland game which make the forest their home.
History of the Area
Years before this beautiful region was known to the white man, the great Shawnee Nation built Old Town, the village of Chief White Eyes, near present-day Duncan Falls on the Muskingum River. For years, White Eyes was on friendly terms with the white man including the adventurous trapper named Duncan who was permitted by the chief to hunt, trap and trade with them. Duncan became enraged when he found game was being stolen from his traps by a hostile band of Indians from across the river. Duncan began to shoot all Indians who meddled with his traps until he himself was shot by the hostiles while crossing the river at a low spot. His body was found on a gravelly ripple now called Dead Man's Ripple, and the falls at that spot are called Duncan's Falls because it was there that Duncan fell.

Rich coal deposits were discovered in the area. By utilizing the Muskingum River for transporting the coal, a prosperous mining industry soon developed.

In 1856, this area was shaken by one of the most remarkable mine disasters in history. The collapse of the mine happened about 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25, 1856. It was soon discovered that four persons were either imprisoned or crushed to death inside the mine. A dangerous rescue attempt began at once combining the greatest speed with the utmost caution possible. The rescue continued night and day with varying success. An immense crowd of people from the surrounding countryside and towns gathered at the mouth of the mine to offer help, encouragement and prayers for the imprisoned men. At 11 p.m., on Friday, May 9, after having been entombed for fourteen days, the men were reached and brought to safety--alive!

To the north of Blue Rock lies the city of Zanesville, Ohio's state capital from 1810 to 1812, and a leader in the manufacture of clay products. Several potteries still exist. In 1796, Congress gave Ebenezer Zane authority to construct a road from Wheeling to Maysville, Kentucky. The point where the road, known as Zane's Trace, crossed the Muskingum River became the site of Zanesville--named for Ebenezer Zane.

In 1936, the state of Ohio purchased the lands comprising Blue Rock State Forest. Construction of Cutler Lake was completed in 1938. Blue Rock officially became a state park with the formation of the Division of Parks and Recreation in 1949.
GeneralLand, acres322
 Water, acres15
 Nearby State Forest, acres4573
 Hiking Trail, miles3.35
 Picnic Shelters, #3
 Swimming Beach, feet250
 Bridle Trails, miles26
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimative, #97
 Pets Permittedyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Camper Cabins, #3
 Group Camp, capacity120
 Walk-In Campsites, #20
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
There are 101 non-electric campsites available for tent or trailer camping in two separate areas near the lake. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites. Latrines, picnic tables, water, dump station, fire rings and playgrounds are provided. Coin-operated warm showers are available to campers at the beach bathhouse. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, sheltered picnic table, cooler, cookstove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months. Three camper cabins are also available with campstove, lantern and cooler provided. A group camp is available by reservation for organized groups only. A primitive camp area is also available. This walk-in "tents only" area is off Cutler Lake Road. Register for campsites at the camp store, where snack foods, camp supplies, sundries, souvenirs, ice and firewood can be purchased in season.
Nearby Accommodations
The Ohio Outback Lodge - McConnelsville, OHCottages and Cabins
In the heart of Ohio the Outback Lodge is located in Southeast Ohio, just minutes from the beautiful Muskingum River. The 2,200 square foot Lodge is constructed of Pine Logs, full basement, beautiful rural setting. It has wooded area as well as a creek and pond. This is a beautiful outdoor vacation spot.
11.3 miles from park*
A public beach is located on the north end of the lake. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only. Change booths, lockers, restrooms and snacks are available.
Boats with electric motors only, rowboats and canoes can be used on Cutler Lake. A launch ramp provides access to the 15-acre lake.

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Tables and grills are located in several tree-shaded areas in the park. Three shelterhouses can be reserved by contacting the park office. Two of these shelterhouses have electricity.
Several miles of hiking trails begin near the campground and picnic areas of the park. Additional hiking trails are in the adjacent forest lands. Horsemen can enjoy more than 26 miles of bridle trails through the Blue Rock State Forest. No overnight facilities are available. You must provide your own horse as no rentals are available.
Area Attractions
Surrounding the park, the 4,573-acre Blue Rock State Forest offers hiking, trail riding and hunting opportunities. The Muskingum River is nearby offering fishing, boating and the opportunity to view several nineteenth century locks and dams located off State Route 60 on the Muskingum River Parkway. These are the only full system of hand-operated locks still in use in the United States.

Historic Zanesville lies north of the park on State Route 60. The famous "Y" bridge, spanning both the Muskingum and Licking rivers is in the center of town. The Lorena steamboat is available for cruises on the river at Zanesville during summer months. The National Road-Zane Grey Museum in Zanesville traces the development of the country's first highway and features belongings of the famous native-born novelist Zane Grey. The International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals ("The Wilds") is located only 10 miles away.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 14 practicaly grew up there by shawmafia
been going for years and it still feels like my first trip,now im taking my kids
February 9 family tradition by michaelmusic
blue rock is naturally an amazing place for fun..my family has been going there for many years as a tradition then our family split up and last year was my first year back in 7 years..alot still looks the same but not many peolpe go there at all anymore
February 3 quaint smaller park nestled in the pines by williams family
We camp there regularly. Love the park. Staff is great.
June 17 Blue Rock is a awesome place to camp at! by Aki-Chan
There are alot of different activities..it defenetly keeps u busy!!:)Its a great place to go if u have nothing else to do or if u wantt to go for a swim or even just to go and relax!!

Area Campgrounds

National Road Campground
2850 S. Pleasant Grove Rd.
Zanesville, OH

Wolfies Campground
101 Buckeye Drive
Zanesville, OH

Walkabout Creek Campground. LLC
7375 Sugar Grove Road
Chandlersville, OH

Area Fishing Related Businesses
313 Carryout
11844 Clay Pike
New Concord, OH
(740) 685-3333

Longs Pay Lake
3200 Chandlersville Rd
Zanesville, OH
(740) 454-8990

Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Rose's Vacation Cabin - Glouster, OHCottages and Cabins
Burr Oak State Park - Located in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio. Rose's Vacation Cabin Rental is a special place to make your Honeymoon, Anniversary, or Family Getaway a relaxing experience.
Web Site: rosesvacationcabinrental.com
22 miles from park*
Rim Of The World Cabin - Malta, OHCottages and Cabins
Escape to the Heart of Southeastern Ohio. Enjoy the peace and tranquility as you relax in the hot tub located just off the back deck. Create your own home cooked country style meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Just minutes from Burr Oak State Park.
Web Site: rimoftheworldcabin.com/
19.3 miles from park*
Area Resources
Hocking Hills Internet Guide - hockinghills.com - ROCKBRIDGE, OHTourism
Offical Guide to Southeastern Ohio's Scenic Wonderland, the Hocking Hills. The 9 State Parks and State Forests. How to get there, things to do, interesting local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Reserve your cabin or campsite online
Web Site: hockinghills.com
47.3 miles from park*
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7924 Cutler Lake Road, Blue Rock, OH 43720

USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Blue Rock State Park
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