Description - Delaware Lake was designed and built by the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project was first authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 as a unit in the larger comprehensive flood control plan for the Ohio River Basin. Dam construction was completed in July, 1948.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Boating Delaware Reservoir
- The Delaware Lake and State Park areas are attractive, tidy public facilities located north of Delaware, Ohio, now a suburb of the capitol city. The open field and thin forest provide residents and visitors many recreational opportunities. All ages and abilities can enjoy the developed region.
The dam is located south of the state park affording a beautiful panoramic view of the lake and surrounding area. The large parking area provides spaces for those enjoying the picnic grounds, which includes a large group shelter and a large playground. The shelter may be reserved by calling the USACE office, otherwise, it is first-come, first-served. In winter this is the spot for downhill sledding. Please note that it is unsupervised.
Paddling the Olentangy River, below the dam, carries you to the capitol city of Columbus and the confluence with the Scioto River.
Bicycling is permitted on the state and local roads. Many choose to bike the easy park roads.
A concrete launching ramp is available at the full-service marina. Fishing is permitted from boats and shore. Anglers typically pull in largemouth bass. Night anglers have success with catfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
There are several foot trails in the park and dam area. Walking up and then across the dam's levy is a good workout. Incidentally, our visit along the levy rewarded us with a glimpse of a red fox. The state park is a wonderful spot for viewing songbirds. There is even a bluebird trail. Weaving in and out of field and forest habitat, hikers are rewarded with sights of native wildflowers. Those identified throughout the warmer seasons include large-flowered trillium, wild blue phlox, Virginia bluebells, spiderwort, field thistle, chicory, New England asters, Queen Anne's lace, and several varieties of goldenrod.
Swimming opportunities are found at the state park beach. No lifeguards are provided. A changing house is offered along with open-sky picnic tables. A large grassy area invites Frisbee play. Waterskiing and tubing is permitted on the lake in designated areas.
Camping opportunities are also at the state park. Electric hookup is available at some sites.
Public hunting is permitted.
Many facilities are ADA compliant including the picnic facilities at the dam.
Recreation - Primarily open field and airy woodland, Delaware Lake, in conjunction with the Delaware State Park, offers its visitors sightseeing, biking opportunities, extensive boating recreation, state park camping, nature programs, good fishing, easy hiking, full service marina, game hunting, lake swimming, individual and group picnicking, wildflower identification, and rewarding bluebird watching. Winter trailblazers find lengthy cross-country trails while sledders find short, yet steep hills.
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.
Delaware Dam is located about 4 miles north of the city of Delaware, Ohio. Access is from U.S. Route 23 North.