More opportunities for camping on boats this year
COLUMBUS - This summer, Ohio State Park lakes are offering more opportunities for boaters to camp aboard their crafts or drop anchor and swim in designated areas.
Boaters may now sleep aboard their watercrafts while secured to public docks on the lakes at Burr Oak, Dillon, Grand Lake St. Marys, Guilford Lake, Indian Lake, Paint Creek, Rocky Fork and Salt Fork state parks, along with Buck Creek State Park's C.J. Brown Reservoir. Boaters may drop anchor and spend the night on the water at designated boat camping areas at Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek, Hueston Woods State Park's Acton Lake, and Portage Lakes State Park's Turkeyfoot Lake, as well as Grand Lake St. Marys and Buck Creek State Park's C.J. Brown Reservoir. Later this summer, docks for overnight use will be available at Middle Bass Island.
Boat campers should check in with the marina or park office before docking. Transient docks for overnight stays are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some locations charge a fee for overnight docking.
New boat swimming areas have been added in coves or other quiet areas outside of boat traffic at several state park lakes, including Caesar Creek, Dillon, Lake Logan and Salt Fork. Boat swimmers are advised to wear lifejackets and be aware of submerged hazards in boat swimming areas. Headfirst diving from boats is strongly discouraged and consumption of alcohol while boating is strictly prohibited.
In addition to the parks that offer newly designated camping and swimming areas for recreational boaters, a number of state parks continue to allow these activities. Boat camping is also permitted where designated at Cleveland Lakefront, East Harbor, Geneva, South Bass Island, Mary Jane Thurston, Maumee Bay, Muskingum River Parkway and Shawnee state parks. Boat swimming and camping are permitted at Cowan Lake, Deer Creek, Delaware, East Fork, Lake Milton, Mosquito Lake and West Branch state parks. Established boat swimming areas are offered at A.W. Marion, Lake Loramie, Lake White, Paint Creek, Portage Lakes and Rocky Fork.
Children who swim at Ohio State Parks with their families this summer can receive credit towards the ODNR Explore the Outdoors Swim with a Buddy activity. Explore the Outdoors is a hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature, improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming environmental stewards. Program information and downloadable activity guides can be found at www. exploretheoutdoorsohio.com.
For additional information about boating facilities and other recreational opportunities at Ohio State Parks, visit www.ohiostateparks. org.