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Dam Project Commences at AW Marion State Park

January 27, 2021
Hargus Lake draw down will lower water levels by 10 feet.

CIRCLEVILLE, OH—The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has begun preparing Hargus Lake for upcoming dam rehabilitation construction this spring. Immediate impacts of the pre-construction work include lowering water levels by 10-12 feet and facility closures. The project is expected to be completed in late 2022.

The scope of the project includes installing a new spillway and rehabilitating the downstream slope of the dam. The Hargus Lake dam was originally constructed in 1947 and reconstructed in 1956. In addition to drawing down the lake, about 10-15 acres of trees will be cleared for the project.

Visitors will still be able to fish, but access to the shoreline will be limited. Currently closed, the park’s marina and bait shop will not reopen for the 2021 season.

The A.W. Marion State Park campground will remain open and the picnic areas near the marina was also be available for visitors’ use.

The park’s boat ramp will be closed due to low water and there will be no swimming allowed at the boat swim area.

Visitors are asked to avoid closed areas during construction. Other facility impacts:

  • The portion of the Perimeter Trail across the dam will be closed.
  • The mountain bike trail, located on the dam to the west, will be closed.
  • The parking area near the memorial will be closed during the entire project.
  • The shelter house will be closed.

Visitors who have questions about the project or closures are asked to call the park manager, Mark Hoffhines, at (740) 467-2690.


The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.