A large sprawling lake, sunny meadows, and a wooded ravine await visitors at Caesar Creek. Boaters will find all the amenities for a great day on the water, including a marina, several launch ramps, and dock rentals. A large campground provides campers with cozy sites and modern facilities. The Hopewell Day Lodge is a great venue for family gatherings. Other activities include fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and archery.
An archery range is located off of Clarksville Road in the southwest portion of the park. A variety of distance targets and a walk-through 3D range.
The 2,830-acre lake has an unlimited horsepower designation. Five launch ramps are situated around the lake.
There are two boat camp/boat swim areas. One is located just north of the Wellman boat ramp and the other is located just south of the campground boat ramp.
The Marina at Caesar Creek (513-897-1092) features a harbormaster building as well as leased and transient docks from Apr 1 to Oct 15. The building includes a retail area (boating accessories, clothing, fishing equipment, live bait, ice, etc.), concession area offering ice cream, pizza and beverages with indoor seating; public restrooms; and outside deck with seating area and water fountain. Exclusive features for boat dock leaseholders include showers. The marina offers fuel (ethanol-free 90 octane) and pump out stations.
- A dock lottery is held annually in August for seasonal dock leases for the following boating season. Lottery applications are available beginning August 1. The deadline to enter the lottery is August 31.
- Applications may be picked up at The Marina (8574 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, OH 45068), 10a-6p Mon-Thu or 7a-8:30p Fri-Sun; or you may complete your application online. Prospective dock holders must provide a copy of their current boat title and watercraft registration. Hours are subject to change.
- The dock lottery drawing is held in September and winners will be notified by phone and email. The results for the drawing and alternate list will be posted at The Marina.
- Rosebriar Trail - 1.5 miles - Easy
- Moonlit Vista Trail - 3.0 miles - Easy
- Farmer's Trace Trail - 3.5 miles - Easy
- Solidago Downs Trail - 14 miles - Easy (many loop options)
The large Caesar Creek State Park Campground offers electric and full-hook up sites. A bridle camp is located in its own area on the opposite side of the lake.
Anglers can enjoy fishing for muskellunge and some of the best crappie fishing in the state.
There are multiple trails at Caesar Creek that are specifically designated for hiking. These trails are rated moderate to difficult. They include scenic waterfalls, a swinging bridge, and views of the lake.
- Fifty Springs Loop Trail - 3.3 miles - Moderate-Difficult
- Connector Trail between Fifty Springs and Perimeter Trails - 0.1 mile - Moderate-Difficult
- Horseshoe Falls Trail - 0.7 mile - Moderate-Difficult
- Old Woods Trail - 0.6 mile - Moderate-Difficult
- Peninsula Trail - 1 mile - Moderate-Difficult
- Perimeter Trail - 12.7 miles - Moderate-Difficult
- The Cove Trail - 0.7 mile - Moderate-Difficult
- White Trail - 0.1 mile - (Connector)
- Horseshoe Falls Trail - 0.7 miles - Moderate-Difficult
- Buckeye Trail - Several miles pass through the west side of the park, occasionally joining the Solidago Downs bridle trail - Moderate-Difficult
Trails near the campground:
- Deer Run Trail - 1.4 miles - Moderate
- Lakeview Trail - 0.7 mile - Moderate
- Pin Oak Trail - 1.2 miles - Moderate
- The Point Trail - 1.1 miles - Moderate
Hikers are also permitted on the bridle and mountain biking trails.
Hunting is permitted in many areas of the park as well as in the adjacent wildlife area during scheduled hunting seasons.
- Fifty Springs Loop - 3.5 miles - Easy - The Fifty Springs loop is an easy oval loop around the Fifty Springs peninsula, which is a two-mile road ride from the Harveysburg Road trail head. The trail includes one intermediate-level ravine crossing.
- Mountain Bike Trail - 15 miles - Difficult - The Harveysburg trail system spans the gap between Harveysburg Road and the campground, made up of four principal loops plus connecting mileage. The first 2 miles of the main trail are suited for intermediate and advanced riders; steep climbs and drops on the remainder challenge advanced cyclists.
The Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance has details maps of the bike trails.
- The park's nature center houses interesting displays of the cultural and natural history of the area
- Naturalist programs are offered year round.
Several picnic areas with tables, grills, and drinking water are located throughout the park. Some areas are managed by the US Army Corp of Engineers and some are managed by Caesar Creek State Park.
The park features a 1,300-foot public beach. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are permitted in designated area.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy ice fishing and cross-country skiing.
More to Do
- Pioneer Village features 15 historic buildings depicting life in the early 1800s and seasonal programming.
- Playground equipment is offered at some day-use areas of the park
History & Natural Features
The wooded lands of the park were home to several early Ohio Native American cultures. Earthworks (known as Fort Ancient) on the nearby Little Miami River are among the largest and best known Hopewell structures. This hilltop enclosure used for ceremonial gatherings is surrounded by 3 miles of earthen walls, constructed using animal shoulder-blade scoops and hides for transporting dirt. This indigenous culture lived in the region during a period from 300 BC to 600 AD.
Later, the Fort Ancient Native Americans lived on the site from 1200 AD to 1600 AD. They lived in villages along several river systems in the region, including Caesar Creek. Displays about this culture and the Hopewell people can be seen at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Visitor Center.
Woodland tribes such as the Wyandot, Miami, and Shawnee also called southwestern Ohio home. Old Chillicothe, where the famous warrior Tecumseh was said to have been born, was located in Greene County, just north of the park. The Caesar Creek area was named for a slave captured by the Shawnee on a raid along the Ohio River. The Shawnee adopted Caesar and gave him the valley as his hunting ground. Caesar lived in this area during the time Blue Jacket was war chief and was said to have accompanied him on many raids.
Many of these Native American villages were located along an ancient trail, part of which follows the ridgeline on the eastern side of the Caesar Creek valley. The trail, named Bullskin Trace, was used by settlers in the early 1800s. Later, the trail became part of the Underground Railroad used by runaway slaves to reach safe houses operated by Quakers in the area.
The Caesar Creek valley was impounded in 1978 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist with flood control in the Little Miami River watershed. The 4,700-acre park and adjacent 2,500-acre wildlife area were dedicated that year.
The park area sits astride the crest of the Cincinnati Arch, a gentle upward fold in the bedrock layers caused by an ancient upheaval. Some of the oldest rocks in Ohio are exposed, with sedimentary limestones and shales showing evidence of a sea that once covered the state hundreds of millions of years ago. The park's excellent fossil finds give testimony to the life of this long vanished body of water.
The forests of the area are comprised of over 65 species of plants. Several major communities thrive in the area. A northern flood plain forest is found in the valley, while mixed associations of oak-hickory and beech-maple woodlands clothe the ridges and hillsides. Red-tail hawk, white-tail deer, raccoon, red fox, and box turtle make the park their home.