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Ohio: Beaver Creek State Park
Posted on Thursday, January 19 @ 09:21:57 CST by iljiana

Horse Camping & Trails 12021 Echo Dell Road
East Liverpool, OH 43920
(330) 385-3091

Beaver Creek State Park, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is one of Ohio's most scenic parks. The park includes Little Beaver Creek, a state and national wild and scenic river, and acres of forest wilderness. The rich history of the area invites visitors to explore Gaston's Mill, pioneer village and abandoned canal locks.


The campground is scenically located high above Little Beaver Creek and offers large shaded sites. The 53 non-electric sites have tables, fire rings, pit latrines and a dump station. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.

Two rent-A-Tepee units come equipped with a cooler, storage containers, sleeping pads, and lantern. Contact the park office for servations.

A group camp area can accommodate organized groups up to 125 people and is available on a reservation basis. A horseman's camp offers primitive camping with water, latrines and tie-ups for those wishing to use the park's bridle trails. Contact the park office for reservations.


Little Beaver Creek offers one of the most enjoyable canoe trips in the state of Ohio. Swift currents and breathtaking scenery are highlights of a trip through the Little Beaver Creek gorge. Be sure to wear a personal flotation device and be alert for potential hazards. The creek is navigable by canoe or rubber raft only.

Hunting and Fishing

Stream fishing is excellent for smallmouth bass and rock bass. Hunting is permitted in designated areas. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required.


Hikers will find several beautiful waterfalls by exploring the many tributary streams. A short trail from the campground to Oak Tree Point gives an excellent panorama of the scenic valley. Approximately twelve miles of hiking trails take the visitor to historic canal locks and through a steep walled gorge.

The Dogwood, Pine Ridge and Vondergreen trails on the north side of Little Beaver Creek are part of the extensive North Country Trail system.

Twenty-three miles of bridle trails provide access for horse and rider through the valley.

There are two mountain biking technical trails - Vondergreen, and the Dogwood trail. Both offer great scenery, technical climbs, and fun downhills. Not for the beginner (unless you take it slow). Stop by the park office for trail head directions and maps. Read more on the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association web site.


Picnic areas are scenically located and provide tables and grills. A picnic shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More To Do

The park's nature center houses fascinating natural history displays. The pioneer village and Gaston's Mill come to life during the annual Pioneer Craft Days event held in the fall. There are horseshoe pits near the pioneer village, and playground equipment at the picnic areas and in the campground.

Nature of the Area

Beaver Creek State Park is nestled in the sandstone hills of eastern Ohio. The park is comprised of various habitats including bottomlands, a gorge, forests and Little Beaver Creek--a state and national wild and scenic river. The valley of Little Beaver is characterized by steep walls, high rock cliffs and numerous gentle rapids. Geologically, the valley of Little Beaver is extremely unique, being the only stream valley in the United States yet described, in which evidence of all four major glaciations is found.

The flora of the park contains several interesting and unusual species, some of which are more commonly found in northern regions. Canada yew, yellow and black birch, hemlock and mountain laurel can be found in the deep stream valley. The stream banks are lined with delicate wildflowers including jewelweed, hepatica, violets and spring beauties.

Many types of wildlife find the park's varying habitats inviting. Red fox, skunk, raccoon and white-tailed deer are commonly seen while the elusive wild turkey is making a comeback in the area. Recently, sightings of black bear have become more frequent.

History of the Area

The first inhabitants of the Beaver Creek area were Indians of the Fluted Point Culture nearly 10,000 years ago. Flint knives, fluted arrowheads and pottery have been found nearby. In more recent history, the Wyandot and Mingo Indians resided here. The family of Logan, the celebrated Mingo chief, was massacred near here on the Ohio River at the mouth of Yellow Creek--spurring Lord Dunmore's War in 1774. The first permanent white settler in the area, Trapper John Quinn, moved into the valley around 1790.

Remnants of the Sandy and Beaver Canal, a spur off the Ohio-Erie Canal, are found throughout the park. The 73-mile Sandy and Beaver Canal was built in the mid-1800s and contained 90 locks and 30 dams. Lusk's Lock, with its double-curved stone staircase is the largest and most artistic on the canal and still remains intact. Lusk's Lock is also known as Simon Girty's Lock because it is believed Girty, a notorious renegade during the Revolution, frequented the area.

As railroads came into Ohio, canal and river traffic declined. The founding of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company caused the closing of the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1853.

The Little Beaver valley provided opportunity for water power and resulted in the construction of Gaston's Mill in 1837. The mill stands completely restored and today grinds whole wheat flour, corn meal and buckwheat flour on a seasonal basis. A pioneer village, adjacent to the mill, includes a log home, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and a church.

Of other local, historical significance was the capture of the infamous Confederate General, John Hunt Morgan. Morgan was one of the Confederacy's most daring cavalrymen. Morgan and his 2,000 raiders crossed the entire width of Ohio from west to east before his eventual capture near the park.

The discovery of rich clay deposits in the area of East Liverpool led to the birth of the pottery industry in the 1840s. The industry was so prosperous that the area became known as the pottery center of the United States.

One pottery alone produced 24 tons of ware daily. Nearly three-fourths of the nation's white ware was produced in this region in the mid-1800s.

When the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, Beaver Creek was dedicated as a state park.

Area Attractions

Williamsport Chapel is situated on a high bluff near the campground. This fine, old structure was purchased in 1965 and restored by the Columbiana County Forests and Parks Council. Today, nondenominational church services are offered mid-May through September.

Two nearby state parks, Guilford Lake and Jefferson Lake, offer additional camping, swimming and boating opportunities. Guilford Lake, near Lisbon, accepts boats with up to ten horsepower motors. Jefferson Lake, near Richmond (Ohio), welcomes boats with electric motors only.

Highlandtown Wildlife Area, off State Route 39, manages 2,105 acres for hunting and fishing. Boats with electric motors only are permitted on the 170-acre lake.

The Ohio Historical Society's Museum of Ceramics is located in East Liverpool. The museum highlights the social history of East Liverpool through life-size dioramas portraying pottery production around 1900. Tours are available March through November. For information on other local attractions, contact the Ohio Office of Travel and Tourism at 1-800-BUCKEYE.

For more information, maps and reservations:

Related Links
· USDA Forest Service
· Veterinarians
· More about Horse Camping & Trails
· News by iljiana

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