Description - Ohio's more than 44,000 miles of rivers and streams either flow south into the Ohio River or north into Lake Erie. A series of low hills along the Great Lakes Plains divides the directional flow. The Ohio River serves as a southern and southeastern border, while Lake Erie serves as a northern border.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Vista of Caesar Creek Reservoir
Ohio's more than 2,500 lakes are larger than 2 acres with 20 of them being natural bodies formed by glaciers. The man-made lakes includes those from the early 1800s created to feed water into canals between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, while many others were a direct result of the Flood Control Act from the early 1900s.
- Ohio is blessed with many sparkling blue waters for a spectacular array of outdoor recreation opportunities. Lake Erie dominates the northern area of the state offering access to the fourth largest of the Great Lakes. Lying 569 feet above sea level, fishing and boating opportunities abound. Many public campgrounds and picnic grounds rest on the Lake Erie shore.
Boaters of all types can be found on Ohio's various waters. Sailboats, cruisers, pontoons, kayaks, canoes and personal watercraft units stretch from Lake Erie to the state's many interior lakes and rivers, and down to Ohio's southern boundary, Ohio River. Anglers take full advantage of the easy and quick access. As they slip into thousands of tree-lined quiet coves, speed boaters zoom along the lakes' expanse. Canoes and kayaks glide effortlessly in the shadows of huge lakes such as Berlin Lake, Seneca Lake, C.J. Brown Reservoir, and Grand Lake St. Marys. Night boating is also popular, especially at Alum Creek where anglers creep along search in of catfish. Whitewater enthusiasts find enjoyment at Paint Creek Lake during their seasonal release. Tourists in search small-scale thrills may enjoy dining at the Tappan Lake marina restaurant, which overlooks the lake. In summer, canoeists flock to the Mohicanville Dam area in search of leisurely floats down one of Ohio's most popular canoe paths. Paddlers should note that water levels range from Class I to Class IV depending on flood conditions. Ice fishing is another popular pursuit, particularly in the Northeast Travel Region.
Like much of the nation, bird watching is a growing sport in Ohio. The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge offers lakeside-viewing blinds. Many inland lakes and streams serve as feeding, nesting and resting ground for resident and migratory birdlife.
Recreation - The lakes and rivers of Ohio offer the full range of water-based activities. Some of the most popular activities include fishing, boating, waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and scuba diving. The shores often offer camping and picnicking opportunities. In addition, the wildlife in Ohio is good. Many resident and migratory bird species are found in large numbers among the various bodies of water, especially Lake Erie.
Recreation facilities on Ohio's public lakes are managed by several different authorities including the U.S. Corps of Engineers, The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.
Climate - 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.
Lakes and rivers are located throughout the state of Ohio. Ohio's northern border rests on the shores of Lake Erie.