Ross Lake is located within the 1,112-acre Ross Lake Wildlife Area. This public area is in Springfield Township, Ross County, approximately three miles east of Chillicothe. Easy access is available from U.S. 35 via the East Main Street exit and Blacksmith Hill Road (approximately one mile east of U.S. 35). The boat ramp and main fishing area is located off of West Hydell Road (Township Road 238). The east side of the lake is reached by continuing north past West Hydell Road to Seney Road. Turn right and travel to Musselman Mill Road and take it to East Hydell Road (Township Road 238).
Land acquisition for the wildlife area began in 1958. The dam creating Ross Lake was completed in 1967. Prior to state acquisition, most of the land that makes up the lake basin and surrounding terrain consisted of reverting farmland, heavily cutover woodlands, and old fields. Lick Run, a tributary of the Scioto River is the principlal stream that flows into Ross Lake. The land and water area is owned and managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. The lake encompasses 127 acres at normal pool with a shoreline length of 3.2 miles. The maximum depth is 24 feet located in the lower basin of the lake near the dam.
A two-lane boat ramp with courtesy dock is located on the east side of the lake via the East Hydell Road access. Three parking lots are convenient to both sides of the lake and the upper end. Three earth fishing piers have been developed to increase access to the lake by shoreline fisherman. The fishing pier on the east side of the lake is accessible for use by handicapped fishermen. Public hunting is available on 1,112 acres surrounding the lake. The operation of watercraft with any motor is permitted but at idle speed only without creating a wake.
Check for water quality advisories: http://publicapps.odh.ohio.gov/beachguardpublic/