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,
22 of which are full service with water/sewer/and electric. The
campground is located in a scenic pine forest and is open all
year for camping enjoyment. Facilities include fire rings, picnic
tables, waste-water drains showers flush toilets, and laundry
facility for registered camper.
Two 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 bunk, futon couch, TV, in addition to microwave, refrigerator
AC/heat and ceiling fan. Broom and dust pan are also provided.
However, linens, dishes, etc. are not provided.
Pet camping is permitted on all campsites excluding the camper
cabins. The camp store offers supplies, food and convenience
The lake at Mt. Gilead offer good catches of bass, bluegill and
other on occasion trout which is stocked annually. 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. ADA canoe Kayak
Several picnic areas are located on the south side of the park
and at the entrance off Route 42. Three picnic shelters are available
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 behind the shelter house
across from the playground, Dam entrance, and our State Route
More To Do
A volleyball court, horseshoe pits, corn toss, gaga ball pit,
discgolf 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.
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.
Information courtesy of the ODNR.
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