DILLON STATE WILDLIFE AREA
Dillon State Wildlife Area, located in Muskingum County, Ohio, is a sprawling natural refuge that spans over 3,000 acres. Offering a diverse range of outdoor recreational opportunities, this wildlife area boasts picturesque forests, serene wetlands, and scenic rolling hills. Visitors can explore a network of well-maintained trails, suitable for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, providing ample opportunities to observe and appreciate the abundant wildlife species that call this area home. With its tranquil atmosphere, beautiful natural landscapes, and plenty of activities for nature enthusiasts, Dillon State Wildlife Area offers an idyllic escape for those seeking outdoor adventure and peaceful serenity.
Dillon State Wildlife Area, also known as Dillon Wildlife Area or Dillon Reservoir Wildlife Area, is located in Muskingum County, Ohio. The wildlife area surrounds the scenic Dillon Reservoir, also known as Dillon Lake, which was constructed in the 1960s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control purposes.
The construction of Dillon Reservoir resulted in the flooding of the Licking Valley, creating a large body of water that covers approximately 1,590 acres when full. The land surrounding the reservoir, known as Dillon State Park, was established in 1950 and later expanded to include the wildlife area.
The wildlife area is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Its primary purpose is to provide habitat for wildlife species while offering recreational opportunities to the public, including hunting, fishing, hiking, bird-watching, and nature observation.
In addition to its recreational offerings, Dillon State Wildlife Area also plays a crucial role in preserving biodiversity and supporting native plant and animal species. Forested areas, wetlands, and grasslands within the wildlife area provide habitats for various wildlife species. These include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, migratory birds, small game mammals, and multiple species of fish in the reservoir.
Efforts have been made to improve and maintain the wildlife area's habitat quality. The ODNR Division of Wildlife engages in active land management practices like prescribed burning, wetland development, grassland restoration, and timber stand improvement to enhance habitat diversity and improve wildlife populations.
Dillon State Wildlife Area remains a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of recreational activities and opportunities to enjoy Ohio's natural beauty.