Dense woodlands, expansive meadows, and a shimmering 1,300-acre reservoir blend to create an unforgettable outdoor adventure.
Boaters will find all they need for a great day on the lake including a marina, boat launch ramps for both power and paddle craft, and seasonal docks. Nature lovers can spend time in the woods hiking, birdwatching, or disc golfing. In addition to a large family campground surrounded by mature trees, Delaware State Park offers swimming, biking, ball courts, and secluded picnic areas.
Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted on this 1,300-acre reservoir. Three boat ramps are conveniently located around the lake.
- An accessible kayak-canoe launch is available at Southwest launch area.
- A fully-equipped marina offers daily boat rentals, overnight dock rentals, fuel, fishing, and boating supplies. Call 740-363-6102 for more information.
- Dock rentals are offered seasonally.
- Boat camping is permitted at the main marina and Southwest docks.
- Life jacket loaner boards are available at the main marina and Southwest docks.
Delaware State Park Campground is heavily wooded and offers more than 200 electric sites including four with ADA features. Pets are permitted on all sites. Reservations are required online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
Dog Park and Dog Swim Area
A fenced dog park and swim area is available near the public beach. A separate fenced dog park is located near the campground.
The park has a 27-hole course at Sweet Gum picnic area with one practice hole. A 9-hole course is located in the campground. Equipment rental is available; there is no fee to play.
Delaware Reservoir offers excellent catches of crappie, muskie, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. A small pond near the marina offers fishing specifically for children 15 years old and younger.
Waterfowl hunting is popular at Delaware. Duck blinds are issued by a lottery drawing. Bow hunting and trapping is allowed in designated areas of the park. Only waterfowl hunting is allowed on Sundays.
Hunting for all legal game, seven days a week, is permitted in the adjacent Delaware Wildlife Area.
The Delaware Wildlife Area Shooting Range, a large public rifle and archery range, also is adjacent to the park.
Eight picnic areas with tables and grills are located in quiet, scenic spots overlooking the lake.
An 800-foot public beach is popular with park visitors. Facilities include picnic pavilion, playground and modern restrooms. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach.
Pets are not permitted on the beach. See Dog Park/Swim Area
Two boat-swim areas are designated on the lake.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
Five hiking trails connect the lakeshore to each of the four camping areas, transecting meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. There is one trail along the dam.
- Big Foot Trail - 1.5 Miles - Easy
- Fisherman Trail - 1/4 Mile - Easy
- Lakeview Trail - 1.6 Miles - Easy
- Briar Patch Trail - 1.5 Miles - Easy
- Mink Run Trail - 1 Mile - Easy
- Dam Trail - 1 Mile - Easy
Birdwatching is popular here as many species of songbirds nest in the area. A bluebird management trail attracts this beautiful cavity-nesting bird.
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing on all of the hiking trails, sledding, and ice fishing.
More to Do
History & Natural Features
The town, county, and park of this area are all named for the Delaware tribe. These people were referred to by other Native Americans as Na-Be-Naugh-a or "people from the east." They moved westward from their ancestral home in the Delaware Valley to escape pressure exerted upon them by the fierce Iroquois nation. The tribe assumed the name of Delaware, derived from the designation of their eastern valley. The word originates from the name of Lord Delaware, once the governor of Virginia.
In Ohio, the Delaware joined with other tribes including the Wyandot and Shawnee to block the western expansion of the settlers. A reminder of this long struggle is reflected in the ruins of Fort Morrow, which is located on private property north of State Route 229.
In the early 1800s, a route near present U.S. 23 was well worn by folks destined for Lake Erie. A brick tavern, constructed in 1810, served as a resting place for the travelers. The structure was built on a small hill overlooking the valley now holding the reservoir. In response to the coming war with the British and Indians, a Captain Taylor directed the building of a palisade around the tavern. The new Fort Morrow served to protect the establishment as well as to function as a sanctuary for local settlers in case of Indian attack. Although several scares brought families to its protective cover, no actual attacks were recorded.
Delaware Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the construction of a flood control dam in 1951. The flood control reservoir was dedicated as a state park later that year.
Delaware State Park rests in the midst of the fertile agricultural till plains of Delaware County. In contrast to the surrounding farmlands, the park offers a variety of natural features. The area overlies the Olentangy and Ohio Shales, with Delaware Limestone underlying the area of Delaware Dam.
Before settlement of the area, a rich beech-maple forest covered the landscape. That original forest has long since been cut, but a healthy second growth forest is preserved in the park. The woodlands and meadows harbor a diverse array of plant and animal life. Interested observers can find large-flowered trillium, wild blue phlox, Queen Anne's lace, and New England asters.
The fields and woodlots are home to the fox squirrel, woodchuck, rabbit, and white-tailed deer. The adjacent wildlife area is populated with ring-necked pheasant, while the lake and wetlands are a mecca for waterfowl.