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USA Parks
Ohio
Southwest Ohio Region
Rocky Fork State Park
ROCKY FORK STATE PARK
ROCKY FORK STATE PARK
9800 North Shore Drive
Hillsboro, Ohio   45133

Phone: 937-393-4284
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Rocky Fork State Park

Rocky Fork State Park

Rocky Fork State Park

Rocky Fork State Park

First fish caught in 2010

Rocky Fork State Park

Rocky Fork State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Unlimited horsepower boating allows for excellent skiing on the lake which also provides catches of bass, muskellunge and walleye for skilled fishermen. A scenic gorge, dolomite caves and natural wetlands add to the popularity of this recreation area.
Nature of the Area
Rocky Fork State Park nestled in Highland County derives its name from the stream flowing through the park. This stream, winding over dolomite limestone, has eroded spectacular gorges and caves which we can enjoy today.

Present-day Rocky Fork Creek flows through an ancient valley. Blocked by glacial ice more than 12,000 years ago, the stream reversed direction and rapidly cut the 75-foot gorge seen today. Caves in the region formed as rainwater, trickling through the limestone, dissolved the bedrock. Dolomite limestone is particularly vulnerable to this type of weathering. Sullivantia, extremely rare in Ohio, blooms in the gorge. The small white flowers can be seen from the moist cliff face in mid-summer. Other wildflowers include wild geranium, jewelweed, yarrow and Queen Anne's lace.

Rocky Fork provides habitat for numerous waterfowl, songbirds, raccoons, skunk, red fox and white-tailed deer. The wetlands in the park are home to the green frog, bullfrog, opossum and muskrat.
History of the Area
Rocky Fork State Park is an area steeped in the rich Indian history of Ohio. The land provided abundant game and a ready transportation system in the nearby creeks and rivers. These same streams provided access to the Rocky Fork area for the first settlers.

Plentiful water attracted a number of millwrights to the Highland County region. During the 1800s and the early 1900s, at least six different mill sites were established along Rocky Fork's banks. These mills not only ground flour, but also cut lumber, carded wool and even wove blankets. Water-powered industry was instrumental in the early development of the locale.

The only mill remaining on the Rocky Fork is the J. A. McCoppin Mill found just below the Rocky Fork spillway and operated until the 1970s. First built by David Reece in 1810, the earliest mill was washed out during high water. Soon after the destructive flood, the present cut-stone dam was built. These mills were the focal point of early rural life.

In 1897, surveyors for a proposed railroad came to the countryside that would one day be the park. Local people had high hopes that the new "Black Diamond" rail line would bring prosperity to the area. The addition of rail transportation would enable the local mills to ship flour and other mill industry goods all over the country. There was to be a depot built in Rainsboro with a stockyard and telegraph office. Meetings were held by railroad officials to secure a right-of-way from nearby landowners. A town was planned near McCoppin's (at that time Costello's) Mill. Unfortunately, the "Black Diamond" never got past the planning stages, and the new town of Lodore never came to be.

The eastern part of Highland County has been a resort location for many years. The "Seven Caves" and nearby Rocky Fork gorge attracted visitors even in the mid 1800s. At the turn of the century, Colonel Walter H. Hutchins, a regular visitor to the area from Cincinnati, first dreamed of building a dam near McCoppin's Mill. He was the lake's biggest promoter and saw construction begin in 1949. The first water spilled over the dam in April 1953. Since that summer, thousands of people have visited Rocky Fork State Park. The lake has become a favorite of fishermen and water sports enthusiasts.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
GeneralLand, acres1384
 Water, acres2080
Day-UseFishingyes
 Huntingyes
 Hiking Trail, miles1.3
 Picnickingyes
 Swimming Beach, feet800
 Mountain Bike Trails, miles2
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating LimitsUnlimited HP
 Seasonal Dock Rental800
 Launch Ramps, #6
 Fuel For Saleyes
CampingPrimative, #31
 Electric Sites, #96
 Full Hookup Sites, #44
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Dumpstationyes
 Showersyes
 Camp Commissaryyes
WinterSleddingyes
AccommodationsRestaurantyes
Camping
There are 190 campsites suitable for trailers and tents at the northwest corner of the lake. The campground is equipped with showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, dump station, camp store and campers' beach. Electric hookups are available at 130 sites, with an additional 20 sites offering full-service hookups. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites in both the electric and non-electric areas. A launch ramp and tie-ups are provided for campers with boats.

A separate group camp may be reserved by contacting the park office. The recreation barn also may be rented. It contains meeting space, restrooms, showers and a modified kitchen.
Nearby Accommodations
Rocky Fork Lake Cottages - Hillsboro, OHCottages and Cabins
Lake Front but not lake view. This cottage is situated on 3 Acres, mostly wooded. Rocky Fork Lake is a 2,000 acre quiet and secluded lake. Because of the heavy concentration of trees the lake is a secluded paradise hidden in the woods.
1.3 miles from park*
Rocky Fork Lakeview Farm - Hillsboro, OHCottages and Cabins
Private retreat surrounded by 35 acres of farmland with a beautiful view of Rocky Fork Lake, near Hillsboro, Ohio. Whether youre seeking a peaceful retreat, a romantic get-away, a scrapbooking weekend, a boating week, or simply want to experience nature at its best, youll find what youre looking for.
1.5 miles from park*
Swimming
Two large public beaches with changing booths and bathhouses are located on the north and south sides of the lake. A boat/swim area is available for boaters.
Boating
Motors of unlimited horsepower are permitted at Rocky Fork. Sixteen boat launching ramps are located around the lake. Rental docks are available for frequent summer visitors. A designated area is available for boat camping.


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Nearby Parks


Picnicking
Picnic areas are located on the north and east shores in wooded areas overlooking the lake.
Trails
Four miles of hiking trails take visitors through cool woodlands, scenic gorges and moist wetlands. A short trail near the campground takes nature lovers to an observation station where excellent birdwatching can be pursued.
Area Attractions
Fort Hill, south of Bainbridge off State Route 41, is the site of a complex of Hopewell Indian mounds. These mounds are more than 1,000 years old and the site includes a museum. Serpent Mound, in northeastern Adams County, is one of the most spectacular Indian earthworks in Ohio. Built by the prehistoric Adena Indians, Serpent Mound is a 1,000-foot snake effigy mound. Both of these sites are operated by the Ohio Historical Society.

Paint Creek and Pike Lake state parks are located within a short drive of Rocky Fork. Both parks offer excellent camping, fishing and hiking opportunities. Oldaher, Fallsville and Hillsboro Reservoir are areas operated by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and offer fishing and hunting.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 28 Great Place to camp by LUV MY POP UP
Very clean shower/bath houses. Camping located on scenic views of the lake. Full hookup sites and well stocked camping store. Staff extremly kind and helpful. Campgroungs quiet at night. Go experieince Rocky Fork State Park, you will not be dissapointed.
July 27 the other side of hevaen!!! by GODS CHILD.
hi, i would like to tell you ROCKY FORK IS THE HEAVEN ON EARTH. it hleps you clear your mine, its peaceful, its reallllly pretty and i just love it there. well i guss im trying to say you should go and sea for your-self. ( take my words for it.) have a great time there i know i will. thank you for reading this and GOD BLESS!!!! ?)
July 19 Watch your step!!
This is a beautiful lake but the beach and grassy area is nasty. You cannot take a step without having to dodge dog poop!! People with animals need to respect other visitors and clean up after their pets!
April 2 Rocky Fork Lake
One of the BEST hidden secretes in Ohio! Beautiful Lake that is great for water sports and fishing! The surrounding area also has great hiking and mountain biking for the outdoor enthusiasts. My 4 kids love going there!
April 21 Best Sailing in SW Ohio! by Rigadoon Sailor
Rocky Fork Lake is the scene of the best sailing in southwest Ohio. The lake with the largest sailing area in the tristate, lying approx. 8 miles long on the East-West axis. (Be ready to tack, though!) The friendly and active RF Sailing Club, sails out of the East Shore Marina and has monthly dinners, events, and races. See the Club site on Yahoo Groups. Over 100 member families. Most of the sailboats run in the range from 22 to 29 feet long, and sailors spend the weekends on board, living the Lake Life! Look for the springtime SailFest event and come out for a sail, or just stop by the docks and chat.
June 24 great place by my haven away from home
we love the park its got clean bathrooms and nice pads for campers and once you start camping you will see campers are the friendly people
May 13 Great Campground by a.little
We love that Rocky Fork is so pet friendly and the newly remodeled shower houses are great.


Area Campgrounds

Shady Trails Family Campground
11145 North Shore Dr.
Hillsboro, OH
937-393-5618


L. B. Camping
2483 Greenbriar Rd.
Bainbridge, OH
740-493-4614


Long's Retreat Family Resort
50 Bell Hollow Road
Latham, OH
937-588-3725


Area Fishing Related Businesses
Willard's Lake
3605 Us Highway 50
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 364-6134


Cast Away Lakes
4098 E Danville Rd
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 288-0104


Area Cabins and Lodges
North Bay Cottages
11083 N Shore Dr
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 393-2849


Tu-Lakes Motel
7420 N Beach Rd
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 393-1917


Lazy H Cabin Rentals
14889 Old 50
Bainbridge, OH
(937) 365-1961


Holiday Cottages
6837 Mccoppin Mill Rd
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 365-1331


Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat
11 Cow Run Rd
Hillsboro, OH
(937) 764-1365


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Walnut Creek Campground Resort - Chillicothe, OHCottages and Cabins
Rustic beauty in a peaceful, clean atmosphere is the secret to this Family Retreat. The serene splendor of Mother Nature is your reward for visiting Walnut Creek. We offer cabin rentals for those who want the convenience with less effort.
Web Site: walnutcreekcampground.com
29.3 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
51.4 miles from park*
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9800 North Shore Drive, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

USA Parks
Ohio
Southwest Ohio Region
Rocky Fork State Park
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