Located in Northeast Ohio, Beaver Creek State Park’s wilderness and rugged landscape offers visitors a true outdoor adventure. In addition to 2,722 acres of forested lands, the park features access to the Little Beaver Creek State and National Wild and Scenic River.
NOTE: A one-lane bridge on Echo Dell Road CANNOT accommodate vehicles with trailers or RVs. You must approach the Park Office, Wildlife Education Center, Gaston's Mill, and Pioneer Village from the south if you are traveling in a large vehicle.
Little Beaver Creek offers one of the most enjoyable canoe trips in the state. Swift currents and breathtaking scenery are highlights of a trip through the Little Beaver Creek gorge. Be sure to wear a personal flotation device and be alert for potential hazards. The creek is navigable only by paddling.
No swimming areas are available.
The family campground on Leslie Road is closed for renovations. This includes campsites and Sherman cabins.
The equestrian camp, located on Sprucevale Road, has reservable sites and tie-ups for horses. The equestrian campground is primitive camping has NO potable water. Please plan accordingly. [Equestrian Campground Driving Directions]
Stream fishing is excellent for smallmouth bass and rock bass.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas.
Three picnic areas are scenically located and provide restrooms, tables, and grills.
The Pioneer Village is operated by the Friends of Beaver Creek State Park volunteers. Buildings in the Pioneer Village include a Trading Post gift shop, operating water powered Grist Mill, Blacksmith Shop, Chapel, Covered Bridge, Schoolhouse, restored canal-era Lock and a Cabin.
Six of the park's 11 trails are hiking-only trails:
- Fitness Trail - 1/2 Mile - Easy
- Logan's Loop Trail - 1/2 Mile - Easy
- Nature Center Trail - 0.2 Miles - Easy
- Overlook Trail - 0.3 Miles - Easy
- Oak Hill Trail - 1 Mile - Moderate
- Lower Vondergreen Trail - 3.25 Miles - Moderate
Five mountain biking trails also permit hiking:
- Pine Ridge Trail - 0.5 Mile - Easy
- Fisherman's Trail - 0.5 Mile - Easy
- Dogwood/Campground Trail - 2 Miles - Moderate/Technical
- Upper Vondergreen Trail - 1 Mile - Moderate/Technical
- Salamander Trail - 0.4 Mile - Easy
The Dogwood, Pine Ridge and Vondergreen trails on the north side of Little Beaver Creek are part of the extensive North Country Trail system.
Vondergreen and Dogwood trails are technical mountain bike trails. Both offer great scenery, technical climbs, and fun downhills. Not for the beginner (unless you take it slow). Read more on the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association website.
Twenty-three miles of bridle trails provide access for horse and rider through the valley. Though not ideal, hikers are permitted on these trails.
Park visitors can enjoy sledding when conditions permit.
More to Do
- The park's nature center, Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center, houses fascinating natural history displays
- Playground equipment is available at the picnic areas and in the campground
- Archery range
- Sledding and cross-country skiing when conditions permit
History & Natural Features
The first inhabitants of the Beaver Creek area were Native Americans of the Fluted Point Culture nearly 10,000 years ago. Flint knives, fluted arrowheads, and pottery have been found nearby. In more recent history, the Wyandot and Mingo Native Americans resided here. The family of Logan, the celebrated Mingo chief, was massacred near here on the Ohio River at the mouth of Yellow Creek--spurring Lord Dunmore's War in 1774. The first permanent non-native settler in the area, Trapper John Quinn, moved into the valley around 1790.
Remnants of the Sandy and Beaver Canal, a spur off the Ohio-Erie Canal, are found throughout the park. The 73-mile Sandy and Beaver Canal was built in the mid-1800s and contained 90 locks and 30 dams. Lusk's Lock, with its double-curved stone staircase is the largest and most artistic on the canal and still remains intact. Lusk's Lock is also known as Simon Girty's Lock because it is believed Girty, a notorious renegade during the Revolution, frequented the area.
As railroads came into Ohio, canal and river traffic declined. The founding of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company caused the closing of the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1853.
The Little Beaver valley provided opportunity for water power and resulted in the construction of Gaston's Mill in 1837. The mill stands completely restored and today grinds whole wheat flour, corn meal and buckwheat flour for demonstration purposes. A pioneer village, adjacent to the mill, includes a log home, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and a church.
Of other local, historical significance was the capture of the infamous Confederate General, John Hunt Morgan. Morgan was one of the Confederacy's most daring cavalrymen. Morgan and his 2,000 raiders crossed the entire width of Ohio from west to east before his eventual capture near the park.
The discovery of rich clay deposits in the area of East Liverpool led to the birth of the pottery industry in the 1840s. The industry was so prosperous that the area became known as the pottery center of the United States. One pottery alone produced 24 tons of ware daily. Nearly three-fourths of the nation's white ware was produced in this region in the mid-1800s.
When the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, Beaver Creek was dedicated as a state park.
Nestled in the sandstone hills of the Appalachians, the park is comprised of various habitats including forests, bottomlands, and ridges along the gorge of Little Beaver Creek--a state and national wild and scenic river. The river valley is characterized by steep walls, high rock cliffs, and numerous gentle rapids. Geologically, the Little Beaver Creek valley is extremely unique. It is the only stream valley in the United States, yet described, which shows evidence of four major glaciations.
The flora of the park contains several interesting and unusual species, some of which are more commonly found in northern regions. Canada yew, yellow and black birch, hemlock, and mountain laurel can be found in the deep stream valley. The stream banks are lined with delicate wildflowers including jewelweed, hepatica, violets, and spring beauties.
A number of wildlife species find the park’s varying habitats inviting. Red fox, skunk, raccoon, and white-tailed deer are commonly seen. The wild turkey is making a comeback in the area and is now more commonly sighted. Most recently, area sightings of black bear have become more frequent.