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Ohio State Parks

USA Parks
Central Ohio Region
Mount Gilead State Park
Mount Gilead State Park © Gene Shirk
Mount Gilead State Park © Gene Shirk
Mount Gilead State Park © Gene Shirk
Mount Gilead State Park © Gene Shirk
Mount Gilead State Park © Gene Shirk
4119 OH-95
Mt Gilead, Ohio   43338
(lat:40.5474 lon:-82.8103)

Phone: (419) 946-1961
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Mt. Gilead State Park is a quiet, small park centrally located in the state of Ohio. Picnicking, fishing and hiking can be enjoyed year-round at this beautiful location.
Nature of the Area
The wealth of natural wonders found at Mt Gilead State Park can be traced back to the Ice Age--a time when two-thirds of Ohio was frozen land covered with glacial ice, nearly a mile thick in places. During this age many changes occurred in the Ohio landscape: the stream systems were altered, topography changed and the Great Lakes were formed. The glaciers left Ohio a legacy of valuable natural resources.

In the vicinity of Mt. Gilead, three end moraines (linear ridges of glacial sediment deposited along the ice edge) converged and account for the rolling terrain seen today. A beautiful stand of second growth beech-maple forest exists at Mt. Gilead.

The mature woodlands provide a glimpse of what Ohio was to the early settlers. Wildflowers such as wild geranium, hepatica, trillium and bloodroot, carpet the spring forest floor. The leafy canopy is occupied by the woodthrush, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren and other songbirds. Skunks, raccoons, white-tailed deer and a variety of other mammals make this park their home.
History of the Area
Mt. Gilead State Park is located in Morrow County near the center of the state. The first permanent settlers came into the county after the close of the War of 1812. The first gristmill and sawmill were built on Whetstone Creek in 1821. The town of Mt. Gilead, the county seat, served as a major stop on the underground railroad prior to the Civil War. In more recent history, an oil boom occurred in Morrow County. In 1961, a well was drilled on the Orrie Myers' property that produced 200 barrels a day. As a result of that wells success, 30-40 well are drilled in Morrow County annually.

The first lake at Mt. Gilead was built in 1919 on the upper level of Sam's Creek. On July 10, 1930, a larger lake was completed below the first one on this same tributary of Whetstone Creek. The recreational area was originally under the supervision of the Bureau of Engineering. In 1949, it was turned over to the newly formed ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation to be maintained as a state park.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres181
 Water, acres32
 Hiking Trail, miles6
 Picnic Shelters, #3
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingElectric Sites, #59
 Pets Permittedyes
 Camper Cabins, #2
 Group Camp, capacity200
 Youth Group Camp, capacity200
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsGolf Courseyes
A scenic camping area, set in a pine forest, is open all year for camping enjoyment. Facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, waste-water drains and latrines. Four Rent-A-Camp sites which provide a tent, dining canopy, cookstove, sleeping cots and other gear are available near the west end of the park for organized groups. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
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Mt. Gilead allows boating with canoes, rowboats and boats with electric motors only. A launch ramp is provided.
The two small lakes at Mt. Gilead offer good catches of bass, bluegill and other panfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Mount Gilead State Park is located near Delaware, Galion and Mansfield

Several picnic areas are located on the south side of the park. Three picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis or may be reserved for special occasions.
More than three miles of hiking trails transverse Mt. Gilead State Park. The Sam's Creek Self-guided Nature Trail starts near the east end of the camping area. Trails provide opportunities for exercise, nature study and wildlife observation.
Area Attractions
The town of Marion is located west of the park on State Route 95. The President Harding Home and Museum is located at 380 Mount Vernon Avenue. It was from this home that Warren G. Hading conducted his "Front Porch Campaign" in the 1920 presidential elections. Guided tours are available seasonally.

Marion also contains the Harding Memorial on Delaware Avenue at Vernon Heights Boulevard. The memorial --a circular, pillared monument of white Georgian marble--contains the tombs of President and Mrs. Harding.

Kokosing Lake and Knox Lake wildlife areas are found east of Mt. Gilead in Knox County. Both lakes offer fishing and boating opportunities.

Mid Ohio Race Track is located twenty minutes from the park. The course offers weekends of exciting racing, known nationwide on the race circuit.

The city of Mansfield is located northeast of the park on State Route 42 with six shopping centers, the Mansfield Art Center, the Renaissance Theater and the world-famous gardens at Kingwood Center.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 4 Best kept secret. by Brian Skipworth
My wife and I live only 10 minutes away from here and it is our favorite place to go for a quick get away. We just got back this morning for a 2 night stay just to relax. The facility is clean, quiet, the staff are great and the price is fantastic. Jake camp host does a great job taking care of things. He even went out of his way to help me find a golf cart for my wife. Will definitely keep coming back.
October 15 my favorite park by country girl
we love this park. it is ohios best kept secrert.
May 1 Favorite Park by LADYVET(COL,OHIO)
we have been going to this camp site for the last three years,we enjoy the place because the others campers are so friendly and they have breakfast for a small fee durning the hoildays also show movies at dusk.
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Area Campgrounds
Autumn Lakes Campground
8644 Porter Central Rd
Sunbury, OH
Dogwood Valley Camping Resort
4185 Twp. Road 99
Mount Gilead, OH
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park- Mansfield
6500 Black Road
Bellville, OH
Cardinal Center Campground
616 State Route 61
Marengo, OH
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
Cottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
78.7 miles from park*


Ohio State Parks