STONELICK LAKE STATE PARK
Tucked away in the rolling highlands of southwest Ohio, Stonelick State Park offer a quiet retreat for visitors. The still waters of the lake and stately woodlands provide the setting for a host of outdoor recreational pursuits.
By studying the bedrock layers in Ohio, we can find clues that reveal ancient seas, marshes or swamps covered all or portions of the state at various times in the past. Remains of plants and animals that lived in those waters littered the sea's floor and became entombed as lime precipitated to the bottom. Eventually, the lime and other sediments solidified into stone and uplifted forming dry land.
An arch formed in Ohio, during the time the Appalachian Mountains were formed, known as the Cincinnati Arch. This dome-like feature of uplifted bedrock passes through Stonelick. Several areas of the arch have been exposed from erosion uncovering some of the oldest rocks (350-500 million years old) in Ohio. The once entombed fossils are now exposed giving Stonelick one of the richest fossil records in the state. The rocks of the arch contain so many fossils of such diverse species that they have become very famous and have attracted people from all over the world since the early 1800s. Trilobite, brachiopods and cephalopods provide excellent finds for fossil hunters.
Another interesting feature of the Stonelick landscape is the significant stand of sweet gum trees. Normally, sweet gum is a subordinate tree but co-dominates the woodlands of Stonelick with beech and maple. Substantial colonies of dense flying star, purple fringeless orchid and Virginia mountain mint--all uncommon wildflowers in Ohio--can be found in the park.
Stonelick State Park lies within Clermont County, the eighth county established in the Northwest Territory. Settlement of the area began in 1798 when the towns of Bethel and Williamsburg were laid out. A considerable amount of the early settlers came from Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Several clashes between the settlers and Indians occurred here as the area was situated between the Kentucky settlements south of the Ohio River and the Indian villages along the Little Miami River. Legendary frontiersmen, Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton, were among those involved in the conflicts.
The town of nearby Milford was the site of the first Methodist church in Ohio. Francis McCormick, a pioneer Methodist preacher, organized the church in his cabin.
Clermont County was a vital link in the Underground Railroad as it was just across the river from the "slave owning" states of Kentucky and Virginia. The position of Clermont on the border made it the first place of refuge for fleeing slaves. The county was also the birthplace of Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant at Point Pleasant on the Ohio.
Land acquisition for Stonelick State Park began in 1948. A dam across Stonelick Creek was completed in 1950. This beautiful park was originally created to provide a wildlife area for Ohio's sportsmen. Now the area is operated by the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation and offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities.
Hiking Trail, miles5
Swimming Beach, feet500
Launch Ramps, #1
Electric Sites, #108
Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
Camper Cabins, #1
Group Camp, capacity200
There are 115 campsites, all with electricity, at Stonelick's main campground. The campground is equipped with showers, flush toilets, dump station and laundry facilities. A primitive group camp area is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. Pit latrines are found at the group camp. Four Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining canopy, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
A nice public beach provides enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers on the lake's south shore.
Boats with electric motors only are permitted on Stonelick Lake. Two launch ramps provide access to the lake.