As one of Ohio's resort parks, Burr Oak State Park blends modern convenience with Ohio's wilderness spirit. Miles of forested ridges and hollows can be found here. The park offers a rustic full-service lodge with family suites and a cozy campground with easy access to the lake. A substantial trail system ranges from easy to difficult with portions intersecting the statewide Buckeye Trail.
Burr Oak Lodge & Conference Center
The rustic and cozy lodge at Burr Oak offers 38 comfortable guest rooms and family suites. The lodge also offers full-service amenities such as a restaurant with combined lounge and a gift shop, lobby with large fireplace, outdoor gathering areas, and views of the beautiful waters of the lake. Guests have access to a boat launch, tennis court, basketball court, miniature golf, playground, exercise room, and indoor swimming pool.
Burr Oak offers 30 family vacation cabins, standard and deluxe, all year round with A/C and heat. They sleep up to six and each offers a fully furnished kitchen, bathroom with shower, living room with gas log fireplace and TV, a screened porch, and charcoal grill. Housekeeping is not available but bed and bath linens, cookware, and table settings are provided. Lodge facilities are available to cabin guests. Pets are permitted in select cabins.
Note: In 2020, some cabins may be unavailable as they are being remodeled.
The 664-acre Burr Oak Lake allows boating; four launch ramps provide access to the lake. Boat rentals, fuel, and seasonal dock rentals are offered at the marina.
- Boats with motors of 10HP or less are permitted to operate as usual.
- Boats with motors exceeding a horsepower rating of 10HP are permitted to operate at idle speed or at a speed that does not create a wake.
- Jet drive boats are not permitted.
- Four launch ramps provide access to the lake.
- Docks 1 and 4 are Carry in, Carry Out areas. No trash cans are available. Please bring trash bags with you.
The medium-sized campground offers non-electric and some electric sites; pets are permitted on designated sites. The park also offers an equestrian camping area and primitive camp sites at Dock #2 and Dock #3.
An 18-hole course is found at the park. No fee to play; equipment rental is not available.
The lake is well known for its catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the adjacent Wayne National Forest and wildlife areas. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Picnic areas are located in scenic areas of the park and offer tables and grills.
A 500-foot public swimming beach offers enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers. Restrooms and outdoor showers are available. The beach also offers sand volleyball courts. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches. The beach is carry in/carry out. No trash cans are provided.
Visit BeachGuard to check water quality alerts from the Ohio Department of Health.
- Ravine Trail - 1.5 Miles (one-way) - Moderate
- Lakeview Trail (includes South Shore Trail) - 22 Miles - Moderate/Difficult
- Follow the yellow blazes to circle the entire lake.
- Tanager Trail - 0.4 Mile - Moderate
- Campground Trail - 1 Mile - Moderate
- Buckeye Loop - 1.7 Miles - Moderate
- Parking and Trailhead are located at the nature center
- Chipmunk - 0.4 Mile - Moderate
The backpacking trail is a combination of all or part of the Ravine, Lakeview, and Camp trails, and winds around the lakeshore, offering primitive campsites and drinking water at several locations along the route. Nearly 13 miles of the 18-mile backpack trail is part of the Buckeye Trail. Parking and the trailhead are located on the lodge/state park office entrance road.
- Red/Camp/Red Trail - 5.2 Miles - Moderate
- Blue Trail - 1.8 Miles - Moderate
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding, ice skating, and ice fishing.
History & Natural Features
Situated in the valley of Sunday Creek, the Burr Oak area was inhabited by Native Americans and, later, by settlers who found an abundance of game animals and the resources necessary for survival in the Ohio wilderness.
Coal was discovered in the early 1800s and was mined here for many years. As mining operations expanded, mining towns grew and prospered. Few of these mining towns were as notorious as the village of Santoy.
Many colorful tales were told of life in Santoy. In the true spirit of frontier life, a gunfight was once held over a $20 debt. The street was cleared as the two participants met for a showdown. The ensuing battle left both men lying in the street--one dead and the other critically wounded. The "Old West" came to life in Ohio when the coal company payroll was robbed by bandits who made a horse-mounted getaway through the town.
A fire in 1924 destroyed Santoy’s coal tipple, an important structure used to transport coal, and several businesses. The loss was so devastating that just three years later the second mine shaft shut down. In November 1931, the 19 remaining voters decided to abandon the town. Today, Santoy is a ghost town. Only the church stands as a reminder of days gone by.
In 1950 Burr Oak Lake was created by the construction of the Tom Jenkins Dam a multi-purpose flood control project built by the Corps of Engineers. Two years later, Burr Oak was dedicated as a state park.
Miles of forested ridges and hollows comprise these foothills of the Appalachians. The woodlands support a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, box turtles, and wild turkey. The lake’s shore is inhabited by bald eagles, great blue herons, and various waterfowl.
Featuring numerous hardwoods, the forest is dominated by stately oaks and hickories. In autumn, the Burr Oak region displays spectacular fall colors as leaves turn to deep reds, brilliant yellows, and burnt oranges. The colors of woodland wildflowers are equally as impressive in the spring when violets, Dutchman’s breeches, trillium, bloodroot, and hepatica are in bloom.