Mt. Gilead State Park is a lovely small park that is very secluded. The park is open all year round for people who like to relax.
About Mt. Gilead State Park
Mt. Gilead State Park is close to the village of Mount Gilead, which is within the seat of Morrow County, Ohio, United States. This lovely village is located 41 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio. In the last census that was conducted in 2010, it showed that the village had a population of 3,660.
The History Of Mt. Gilead State Park
The first European settlers in the area arrived after 1812. The first sawmill and the first gristmill were built here on Whetstone Creek in 1821. The town of Mt. Gilead also played an important role as it served as a major stop on the underground railroad prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War. In more recent times, there was an oil boom in Morrow County. A well was drilled in the early 1960s and this well produced over 200 barrels of oil a day. As the well struck decent, quality oil, another 40 wells were drilled in the Morrow County area on an annual basis.
The first lake was hollowed out in Mt. Gilead back in 1919. This lake is located on the upper level of Sam’s Creek. In 1930, a larger lake was also completed below the first lake and this was located on the same tributary as Whetstone Creek. In 1949 after World War II, this lake was handed over to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The primary goal of this action is for the area to be maintained as a state park.
From the year 2015 to 2018, there was a redesign of the dams on the lake, so that the water was able to have a more natural flow. The upper dam is now an open spillway. A footbridge has also been built so visitors can walk over the dam. The lower dam is a fortified as a labyrinth spillway. This lower dam also has a footbridge over the structure.
Mt. Gilead State Park Natural Features
Mt. Gilead State Park has plenty of natural wonders that visitors can admire and enjoy.
These natural wonders can be traced back to the last Ice Age. It was at this time that two-thirds of Ohio was frozen land, covered by glacial ice. In some areas, this Ice was over a mile thick in places. It was in this Ice Age that the landscape of Ohio changed. Certain, important aspects of the landscape that changed include the stream systems. Due to these systems changing, the topography also changed and the Great Lakes were also formed in this period. When the glaciers finally left, Ohio was rich in natural resources.
In the Mt. Gilead area, linear ridges of glacial sediment were left behind. The sediment converged and these are now the rolling hills and terrain of the state park.
As of today, Mt. Gilead has a beautiful beech-maple forest. These fantastic, beautiful woodlands also provide a glimpse of what Ohio looked like back in the day when the early settlers arrived. There are some lovely Wildflowers around the state park including bloodroot, hepatica, trillium, and wild geranium. These wildflowers come out in the spring after the snow has gone and the temperatures have started to recover.
As this is a place of natural beauty, some animals have also decided to call Mt. Gilead home. Some of the animals that have decided to call this place home include raccoons, skunks, and deer. Numerous songbirds plus Carolina Wren, White-breasted nuthatch, and wood thrush also call the National Park their home.
Activities At Mt. Gilead State Park
Boating is available on Mt. Gilead Lake. Paddle Craft, sailboats, and boats with electric motors are acceptable. Boats with petrol or diesel engines are prohibited.
There is a 9-hole disc golf course. This area of the park is open during daylight hours. Rental equipment is not available for hire so visitors will have to bring their own equipment. Check it out here.
visitors can fish on Mt. Gilead Lake, and the fish here include bass, bluegill, and other sorts of panfish. It should also be noted that Ohio fishing regulations are in force and a valid Ohio fishing license is required at all times. These licenses are only available to visitors aged 16 years of age and over.
There are five picnic areas within the park. Four of these areas are on the south side of the park and one is at the entrance off Route 42.
The park also has some lovely trails for visitors to enjoy.
Several unpaved multi-use trails allow hiking, running and horseback riding:
- Big Oak Trail — 0.4 mile
- Bridle Trail — 1.5 miles
- Lake View Trail — 1.7 miles
- Spring Trail — 0.3 mile
- Whetstone Loop — 0.8 mile
- Whetstone Trail — 0.8 mile
You can find out more information, as well as reviews made by other travelers, by checking this link.
In the winter (when conditions allow) winter activities are also available to visitors. These activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice skating.
Other activities include:
- Corn Toss
- Horseshoe Pit
- Shuffleboard court
- Volleyball court
Equipment for the above activities is available for rent from the store.
Campground At Mt. Gilead State Park
The cozy Mt. Gilead State Park Campsite is available to visitors.
Visitors can make reservations up to six months in advance online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
The campground has the following facilities:
- 37 Electric (50/30 amp) sites
- 22 Full Hookup sites
- Two Full Hookup sites are ADA accessible
- Fire ring and picnic table at each site
- Pets are welcome
- Showerhouse, flush toilets, and wastewater drains
- Camp store offers supplies, food, convenience items, and souvenirs
- Games and sporting equipment available for loan to registered campers
Check out this video from Mt. Gilead State Park Campsite:
Visit Mt. Gilead State Park
Park Hours are 6 am until 11 pm and this is daily. Visitors can visit outside these hours, providing it is for legitimate recreational activities.
If you have any further queries then please contact Lora White (Park Manager) at (419) 946-1961.
Smaller campground, but real nice and relaxing. Very helpful staff! Very nice restrooms. Great trails around the lake. Late fall colors are beautiful!KandJ Cornelius (Google)
Cindy’s Insider Ohio Tips!
I think the trails here can be considered challenging. None of them are paved, and there are some steep inclines. If you like short hikes, stunning fall colors, and generally beautiful scenery, this is the place to visit!
Where Is Mt. Gilead State Park Located?
Let’s Visit Mt. Gilead State Park!
Have you visited Mt. Gilead State Park? Did you join in with any of the activities they have to offer? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share your experience!
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