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Harrison Lake State Park

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General Information

Harrison Lake State Park
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Harrison Lake State Park
Description - 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.

Attractions - 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 - 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.

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.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Ramiro Vela (Guymon, OK)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hi everybody, just letting you know that there are big fish in the lake. I have not been able to get back to this lake since 1976 when I spent a large part of my summer there. I was fishing one night and caught a good 14 lp catfish using night crawlers. I don't remember the name of the bait shop that was down by the entrance at that time, they took the offical weight and took my picture.Today is Fathers day and I was talking to my kids about places I'v fished before, yes despite high gas prices we are planning a trip to Harrison lake see you soon.

Filed By: Raymond R. Mead, CW3, USA Retired (Sierra Vista,, AZ)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: First let me say that I may be prejudiced about this lovely place. You see I grew up in Fayette and worked in the fields around Harrison Lake as a boy. The lake was a weekly destination on the weekends both by bicycle and later by motorcycle and car. I last visited Harrison Lake with my children during the summer of 1984. We brought oue travel trailer from New Jersey where I was stationed at the time. We had a great time. The RV park and campground are one of the finest state operated facilities in Ohio and certainly the finest in the North West region. I would readily recommend it over most of the privately operated and co-op parks that I have visited to include those in the Good Sam directory. The fishing has always been good and the landscape peaceful and relaxing. Some little remembered sites to see in the surrounding area are Council Oak near Winameg Ohio, about a twent mile drive to the east, where native Americans held council nearly 200 years ago. If you are a fan of early agriculture. The annual Thresher's Reunion is held every June at the Fulton County Fair Grounds at Ottokee, which is actual location of exit 3 on the Ohio Turnpike. These are but two of so many things to see in my home state and county. Fine food of nearly every cultural type abounds in the eateries in the area. A rule of thumb, if the locals exiting a restaurant are stocky and there are trucks in the parking lot, it's a good choice. Come, make the trip, you won't be sorry. I plan to make the 2000 mile journey again soon. Who knows, you may even meet me there.

Filed By: Doug Ferguson (Adrian, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: First of all Harrison lake is worth the drive wherever u are from it has a nice sceninc drive anyways. Right befor u get into the park there is acity called Fayette which has some food places to stop and eat. that is pretty much it for how to get there. once u get there uwill stop in at the check in place and a lovely greeter will greet u and then u will get your site. the campground has a very nice beach, basketball, volleyball, and playgrounds located throughout the park. it is very scenic and they also have bike and boat rentals avalable at the camp office. you may also like to hike down one of the many hiking trails or bike. um there is a lot to do and u and your kids will never get bored. it is a quiet campground and provides showers and flush toilets.:)Then if u wouldlike here is the best part and my favorite part is to ride up the road from where u came in and take aleft and u will find a party store which now has a putt putt golf place that is really great. um ay ride your bike there it is only about a mile away. HAve fun in this quiet nice campground!

Filed By: Doug Ferguson (Adrian, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: First of all Harrison lake is worth the drive wherever u are from it has a nice sceninc drive anyways. Right befor u get into the park there is acity called Fayette which has some food places to stop and eat. that is pretty much it for how to get there.

More Information

Contact Information:
Harrison Lake State Park, Route #1 , Fayette, OH, 43521, Phone: 419-237-2593

Additional Information:
Northwest Ohio - Once the land of the Great Black Swamp, Northwest Travel Region has an interesting mix of man-made lakes and canals resting at the base of the fourth largest Great Lake, Lake Erie.
Ohio Lakes and Reservoirs - Ohio has more than 2,500 lakes and 44,000 miles of rivers and streams. Lake Erie, the southernmost Great Lake, is a major recreation attraction.
Ohio State Parks and Forests - Great outdoor adventure begins in Ohio at one of the 20 state forests or one of the 73 award-winning state park sites.

Harrison Lake State Park - Official agency website.
Ohio State Parks - Official Agency Website


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