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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Jackson Lake State Park
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Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Entrance Sign
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Campground Sign
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Boat Docks
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View From Beach
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View From Beach
Jackson Lake State Park Jackson Lake State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View From Beach
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921 Tommy Been Rd
Oak Hill, Ohio   45656-9784
(lat:38.9021 lon:-82.595) map location

Phone: (740) 682-6197
Although relatively small, Jackson Lake State Park boasts acres of some of the most scenic country in Ohio. The park's serene lake is a focal point for excellent fishing and provides the ideal setting for a peaceful retreat.
Nature of the Area
Jackson Lake lies nestled in the heart of the unglaciated hill country of southeastern Ohio. These sandstone hills are part of the Appalachian Highlands known for their diversity of plant and animal life. This region of Ohio is heavily forested; nearly 70% of the state's woodlands are contained in these highlands. However, at one time most of the land was barren, having been extensively logged to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here. Today, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent second-growth forest containing oak, maple, hickory, tulip tree and others.

The park is home to a variety of animals including white-tailed deer and wild turkey. Other residents are skunks, raccoons, opossums, numerous songbirds, gray squirrels, great horned owls and many reptiles and amphibians. The park's varying habitats support beautiful displays of wildflowers spring through autumn including spring beauties, dame's violet, goldenrod and asters.
History of the Area
Rugged hills and mist-filled valleys provide a colorful backdrop for Jackson Lake State Park. Two miles west of the town of Oak Hill, Jackson Lake is situated in one of the most picturesque regions of the state. The Jackson Lake area, in addition to its outstanding natural features, is endowed with a rich cultural history that spans many centuries.

Prehistoric Indians occupied the vast wilderness north of the Ohio River, as evidenced by numerous relics discovered in the southern Ohio area. Among these relics are impressive burial and ceremonial mounds and mysterious carvings in the sandstone rock of the region. These carvings, called petroglyphs, are symbolic representations of the Indian's life. The Leo Petroglyph near the park has been carefully preserved by the Ohio Historical Society.

Thousands of years later, the densely forested upper Ohio Valley was ntermittently populated by more recent Indian tribes. Mingos, Delawares and Shawnees all made a home there. As pioneer settlers moved westward into the wilderness, the Indians were gradually displaced to the western plains. Using the abundant resources of forest and land, the new Ohio immigrants built farms, towns and cities and began development of several industries.

In the autumn of 1854, the hills of Jefferson Township were awakened by the sound of a whistle from a new industry that was to attract nationwide attention to the Hanging Rock Iron Region of southeastern Ohio. Buried below the land's surface lay vast stores of iron ore. Discovery of this valuable material initiated the development of a world-renowned iron industry. The Jefferson Iron Furnace was constructed to help meet the demand for iron products in the eastern United States. During the Civil War, the Jefferson Iron Furnace and other foundries in the Hanging Rock area became crucial to the operation of the Union Army--being used to manufacture cannons.

In a short time, "Jefferson iron" became the standard of excellence throughout the Hanging Rock region and the world. Sold to manufacturers under the trade name "Anchor," this iron was used to build the ironclad warship, the Monitor. History books vividly recall the famous naval battle of the two iron-clad ships, the Monitor and the Merrimack.

Just a few short decades after the Civil War came to an end, richer lodes of iron ore were found elsewhere in the United States. As the growing nation demonstrated a need for iron ore in greater quantities than the Hanging Rock region could produce, the great furnaces of the southeastern Ohio hills shut down. The Jefferson Iron Furnace made its last cast in 1916. Today, visitors may explore remnants of the furnace within the park boundaries. Coal mining was very profitable in the Jackson Lake region. In 1888, over a million tons of high quality coal were mined here. Jackson County was second only to Perry County in coal production in Ohio.

Great salt mines were located along Salt Creek. This salt was thought to be so important to the country that a six-mile tract was set aside by Congress for the use of the state to secure the salt. Prior to settlement, Indians came here from great distances to extract the salt.

During the heyday of the Hanging Rock furnaces, the lush woodlands of the hill country were cut to make charcoal to fuel the furnaces. As the furnaces began to decline, the forests rejuvenated and the area became increasingly attractive as a recreational region.

In 1938, Jackson Lake was impounded and the area was operated by the predecessor of the Department of Natural Resources. Over the years, a small camping area and swimming beach were added. These facilities were improved and picnic areas were added in the mid-1970s. Jackson Park was dedicated as a state park in 1979.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres107
 Water, acres242
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres2,000
 Picnic Shelters, #3
 Swimming Beach, feet200
BoatingBoating Limits10
 Launch Ramps, #2
CampingElectric Sites, #34
 Pets Permittedyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
A small campground with 34 electric sites has open sites close to the beach. Campers with pets are permitted in designated areas. A Rent-A-Tepee site is available for reservation. Contact the park office for details.
A nice sand beach provides recreation for swimmers and sunbathers.
A ten-horsepower limit is in effect for boats on Jackson Lake. Launch ramps and boat rentals are offered.
Anglers will enjoy fine catches of bass, muskie, bluegill, catfish and carp. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Jackson Lake State Park is located near Gallipolis, Jackson and Portsmouth

There are two picnic areas in the park affording pleasant views of the lake. Three shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Area Attractions
The Leo Petroglyph State Memorial, three miles north of U.S. 35 on County Road 28 northwest of Coalton, is a 12-acre site featuring well-preserved rock carvings cut into sandstone by prehistoric Indians. Forty figures represent animals, humans and other life forms.

Preserving the history of the great Ohio iron-producing days, Buckeye Iron Furnace State Memorial displays reconstructed buildings typical of those used during the 19th century. The Buckeye Iron Furnace dominates the picturesque cluster of buildings. Picnic areas and a gift shop are located on the grounds. The memorial is open May through October and information on hours is available by calling the Ohio Historical Society at 1-800-686-1529. This memorial is ten miles southeast of the town of Jackson near State Route 124 on County Road 58.

Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve near the town of Jackson contains several fine examples of bigleaf and umbrella magnolias. The preserve has many rare plant species including several native orchids. The area is open during daylight hours.

Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area just south of the park allows public hunting and fishing.

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Area Campgrounds
Lazy Dog Camp Resort
1564 McGiffins Road
Jackson, OH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Lakeview Grocery & Sporting
10346 State Route 279
Oak Hill, OH
(740) 682-3915
Bloom Lake
775 Bloom Furnace Rd # C
South Webster, OH
(740) 778-9213
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
42.8 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
47 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

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Ohio State Parks