Staying at an Ohio State Park: Get Comfortable at One of Nine Park Lodges

These resorts provide pools, marinas, golf courses and more in an unbeatable natural setting.

Steve Stephens
Burr Oak Lodge

Camping is cool, but for those looking to experience the natural beauty of Ohio’s state parks with a bit of comfort, the park lodges are the only way to stay. Each of Ohio’s park resort lodges offers a variety of guest rooms, great views and full-service dining.

Just getting to Burr Oak Lodge is a delight, especially for travelers driving along scenic Ohio Route 78 through the Appalachian foothills. Once they arrive at the isolated Morgan County destination, guests can stay in the lovely and classic A-frame lodge, with a view of tranquil 660-acre Burr Oak Lake.

Lake Erie naturally takes center stage at Maumee Bay Lodge, on the lake about 20 miles east of Toledo. The lodge features a beach and swimming pool, marina and an unusual and challenging Scottish-links-style, 18-hole golf course.

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Guests at Mohican Lodge near Loudonville can use the park’s 13 miles of scenic hiking trails through dense woodlands and features like Clear Fork Gorge National Natural Landmark. The lodge is a favorite place to stay for guests exploring Ohio’s nearby Amish country.

Hueston Woods Lodge in Preble County hosts a wide variety of activities, including community bonfires and movie nights. And nature-loving guests are sure to be enchanted by the park’s large nature center with its own Raptor Rehabilitation Center, which permanently houses a bald eagle, golden eagle and several hawks and owls.

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The closest to Columbus, Deer Creek Lodge near Mount Sterling, sits on expansive Deer Creek Lake, where guests will find a full-service marina and boat rental. One unique lodging option, the historic Harding Cabin, can host up to six guests in the verdant retreat where President Warren Harding and his cronies once stayed to fish and play poker.

Nestled within Ohio’s largest state park, Salt Fork Lodge in Guernsey County offers a base from which to explore more than 17,000 acres of natural beauty.

One of the most isolated of all state park lodges, Shawnee Lodge in Adams County offers all the resort lodge amenities surrounded by the wilderness of 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, adjacent to Geneva State Park in Ashtabula County, is located in the heart of Ohio’s lakeside wine-producing region. The lodge offers its own wine tastings and a winery shuttle that guests can book for visits to area wineries and tasting rooms.

This story is from the June 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.