Description - Strouds Run State Park is located in the scenic forested hills of Athens County, in the midst of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau. Sandstone, the principal bedrock outcropping in the region, forms the uplands and steep sides of the valleys. Twisting roads and forest trails pass through deep ravines and lead to dense stands of beech, hickory, oak, maple and tulip tree. Seasonal displays are offered by flowering dogwood, redbud and spring wildflowers -- with fall presenting a pageant of colorful foliage.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Strouds Run State Park
The park derives its name from the Strouds family who settled in the area in the early 1800s. The land was purchased by the state for forest conservation purposes from 1948 to 1953. The dam creating Dow Lake was completed in 1960. The lake bears the name of C.L. Dow of Ohio University who was instrumental in initiating the project.
- Strouds Run State Park offers campers a family camp area with sites for tents or trailers. Latrines, waste drains, picnic tables and fire rings are provided. Ten sites are available for campers with pets. A group camp area is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. Three Rent-A-Camp sites consisting of a dining fly, sleeping cots and pads, cook stove and other gear are available by reservation.
Fifteen miles of hiking trails meander through the wooded hills of Strouds Run leading to scenic vistas throughout the park. Excellent bird watching and nature study can be done along the trail. An 8.5 mile bridle trail has been constructed by volunteers from the Ohio Horseman's Council, Athens County Chapter, working under the Adopt-A-Trail program. The trail can be accessed from the parking lot off Township Road 21 and at locations along County Road 20.
Picnic tables and cooking grates are located at the north end of the lake and south of the dam. Each area has restrooms nearby. Three shelters, located at the north end of the lake, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shelters may also be reserved for a fee.
The dam creating Dow Lake was completed in 1960. Named for C.L. Dow of Ohio University, the 153-acre lake has seven miles of irregular shoreline and depths reaching 30 feet. There is a 10 HP limit for boats. The lake provides anglers with catches of rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie and channel cat. A boat ramp and tie-up stakes are provided. Boat rental information may be obtained at the park office. Swimmers and sunbathers enjoy the 900-foot sand beach on the east side of the lake during the summer months from sunrise to sunset. Change booths, drinking water and restrooms are available. Scuba diving with proper equipment is permitted. Diving alone and within the beach area is prohibited.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas. Wild turkey, gray squirrel and white-tailed deer are abundant. A valid Ohio fishing and / or hunting license is required.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities at Strouds Run include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, lake swimming, nature study, boating, wildlife observation, scuba diving, hunting, sledding, cross-country skiing, 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.
Strouds Run State Park is located immediately east of the college town Athens, Ohio. Access is off County Road 20 or U.S. Highway 50.