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Ohio State Parks

USA Parks
Central Ohio Region
Deer Creek State Park
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Gene Shirk
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Gene Shirk
Deer Creek State Park © Gene Shirk
Deer Creek State Park © Gene Shirk
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
Deer Creek State Park © Gene Shirk
Deer Creek State Park © Monica Jamison
20635 State Park Road 20
Mt Sterling, Ohio   43143
(lat:39.6301 lon:-83.251)

Phone: (740) 869-3124
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Located in the heart of Ohio's agricultural country, Deer Creek State Park is central Ohio's vacation showplace. A collage of meadows and woodlands surround the scenic reservoir. This resort park features a modern lodge, cottages, campground, golf course, swimming beach and boating for outdoor enthusiasts.
Nature of the Area
Deer Creek State Park lies on the eastern edge of the great till plains of Ohio. These plains receive their name from the glacial debris, or till, which is a mixture of sand, silt and gravel that was deposited by the glaciers. As glaciers advanced across the northern two-thirds of Ohio, most hills and valleys were covered and filled in by the till, leaving this part of Ohio relatively flat.

Today, these rich plains in the park's region support corn, soybeans and wheat. The first settlers to the area did not find these open fields. Except for a few small prairie openings, the region was covered by dense woodlands. A regrowth of the original woodlands can be found scattered along the ridge tops and creek bottoms of the park.

Wildflowers abound in the fields and woodlands of the till plains. In spring, common flowers are Dutchman's breeches, rue anemone, trillium, spring beauty and bloodroot. Summer months produce thimbleweed, wild lettuce, jewelweed and daisy fleabane. In autumn, the most abundant flowers are aster, goldenrod and chicory, whose roots were used by settlers to make a coffee-like beverage.

The best known animals of the Deer Creek area include amphibians such as the chorus frog, spring peeper and American toad. Reptiles include box and painted turtles, black rat snake and eastern garter snake. Numerous mammals inhabit the park. Most of them are small and include the red fox, raccoon, opossum, woodchuck, skunk, rabbit, deer mouse and white-tailed deer. Deer Creek is known for its population of ring-necked pheasant. Other birds of the area include eastern meadowlark, song sparrow, cowbird, eastern bluebird, barn swallow and woodcock.
History of the Area
On a long ridge that once overlooked Deer Creek and its valley, researchers have discovered evidence of a camp of an ancient Indian tribe. The nomads who camped here around 2,000 B.C. were hunters and gatherers and used this camp periodically throughout the year. Since agriculture was not practiced by the nomads, they moved on after they depleted the plant or animal food supplies in a locale. Burial sites near the camp indicate it was inhabited over a period of time.

In more recent years, a cottage owned by Harry M. Daugherty, the attorney general under President Warren G. Harding, overlooked the valley. The rustic one and one-half story cottage was built in 1918. The President was said to have visited this cottage which now bears his name.

The completion of the dam in 1968 created the lake with the park officially opening in 1974.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres2,337
 Water, acres1,277
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres3,710
 Hiking Trail, miles9
 Swimming Beach, feet1,400
 Mountain Bike Trails, miles1
 Bridle Trails, miles18
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating LimitsUnlimited HP
 Seasonal Dock Rental152
 Launch Ramps, #2
 Fuel For Saleyes
CampingElectric Sites, #227
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Group Camp, capacity60
 Youth Group Camp, capacity200
 Horsemen Campsites, #3
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #110
 Family Cottages, #26
 Game Roomyes
 Indoor Swimming Poolyes
 Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
 Golf Courseyes
The campground at Deer Creek has 232 sites. All have electricity. The campground features showers, flush toilets and a dump station. Pets are permitted on designated sites. Four Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation. A group camp is also available by reservation. A horsemen's camp provides primitive overnight facilities for riders and a primitive group camp offers an area for groups.
Twenty-five cottages offer overnight accommodations. The cottages have two bedrooms, bath with a shower, living room, complete kitchen, dining area and screened porch. The cottages sleep six people. The historic Harding Cabin offers a unique setting and sleeps 8.
The lodge at Deer Creek has 110 guest rooms, many with a panoramic view of the lake. Lodge features include indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, whirlpool and exercise room. A restaurant, lounge and meeting rooms provide additional accommodations.
Golf Course
A 350-acre, 18-hole golf course near the lodge is a challenge for golfers with its 10 ponds and 52 sand traps
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental
A spacious 1,700-foot swimming beach graces the shores of Deer Creek State Park. A concession area and changing booths are special features at the beach.
Unlimited horsepower boating is permitted on the 1,277-acre Deer Creek reservoir. Two launch ramps provide access to the lake. A fully equipped marina offers fuel, boat rental and seasonal dock rentals.

Deer Creek State Park is located near Ashville, Circleville and Grove City

Several picnic areas are situated in scenic locations around the park.
Seven miles of hiking trails take the visitor through meadows and scattered woodlands. Fourteen miles of bridle trails can accommodate riders with their own horses. A fitness trail near the lodge offers an opportunity for exercise in a wooded setting.
Area Attractions
East of Deer Creek near Circleville is A.W. Marion State Park which offers fishing, camping and picnicking. Stage's Pond, a state nature preserve, is located five miles north of Circleville. This 178-acre glacial, kettle lake is a waterfowl refuge and a prime observation area for birdlife. Deer Creek Wildlife Area which is adjacent to the park is operated by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and managed for upland game. In nearby Chillicothe, visitors can witness the living drama of Tecumseh at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
February 7 One of my favorite campgrounds. by Candy
This campground is always kept up on cleaniness of the restrooms,laundry room and the store/office is always stocked up on supplies. Very friendly staff as well.
May 13 very good fishi;ng and nice picnic area by Terri
Very clean, and employees are helpful. nice picnic area and good fishing
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Area Campgrounds
Deer Creek Camping Resort
13385 Crownover Mill Road
Mount Sterling, OH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Frosties Guns & Ammo
14761 Crownover Mill Rd
New Holland, OH
(740) 495-5282
Mary's Bait Shop
4741 State Route 207 NE
Washington Ct Hs, OH
(740) 869-3597
Area Cabins and Lodges
Deer Creek Resort & Conference Center
22300 State Park 20 Rd
Mt Sterling, OH
(740) 869-2020
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
Cottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
40.6 miles from park*
Our Life Lodge - New Plymouth, OH
Cottages and Cabins
5 Bedroom, Newly Furnished, Hot Tub. Located on 330 private acres. Wayne National and Zaleski State Forest Both within one mile of property. Over 20 miles of established horse, atv, hiking trails on property.
48.6 miles from park*

Use Mapquest and the address provided below to create a custom set of directions from your location to the Park:

20635 Waterloo Road, Mt. Sterling, OH 43143


Ohio State Parks