Mount Gilead State
Mt. Gilead State Park is
a quiet, small park centrally located in the state of Ohio. Picnicking,
fishing and hiking can be enjoyed year-round at this beautiful
A family campground, offering
59 sites with electrical hookups, is set in a scenic pine forest
and is open all year for camping enjoyment. Facilities include
fire rings, picnic tables, waste-water drains and latrines.
Two deluxe Camper Cabins are available during the summer season
on a reservation basis. The Camper Cabins are tucked in a quiet
corner of the campground. They are furnished with bunks, table
and chairs, in addition to microwave, refrigerator and ceiling
fan. A cooler, broom and dust pan are also provided. However,
linens, dishes, etc. are not provided.
Six primitive campsites are
also available and may serve as a group camp for organized groups.
Pet camping is permitted on designated sites. The camp store
offers supplies, food and convenience items.
The two small lakes at Mt.
Gilead offer good catches of bass, bluegill and other panfish.
A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Mt. Gilead allows boating
with canoes, rowboats and boats with electric motors only. A
launch ramp is provided.
Several picnic areas are
located on the south side of the park and at the entrance off
Route 42. Three picnic shelters are available on a first-come,
first-served basis or may be reserved for special occasions.
Six and a half miles of trails,
including a two-mile multipurpose trail for hikers and horseback
riders, traverse Mt. Gilead State Park. Trails provides opportunities
for exercise, nature study and wildlife observation. Trail access
is from the campground, park office and Route 42 entrance.
More To Do
A double volleyball court,
horseshoe pits and playground may be enjoyed by visitors in day-use
areas of the park. The park hosts special events year-round and
provides summer nature programs. The 200-seat amphitheater may
be rented for a variety of outdoor functions. The picturesque
gazebo may also be rented for special occasions.
The campground offers a playground
for youngsters, and the camp office loans games and sporting
equipment to registered campers.
Nature of the Area
The wealth of natural wonders
found at Mt Gilead State Park can be traced back to the Ice Age--a
time when two-thirds of Ohio was frozen land covered with glacial
ice, nearly a mile thick in places. During this age many changes
occurred in the Ohio landscape: the stream systems were altered,
topography changed and the Great Lakes were formed. The glaciers
left Ohio a legacy of valuable natural resources.
In the vicinity of Mt. Gilead,
three end moraines (linear ridges of glacial sediment deposited
along the ice edge) converged and account for the rolling terrain
seen today. A beautiful stand of second growth beech-maple forest
exists at Mt. Gilead.
The mature woodlands provide
a glimpse of what Ohio was to the early settlers. Wildflowers
such as wild geranium, hepatica, trillium and bloodroot, carpet
the spring forest floor. The leafy canopy is occupied by the
woodthrush, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren and other
songbirds. Skunks, raccoons, white-tailed deer and a variety
of other mammals make this park their home.
History of the
Mt. Gilead State Park is
located in Morrow County near the center of the state. The first
permanent settlers came into the county after the close of the
War of 1812. The first gristmill and sawmill were built on Whetstone
Creek in 1821. The town of Mt. Gilead, the county seat, served
as a major stop on the underground railroad prior to the Civil
War. In more recent history, an oil boom occurred in Morrow County.
In 1961, a well was drilled on the Orrie Myers' property that
produced 200 barrels a day. As a result of that wells success,
30-40 well are drilled in Morrow County annually.
The first lake at Mt. Gilead
was built in 1919 on the upper level of Sam's Creek. On July
10, 1930, a larger lake was completed below the first one on
this same tributary of Whetstone Creek. The recreational area
was originally under the supervision of the Bureau of Engineering.
In 1949, it was turned over to the newly formed ODNR Division
of Parks and Recreation to be maintained as a state park.
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