Kiser Lake State Park is a favorite for folks who prefer to spend the day with a fishing pole or paddle in their hands. Several boat ramps are located along the lake’s 5 miles of shoreline. The park’s 531 acres of rolling, wooded hills and diverse wetlands add to the beauty of the 396-acre known for its clean, clear waters. The park also offers relaxing picnic areas for gatherings of family and friends. Overnight guests are invited to camp under the stars in the cozy campground or leave their equipment at home and rent a camper cabin.
Sailing and paddling are popular at Kiser Lake; boats with motors are not permitted on the 396-acre lake. Four small launch areas and one boat ramp provide access. Boats, kayaks and canoes can also be rented at the park’s marina (937-362-3565), which is open seasonally.
The park has 10 miles of bridle trail (Moderate).
Kiser Lake State Park Campground offers Electric, Non-electric, and Tent-only campsites as well as Sherman Cabin and Camper Cabin options, and a Group Camp. Reservations are required, made online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
Kiser Lake offers good catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and wiper. Five fishing piers are located on the lake.
Five hiking trails are found at the park:
- Marina Trail - 0.11 mile - Easy
- North Bay Trail - 1.5 miles - Moderate
- Pine Tree Trail - 0.5 mile - Moderate - CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
- Rabbit Run Trail - 0.6 mile - Moderate
- Red Oak Trail - 0.7 mile - Moderate
The adjacent Kiser Lake Wetlands Nature Preserve has a boardwalk trail (0.7 mile - Moderate).
Hunting of migratory game birds is permitted when in season. Deer hunting is permitted by lottery only.
Several picnic areas with tables and grills are located in the park.
A 300-foot swimming beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Refreshments are available at the marina (open spring until October)
Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only and only in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
Under the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy sledding, ice fishing, and ice boating.
More to Do
Recreational amenities are offered throughout the park, including a volleyball court and playground at the campground, and a basketball court at the beach.
History & Natural Features
The Kiser Lake region in Champaign County was the home of Tecumseh, the great Shawnee warrior. He lived and hunted on Buck Creek near the site of present-day Urbana. It was also near here where Simon Kenton, the legendary frontiersman, was once held captive by the Shawnee. Kenton admired the Shawnee for choosing such a beautiful area in which to reside. He remembered the area well and returned later in his life. Around 1802, Kenton settled in Urbana for several years. His remains lie in Oakdale Cemetery, southeast of Urbana under an impressive monument.
Kiser Lake was a dream of John W. Kiser and other members of his family. Their idea was to create a lake in the Mosquito Valley area which was low, swampy and dotted with numerous springs. In 1932, the Kiser family offered to the state of Ohio several hundred acres of the Mosquito Creek Valley. In 1939, a dam was constructed and the new lake was named Kiser becoming part of what is now Kiser Lake State Park. The lake is nearly 2.5 miles in length and has 5.3 miles of shoreline.
The area surrounding Kiser Lake State Park is a gift of the Ice Age. Two natural phenomena caused by the glaciers helped shape the region into its present form. The gently, rolling wooded hills were caused by glacial deposits in the form of end moraines when the ice edge remained stationary for a period of time, creating a linear ridge along the ice front. One such moraine called the Farmersville surrounds the lake on three sides creating a hummocky elevation through the area. Moraine deposits contain boulders, some weighing many tons, carried from as far away as Canada. These boulders, called erratics, are a familiar sight at Kiser.
Another geologic feature at Kiser Lake State Park is the kame field at the southeastern end of the lake. Kames are mounds of sand and gravel that are formed by meltwater flowing across glacial ice. The water deposits sediment into holes along the ice margin leaving behind hummocky mounds.
The wetlands at Kiser are in the form of fen and wet meadow habitat. These areas were formed when blocks of ice broke away from the glacier and became covered by sand and gravel. As the climate warmed, the ice melted and left a depression filled with water surrounded by glacial deposits. These areas are filled with many intriguing plants including pitcher plant, sundew, tamarack and spruce.