Description - A. W. Marion State Park, located in Pickaway County, can attribute its natural wonders to glaciation that occurred more than 12,000 years ago. As glaciers advanced over more than two-thirds of Ohio, vast amounts of rock and soil (or till) were deposited over the landscape. This till had a direct effect on the natural vegetation that occurs at A. W. Marion. The surface of the park is fairly level and the soil very fertile. The area is diverse with woodlands, plains and prairie. Ohio's prairies, products of an ancient dry climate, are really small versions of the more extensive grasslands in the western United States. This eastern portion extends into Ohio and is part of the prairie-forest border or tension zone. Within this zone, the grasslands increased in size during droughts, only to be reinvaded by forests during wet periods. Before settlement began, scrub oak barrens, dense thickets formed by this shrub, were common in the region but have since been cleared for raising crops. The nearby floodplains of the Scioto River are adorned with a variety of wildflowers. Wildlife indigenous to the area includes fox squirrel, ring-necked pheasant, a variety of songbirds, red fox and white-tailed deer.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
A.W. Marion State Park
In 1948, construction began on the dam for Hargus Creek Lake. By 1950, the area became part of the newly created Division of Parks and Recreation. In 1962, the park was renamed the A.W. Marion State Park in honor of the first director of the Department of Natural Resources, a Pickaway County native.
- A wooded camp area with sixty sites is available year-round for tent and trailer camping. A youth camp is also available by reservation for organized groups. Pit latrines and drinking water are available.
Hargus Lake provides 145 acres of water, boat launching ramps and public docks. Rentals are available from the concession on the northwest side of the lake. Electric motors only are permitted. In the late 1980s, Hargus Lake was drained, habitat improvements were made and it was restocked with largemouth bass, muskellunge, bluegill and channel catfish. Anglers can now enjoy some of central Ohio's finest fishing.
In the fall, the mature woodlands offer excellent squirrel hunting in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting and fishing license are required.
The Hargus Lake Trail offers five miles of scenic pleasure, providing access to the entire shoreline of the lake. Beginning at the campground, the Squawroot Nature Trail offers the hiking enthusiast one mile of scenic terrain. The trail is self-guided with directional signs and takes visitors to fourteen points of interest. These scenic trails are open for year-round use.
Picnic tables and grill sites are located in scenic areas throughout the park. A concession stand offers limited picnic supplies. Fires are permitted only in the grills provided.
Recreation - Activities at the park include camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and hiking. In winter, visitors can enjoy sledding, ice skating and ice fishing.
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.
A.W. Marion State Park is located east of Circleville, Ohio between U.S. Highway 22 and State Route 188.