What to do in Harrison Lake State Park

The area comprising Harrison Lake State Park was at one time part of a vast wetland. This mysterious area contained towering trees, soggy black soil and was a haven for the swamp rattlesnake (or massassauga, as it is also known). Very little remains of that once great swamp, but the park still harbors unique natural features associated with wetlands.

In 1941, a dam over Mill Creek was completed and Harrison Lake was created. The lake and surrounding area were maintained primarily for hunting and fishing purposes until 1950 when Harrison Lake was established as a state park and development for additional recreational usage began.

The campground at Harrison Lake State Park has 193 campsites of which 126 have electricity. The campground features showers, flush toilets, a dump station and sites designated for campers with pets. A group camp area with a 50-person capacity is available for organized youth groups on a reservation basis. Three Rent-A-Camp sites consisting of a tent, sheltered picnic table, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation.

Those wishing to explore the lake may do so via non-powered watercraft or boats with electric motors only. The park does provide a small launching ramp. Anglers can expect to find good catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead catfish, northern pike and carp. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

A swimming beach is offered to swimmers and sunbathers. Several quiet picnic areas are located in scenic areas of the park. Two shelter houses are available on a first-come, first-served basis or may be reserved with a deposit.

Visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife including songbirds, reptiles and amphibians, and small mammals such as red fox, raccoon, and skunk. Also, the unusual thirteen-lined ground squirrel makes its residence at Harrison Lake State Park.

Lastly, a 3.5-mile hiking trail circles the lake and provides the opportunity to explore the scenic lakeshore and woodlands.

Recreation at Harrison Lake includes a 193-site campground, electric motorboat usage, good variety of freshwater fish species for the angler, several quiet picnic locations, a scenic lake trail, and a fine swimming beach.

Located in northwestern Ohio, Harrison Lake State Park lies just north of Interstates 80 / 90 along County Road M.

This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.

Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.

Route #1
Fayette, OH 43521

Phone: 419-237-2593

  • Harrison Lake State Park Travel Q&A