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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Northeast Ohio Region
Guilford Lake State Park
Guilford Lake State Park Sunset at Guilford Lake © Lorna Vun
June 26, 2011
Cardinal ©
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6835 E Lake Rd
Lisbon, Ohio   44432
(lat:40.8061 lon:-80.8776) map location

Phone: (330) 222-1712
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Guilford Lake State Park is a quiet fishing lake located in northeastern Ohio on the west fork of the Little Beaver Creek. The gentle rolling terrain of the area offers a serene escape for park visitors year round.
Nature of the Area
Guilford Lake is situated in the glaciated plateau region of Ohio. This portion of the Appalachian foothills was overridden by the glaciers that invaded Ohio more than 12,000 years ago. Eventually, the glacial advances were blocked by the harder and higher sandstone ridges of southeastern Ohio. The bedrock materials of this area were formed 300 million years ago from deposits laid down in streams and swamps.

Natural lakes are a feature of the glaciated landscape, although most in Ohio are very small and have now aged into bogs or marshes. These bodies of water were formed by huge chunks of ice which broke off from the retreating glacier and melted in depressions forming kettle lakes. The area surrounding Guilford Lake, before being impounded as a reservoir, was extremely swampy indicating it may have been a remnant of a natural glacial lake. The park attracts migrating waterfowl in the fall and spring and also provides good habitat for a variety of songbirds such as the red-winged blackbird, song sparrow and eastern meadowlark. Other wildlife common to the area are red fox, raccoon, skunk and white-tailed deer.
History of the Area
The capture of the infamous Confederate general, John Hunt Morgan, near the vicinity of Guilford Lake, ended his gallant raid through the state of Ohio in 1863. Morgan and his 2,000 raiders crossed the entire width of the state from west to east before his eventual capture.

Guilford Lake was constructed as a canal feeder reservoir for the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1834. An ambitious project undertaken by a private company, the canal was to be 73-miles long and would require two tunnels, thirty dams, ninety locks, three reservoirs and one 400-foot-long aqueduct before it was completed. The park is named after E.H. Gill who was chief engineer of the canal company for several years. He established a road through swampy areas of the present park which became known as Gill's Ford.

When the canal era came to a close, the adjacent landowners breached the embankment in two places and proceeded to use the lake bottom for farmland. In 1927, the land was purchased by the state with the intent of rebuilding the reservoir. The new dam was completed in 1932 by the Division of Conservation. The lake was eventually turned over to the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation for administration and development. Guilford Lake and Ohio's other canal feeder lakes were the first areas to be dedicated as Ohio state parks in 1949.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres93
 Water, acres396
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres518
 Hiking Trail, miles1
 Picnic Shelters, #1
 Swimming Beach, feet900
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits10
 Launch Ramps, #3
CampingElectric Sites, #41
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
WinterIce Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
There is a camping area with 42 electric sites located in an old pine plantation on the northeast corner of the lake,providing shady and sunny areas. A play area, fishing dock, drinking water, showers, flush toilets, picnic tables and fire-rings are provided.
A 600-foot public swimming beach is located on the northwest side of the lake. Facilities include a bathhouse with changing booths and showers.
Boats with motors up to ten horsepower are permitted on the lake. Launching ramps and seasonal dock rentals are available. Boat rentals are available from a privately-owned marina on the south side of the lake.
Good catches of bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish can be taken at Guilford Lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Guilford Lake State Park is located near Alliance, Canfield and Carrollton

Shaded picnic areas with tables and grills are located at various points around the lake. A shelterhouse is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
A half-mile hiking trail skirts the scenic lakeshore and provides opportunities for exercise and wildlife observation.
While there are no dedicated biking trails, cyclists can enjoy the park's scenic roads. Be mindful of vehicle traffic.

The 3-mile Lakeshore Drive is a popular route for cycling enthusiasts. Stay alert to avoid accidents.

Cyclists should wear helmets and follow all safety guidelines due to mixed road usage with cars and pedestrians.

Biking at night isn't recommended as lighting conditions may not be optimal on certain routes within the area.

Remember that off-road biking or mountain-biking activities aren't permitted in order to protect local wildlife habitats.

Please note: bike rentals are currently unavailable onsite; bring your own equipment if planning a ride here.
Area Attractions
Two public golf courses (9-hole and 18-hole) are located near the park. Eight miles south of Lisbon on State Route 518, a Confederate monument commemorates the surrender of General John Hunt Morgan to Union forces on July 26, 1863.

Beaver Creek State Park is located southeast of Guilford Lake off State Route 7. Canoeing, picnicking, camping and hiking opportunities are available. Of interest is the restored Gaston's Mill and Pioneer Village. Remnants of the Sandy and Beaver Canal can be viewed, including a restored lock near the mill.

Zepernick Lake State Wildlife Area, east of the park on State Route 172, offers public hunting and fishing. Yellow Creek State Forest, off State Route 39, offers hunting and hiking opportunities.

Th Professional Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, 23 miles west of the park off I-77 at Exit 24. For more information of area attractions, call the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism at 1-800-Buckeye.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 15 Peaceful by Beverly_B
park review stars; one to five We have enjoyed our stay. It has been warm. There were lots of people, but everyone was so friendly
October 3 Smiled through the rain. by M. Compton
park review stars; one to five First trip here on an unseasonably rainy, windy, cold weekend. That said, we spent time together like a couple married 34+ years should. Really enjoyed this park and will be back next year.
August 6 First time camping at this State Park
park review stars; one to five A great park! The Campground even showed a kids movie on an outdoor theater with popcorn! Beautiful lake! We will be back!
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Area Cabins and Lodges
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(330) 525-5563
Nearby Hotels

From Cleveland, Ohio: Take 71 South or 77 South to 480 EastTake 480 East to 14 South to 45 South at SalemTake 45 South to 9 South to 172 East.

From Columbus, Ohio:Take 71 North to 30 East to East CantonTake 172 East.

From Cincinnati, Ohio: Take 71 North to Columbus. Stay on 71 until you reach I-270.Take I-270 East to I-70 East. Take I-70 East to 77 North to 22 West, to 7 North. Follow 7 North to 11 North. Take 11 North to 172 West.

From Toledo, Ohio: Take 480 East to 14 South to 45 South at SalemTake 45 South to 9 South to 172 EastFrom Lisbon, Ohio:Take 172 West to park

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Ohio State Parks