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Dillon State Park
Dillon State Park

 

Visitors are reminded to follow all recommended COVID-19 protocols including maintaining social distance and refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10. Restrooms may be closed or limited in day-use areas and we are asking visitors to practice carry in, carry out. Learn more about ODNR facilities and COVID-19 protocols.

Park Overview

Located in east central Ohio the wooded hills and scenic valleys surrounding Dillon State Park offer a picturesque setting for outdoor adventure. Whether boating the quiet coves and inlets of the lake or hiking the forest trails, you'll have an outstanding recreational experience at this 2,285-acre park.

Activities


Archery Range
The archery range is located at the Sled Hill parking lot. 10-, 20-, 30-, and 40-yard targets as well as a 30-yard broad head target are available. Backstops are made from recycled plastic from Coconis Furniture. The range was built in September 2009 by Brenton Reed for his Eagle Scout project.

Boating
The 1,560-acre lake allows unlimited horsepower boating. Two boat ramps provide access to the lake. The state park marina offers 95 docks for lease on a seasonal basis, as well as four overnight rental docks. Canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent at the Campground Store.
 
Cabins
Reserve online or by calling (866) 644-6727.

A total of 29 cabins, nestled in the woods near the north lake shore, offer cozy overnight accommodations year-round.
Each cabin has air conditioning, cable television, gas heat, two bedrooms, one bath, living room, all-electric kitchen, dining area, screened porch with custom-built Adirondack chairs, some have microwaves.
Linens, towels and kitchen utensils are furnished.
2 cabins are ADA accessible.
Pets are permitted in cabins 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15. Please call (866) 644-6727 for more information.
 
Camping
Reserve online or by calling (866) 644-6727.

183 electric sites
12 non-electric sites
Showers, flush toilets and a dump station
Commissary with grocery items and laundromat is located near the check-in station
Free WiFi access is available at the Campground Store to registered campers
Pets are permitted on designated sites, check the campground map for locations
  
20 non-electric equestrian camp sites are available on a first-come, first served basis.
 
Fishing
Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, saugeye, hybrid, striped bass and catfish are plentiful. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Hunting
Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the surrounding Dillon Wildlife area in season. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
 
Disc Golf
Woodchuck Ridge is a 61-par 18-hole disc golf course in the park with a variety of challenges for all experience levels. The course begins up the steps behind the camp store, loops near camp areas, and finishes back at the camp store. Maps, score sheets, and rental discs are available at the camp store. Discs are also sold in the store.

The course is free and open to the public due the generosity of Boy Scout Troop 14 and donations by the Friends of Dillon State Park. The course was an Eagle Scout project for Matt Tellez.

Picnicking
Two picnic areas complete with tables and grills are located in the park.

Swimming
A 1,360-foot swimming beach is located near the park office. A wading pool is also available. Swimming is permitted in designated areas during daylight hours only. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach.
There are two restroom facilities in the beach area. A new ADA accessible facility is located near the wading pool.
 
Recreation Courts
A game area is adjacent to the beach offering a playground area as well as lighted courts for tennis, pickleball, volleyball and basketball.
 
Shooting Range
Dillon Sportsman Center is a full-featured public shooting facility, located at 5200 Pleasant Valley Road in Nashport, OH. This facility includes a 100-yard outdoor rifle range, a 25-yard outdoor pistol range, firearms instruction, and regulation skeet and trap fields. dillonsportsmancenter.com, (740) 452-3529.
 
Trails
Seven trails traverse the park, giving visitors a chance to view a variety of landscapes. One multi-use trail allows hiking, biking and/or horseback riding

Paved: Black Locust Loop - .5 mi, easy
Bridle: 19 mi, wooded [map]
Hiking: 8.9 mi, moderate
Mountain Biking: 18 mi, color-coded for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders

Some portions of trails are multi-use (allow hiking, biking, and/or horses). Prohibited activities ("no hikers", "no bikes" or "no horses") are marked.

Licking Bend - 4.4 mi, moderate
Blackberry Ridge - .6 mi, moderate
King Ridge Loop - 1 mi, moderate
Eagle Ridge Loop - .8 mi, moderate
Ruffed Grouse Loop - .6 mi, moderate
Bog Loop - 1 mi, easy
 
Winter Recreation
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding at the Sled Hill.

History & Natural Features


History
The history of the Dillon region highlights the story of transportation in the area. The nearby Licking River played a crucial role in Ohio’s cultural history, from the days of Native Americans to the age of the river canals.

The Licking River provided Native Americans with access to Flint Ridge where outcroppings of flint were found. In the Blackhand Gorge, now protected as a state nature preserve, a sandstone cliff bore a soot-blackened engraving of a human hand. This mysterious petroglyph is thought to have served as a guide marker for Indians searching for Flint Ridge. Specimens of Flint Ridge flint have been found as far east as the Atlantic seaboard, as far south as Louisiana and as far west as Kansas City.

In 1803, Moses Dillon purchased the land bordering the Licking River, where the park is now located. Dillon is most noted for his design and construction of the world-famous “Y” Bridge in Zanesville.

The region continued to develop, with the construction of the Old National Road, built between 1811 and 1834. It was the first federally funded road in U.S. history and helped establish the city of Zanesville. Later, the power of the Licking River was harnessed for the Ohio and Erie Canal, which boosted trade and commerce to surrounding towns. The development of the railroad led to an inter-urban rail between Zanesville, Newark and Columbus.

In 1961, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of Dillon Reservoir for flood control, with recreation as a secondary use.

Natural Features
Dillon State Park in Muskingum County is situated in an area of the state possessing diverse and interesting natural features resulting from the unique properties of the Black Hand sandstone found here. Hundreds of millions of years ago, sand eroded from eastern mountains and accumulated in a vast delta of the ancient sea covering the region. Eventually, this hard bedrock eroded to form sheer cliffs. Today, the landscape supports a hardwood forest.

The rolling, reverting farmland of the area provides visitors the opportunity to see some of Ohio’s most magnificent wildlife. White-tailed deer and wild turkey can be seen along the park’s trails by quiet observers. During migration, numerous species of waterfowl visit Dillon’s waters. Sightings of bald eagles have also been reported.