Description - Rocky Fork State Park is an area steeped in the rich Indian history of Ohio. The land provided abundant game and a ready transportation system in the nearby creeks and rivers. These same streams provided access to the Rocky Fork area for the first settlers.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Rocky Fork State Park
The eastern part of Highland County has been a resort location for many years. The "Seven Caves" and nearby Rocky Fork gorge attracted visitors even in the mid 1800s. At the turn of the century, Colonel Walter H. Hutchins, a regular visitor to the area from Cincinnati, first dreamed of building a dam near McCoppin's Mill. He was the lake's biggest promoter and saw construction begin in 1949. The first water spilled over the dam in April 1953. Since that summer, thousands of people have visited Rocky Fork State Park. The lake has become a favorite of fishermen and water sports enthusiasts.
- Rocky Fork State Park offers 190 campsites suitable for trailers and tents at the northwest corner of the lake. The campground is equipped with showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, dump station, camp store and campers' beach. Electric hookups are available at 130 sites, with an additional 20 sites offering full-service hookups. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites in both the electric and non-electric areas. A launch ramp and tie-ups are provided for campers with boats. A separate group camp may be reserved by contacting the park office. The recreation barn also may be rented. It contains meeting space, restrooms, showers and a modified kitchen.
Rocky Fork Lake is considered one of the best muskie lakes in Ohio. Over 2,000 acres of water surface and about 30 miles of irregular shoreline characterize the 35-foot deep lake. Many areas are much shallower harboring good coverage thus producing fine populations of muskie, bass, bluegill, and crappie. Handicapped individuals can find a wheelchair accessible fishing pier located on the southeast side of the lake. Unlimited horsepower is permitted. Sixteen boat launching ramps and rental docks are available. The park also features a designated area for boat camping. Three marinas are located around the lake. One marina provides fuel; all three have launch ramps, docking space and parking. The East Shore Marina includes a modern restaurant while a snack bar is provided at North Beach.
Two large public beaches with changing booths and bathhouses are located on the north and south sides of the lake. A boat / swim area is available for boaters. Picnic areas are located on the north and east shores in wooded areas overlooking the lake.
Four miles of hiking trails take visitors through cool woodlands, scenic gorges and moist wetlands. A short trail near the campground takes nature lovers to an observation station where excellent bird watching can be pursued.
Rocky Fork provides habitat for numerous waterfowl, songbirds, raccoons, skunk, red fox and white-tailed deer. The wetlands in the park are home to the green frog, bullfrog, opossum and muskrat. Hunting is permitted in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required.
Recreation - Recreations pursued at Rocky Fork State Park include fishing, hunting, hiking, a variety of camping choices, mountain biking, picnicking, restaurant dining, lake swimming, nature study, boating, canoeiing, sledding, 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.
Rocky Fork State Park is located in southeast Ohio several miles from Hillsboro. There are many access points around the lake including State Routes 124 and 753, along with North Shore Road which runs between the two.