Five Surprising Beach Vacations at Ohio State Parks


Ohio State Park Lodges, May 8, 2015 – Beach vacations are among the most popular types of travel, especially for families in the Midwest, who often believe that the long drive to points along the Atlantic Ocean is the only way to experience them. Not so. Ohio State Park Lodges in parks throughout the central and northern regions of the state offer a surprising array of beach experiences that will not only satisfy the urge to splash but also minimize the time spent in the car, leaving more time for fun.

“There’s nothing like a beach vacation to put a summer smile on the faces of kids of all ages,” said Hinch Knece, manager of marketing for Ohio State Park Lodges and Conference Centers. “We offer a wide range of lake and river activities in all five of our state parks, and our guests are often surprised at how memorable and inexpensive a beach vacation at one of our Ohio State Park Lodges can be.”

All five lodges offer vacation packages including the new Ultimate Summer Surprise package. This package features a room and $50 in food and beverage for each night of your stay, a savings of 15 percent or more when you bundle your room and food. In addition, guests receive one scratch-off card per room when they check in. The cards reveal a bonus surprise such as gift shop discounts, free on-site activities including bike rentals, free retail items such as T-shirts and free future night stays. Winners may even discover that their current stay could be free. This package is valid through Sept. 7, 2015, and blackout dates and other restrictions apply.

“The surprises never stop,” said Knece. “There is water, value, natural beauty and lodges and cabins that are perfect for families. It’s no wonder Ohio’s state parks are among the most acclaimed state parks in the United States.”

All of the lodges also feature both indoor and outdoor pools and a wide range of recreational amenities such as sport courts, hiking trails and naturalist programs. Plus four of the lodges offer 18-hole golf courses.


Here are five beach travel ideas at Ohio State Park Lodges:

Maumee Bay State Park Lodge in northwest Ohio is situated on the shores of Lake Erie. The newest state park lodge in Ohio, Maumee Bay offers a 24-slip marina that can accommodate boats up to 15 feet in width and 45 feet in length. In addition, visitors can fish for catfish, freshwater drum, small mouth bass and yellow perch as well as the plentiful walleye that earned Lake Erie the title “walleye capital of the world.” For travelers who like it splashy there is lake swimming from the easily accessible inland lake featuring 1,500 feet of beachfront as well as the nearby shore of Lake Erie. When it is time to get out of the sun, kids will enjoy the kid-friendly splash park features of the indoor pool and a soft play area.


Mohican State Park Lodge is located in the 1,110-acre Mohican State Park. The park is known for its distinctive natural resources including the Clear Fork Gorge, Mohican River and a lush hemlock forest. Paddlers can experience one of the finest canoeing rivers in Ohio, the Clear Fork of the Mohican River, and canoes and kayaks can be rented near the lodge. The lodge also features a sandy volleyball court, sauna and much more. And during the summer the lodge offers Birds of Prey demonstrations in the lobby every Saturday night.


Salt Fork State Park Lodge is situated in Salt Fork State Park, the state’s largest park at 17,229 acres. At 2,952 acres, Salt Fork Lake offers unlimited horsepower boating, 10 boat launching ramps and two marinas with 469 rental docks, comfort stations, gasoline fuel stations, parking facilities, concession areas and a variety of boat rentals, including popular pontoon boats. The lake also features a 2,500-foot beachfront, one of the largest inland beaches in Ohio. Even dogs can get into the action, with a one-acre dog park that includes lake access for dogs to play and swim off-leash. The lake also offers abundant fishing opportunities. The lodge features a variety of activities for land-lovers as well. In addition to an acclaimed golf course, the lodge offers extensive hiking trails, outdoor sport courts and geocaching.

Deer Creek

Deer Creek State Park Lodge near Columbus is located near the 1,277-acre Deer Creek reservoir, which features two launch ramps that provide access to the lake. The lodge offers a variety of boat rentals including kayak rentals – new this year – as well as pontoons, wave runners, pedal boats, fishing boats, rowboats, ski boats, aqua cycles and hydro bikes. The marina also features fuel and seasonal dock rentals. The park also features a designated dog swim area adjacent to the swimming beach. Deer Creek Lake is known for its saugeye fishing as well as catfish, largemouth bass and crappie.


Punderson Manor State Park Lodge in northeast Ohio offers easy access to the 80-acre Punderson Lake. The lake is one of the few natural lakes in the state, and it is the largest and deepest kettle lake in Ohio. Located in a region that was once buried under glacial ice, the lake was formed when a large ice sheet broke off and the depression filled with water. The lake features steep drop-offs which form three large kettles that range from 30 to 57 feet. Boats with electric motors are permitted, and there is also a swimming beach, shower house and picnic areas. Anglers will enjoy fishing for plentiful largemouth bass, bluegill, rainbow trout, black crappie, brown bullhead and channel catfish. Punderson Manor Lodge also offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools and plentiful activities for land-lovers including golf, disc golf, geocaching and hiking.

The five Ohio State Park Lodges and Conference Centers operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts are located close to major Ohio cities and surrounding states, making it easy for families to gather from a variety of locations. Salt Fork State Park Lodge is 12 miles from Cambridge near the I-70/I-77 interchange. Mohican State Park Lodge is east of I-71 approximately 75 miles from both Columbus and Akron. Punderson Manor State Park Lodge is 35 miles east of Cleveland and north of US-422. Maumee Bay State Park Lodge is 12 miles east of Toledo and north of the Ohio Turnpike (I-80). Deer Creek State Park Lodge is 35 miles south of Columbus and east of I-71. Xanterra also operates the marina and facilities at Geneva Marina State Park in Geneva-on-the-Lake in northeastern Ohio.

For information about Ohio State Park Lodges visit the individual websites or or call 1-800-282-7275. Travelers can also follow Ohio State Park Lodges on Facebook or Twitter.

2 comments for “Five Surprising Beach Vacations at Ohio State Parks

  1. desiree
    May 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    the trips you do are great we used to go kyak all the summmer

  2. Linda Manns Linneman
    June 20, 2015 at 5:30 am

    All of these parks sound like they have alot to offer. I love the bundle packages. Thank you so much for sharing this

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