|Rugged hills and rich green forests provide the backdrop to Blue Rock State Park. Escape to nature's solitude, and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of this scenic 322 acre state park.
- 97 non-electric sites
- Pet camping is permitted on designated sites
- Latrines, picnic tables, water, dump station and fire rings are provided
- Showers are available to campers at the beach bathhouse
- Volleyball and basketball courts, a horseshoe pit and a playground are available
- Group camp is available by reservation for organized groups only • Accommodates up to 120 people
- Primitive camp area is also available • 20 site walk-in "tents only" area is off Cutler Lake Road
- Register for campsites at the camp store, where snack foods, camp supplies, sundries, souvenirs, ice and firewood can be purchased in season
- Download the Campground map
- 3 Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, sheltered picnic table, cooler, cookstove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months
- 3 camper cabins are also available with campstove, lantern and cooler provided
- Boats with electric motors only, rowboats and canoes can be used on Cutler Lake
- 1 launch ramp provides access to the 15-acre lake
- Bass, Trout, Catfish and Bluegill provide sport for the fisherman in Cutler Lake
- Valid Ohio fishing license is required
- 7 hiking trails
- Beechnut • 0.3 Miles • Easy
- Hollow Rock Trail • 0.8 Miles • Easy
- Ground Cedar Trail • 0.45 Miles • Moderate
- Vista Trail • 1/2 Mile • Moderate
- Turtle Trail • 0.2 Miles • Moderate
- Ruffed Grouse Trail • 0.6 Miles • Moderate
- Deer Trail • 0.2 Miles • Difficult
- Additional hiking trails are in the adjacent state forest
- 26 miles of bridle trails wind through the Blue Rock State Forest
- No overnight facilities are available
- You must provide your own horse, rental horses are not available
- A land navigation course where visitors can practice map and compass skills is located between the Hollow Rock and Ruffed Grouse trails • The design and course markings were a local Eagle Scout project
- Download the Trail map
- 10 Picnic areas with tables and grills are located throughout the park.
- 3 shelter houses are available for reservation online or by calling 866-644-6727
- The Northwest shelterhouse has a very picturesque covered bridge, ideal for outdoor weddings
- 250-foot public beach is located on the north end of the lake
- Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only
- Change booths, lockers, restrooms and snacks are available
- Swim at your own risk & be sure to keep an eye on the kids
- Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches
- Check for water quality advisories
- Hunting, though not permitted in the park, is permitted in season in the surrounding state forest
- Valid Ohio hunting license is required
Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)
- Ice skating
- Ice fishing
More To Do
- The campground offers volleyball and basketball courts, a horseshoe pit and a playground
- Surrounding the park, the 4,573 acre Blue Rock State Forest offers hiking, trail riding and hunting opportunities.
- The Muskingum River is nearby offering fishing, boating and the opportunity to view several nineteenth century locks and dams located off State Route 60 on the Muskingum River Parkway. These are the only full system of hand-operated locks still in use in the United States.
- Historic Zanesville lies north of the park on State Route 60. The famous "Y" bridge, spanning both the Muskingum and Licking rivers is in the center of town.
- The Lorena steamboat is available for cruises on the river at Zanesville during summer months.
- The National Road-Zane Grey Museum in Zanesville traces the development of the country's first highway and features belongings of the famous native-born novelist Zane Grey.
- The International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals ("The Wilds") is located only 10 miles away.
- For more information on area attractions, contact
Nature of the Area
The origin of Ohio's bedrock materials can be traced back millions of years when the state was inundated by a shallow inland sea • Materials deposited by this sea formed the bedrock types now found in Ohio--namely limestone, shale and sandstone • The silt from these waters formed the sedimentary shale found within the Blue Rock State Park region • This blue-colored shale gave the park its name
Before settlement of the area began, most of Ohio was in forest cover • By 1900, only twelve percent of the original forest remained • In the Blue Rock region, the rough terrain, poor soils and the economic woes caused by the Great Depression forced farmers to abandon their lands allowing them to revert back to forest
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources now maintains 4,573 acres of the Blue Rock State Forest surrounding the park • The forest is dominated by oaks and hickories • In the lush undergrowth, woodland wildflowers such as trilliums, cardinal flower and rare orchids can be found amongst a variety of ferns, mosses and lichens • Deer, grouse, squirrel and wild turkey are just a few of the woodland game which make the forest their home
History of the Area
Years before this beautiful region was known to the white man, the great Shawnee Nation built Old Town, the village of Chief White Eyes, near present-day Duncan Falls on the Muskingum River • For years, White Eyes was on friendly terms with the white man including the adventurous trapper named Duncan who was permitted by the chief to hunt, trap and trade with them • Duncan became enraged when he found game was being stolen from his traps by a hostile band of Indians from across the river • Duncan began to shoot all Indians who meddled with his traps until he himself was shot by the hostiles while crossing the river at a low spot • His body was found on a gravelly ripple now called Dead Man's Ripple, and the falls at that spot are called Duncan's Falls because it was there that Duncan fell
Rich coal deposits were discovered in the area • By utilizing the Muskingum River for transporting the coal, a prosperous mining industry soon developed
In 1856, this area was shaken by one of the most remarkable mine disasters in history • The collapse of the mine happened about 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25, 1856 • It was soon discovered that four persons were either imprisoned or crushed to death inside the mine • A dangerous rescue attempt began at once combining the greatest speed with the utmost caution possible • The rescue continued night and day with varying success • An immense crowd of people from the surrounding countryside and towns gathered at the mouth of the mine to offer help, encouragement and prayers for the imprisoned men • At 11 p.m., on Friday, May 9, after having been entombed for fourteen days, the men were reached and brought to safety--alive!
To the north of Blue Rock lies the city of Zanesville, Ohio's state capital from 1810 to 1812, and a leader in the manufacture of clay products • Several potteries still exist • In 1796, Congress gave Ebenezer Zane authority to construct a road from Wheeling to Maysville, Kentucky • The point where the road, known as Zane's Trace, crossed the Muskingum River became the site of Zanesville--named for Ebenezer Zane
In 1936, the state of Ohio purchased the lands comprising Blue Rock State Forest • Construction of Cutler Lake was completed in 1938 • Blue Rock officially became a state park with the formation of the Division of Parks and Recreation in 1949