Located in east central Ohio the wooded hills and scenic valleys surrounding Dillon State Park offer a picturesque setting for outdoor adventure. Whether boating the quiet coves and inlets of the lake or hiking the forest trails, you'll have an outstanding recreational experience at this 2,285-acre park.
The archery range is located at the Sled Hill parking lot. 10-, 20-, 30-, and 40-yard targets as well as a 30-yard broadhead target are available. Bring your own equipment; no rentals are provided. Backstops are made from recycled plastic from Coconis Furniture. The range was built in September 2009 by Brenton Reed for his Eagle Scout project.
The 1,560-acre lake allows unlimited horsepower boating. Two boat ramps provide access to the lake. The park offers 95 docks for lease on a seasonal basis as well as four overnight rental docks. Contac the Park Office for details. Canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent at the Camp Store.
Dillon State Park Campground offers Electric sites as well as Cabins and Group Camping. Reservations are required; reserve online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
Woodchuck Ridge is a 61-par, 18-hole disc golf course in the park with a variety of challenges for all experience levels. The course begins up the steps behind the camp store, loops near camp areas, and finishes back at the Camp Store. Maps, score sheets, and rental discs are available at the camp store. Discs are also sold in the store.
The course is free and open to the public due the generosity of Boy Scout Troop 14 and donations by the Friends of Dillon State Park. The course was an Eagle Scout project for Matt Tellez.
Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, saugeye, hybrid striped bass and catfish are plentiful.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the surrounding Dillon Wildlife area in season.
Two picnic areas complete with tables and grills are located in the park. There are a few reservable shelterhouses as well.
A 1,360-foot swimming beach is located near the park office. A wading pool is also available. Swimming is permitted in designated areas during daylight hours only. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach.
There are two restroom facilities in the beach area. A new ADA accessible facility is located near the wading pool.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
A game area is adjacent to the beach offering a playground area as well as lighted courts for tennis, pickleball, volleyball and basketball.
Dillon Sportsman Center is a full-featured public shooting facility, located at 5200 Pleasant Valley Road in Nashport, OH. This facility includes a 100-yard outdoor rifle range, a 25-yard outdoor pistol range, firearms instruction, and regulation skeet and trap fields. (740) 452-3529
Seven trails traverse the park, giving visitors a chance to view a variety of landscapes. One multi-use trail allows hiking, biking and/or horseback riding
- Paved: Black Locust Loop — 0.5 Mile — Easy
- Bridle: 19 Miles — wooded [map]
- Hiking: 8.9 Miles — Moderate
- Mountain Biking: 18 MIles — Color-coded for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders
Some portions of trails are multi-use (allow hiking, biking, and/or horses). Prohibited activities ("no hikers", "no bikes" or "no horses") are marked.
- Licking Bend — 4.4 Mile — moderate
- Blackberry Ridge — 0.6 Mile — moderate
- King Ridge Loop — 1 Mile — moderate
- Eagle Ridge Loop — 0.8 Mile — moderate
- Ruffed Grouse Loop — 0.6 Mile — moderate
- Bog Loop — 1 Mile — Easy
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding at the Sled Hill near the Archery Range.
History & Natural Features
The history of the Dillon region highlights the story of transportation in the area. The nearby Licking River played a crucial role in Ohio’s cultural history, from the days of Native Americans to the age of the river canals.
The Licking River provided Native Americans with access to Flint Ridge where outcroppings of flint were found. In the Blackhand Gorge, now protected as a state nature preserve, a sandstone cliff bore a soot-blackened engraving of a human hand. This mysterious petroglyph is thought to have served as a guide marker for Indians searching for Flint Ridge. Specimens of Flint Ridge flint have been found as far east as the Atlantic seaboard, as far south as Louisiana and as far west as Kansas City.
In 1803, Moses Dillon purchased the land bordering the Licking River, where the park is now located. Dillon is most noted for his design and construction of the world-famous “Y” Bridge in Zanesville.
The region continued to develop, with the construction of the Old National Road, built between 1811 and 1834. It was the first federally funded road in U.S. history and helped establish the city of Zanesville. Later, the power of the Licking River was harnessed for the Ohio and Erie Canal, which boosted trade and commerce to surrounding towns. The development of the railroad led to an inter-urban rail between Zanesville, Newark and Columbus.
In 1961, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of Dillon Reservoir for flood control, with recreation as a secondary use.
Dillon State Park in Muskingum County is situated in an area of the state possessing diverse and interesting natural features resulting from the unique properties of the Black Hand sandstone found here. Hundreds of millions of years ago, sand eroded from eastern mountains and accumulated in a vast delta of the ancient sea covering the region. Eventually, this hard bedrock eroded to form sheer cliffs. Today, the landscape supports a hardwood forest.
The rolling, reverting farmland of the area provides visitors the opportunity to see some of Ohio’s most magnificent wildlife. White-tailed deer and wild turkey can be seen along the park’s trails by quiet observers. During migration, numerous species of waterfowl visit Dillon’s waters. Sightings of bald eagles have also been reported.