Description - Adams Lake State Park lies in an area rich in natural diversity with many unique plants and animals. Wedged between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the east and the glaciated land to the north and west, no other area of Ohio boasts a richer abundance of plant species.
Copyright: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Adams Lake State Park
Known as the Bluegrass Region of Ohio, Adams County harbors scattered pockets of prairie communities, a remnant of the past when the great western prairies reached into Ohio. Sometime after the last glacial advance, the climate turned warmer and drier. It was during such periods that the prairie advanced eastward into Ohio. Purple coneflower, little blue stem and prairie dock provide an impressive display during the peak blooming season of mid-summer.
The glaciers which covered most of Ohio did not reach Adams County, but their effect is still evident. As the glaciers advanced and the climate changed, many northern species of plants expanded their range southward and remained after the glaciers retreated. White cedar and maidenhair fern represent two such northern transplants.
Before the glaciers advanced, a great river called the Teays flowed through Ohio. As the glaciers moved forward, they had a profound effect on the drainage system by blocking existing rivers. The ancient Teays River was blocked and its waters were backed up forming the Ohio River. The Teays River transported plants native to more southern conditions to Adams County. Mountain laurel is one such traveler still found in the area.
Once teeming with elk, buffalo and bear, animals of the region now include numerous songbirds, as well as opossum, gray squirrel, raccoon and other mammals.
- Adams Lake was originally constructed to provide drinking water for the village of West Union. When an alternative county water system was developed, the state purchased the lake and surrounding land in 1950. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation now operate the 95-acre park. Only non-powered craft and those with electric motors only are permitted on the lake. A small launch ramp near the park entrance provides access to the 47-acre lake. Anglers will enjoy nice catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead and carp. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Picnic tables and restrooms are located throughout the park. A picnic shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Playground facilities are also available.
All trails at Adams Lake are found on the adjacent prairie maintained by the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. Due to the botanical uniqueness of this area, visitors are not permitted to wander from the established trails. Questions about the prairie or its rules should be directed to the preserve manager at 513-544-9750.
Nearby Shawnee State Park provides overnight accommodations in their lodge and cabin complex as well as in a family campground with 107 sites.
Recreation - Recreations pursued at Adams Lake State Park include boating, fishing, picnicking, interpretive programs, along with nearby hiking and camping.
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.
Adams Lake State Park is located in southwest Ohio near the town of West Union. The park is accessed from State Route 41 off State Route 125.