Nearly 1,700 acres of some of the best recreational waters in Ohio can be found at Lake Milton State Park in northeast Ohio. Boating, swimming and fishing are popular at this day-use park. Its scenic shoreline provides habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds.
Open year-round, the archery range features five targets and is located on the north end of the lake on Northeast River Road.
This 1,685-acre lake is designated for unlimited horsepower. Boaters have access to a section of the Mahoning River at the south end of the lake.
Three launch ramps access the lake. Fuel and 100 seasonal docks are available at the marina.
- A dock lottery is held in August for the seasonal dock leases the following boating season.
Lake Milton is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control; current conditions are reported daily along with other reservoirs on their Daily Reservoir Summary (pdf).
Fishing is popular and anglers enjoy nice catches of walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish. Anglers may also catch smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch, white bass and muskellunge.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas.
Reservable Day-use Shelters
Three picnic shelters and a gazebo are available for group rentals. Reserve online or call (866) 644-6727
The 600-foot beach has restrooms, change booths, showers, playground, basketball court and sand volleyball court. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT allowed on the beach.
- BeachGuard — Water quality advisories, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
- Nature Trail - 1.25 miles - easy, northwest side of the lake near the dam
- Paved Trail - 1.0 mile - east side of the Lake Milton, near the marina
- Mountain biking trail - 3 miles - across from Carson's Landing on Ellsworth Road, south end of Lake Milton.
Please visit the Rustbelt Revival Facebook Page for trail conditions.
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
More to Do
- A basketball court and sand volleyball court are located at the beach.
- A playground is also available at the beach for youngsters.
History & Natural Features
Before settlement of Ohio, dense forests covered much of the region. The forests were inhabited by Native Americans and wild animals including wolf, elk, bear and mountain lion. Native Americans trails and rivers provided access to the area. When settlers started moving west, they traveled the same routes as the Native Americans. Historic records recall only a few incidents between settlers and the Native Americans.
John and Mary Young traveled to this area from New York and in 1797 platted a town on the bank of the Mahoning River. In 1803, the Youngs left the area due to homesickness, but the town (Youngstown) still bears their name. Shortly after the Young's departure, iron, coal and limestone were discovered in the nearby hills. In 1826, the first coal mine opened in the valley. After Lake Superior's extensive iron ore deposits were discovered, the Mahoning Valley steel industry grew at a rapid rate. Union Iron and Steel Company, the first Mahoning steel plant, opened in 1892. Additional mills and fabricating plants drew immigrants of all nationalities to the valley.
In 1910, the city of Youngstown acquired 3,416 acres in Milton Township to construct a reservoir to be used as a water supply. A 2,800-foot dam was completed in 1913 impounding 1,640 acres on the Mahoning River. Lake Milton included a small amusement park at Craig Beach with a swimming beach, roller coaster, boat trips and a busy midway. The east side of the lake included taverns, a dance hall and a skating rink.
During the 1970s, mounting problems with the Lake Milton dam demanded attention. Considering safety factors, the gates were opened in the spring of 1986 and the lake was drained. State assistance was sought and shortly thereafter repairs to the dam began. Within two years, the dam was ready to hold water again.
Lake Milton was officially dedicated as a state park in 1988.
1,006-acre Lake Milton State Park lies in the portion of the Appalachian Plateau in Ohio that was overridden by glaciers some 12,000 years ago. This glaciated plateau contains a great variety of plants, animals and natural habitats. The plateau's rolling hills are interspersed with forests, bogs, old fields, streams and lakes.
The plateau is a major meeting ground of plants and forest types from the southern Appalachians and northern Allegheny regions. For instance, it is possible to see substantial stands of white oak and hickory which are typical of the southern Appalachians as well as northern hemlock forests which are more common in the northern Allegheny region. This tension zone accounts for the great diversity of plants in the area. Star flower, spring beauties, mountain maple, anemones and wood aster grace the floor of beech-maple woodlots.
Commonly seen wildlife around Lake Milton include cottontail rabbit, red fox, raccoon, muskrat and woodchuck. Bird life is diverse with robins, warblers, pine siskins, hawks and owls being commonly seen. Reptiles found here include the midland painted turtle and the northern watersnake.