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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Central Ohio Region
A W Marion State Park
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A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Canada Goslings
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Marina Sign
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Canada Geese on the Grass
A W Marion State Park © Aesopposea / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance to A. W. Marion State Park.
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Canada Geese on the Water
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Canada Goose on the Water
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
A W Marion State Park © Eric Hoffman
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
A W Marion State Park A.W. Marion State Park © Lonnie Williams
Panoramic View of Lake
A W Marion State Park © Dan Keck from Ohio / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Circleville, Ohio
Availability Search
7317 Warner-Huffer Rd
Circleville, Ohio   43113
(lat:39.6288 lon:-82.8882) map location

Phone: 740-467-2690
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Email: park email button icon
The rolling woodlands and quiet waters of A.W. Marion State Park offer visitors a welcome escape from the rigors of everyday life. This small but unique park offers a variety of recreational activities while maintaining a quiet atmosphere of natural serenity.
Park Map (pdf)
Nature of the Area
A. W. Marion State Park, located in Pickaway County, can attribute its natural wonders to glaciation that occurred more than 12,000 years ago. As glaciers advanced over more than two-thirds of Ohio, vast amounts of rock and soil (or till) were deposited over the landscape. This till had a direct effect on the natural vegetation that occurs at A. W. Marion. The surface of the park is fairly level and the soil very fertile. The area is diverse with woodlands, plains and prairie. Ohio's prairies, products of an ancient dry climate, are really small versions of the more extensive grasslands in the western United States. This eastern portion extends into Ohio and is part of the prairie-forest border or tension zone. Within this zone, the grasslands increased in size during droughts, only to be reinvaded by forests during wet periods. Before settlement began, scrub oak barrens, dense thickets formed by this shrub, were common in the region but have since been cleared for raising crops. The nearby floodplains of the Scioto River are adorned with a variety of wildflowers. Wildlife indigenous to the area includes fox squirrel, ring-necked pheasant, a variety of songbirds, red fox and white-tailed deer.
History of the Area
Long before A.W. Marion became a state park, this area had developed an amazing history. Due largely to the fertile soils of the Pickaway Plains, which are said to contain the richest land in Ohio, early inhabitants were attracted here. The Adena culture were among the first to settle the area 2,000 years ago. An ancient circular earthworks on the site of what is now the city of Circleville (hence the name) gave evidence to their presence. In more recent times the villages of Chief Cornstalk of the Shawnee nation were located on these plains. These same villages were the object of attention of Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, who in 1774 marched his army within striking distance of the Indians. His intention was to destroy the villages and end the uprising that had resulted in the Battle of Point Pleasant days earlier. At the request of the Indians, a peace settlement was agreed upon before any more fighting occurred.

In 1948, construction began on the dam for Hargus Creek Lake. By 1950, the area became part of the newly created Division of Parks and Recreation. In 1962, the park was renamed the A.W. Marion State Park in honor of the first director of the Department of Natural Resources, a Pickaway County native.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres309
 Water, acres145
 Hiking Trail, miles6
 Picnic Shelters, #2
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Seasonal Dock Rental14
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimitive, #29
 Electric Sites, #29
 Pets Permittedyes
 Youth Group Campyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
A wooded camp area with sixty sites is available year-round for tent and trailer camping. A youth camp is also available by reservation for organized groups. Pit latrines and drinking water are available.
Campground Map (pdf)
Nearby Accommodations
businesss listing main photo
Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
19.8 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
17.5 miles from park*
A W Marion State Park in Ohio offers various options for swimming. The park features a large swimming beach where visitors can relax and enjoy the water. Lifeguards are typically on duty during peak hours to ensure the safety of swimmers. Additionally, the park has a roped-off area specifically designated for swimming, making it a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Whether you want to lounge on the beach or take a dip in the water, A W Marion State Park provides excellent swimming options for visitors.
Hargus Lake provides 145 acres of water, boat launching ramps and public docks. Rentals are available from the concession on the northwest side of the lake. Electric motors only are permitted.
In the late 1980s, Hargus Lake was drained, habitat improvements were made and it was restocked with largemouth bass, muskellunge, bluegill and channel catfish. Anglers can now enjoy some of central Ohio's finest fishing. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

In the fall, the mature woodlands offer excellent squirrel hunting in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.

Picnic tables and grill sites are located in scenic areas throughout the park. A concession stand offers limited picnic supplies. Fires are permitted only in the grills provided.
Biking enthusiasts can enjoy a 5-mile trail, suitable for all skill levels. Helmets are highly recommended.

The terrain is mostly flat and well-maintained but may present minor challenges after heavy rainfalls.

Riders should be aware of other park users as the trails are multi-use, shared with hikers too.

During hunting seasons, cyclists must exercise extra caution due to increased activity in certain areas of the park.

It's important to note that biking isn't permitted on nature preserve trails within this location.

Night-time cycling requires appropriate lighting equipment for safety reasons; visibility can drop significantly post-sunset.
The Hargus Lake Trail offers five miles of scenic pleasure, providing access to the entire shoreline of the lake. Beginning at the campground, the Squawroot Nature Trail offers the hiking enthusiast one mile of scenic terrain. The trail is self-guided with directional signs and takes visitors to fourteen points of interest. These scenic trails are open for year-round use.
Trail Map (pdf)
A W Marion State Park in Ohio offers a variety of birding options for nature enthusiasts. The park is home to diverse habitats, including woodlands and wetlands that attract different species of birds throughout the year. Birdwatchers can spot waterfowl such as ducks and geese on the 145-acre Hargus Lake or explore trails where they might see songbirds like warblers, sparrows, finches.

The park also provides opportunities to observe raptors such as hawks and owls due to its dense forest areas. During migration seasons (spring & fall), visitors may witness an even wider range of avian life passing through this area.

Birding activities are self-guided with no specific programs offered by the state park itself; however there are several online resources available providing information about recent sightings at A.W Marion State Park which could be helpful for planning your visit accordingly.

For those interested in photography or simply observing these creatures up close without disturbing them, binoculars would come handy while exploring various parts within this beautiful natural setting located just south-east from Columbus city center.
Area Attractions
Limitless opportunities abound within a short distance of the park. A monument marking the location of the Logan Elm, where Chief Logan delivered his eloquent speech can be reached south of Circleville, one mile east of U.S. 23 on State Route 361. Two state nature preserves operated by the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves are located near the park: Shallenberger Preserve, east of the park off State Route 22, and Stage's Pond, north of the park on Haggerty Road. Deer Creek State Park is also located in Pickaway County and offers camping, fishing, boating and picnicking.

Near Marcy, Ohio, off State Route 674, visitors can catch a glimpse of 1880 farm life by traveling to Slate Run Living Historical Farm. Horse-drawn machinery, woodstove cooking, canning and milking are a few of the activities that can be enjoyed. Traveling south on State Route 159, one can witness the life story of the great Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. This outdoor drama is enacted from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 15 GREAT by crappie master
park review stars; one to five This is a fun, awesome park to hang out with friends and familey
August 25 Absolutely awesome! by cmorriso
park review stars; one to five The lake is just beautiful and the hiking trail is wonderful to follow around the lake! Great place to kayak!
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Area Campgrounds
Jackson Lake Campground & Park LLC
3715 Cedar Hill Road Northwest
Canal Winchester, OH
Camp Coonpath
4625 Coonpath Road, N.W.
Carroll, OH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Scott's Bait & Tackel
1030 S Court St
Circleville, OH
(740) 474-8898
Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading south on OH-23 S from Columbus.
2. Continue on OH-23 S for approximately 23 miles until you reach Circleville.
3. In Circleville, take the exit onto US-22 W/US-62 W toward Washington Court House.
4. Follow US-22 W/US-62 W for about 7 miles.
5. Take a slight left onto OH-188 S.
6. Continue on OH-188 S for approximately 3 miles until you reach the entrance of A.W. Marion State Park on your left.

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Ohio State Parks